How do I turn my physical sheet music into digital PDFs for use in Orpheus?
For best results do this on your computer, using a scanner (most scanners have a ‘save as PDF’ option). If you have a huge amount of sheet music to digitise then consider using a document scanner with an Automatic Document Feeder (ADF).
What you need:
- a computer with print/scan drivers installed
- a good scanner with ADF. Recommendation? The Epson WF-3520 worked brilliantly for me.
- a copy of PDF Split and Merge – More info & free download here. Or some other software for working with PDFs such as Adobe Acrobat.
- Make a stack of all your physical sheet music. Ensure pages are the right way up, and multipage charts are properly ordered.
- Turn the scanner on
- Place a stack of sheets into the feeder of your scanner. Make sure you read the scanner specs and don’t overfill the feeder.
- Walk over to your computer, and open the program you use for scanning. Hint – it’s usually easiest to use the program that came with your printer/scanner!
- Check all the settings in your scanning program. Make sure you know where scanned music is saving to, and set scanning mode to black and white. <- This is important because it will give the best contrast/clarity for the sheet music and the lowest file size.
- Hit “Scan”. Go for a cuppa.
- Moment of truth – open your newly scanned PDF file and check every page to make sure it worked properly and looks usable. Assuming so, move on with next step.
- Now, unless you scanned every piece of music separately, you will probably need to crack out PDFSAM and split your 30 page PDF into individual charts. More info here.
- Once you have each chart saved as it’s own individual PDF, give all your charts pretty titles. (eg Feeling-Good.pdf NOT bjazoinkle12y75r6yi.pdf )
- Woohoo! You’re done. Nice job.
Now it’s time to bring your PDFs into Orpheus.
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