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Dave G

GM octave range inconsistency

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[I first noticed this anomaly when using Addictive Drums 2...]

It seems that my drum keymap in the Piano Roll View is inconsistent between CbB and Studio One.

For example, in CbB, the drum sounds (starting from Kick & Snares) go from C3 upward. However, in Studio One, they go from C1 upward.

Addictive Drums 2 built-in keymap PDF represents the drum sounds going up from C1.

I've never noticed this until now. Is this typical behavior, and if not, what are the standard GM drum map? Can this be corrected? If so, is it the culprit of CbB, SO, or Addictive Drums?

Please advise. Thank you in advance!

Edited by Dave G

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The confusion usually comes when controlling things other than keyboard-style instruments with MIDI.

MIDI doesn't know anything about musical notes. Its job is to send numbers. When those numbers are sent to pitched instruments, the sounds that come out by default to a standard set of pitches. But they don't have to, MIDI "note" 53 can be interpreted as "toggle that spotlight on and off," or it can be interpreted as "play a closed hi-hat sample."

In GM drums, 36 and 38 are "bass drum" and "snare drum." It's this way because some people sat down and probably decided it would work pretty well with keyboard controllers. "Bass drum" and "snare drum" are not C1 and D1 or C2 and D2 or C and D anything.

So, send a number, get a pitch. That's how two synthesizers can talk to each other without running into trouble with octaves: they are just sending numbers, they're not sending "C#" or any other note. Trouble starts to happen once we assign other names to a pitch, calling it "D2" or "C3," or whatever. MIDI knows the number for "the A above middle C" because "the A above middle C" is a pitch, 440Hz.

So when I think about MIDI in theory, and when trying to control things that are not piano-like, I find it best to just think in terms of numbers. My sequencer puts out a 36 for a kick drum, so whatever's listening, I should set that up so that it, too thinks 36 is a kick drum. Breaktweaker switches gestures with certain MIDI notes (which are just numbers), so it's up to me to keep Breaktweaker happy by sending it the right numbers.

In practice, what I wind up doing when I run into trouble is using Cakewalk's Transpose MIDI effect and setting it to either +12 or -12. First I try one, then the other. In the case of Breaktweaker, I think I had to set it to 24, because Breaktweaker was way off. I could sit down and figure it all out every time I run into problems, but it's way faster to just do trial-and-error and then possibly make a template or note as to which device or soft synth needs what transposition. Or just trial-and-error it every time. If I relearned it every time and and figured it all out I'd probably still have the same chance of getting it right. With the Transposer, I have a 1-in-2 chance of getting it right the first time, and a 1-in-1 chance of hitting it the second time, so it's much faster, and I can get on with making music rather than doing math.

If there were a "culprit" and we figured out who it was, Cakewalk, Studio One, or Addictive Drums, we could post a message on the corresponding forum for their developers to ignore and still have to Transpose our way out of it.

(Dr. Laurence Peter refers to this tactic as doing a "Peter Polka" around a problem: I realize that I'm not likely to understand or remember it using my usual methods of understanding and remembering things, and trial and error with Transpose takes about 15 seconds per incident, so the cost:benefit ratio is in favor of Transpose. Frees up my brain for other uses, and who knows, maybe the insight will come to me in the shower, as insights often do.)

The other corrective measure would be to use a custom drum map. My struggles with Cakewalk's Drum Map are the stuff of legend, so I avoid it unless I'm up for a laugh. Another tried-and-true method is to put sticky notes or board tape above your controller keys.

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Thank you for your prompt response. Beforehand, I was going to post these screenshots:

1) An image of the universal GM drum map (indicating note #36 at C1)

2) Screenshots of my sample drum riff on the PRV (#36 at C3)

As you can tell, that scale is inconsistent with the GM Drum Map illustration. They don't start in the same place.

Per your response, my default setting for that value is 0 also. But after I changed that 0 value to...-2, for example, the PRV "corrected itself" in accordance with the universal GM standard drum map...setting those notes beginning at C1 instead of C3.

Now, I'm more confused than ever. I've never had to change this setting. I don't understand why Cakewalk's PRV wouldn't be consistent with that?

(It seems, however, that my projects all play the same with that setting change, no keys have been adjusted.)

 

1.jpg

2.jpg

d9pfwqz-19904a39-3843-40ee-b2fd-7b4da948e8a7.png

Edited by Dave G

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18 minutes ago, Dave G said:

Per your response, my default setting for that value is 0 also. But after I changed that 0 value to...-2, for example, the PRV "corrected itself" in accordance with the universal GM standard drum map...setting those notes beginning at C1 instead of C3.

Now, I'm more confused than ever. I've never had to change this setting...why now, and does this mean I've been using the wrong keys all this time?

No, the GM standard note number to instrument mapping is the same everywhere.

The problems start when assuming the notes displayed for pitches have only one standard.

For example the GM standard for an Acoustic Bass Drum is note number 35 regardless of the pitch displayed in the DAW.

Change the Base Octave for Pitches to any value you wish and the drum displayed/played for note 35 will always be an Acoustic Bass Drum.

For a similar thread see 

 

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I guess I get that part. But my confusion is not with the note numbers, but the octave placement.

Why it would set those in octave C3 instead of C1 as represented everywhere else -- and why I guess I didn't know about this until right now? (shrug)

But as I stated above, I changed the setting to -2, and this corrects the placement of  those keys to C1 in consistency with every place else (GM map, Studio One, and Addictive Drums' drum map...)

Sorry to be frustrating. Just confused. 😑

Edited by Dave G

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Thank you for the wealth of information. 😊

I still find myself confused, because it seems like a lot to chew on.

But, what I feel like you're saying, is basically: in regards to my confusion with the adjustment of octaves...it simply doesn't matter?

I can rest easy and live with that, as long as it doesn't change the output of my tracks and affect the structure of future projects.

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1 hour ago, Dave G said:

But, what I feel like you're saying, is basically: in regards to my confusion with the adjustment of octaves...it simply doesn't matter?

Yes.

MIDI note numbers do not change.

There are a couple of standards for displaying note number as pitches.

This is why Cakewalk provides a way to set this relation.

The MIDI drum map is a relation between note numbers and instrument names not note numbers and pitches. 

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On 8/10/2021 at 12:15 PM, Dave G said:

in regards to my confusion with the adjustment of octaves...it simply doesn't matter?

Right. Remember, a drum kit doesn't have "octaves," it has kick, snare, hat, toms, crash, and ride. Those are mapped to MIDI numbers.

It's only when people use the "C1, C2, C3" designation that we run into confusion, because that is not properly standardized.

@Colin Nicholls describes it pretty well: http://prodigalsounds.com/blog/2020/11/03/midi-notes-names-and-numbers/

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