Dodo Bird releases Dodo MIDI, a freeware audio to MIDI converter for macOS and Windows.
Dodo MIDI detects incoming audio and converts it to MIDI. The free audio to MIDI conversion software lets you use your voice or any musical instrument to control virtual instruments and samplers.
Some people might wonder why you’d want to convert audio to MIDI, and that’s a fair question. The short answer is that you can manipulate MIDI in ways that are inconvenient or even impossible with audio. For example, you can transpose MIDI to any key, change tempo, quantize, and so on.
You might have a guitar loop that would sound awesome doubled on a synth, but you don’t have the theory or technique to play it. By turning it to MIDI, you can use it to trigger the same line on your virtual synth. Similarly, by converting your voice to MIDI, you can play virtual instruments by singing or humming.
You can develop all sorts of creative ways to integrate audio to MIDI into your live performance or studio sessions.
Dodo MIDI isn’t the first plugin to convert audio to MIDI, but it does claim to be the best so far.
Whatever DAW you use likely has a few different ways to convert audio to MIDI. In Logic Pro X, depending on your source, there are a couple of options, with the most likely being Flex Pitch. While Flex Pitch is useful, it’s not perfect by any means.
There are more expensive solutions, like Melodyne, which, again, isn’t perfect.
In terms of a live performance rather than studio use, a setup with the Waves OVox MIDI Out feature works fairly well. There’s also Vochlea’s fun but over-priced Dubler 2 for live use.
As you can see, there’s no shortage of options, so what makes Dodo MIDI different?
For a start, it’s free, and that’s always good, but more importantly, it’s the articulation.
Even when some of the options mentioned above get the right notes, you end up messing around with velocities, missing legatos, and unwanted notes. It gets tedious pretty quickly.
Dodo MIDI isn’t perfect either, and it’s not without its quirks, especially with pitch and configuration. However, I think it deals with many issues better, mainly slides, which makes it less tedious in some areas. The results I’ve heard so far are impressive, and I’ll happily use it for things like turning vocal lines into synth leads.
For me, the more exciting application is for live performance and adding to your vocals. Sadly, I’m no singer, and I’d only use it to drown out my voice, but I’m very interested to hear what people do with it.
Lastly, make sure you check out the tutorial section to make sure you have your chain and configuration right.
Dodo MIDI is available in VST format for macOS and Windows.
Download: Dodo MIDI (4.49 MB download size, EXE installer, 64-bit VST2/VST3 plugin format for Windows & macOS)