I JUST noticed this... not even sure where to post

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msintros
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I JUST noticed this... not even sure where to post

Post by msintros » Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:18 am

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.

infernal.machine
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Re: I JUST noticed this... not even sure where to post

Post by infernal.machine » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:53 am

Why does this matter exactly?

miekwave
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Re: I JUST noticed this... not even sure where to post

Post by miekwave » Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:09 am

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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cygnal
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Re: I JUST noticed this... not even sure where to post

Post by cygnal » Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:53 am

"A4 is supposed to be 440". What's your source on this?
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crumhorn
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Re: I JUST noticed this... not even sure where to post

Post by crumhorn » Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:39 pm

In the context of a DAW A4 can mean anything you want it to.
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vitalispopoff
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Re: I JUST noticed this... not even sure where to post

Post by vitalispopoff » Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:10 pm

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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timday
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Re: I JUST noticed this... not even sure where to post

Post by timday » Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:39 pm

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.

Perpetual Rift
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Re: I JUST noticed this... not even sure where to post

Post by Perpetual Rift » Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:34 am

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?

timday
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Re: I JUST noticed this... not even sure where to post

Post by timday » Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:11 am

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.

lionsharz
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Re: I JUST noticed this... not even sure where to post

Post by lionsharz » Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:46 am

+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 :)

doghouse
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Re: I JUST noticed this... not even sure where to post

Post by doghouse » Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:19 pm

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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