Issues with external MIDI triggering 1 octave high [SOLVED]


I’ve been trying to understand and fix this for a couple of days now… I want to control the DT with my Midibox Seq V4+. This only controls external drums via note, and not instrument per channel.

So… I get my trusty Retrokits RK-002 and use the 16 Zone firmware on it to translate a series of notes into midi channels. I’;m doing the RK-002 programming on my Arturia Keystep for ease of note selection.

I can set the root note for the ‘translated’ message - eg. C1 on keyboard = C3, Channel 1, D1 on keyboard = C3 on Channel 2, etc. (where I can set the C3 translated root to any note I want).

It all works fine except the DT is playing every track/sound one octave high.

It played an octave high when my outbound note was set to C4 - it still plays an octave high when my outbound note is set to C3.

All ‘notes’ on each DT track are set to C3. Scaling them up or down on the DT makes no difference to how they are triggered from the Keystep.

What external MIDI note on the relevant track channel is the DT expecting to play at its chromatic root (ie, C3)?

At this point, I’m torn between this being my stupidity, a Keystep bug, a DT bug or a sign that we are being visited by aliens.


OK - so I seem to have answered my own question immediately after posting:

The DT wants a C2 as the external midi ‘root’ note. I’m sure this info exists somewhere (I thought I have seen it somewhere before on this forum) but I couldn’t find it again when searching.

Such that it may be useful to anyone, here is the answer to the question "how do I control my DT as a drum machine using notes rather than channel/instrument, if my preferred sequencer doesn’t support it?

Other tools may be available but the RK-002 is very neat, programmable (using Arduino sketches) and really well supported by the dev.


And again someone tripped over the octave naming scheme. :slight_smile:

The MIDI standard contains no fixed naming scheme for octaves. So some devices call their lowest MIDI note (decimal value=0) C-2, others name it C-1 or C0.

The Digitakt uses C0.

So the effect of being one or two octaves off, is just a matter of how the octaves are named (which was never standardized).

When sending MIDI notes between different devices match their decimal note values and not how these notes are named on the devices.


Interesting - I didn’t know that wasn’t a standard. Not sure that was at the heart of my issue though as I couldn’t what the DT expected in name, or otherwise!

The answer in a more standardised sense turned out to be Midi Note decimal 36. Note decimal 60 is what the firmware on the RK defaulted to and that (by their naming) is C4 (although C5 is more obvious as 60 = 12 semitones * 5!), and that’s where I named C2 as the result.