I don’t know why, but somehow I got obsessed by Middle C. Maybe it’s because I’m taking piano lessons. Perhaps it’s because I try to study full scores at this moment from Ravel (Daphnis and Chloe) and Stravinsky (Rite of Springs). Or of no particular reason. But somehow, it got my attention. And I started to get confused.
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Middle C for better orchestration choices
Middle C is a great anchor point for orchestration choices. It helps you to get the orchestral instruments in the right ranges.
When you study full scores you need to know how to read the staffs. Middle C is a great starting point. We all know where this typical note is positioned. Between the F and G clef.
On the piano middle C is the C note closest to the middle of the piano. When you count the C’s, you will see that this is C4.
What’s going on? C3 or C4?
To my greatest confusion Logic Pro X shows me a C3 in the piano roll when I play the C4 on my keyboard. What’s going on here?
I’ve checked the frequency of the note immediately. C4 should be around the 260Hz. And this C3 note in the piano roll of Logic does have that dominant harmonic.
I really started to be confused. My brain loves logical things. I’m a quite rational person. This was something I got upset about. C4 is C4 and not C3!
So I started to investigate this mystery even more. And I found out that the solution to it was rather simple. The story goes back to two companies: Roland and Yamaha.
How I solved it? I just changed a simple setting in Logic. Go to Preferences, Display and then change “display middle C as” to C4 Roland style.
[…] When we have a closer look at the thickening part in the video, you’ll notice that the C3 note repeats. In my DAW this is C3, but it could also be C2. It depends how you have set up your middle C in your DAW. Sounds quite technical and maybe confusing. If you want to know more, I did a video about middle C in your DAW. […]