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 Post subject: I JUST noticed this... not even sure where to post
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:18 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:32 pm
Posts: 49
Ableton's MIDI scientific midi notation is off by an octave.... BIG TIME FAIL!

A4 is supposed to be A440. It's not. It is 880.

If you don't believe me, do some variation of this as a test:

Open a VSTi like Halion or something that plays a concert pitch type instrument (i.e. a piano).
Put a tuner plugin that shows you the frequency on the output of that track (i.e. MTuner, if you need a free one)
Create a clip on your piano track that plays a solid A4.
Press play and watch what the tuner reads.

Don't have a piano plug-in? Use a synth that lets you set the frequency as a ratio, like FM8. If you keep the ratio as 1, it should output a 440 tone when you give it what the DAW thinks is an A4.

This is WAY wrong.... It actually blows my mind that this has gone unnoticed until now and it doesn't seem there is a way of fixing it.


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 Post subject: Re: I JUST noticed this... not even sure where to post
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:53 am 

Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:34 am
Posts: 1053
Why does this matter exactly?


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 Post subject: Re: I JUST noticed this... not even sure where to post
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:09 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:49 pm
Posts: 759
Location: Austin, TX
msintros wrote:
Ableton's MIDI scientific midi notation is off by an octave.... BIG TIME FAIL!

A4 is supposed to be A440. It's not. It is 880.

If you don't believe me, do some variation of this as a test:

Open a VSTi like Halion or something that plays a concert pitch type instrument (i.e. a piano).
Put a tuner plugin that shows you the frequency on the output of that track (i.e. MTuner, if you need a free one)
Create a clip on your piano track that plays a solid A4.
Press play and watch what the tuner reads.

Don't have a piano plug-in? Use a synth that lets you set the frequency as a ratio, like FM8. If you keep the ratio as 1, it should output a 440 tone when you give it what the DAW thinks is an A4.

This is WAY wrong.... It actually blows my mind that this has gone unnoticed until now and it doesn't seem there is a way of fixing it.


+1

I have taken issue with this as well. But it depends on the manufacturer or application. Yamaha Keyboards uses -1 while Roland keyboards uses -0 octave note labeling, Ableton Live uses -1. For the most part however the MIDI n. value is consistent across devices.

---

Also, a "fix" is to transpose everything by an octave, haha

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 Post subject: Re: I JUST noticed this... not even sure where to post
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:53 am 

Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2010 9:26 am
Posts: 11
Location: Norway
"A4 is supposed to be 440". What's your source on this?

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 Post subject: Re: I JUST noticed this... not even sure where to post
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:39 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2008 6:04 pm
Posts: 2506
In the context of a DAW A4 can mean anything you want it to.

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 Post subject: Re: I JUST noticed this... not even sure where to post
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:10 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:18 pm
Posts: 261
Location: Warsaw, PL
it may be significant if You're working on some experiments with sound and acoustic, can't give an example right now though

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 Post subject: Re: I JUST noticed this... not even sure where to post
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:39 pm 

Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 1:02 pm
Posts: 525
MIDI apps have never been consistent on this. In Sonar middle C is C5. Lots of apps have it as C4 and lots at C3 so A3 would be at 440 and A4 at 880.
According to my big book of MIDI code note 0 should be at C-1 and note 60 (middle C) should be at C4 under GM so technically the OP is right but given the variation between manufacturers it's frankly no big deal.


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 Post subject: Re: I JUST noticed this... not even sure where to post
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:34 am 

Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2012 4:20 am
Posts: 15
I think this is annoying as well. I use an electronic drum kit to trigger drum sounds from live as well as VSTs like Superior Drummer and Battery.

I had to go into my drum module and change the midi notes by an octave for every trigger.

If I interface with a DAW that is NOT wrong by an octave... Well you can see the inconvenience.

What were they thinking?


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 Post subject: Re: I JUST noticed this... not even sure where to post
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:11 am 

Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 1:02 pm
Posts: 525
Perpetual Rift wrote:
I think this is annoying as well. I use an electronic drum kit to trigger drum sounds from live as well as VSTs like Superior Drummer and Battery.

I had to go into my drum module and change the midi notes by an octave for every trigger.

If I interface with a DAW that is NOT wrong by an octave... Well you can see the inconvenience.

What were they thinking?


They were probably thinking that you could easily use the MIDI pitch plugin to transpose the MIDI signals from your drum kit by an octave if it was really a problem. Same to transpose the signals from your MIDI track to your VST.

Seriously, there is no unity between either DAW or keyboard manufacturers on this, and Ableton have provided an easy to use solution if there is a mismatch.


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 Post subject: Re: I JUST noticed this... not even sure where to post
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:46 am 

Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 12:15 am
Posts: 6
+1 on this (even if it's a few years ago)

If for example you are a singer looking to his vocal range Ableton Live is one octave down compared to most other sources. Do a quick youtube search for find your vocal range and you'll quickly see that all other sources (musical / concert pitch etc rather than DAWs) have all the correct octave points.
http://www.sengpielaudio.com/calculator-notenames.htm

Maybe the ability to adjust like you can in the timeline for fps or time might be good here. Or just use the more widely accepted keyboard octaves to begin with(?)

Thanks :)


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 Post subject: Re: I JUST noticed this... not even sure where to post
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:19 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:30 pm
Posts: 1319
This happens in hardware too.

When I owned both a Yamaha Motif and a DSI Evolver, to have the two play the same pitch over MIDI I had to set the Evolver master tuning to -2 octaves.

Then there's all the synths with footage settings (32, 16, 8, 4, 2). The footage setting affects the pitch by octaves, so which one should be "normal" tuning??

So as long as you know how to set the tuning of each instrument, it's no big deal.


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