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Anyone Used Scan Score 3

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I must admit, I thought it was some kind of magic trick when I first heard of it - software that apparently scans in sheet music and creates a working, editable score in Notion, Sibelius, Finale or just plain old XML. It has a complementary scanning app available for smartphones (Android and iOS), which you pair via a QR code then do your scans and upload. It comes in three flavours and at $9 for a one-year renewable licence (for simple one-staff scores) so it seemed like a reasonable punt (four staff scores is $39 and multi-staff complex scores is $79 - all renewable annually (ouch)).

I found the app easy to use (it gives an out of focus image until you press the shutter then it captures a sharp image) but the upload is painfully slow - for three sides of sheet music we are talking ten minutes and then I got a 'no image found on server' error when I tried to retrieve them - not a good start. 😞

So I gave up with the app and tried the PDF scan option instead (top tip: it helps if you scan the music in the right way up). This loaded into the program OK but I have to say it made a pretty poor fist of the translation. By default, it seems to create everything as a piano voicing and when I changed to the intended instrument (nylon guitar), it changed all the notes and voicings (changing the track beyond recognition), so I had to regress that to piano. In a number of bars, it disagreed with the original composer (Ant Phillips) about the number of notes permitted in a given a bar and so simply dropped a few off and would not allow me to re-insert them; it also misinterpreted rests and phrasing on playback - to the extent that the piece was barely recognisable in places. You can use the built-in transport features and embedded instruments to preview the song and it helpfully shows the original scanned score alongside the newly synthesised one so you can track the errors as it plays through.

On the basis of this use case, I would rate it as a pretty spectacular failure and 'score' it a generous 2/5. It might work for very simple pieces but for anything with a modicum of complexity I think I'd save my dollars. There is a trial version available via the vendor website, if you're tempted to see if you have more luck with it than I did, but I guess my only option remains to TAB this piece the hard way - i.e. note by note.

Oh well, it was worth a punt - oh and if you do buy it - you need to create an account in order to access the download.


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