Manual with screenshots

11. Preferences

12. Playing video

13. Keyboard shortcuts

This manual is meant to get you started and beyond, but if you need more help you'll find 

an exhaustive help section on the developer's


1. Load files into Transcribe! 

1. After installing Transcribe!  you can load files from the FILE menu or simply drag files from another source into the Transcribe!  window
Dragging files into TR-window.png

Files from iTunes or other locations

Transcribe! window

If you select multiple files, Transcribe! will open a window for each of them like here: 
Three windows of TR open.png
2. Change the view of the screen
Grab the highlighted lines to change the size of the different fields of Transcribe!  
Drag the corner to change the size of the whole window.
I prefer to drag the lines down to extend the textblock area for writing comments,
chords etc. 
I also reduce the height of the waveform to about an inch and lower the keyboard for reference notes to a minimum.
Change field size.png

Textblock area


Piano keyb. for reference notes

Stretch the Transcribe! window

3. Playback controls
Experimenting with the Spacebar, Comma key, 'E'' and 'K' you'll quickly see how they work. 
Click on the waveform to set the red 'play from' mark.
Play = Spacebar,
Pause = Spacebar or 'Comma'
Continue from pause = 'Comma'
Back to 'Play From' mark = Spacebar
Play from red mark with the key held down = 'Z'
Go back 1 second = 'K' (or program another time interval)
Scrub rewind = 'R'
Move the 'Play From' mark to where you paused = 'E'
Playback controls.png

Play from mark

Current playback point

4. Set markers for easy navigation
Markers are for me the single most important aspect of Transcribe!  when I transcribe music.
While listening to a piece of music you can set markers for measures with 'M' and beats with 'B'. 
Measures are by default assigned numbers. 
When you recognize the beginning of a verse, chorus, solo etc. hit 'S' to set a Section Marker which by default are assigned letters. 
If you noticed that a new chorus just began 
and missed it, just pause playback and convert that Measure Marker to a Section Marker. 
Markers can also be renamed as the example below shows ('Chorus').
To play from 'Solo', just click on 'Solo' on the timeline which contains the whole song.
5. Markers.png

Measures in 4/4 time

3/4 time


Section Marker

The markers can of course be used for other purposes than music. While watching a movie you can hit the 'M' or 'S' when there is a memorable moment. You can even store this in a separate list.      To learn about this, see: 8.Bookmarks
5. Textblocks
Textblocks are useful for many reasons. 
On a piece of music you may annotate chords above the waveform, label the beginning of sections like verse, chorus, solo etc. 
... or expand the textblock area to make room for larger annotations like transcriptions of speech, learning a new language etc.
6. Textblocks chords.png
7. Textblocks annotate.png
Press 'T' to create a textblock
'Enter' to write, select color, 'OK'
Textblock appears. 
May be moved and resized.
8. Textblock 'T.png
9. Textblock 'Enter'.png
10. Textblock select color + OK.png
6. Export textblocks
If you write large amounts of texts from 
recordings, you may want to export that text to a separate document/ word processor.
You may export the blocks according to color. In the example below, of a Spanish text, I chose to keep the main text and vocabulary I had to look up, separated, exporting them to two documents.
_screenshot maquinas.png
Screenshot 2018-12-24 at 16.02.34.png
Screenshot 2018-12-24 at 16.03.23.png
_Screenshot text menu.png

The text from the yellow blocks

The text from the grey blocks

Later I pasted these two documents into a page in OneNote to have the main text on one side and the vocabulary in a column on the right side.
Screenshot 2018-12-24 at 15.09.41.png
7. Loops
Loops are practical when you want to hear a specific part over and over. 
And as you expected, you simply click and drag on the waveform to mark it. 
Nudge the starting point of the loop with: left/right arrow and the ending point with Shift + left/right arrow
Zoom in/out:  Command + left/right arrow.
Stretching the waveform by zooming is practical to un-clutter the text blocks as the example with the chords shows.
11. Loop.png
12. Loop - zoom.png
To add a bookmark on the waveform:
1. Press the 'Fx' button to open the 'Audio Effects & Controls' window.
2. Press the 'misc' tab in that window to display the list where you store the bookmarks.
3. Click on the waveform to set the 'Play From' mark where the bookmark will be.
4. Shift-click in a vacant spot in the bookmark list and give it a name. 
You can also store entire loops with the same procedure.
13. Bookmarks.png

Bookmark list

The bookmark list has by default 20 vacant spots, but can be extended indefinitely: Click on a spot in the list and choose 'Insert before' or 'Insert after' to add a new spot.
9. Tuning
When you have a recording you want to play along to and the recording is slightly out of tune and/or you want to play in another key, you can make adjustments in the tuning page in the 'Audio & Effects Controls' window. 
This should be rather self explanatory, but make sure the radio button 'Active' is checked. 
A tip for bass players having a hard time figuring out some muddy bass lines in a recording: Try to tune up an octave to make it easier to hear what is being played. 
14. Tuning.png

Ex: recording tuned 3 semitones higher from the original.

You may also transpose in half steps  with the slider in the lower corner of the main window of Transcribe! 
14b Tuning.png
10. Export sound files
Suppose you are a music teacher and want to give a recording of a song to a student who doesn't have Transcribe! 
and let's say the original key of the song is Eb, but you want your student to have it in C and played a little slower. After you have made the modifications in Transcribe!  go to File > Export Sound file...
In the example below 'Tuning' and 'Speed' are automatically checked, 
so your student will now have the song
in the key and speed you have set it to. 
The export formats available are as shown: 
wav, aiff and ogg.
15 Export sound files.png
To export compressed audio formats, 
you need to have GS streamer 
installed on your computer. 
See: Playing video.
11. Preferences
In the menu 'Transcribe!' > 'Preferences' 
things should be rather straight forward and self explanatory. 
I'll only point out a couple of points:
Since I don't see any reason to have a wide waveform on the screen, I keep 'Always display waveform in mono' checked. 
It is also important to check the 'Default new transcription files to the same folder as the sound file'. 
Also save a Transcribe!  file with the same name as the source file as suggested by Transcribe! 
This assures that the source file and the Transcribe!  file will be stored next to eachother in Finder (on the mac) and Explorer (on the pc).
16c. Preferences.png
12. Playing video
When you have a video file loaded in Transcribe!  and the video doesn't appear, simply go to 'View'> 'Show Video'. If this is greyed out it means that you have to go the Transcribe! website and install the GS streamer on your computer.
The video window is independent of the main Transcribe!  window and can be moved and resized. Just click in the video window to make the View Menu appear and pick a size. 
There are many keyboard shortcuts available in Transcribe! . Some of them are already mentioned in the section about playback controls. You may also program your own shortcuts. 
Here are a few of them: 
Fit whole track in one window = Cmd + G
Expand loop to fit whole window = Cmd + F
Stretch or contract waveform horizontally = Cmd + left/right arrows.
Fine adjust the starting point of a loop = left/right arrow
Adjust the end point of a loop = shift + left/right arrow