Middle "C" question

Why does middle “C” show up in Cubase (9.1) as C3 and not C4? In the Key Editor, Drum Editor and List Editor, Middle C (262.x Hz) is mapped to C3. Although in the Score Editor it shows up correctly. Not sure why this would be this way. I’ve been writing for more horns and this has been a frustration. Ideas?
thanks

According to Roland it is C4, according to Yamaha it is C3, according to International Scientific Pitch it is C4. Only programmers seem to call it C3. Tell a musician that C3 is middle C, and they’ll probably be confused.

I’ve always known middle C to be C4.

Tell a non-daw musician that middle C is c followed by any number, and (s)he will become confused. :wink:

I share this understanding:

by SteelyDani »… according to International Scientific Pitch it is C4. Only programmers seem to call it C3. Tell a musician that C3 is middle C, and they’ll probably be confused.

and this one too

by SteveInChicago »
Tell a non-daw musician that middle C is c followed by any number, and (s)he will become confused.

My used 1972 copy of the Harvard Dictionary of Music says there are 3 systems:

  • C1 - C - c - c’ - c’’ - c’’’ - c’’’’
  • CCC - CC - C - c - c’ - c’’ - c’’’
  • C2 - C1 - C - c - c^1 - c^2 - c^3

where middle C is highlighted in purple, C1 and C2 are written with subscript numbers, c^1 etc are written with superscript numbers.

It’s obvious that academics never cared much for naming notes. And why should they? Middle C is perfectly represented on the staff. The Scientific guys don’t really care about middle C. They care about Hz and kHz.

Meanwhile, in the world of MIDI, we care about these names all day. Some manufacturers use C3 while others use C4. Since I edit in Cubase, it’s C3 to me.

1 Like

Thanks for the replies, I had only heard of C4 as middle C. Is there a way to “calibrate” Cubase to do this? There should be a place in Pref to specify what Middle C is.

You might like to read this post from 2012:

https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?p=171927

hi,

maybe it is reason is that CUBASE starts to count with an C0 so C3 is an C4 if you start counting at C1 :bulb: