Music Notation Software Product Feature Comparison
All MidiIllustrator products feature music learning and performance tools as part of a broader music notation package.

Features fall broadly into two groups:  Performing and Composing.  Some of the more advanced editing functions are found only in MidiIllustrator Maestro.

MidiIllustrator Player is a free product, and includes a small part of the functionality offered by other products in the MidiIllustrator range.
With MidiIllustrator Player, you can open, print and playback scores created with other MidiIllustrator products (.mil files).
Read more about Player.
Feature Description MidiIllustrator Maestro MidiIllustrator Virtuoso
Performing:  Notate, Print, Practice and Play
Beautiful Sheet
Music from 1000s
of MIDI files
at Your Fingertips
Your window to a world of new music:  Instantly convert 1000s of free MIDI files into high quality sheet music and lead sheets, using MidiIllustrator's acclaimed 'MIDI to Notation' conversion technology.  Scores are ready for immediate printing.

MIDI - a universal musical format:
  MIDI files are the musician's most popular medium for storing electronic music.   MidiIllustrator makes scores out of any MIDI file & displays the music how you want to see it.

MIDI files are included to get you started:
  It's easy to find more music in every imaginable style.
Notation software feature MidiIllustrator's sophisticated 'MIDI to Notation' conversion technology quickly and accurately generates attractive scores from music of all styles stored in MIDI format.

The same industry leading 'MIDI to score' conversion engine is used in all MidiIllustrator applications to create beautiful sheet music instantly.  Learn more about how MidiIllustrator converts MIDI to Notation.

MidiIllustrator can create scores in your favourite format, from one or all of your MIDI files in a single step.  Choose classical score notation or lead sheet (fake book) style.

Print all or part of the score
Print individual parts or passages within a score.

Access Huge Online Music Resources
Learn about how easy it is to find, download and notate free MIDI and Karaoke files with our simple Step by Step Guide.

Beautiful Scores Every Time
MidiIllustrator formats the score to make the best use of the available screen space, putting as much music onto the screen as possible whilst keeping the notation clear and easy to read.

All the objects in the score (notes, rests, lyrics etc) are reorganized dynamically as you increase or decrease the window/page size.

  • Choose the notation size to suit your needs.
  • Show individual parts or passages on the screen at any time.
  • Use your own choice of color and fonts to make the scores easier to read.
  • Add texture and quality to your score manuscript using score textures which color the page beneath the notation.  Custom score backgrounds allow you to add a personal feel to your MidiIllustrator working environment.
See the Music -
Hear the Music -
Arrange the Music -
Print the Music!
MidiIllustrator brings your scores to life!  Traditional sheet music comes alive as notes and lyrics light up on the staff in time with the music as it plays.

Pages turn automatically:  The next page fades in whilst the current page is still playing!

Customize your music display:  MidiIllustrator makes the notation easy to read.  Choose colors & fonts to clarify your music.

You're in control:  Change instruments, volume & tempo during playback.

Jukebox:  Create playlists of your favourite songs!
Notation software feature Sing along with accompaniment; the notes, chords and lyrics light up in time with the music
Lyric highlighting shows you which words to sing as MidiIllustrator plays the backing to your vocal. 'Advance' lyric highlighting helps you read ahead.

Create and play a score Playlist
The List Bar contains four powerful tools for managing and working with your music, including:
  • Playlists – full featured song jukebox! Create a list of songs and MidiIllustrator will open, show and play each in turn.
  • Browser – Access your music quickly with this on-screen song folder viewer.
  • Score Log – Keep track of your score viewings and practice sessions.

Scroll and Fade in the Next Page (advance page turn)
MidiIllustrator can turn the page using special graphical effects to ‘split’ the screen as the music plays, showing both the current passage and the next passage (on the next page) at the same time. To do this, MidiIllustrator ‘reads ahead’, and determines how much of the next page can be scrolled onto the current page without obscuring the current playback notation. The next page can be scrolled on from top to bottom, or from left to right and MidiIllustrator can automatically decide the best scrolling method at any particular position in the score. This enables you to read the score at the current playback position, and also read ahead to the notation on the next page which would otherwise be hidden by redundant parts of the current page.

See more of the score in Full Screen Mode
Hide the buttons and menus!  Use all that space for your music...

Save and Manage your scores
As well as offering the standard Windows functionality for managing your files, MidiIllustrator includes some further options for navigating to your favourite file locations. As song collections grow it can become harder to track down particular files quickly. MidiIllustrator allows you to store a list of favourite music folders, and jump quickly to those folders with the click of a button.

Save Bitmap Images of your scores so you can share them with friends
'Print' your scores to bitmaps and share them with others, or open them in other applications such as word processors and graphics programs.

Your Scores
with 1-Step
Instantly convert scores to a particular format or style:  In a single step...
  • Create Solo Piano arrangements from any song
  • Beginners can display difficult pieces in simplified form for easier sight reading
  • Create Fake Books with chord names & guitar frets, & Song Lead Sheets with lyrics
  • Show scores as Timelines

Chord Name Notation:  MidiIllustrator automatically assigns 900+ chords & frets.

Format many scores at once: using Task Wizard.

Notation software feature Arrange the score for piano automatically
MidiIllustrator can instantly make piano solo arrangements out of your scores. When parts are merged on a single stave, or spread over more than two staves, MidiIllustrator can intelligently merge and split the hands as necessary using an analysis of chord structures and hand positions, as well as note pitches.

Reformat the score as a Fake Book or Song Lead Sheet
MidiIllustrator can optimise the score layout for a particular purpose such as creating Fake Books or Lead Sheets. You can generate scores which show a combination of the following core features: melody, lyric, chord names and guitar frets.

Generate Chord Names and Guitar Frets automatically
MIDI files do not generally contain any information about chords or chord progressions. However, MidiIllustrator can intelligently analyse the music to determine which chords are being played in each beat or measure within the score. With this information MidiIllustrator can then display a combination of chord names and guitar fret graphics above the top stave. You can edit the chord names and fret fingerings using a library of over 900 chord/guitar frets included with MidiIllustrator.

Show Scores as a Compact Timeline
Hide traditional staff notation on the score and instead show staves as a much more compact timeline.  This is a great way to produce and print compact song sheets which contain only song lyrics, or perhaps chords and guitar frets.

Format many scores at once using the Task Wizard
MidiIllustrator 'Tasks' allow you to make a number of changes to one or more of your songs in one quick step. For instance, you can use a Task to open a MIDI file and apply a series of special commands to the resulting score, such as converting the piece into a simplified two hand piano piece and highlighting all the accidentals in the score in a bright color. Alternatively you may wish to convert a large number of your Karaoke files into Fake Books with chord names and guitar frets. Tasks are managed using the Task Wizard.
Practice & Improve
with Performance
and Learning
Practice session tools:  Get great returns on your rehearsal efforts, focusing on particular passages.  MidiIllustrator counts you in and supports you all the way with optional accompaniment - at your pace...

Learn music 'Step by Step':
  without reading any notation, guided note by note with the on-screen piano.  Each chord is highlighted as you step through the song.

Rhythm practice:  with the visual/audio Metronome.

Rapidly develop your sight-reading ability:  the note names are marked on each note.
Notation software feature Practice particular passages with special practice tools
Practice Sessions allow you to focus on part (or all) of a score whether you are studying, rehearsing or simply listening to the music. You manage Practice Sessions using the Practice Session Wizard. MidiIllustrator can accompany you during the session. You can choose to hear a section repeated in a continuous loop, or a specific number of times if you are rehearsing.

Practice new Rhythms with the audio/visual metronome
MidiIllustrator's flexible metronome can be fully customised to suit your needs. Resize, move and specify the style of the visual flashing 'beat' indicator. Configure your own metronome sounds to mark the accent (up beat) and normal beat (down beat) of each measure. Use 'intro' measures to prepare when rehearsing passages. MidiIllustrator optionally places beat marks in the score as a further rhythmic cue.

Learn the music 'step by step' without reading any notation, watching the on screen piano keys
Learn entire pieces without reading any notation! The flexible On Screen Piano Keyboard will highlight notes and chords from the current score one at a time, or 'step by step'. Read 'ahead' using advance keyboard highlighting options. The keyboard can be used as an aid to reading and playing the score (especially solo piano scores) allowing you to quickly and easily visualize chord shapes and fingering.

Rapidly improve your sight reading with note names displayed next to every note on the score
Immediately identify each note by its name, and familiarize yourself with the staff line names. Remote leger line notes are immediately identifiable.
Connect and
Interact -
Work with
the Music
Connect a MIDI instrument and interact with the music:  Play along with your songs or improvise 'over the top'.  MidiIllustrator 'echoes' your performance to any instrument in the score.

User friendly tools help you perform new pieces:  MidiIllustrator 'listens' as you play and 'knows' where you are in the score!  Jump to another place in the song just by playing a different passage, MidiIllustrator finds your place and turns the pages automatically.

Multitask your MIDI System:  MidiIllustrator shares MIDI ports/devices with other programs.
Notation software feature Make the most of your MIDI device capabilities
MidiIllustrator can fully exploit the MIDI features of your PC, and any external MIDI devices you may have.

MidiIllustrator shares MIDI ports and devices with other Windows(tm) applications so you can truly multitask your music projects.

MidiIllustrator supports the use of multiple MIDI devices for playback, meaning that you can use your PC's General MIDI functionality to provide broad instrument ranges for your scores, but redirect a particular instrument (such as a piano track) to an external MIDI device (such as a piano module).

Furthermore, you may connect a MIDI Instrument and interact with the music.

Connect a MIDI Instrument and interact with the music
Interact with the music, and have MidiIllustrator accompany you as you perform using a MIDI Piano, Guitar or other instrument. MidiIllustrator can redirect MIDI Input to any instrument of any MIDI device using the MIDI Echo feature. Instantly redirect MIDI Input to a particular instrument/device on a MIDI track (this is useful for quickly performing a certain part in a certain piece).

In 'Step by Step' Mode, MidiIllustrator will listen for input from your MIDI instrument and 'step' the cursor music as you play the notes on the screen, turning pages as you go.

Accompany music in a different key. MidiIllustrator optionally transposes MIDI input on the fly as it is redirected to the device of your choice. Play in one key, whilst accompanying a MIDI file playback sequenced in another key.

Jump from one part of the score to another whilst playing a connected MIDI Instrument in Step by Step Mode
MidiIllustrator is able to analyse the notes you are entering with a MIDI Instrument attached to your computer. When these notes are received, MidiIllustrator scans the score to determine if:
  • You are playing at the current Step by Step position (shown with a dotted red rectangle around notes on the selected staves)
  • You have skipped to a new place in the score and are playing the notes from a position other than the current Step by Step position.

If you have enabled “Jump to User Input”, and you move around in the score, then MidiIllustrator will automatically move the Step by Step cursor to the new input position.

Remotely Control functions Using Your Connected MIDI Instrument
MIDI Shortcut Keys allow you to control many of MidiIllustrator’s functions using your connected MIDI instrument (such as a MIDI keyboard) as a ‘remote control’.  Instead of using the mouse or keyboard, you can input certain commands using your MIDI instrument. MidiIllustrator will listen for notes entered in this way and will carry out commands accordingly.

Custom Transcription Options -
Read the Music
When you open a new song, choose how you would like MidiIllustrator to convert the underlying MIDI into notation. Custom presentation styles allow you to present difficult notation in simplified form.

Instantly remove all the ties from a piece, simplify voicing, increase chording, and much more...  Difficult pieces are rendered much easier to read in a single step.

The music still sounds exactly the same when it is played back, but it is much cleaner and easier to read on the page.

Even after the song is opened, you can apply a different set of presentation rules to the notation at any time...
Present difficult notation in simplified form
MidiIllustrator can automatically make all the decisions necessary to convert your MIDI and Karaoke files into notation. Alternatively, you can use the Score Transcription Wizard to have MidiIllustrator arrange the file's musical content in a particular way, by selecting from a list of custom presentation modes (eg 'Easier to Read'). Depending on the style of the music, this can have a dramatic effect on readability.

At all times, MidiIllustrator maintains the original audio performance of the score. However you choose to format or present the notation, MidiIllustrator will remember how the underlying MIDI music was 'recorded' or 'sequenced', but notates it as necessary in a simpler, easier to read manner.
Restructure the Score, Tweak the Notation Easily change the way the music is represented without changing the way it sounds.  MidiIllustrator protects the underlying performance whilst you change:
  • Key signatures
  • Time Signatures
  • Clefs
  • Note spelling (enharmonics)
  • Transposition:  Transpose the entire score, or just individual parts of the score.

Remove notation selections from the score or delete complete measure ranges.  Alternatively, show just the parts of the score you are interested in, rather than deleting any music at all.

Notation software feature Make score-wide presentation changes, MidiIllustrator automatically reformats the notes and rests according to the new score structure.

Great for Musicians New to Notation
Even dramatic changes to the score infrastructure such as time signature changes are catered for.  MidiIllustrator re-examines the underlying music and re-notates it in the new score structure. You don't need to make any manual changes to the notation.
Change the Score Layout MidiIllustrator automatically formats the score to make the best use of the available screen space, putting as much music onto the screen as possible whilst keeping the notation clear and easy to read.  You can, however, customise the dimensions and positions of score objects with Layout Mode in order to get the exact arrangement you want.  Modify aspects such as:
  • Measure widths
  • Stave heights
  • Lyric positioning beneath the staff
Notation software feature Layout Mode
Layout Mode is for changing the dimensions and positions of score objects, such as measures, staves and lyrics.  MidiIllustrator automatically formats the music layout to make good use of screen 'real estate'.

However, if you wish to manage the layout for a particular measure, page or even the entire score, then in this mode you can either tweak the layout to simply tighten up the score a little, or you can make major changes to squeeze as much notation as possible onto a given page.
Edit the Underlying MIDI Content Edit the MIDI content:  Manage advanced MIDI options for each track/staff in a song using the powerful Staff Manager tool.

For each track in the underlying song, modify MIDI Device, Channel, Pan, Volume, Patch, and Bank Select Method. 


  • Transpose individual tracks to concert pitch or the track instrument's native pitch.
  • Reorder, merge, split, add and delete tracks.
  • Set the Master volume and tempo for playback.
  • Store the adjusted tempo when you save a score.

Create rules stating which MIDI playback device and channel you would like to use for the different instruments in a song.

Notation software feature Create rules stating which MIDI playback device and channel you would like to use for the different instruments in a song

Create powerful 'MIDI Instrument Routing' rules stating which MIDI playback device and channel you would like to use for the different instruments in your songs. Routings are applied automatically when you open a song, saving you time.
Feature Description MidiIllustrator Maestro MidiIllustrator Virtuoso
Composing:  Create and Edit Scores
Composing and
Editing -
Create Songs
and Scores
New Scores:  Create brand new scores from the ground up in no time with the New Score Wizard.  Quick start compositions with customizable score templates.

Powerful editing tools:  Modify scores converted originally from MIDI files using copy/paste functions and drag/drop operations.

Capture musical ideas quickly:

Compose naturally
with intuitive keyboard commands. Precision edit with mouse editing functions.

Context sensitive entry:
  MidiIllustrator 'suggests' notation durations.
Notation software feature

New Scores
New scores can be created in several different ways:

  • Create a new score from scratch with the 'New Score' dialog, specifying score criteria in a few simple steps.
  • Generate a new score using an existing score template, selected from the 'New Score' dialog.
  • Generate a new score instantly using the 'Default' score template

Power Edit Mode allows you to quickly edit large areas of the notation, applying changes to whole measures or beats, and moving or copying multi-staff selections of notation from one part of the score to another with drag/drop operations (or to another score altogether using Copy/Cut/Paste Clipboard Functions).

Score templates contain all the foundations necessary for creating a new score in one step.  You can easily create a template with your favourite properties in order to save time in the future when creating new compositions.  The MidiIllustrator installation package contains some basic templates to get composers up and running.

Score Titles and 'Fields'
Score Titles are customizable text entries in the score (such as page headers and footers).  'Fields' are special text strings which can be inserted into Score Titles.  Fields are automatically populated with the score information when titles are displayed or printed (such as page count, file name, date etc).

A Great Composing Environment
Features such as AutoSave and Background Saving make for a smooth, safe editing experience.  MidiIllustrator will periodically save changes to your open scores to a backup file, and can save your scores in the background whilst you continue working uninterrupted.

Capture Your Music
Record it -
Type it -
Click it!
Tools to quickly and easily capture your musical ideas and performances:

Record real-time (live) performances
directly into your scores.  MidiIllustrator notates the new music in your preferred style.  Record performances for playback right away (perhaps for accompaniment), or for further editing.

'Click in' notes
& rhythms with the keyboard/On-Screen Piano.

Enter chords
using a connected MIDI instrument.

Audition each change by ear as you work.  You can make corrections easily.
Notation software feature Record Your Performance
The record tool allows you to capture a real time performance from a connected MIDI device.  The performance is instantly converted to notation using your Recording Options rules and is added directly to your score.

You can apply various  'simplification' rules when recording to help create clean and tidy notation when interpreting 'live performance' recording data.

Optionally use the recording specific Metronome settings to maximize the quality of recorded notation. 

Note Entry via the On-Screen Piano Keyboard
This tool allows you to enter single notes or whole chords directly into your score using the On Screen Piano Keyboard.

Chord Entry via a Connected MIDI Device
Enter single notes or whole chords directly into your score using a connected MIDI device.

Tap In Rhythms with the PC Keyboard
Enter single note rhythms using the computer keyboard.  You can quickly and easily capture the rhythm of a tune without having to worry about playing the right notes or assigning complex note durations individually.

Copy/Cut/Paste Clipboard Functions
Use the MidiIllustrator clipboard to cut, copy and paste notation from one part of the score to another, or even to another score.

Advanced 'MIDI In' Options
Customise MidiIllustrator to work with any MIDI device latency you experience with your MIDI system setup.

Feature Description MidiIllustrator Maestro MidiIllustrator Virtuoso
Feature Summary - What do you want to do?
One Program -
So Many
to Do!
What do you want to do?  MidiIllustrator offers a very broad range of functionality and so presents distinct 'modes' for working with your scores in very different ways.  Each mode highlights a particular set of functions to help you focus on the task in hand.  Simply switch seamlessly between modes depending on what you want to do.

Performance Mode
allows you to perform & interact with a song.

Layout Mode
is for changing score dimensions and positions.

Edit Mode
is for full-scale composition (some features are Maestro Only)
Notation software feature Quick Start - What Do You Want To Do?
The MidiIllustrator program Launch Screen gets you up and running right away with MidiIllustrator's most popular activities.  The detailed Help Documentation accompanies every feature and function in the program, and points you in the direction of all the most common tasks.

'Modes' - How So Many Features Fit Into One Program
Performance Mode allows you to perform and interact with your songs rather than modifying any song content.  You can create Practice Sessions, study specific ranges of your scores and use learning tools such as Step by Step.  Most score editing functionality is hidden in this mode to allow you to focus on viewing, listening and performing with your scores.
When you import a song, it is initially displayed in Performance Mode.

You can make basic editing changes to the score notation in Performance Mode, for example correcting note lengths, or changing score attributes like key signatures. You can change the presentation of the notation, but in this mode like Layout Mode, the raw music is generally protected so that you can 'interact' freely with the score without making unintentional changes.

Layout Mode is for changing the dimensions and positions of score objects, such as measures, staves and lyrics.  MidiIllustrator automatically formats the music layout to make good use of screen 'real estate'.  However, if you wish to manage the layout for a particular measure, page or even the entire score, then in this mode you can either tweak the layout to simply tighten up the score a little, or you can make major changes to squeeze as much notation as possible onto a given page.

Edit Mode is for full-scale composition (MidiIllustrator Maestro Only).  In contrast to Performance Mode, in Edit Mode you have full composing power with the score; the ability to add notation, modify notation qualities to a much higher degree, and so forth.