Why C4 logged leaving the external MIDI keyboard shows up as C3 in Ableton Rack Pad

Can the log be believed?
Has anyone experienced a difference between the midi note sent out of their midi keyboard controller and the arriving midi note received within Ableton, say to play a single drum sample for example. 
I'm not talking about a spontaneous change in the note halfway down the cable. 
I'm talking about the perception of the note changing, based upon what two software's are telling me. 
I use an M-Audio Venom keyboard, the bundled Vyzex control software shows the outgoing note C4 in it's live log, yet Ableton records an incoming C3 note arriving in the drum rack pad.
I can shift 1 octave down on the midi keyboard and watch a C3 note logged leaving to arrive in Ableton as C2 in the drum rack pad.
I can work around all of this to trigger the right drums, as it is always the same note offset, but it makes things more complicated, also I am intrigued why it is happening.
It's tricky to actually work out which note I'm playing; C4 or C3, because it's a 49 key. I'm told Middle C is the 15th white key from left on a 49. 
In which case my M-Audio Venom needs shifting one octave away from default for Ableton to show it's receiving a C4. Whilst the Vyzex software live midi log still reports a C3 leaving the keyboard at that moment.
I can't believe Ableton could misinterpret the arriving note. So maybe the bundled Vyzex software with my midi keyboard is reporting the wrong note generated. 
Has anyone experienced a MIDI activity log software which records wrong notes, particularly if it's a Vyzex brand software?
Anyone know what I'm on about?


padbury 4 years ago | 0 comments

3 answers

  • tnussb
    4 answers
    5 votes received
    2 votes

    It's definitely not Ableton's fault. Any other of the major DAWs will show the same behaviour.

    You can blame the original midi specification from 1983 for this inconvenience. In it they assigned note names to the midi note numbers. midi note number 0 got C-2, so middle c ended up with C3.

    Since sequencers are all about midi, keeping to that standard seems logical to me.

    5 months ago | 0 comments
  • Mehregan
    1 answer
    1 vote received
    1 vote

    You are right, as Wikipedia says:

    "When the A440 pitch standard is used to tune a musical instrument, Middle C has a frequency around 261.6 Hz. Middle C is designated C in scientific pitch notation because of the note's position as the fourth C key on a standard 88-key piano keyboard."

    While any pianist/keyboard player can instantly say C4 from C3 on any given keyboard (regardless of the range), a few number of digital instrument makers tend to call the middle C, C3 instead of C4 (Yamaha being one of them); I'm using Yamaha P-115 (88-key digital piano) and if you use the built in sound bank of these products as a standalone hardware, that doesn't mean that the frequency of the middle C is one octave lower, it's about 261.6 Hz just like other middle Cs on the planet, however after I encounter the same problem as you did, in Ableton Live 9.6, now I guess that the MIDI data that is being send from the controller to the software is probably C3 (or at least these few controller maker companies tend to call that C3) so Ableton is receiving C3 (or at least showing it as C3). Since you said you are using M-Audio I guess M-Audio is another one of those companies.

    P.S. Hope someone form Ableton admits this issue.

    2 years ago | 0 comments
  • gyltefors
    1 answer
    1 vote received
    1 vote

    Yes, frustrating. Just tested the new Live 10 now, and they are still calling middle C as C3. If they had put in preference option to change this, live could actually have been used for COMPOSING music, not just for live performance. What a pity...

    5 months ago | 0 comments

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