Obsidian for Musicians

Hello everyone!
I’m a composer and I’ve been using Obsidian for a couple of years now, so I’m quite deep into the rabbit whole. I was wondering if it would be possible for all musicians using Obsidian to have a reference thread to follow for making requests or maybe even hiring our own developer in order to implement the things that we may find collectively beneficial. Some ideas that have been bugging me for quite some time now are, for example:

  • A better music notation plugin (the current abcjs is nice, but still lacks a lot of features for doing, say, a Schenkerian graph).
  • An audio wave visualizer with integrated note-taking possibilities, a little like in Transcribe.
  • A time stamping plugin to reference concrete spots of am audio file while taking notes (like the one called “media extended”, but one that also works for internal audio and video files, not only for stuff embedded from the web).

If anybody has any suggestion, critic or hint, any idea is more than welcome!

Have a great day :clinking_glasses:

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PodNotes has support for non-podcast local audio files.

ObsidianTimestampNotes works with SoundCloud, and local video files.

I too am interested in discovering additional music-related capabilities.

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Hey! Thank you so much for those plugin suggestions, I hadn’t heard about either one of them, cool :slight_smile:
Let’s also hope more musicians join this conversation so we can begin to discuss some common needs. What would be your first priority for music-related knowledge management in Obsidian?

Great Idea to have a music-related thread!
I am a musician too and agree that your suggestions would be very nice to have!

I was also already missing some other features, my Ideas were mainly:

  • a plugin that allows to create music sheets in a good way, f.e. like in ultimate guitar and also with auto-scroll-function
  • another audio recording function (especially I am missing the possibility to record directly in Obsidian in .wav or .mp3 format)
  • an option to cut recorded audio files in Obsidian
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Neat! I am brand new to Obsidian and interested in how it might help with organizing composition ideas and sounds that I like. It is hard for me to describe why I like certain sounds, so trying to organize or tag audio files in a way that I can find that ‘crunchy chord that has that epic sound’ would be very useful when harvesting ideas. Great idea for a thread!

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Just discovered Chord Lyrics via the Obsidian Roundup.

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Hey vivko, sorry for the late reply! Yep, those would definitely be awesome implementations.
Just out of curiosity: are you thinking about cutting the audio files of your own music for trying new combinations or rather cutting existing music to study/classify passages of longer tracks? I’ve been cutting tracks too to study them (e.g. I might split a song into modules -verses, chorus, bridge, etc- so I can quickly list and compare equivalent formal functions among different pieces of music by actually listening to them). The problem with this cutting system is that I end up with a myriad of tiny audio bits and the effort to first create them and then re-contextualize them into their original tracks is enormous (not to speak of the continuous back and forth between main notes and their subnotes).
Something like a Moodbar may be the solution for this. Or maybe, even better and simpler, something similar to the Better PDF Plugin adapted to audio file navigation, that would afford to “quote” audio passages without actually cutting the file (having a clickable hyperlink to a specific timestamp in an audio file that you could embed into your current note).
Say you are jotting down some ideas for a new song in your vault and you think: "For this section, I’d like to try something in the line of the pre-chorus of “I’ll be quoting you” by The Obsidianers mixed with some of the spicier sounds from “Trimmin’!” by Crazy Plugins. With such a possibility, you could treat musical ideas as you treat text-based ones! Wouldn’t that be neat?

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Hey SolarFederation!
Yes, I have the same issue. In fact, in my reply to vivko I addressed this problem before reading your comment :slight_smile: So it seems that “internal audio referencing” is a common issue for us three at least!

Cool! Thanks a lot for sharing it here orand :slight_smile:

I just saw this. Maybe an improvement for our music notation needs! (but still beta). Once fully functional this should allow me to notate Schenker-like Graphs directly in Obsidian. That’s amazing :slight_smile:
Best,
Pablo

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Hey orand,
quick question: are you able to generate clickable timestamps (like on YT for example) or does PodNotes only generate text timestamps? I’ve been playing around with it a little but it seems to just have the second functionality. Is this right?
Thanks in advance for your insights!

Has anyone thought of writing a plugin using https://www.alphatab.net/ ?

It seems ideal! Supports multiple formats including musicxml and guitar pro formats… and gives full rich player/viewer functionality.

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Didn’t know about this! Thanks for sharing :slight_smile:

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Hello! If any programmer is reading this, I am beginning to feel like I really need to manage audio in a better way in Obsidian. I am willing to pay for a custom-made plugin that will allow me to either trim audio files and extract a trimmed version in place or easily make clickable hyperlinks to a specific audio or video TC.
Let me know if you are interested!

Gonna keep an eye on this one! I’m a drummer and aspiring dev living in Boston, and a proper music notation plugin for Obsidian is my dream come true.

I’m currently enroled at Launch Academy (a full-stack bootcamp in the Boston area), and this plugin was going to be my capstone project for the program. If anyone else would like to get in contact, I would be more than honoured! My GitHub is @silaskpipson.

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This is a game changer. Thank you so much!

One thing I’d like to contribute to this thread in case it’s useful for any of you is that I watch a lot of music theory videos on YouTube (espcially Charles Cornell,) and often they’ll talk about how “this chord conveys this emotion because of its relationship to the other chords” and that sort of thing, and I always find it super interesting and want to use it in my own songwriting, but I used to never write it down or save it in anyway, so I’d forget everything.

But just the other day, I realized I can use the “Clip” function on YouTube (or right-click and use “copy video URL at current time”) and embed them into Obsidian notes which is AMAZING to me, so I can just embed the useful parts of a video into a note, type a bunch of keywords into the note itself, and then just leave it be and know if I need to find it again, I can just search the keywords I can think of and I’ll find it. Rather than being like “oh, I remember I heard about how to make something sound uncertain in one of those Charles Cornell videos but I don’t remember which one…”

Anyway, it just made me super excited lol 'cause I’ve needed this for a while and maybe it can help some of you too (:

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Hey Syberyah!
Thanks a lot for your comment. It’s nice to know there are other people out there that are using Obsidian for music making :slight_smile:

Your process matches mine quite accurately. I do this with audio files and score-follow videos I download from YT. The only potential problem with your method is that the content on YT may not be available in the future (think of all those blog posts out there with tons of outdated YT links that don’t work anymore). I think we ought to work for the long run, since creativity works over time (you may discover why a certain musical passage fascinates you in an incremental way, discovering technical subtleties bit by bit). Relying on YT is not future-proof and this is why I strongly advocate for an alternative way of managing video and audio content in Obsidian. If the workflow you describe was possible with internal files, that would totally solve A LOT of my current problems!

Nevertheless, thanks again for sharing, and please share any of your future insights.

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Oh!! This sounds super exciting! Any chance you could consider solving the time-stamp-to-internal-file problem? I have no idea about dev work, so I really don’t know how hard it is to either create a new plugin that addresses the problem or try to fix the current version of the media extended plugin (GitHub - aidenlx/media-extended: Media(Video/Audio) Playback Enhancement for Obsidian.md).
I’m guessing either of those options involves an insane amount of work. But just in case you want to consider the challenge… :slight_smile:

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