Why are notes written as C#4?

Does anybody know why are notes written as C#4 and not as 4C#?

As far as i know, all DAWs use this kind of notation. The octave was alsways at last digit. I never saw a “4C#” in Reason, Renoise, Cubase, Bitwig and so on.

1 Like

So it seems to be traditional.

Yup, this is standard in all DAWs. One of the reasons is, because most samplers do have an internal option to sort the samples note by note automatically if they are named the right way. If you have 4C, 4C#, 4D, 4D#, etc., the sampler can’t sort the samples the right way, it then accidentially may sort them like …3A, 3B, 4C, 4D, 4E, 4F, 4G, 4A, 4B, 5C, 5D, etc. And the ones with the # will come last.

If it is A3, A#3, B3, C4, C#4, D4, D#4, E4, etc., then the sampler will sort the samples the right way. This has to to with the alphabetical order/detection of the sample names inside samplers.

I tried that out but I’m sorry, no writing style gives the correct order when sorted alphanumerically:

Classic style with slashes when no # is present (as found in most trackers and DAWs):
A#3
A#4
A-3
A-4
B-3
B-4
C#4
C-4
C-5
D#4
D-4
E-4
F#4
F-4
G#4
G-4

Classic style without slashes when no # is present (same sort result as above):
A#3
A#4
A-3
A-4
B-3
B-4
C#4
C-4
C-5
D#4
D-4
E-4
F#4
F-4
G#4
G-4

“My” writing style:
3A
3A#
3B
4A
4A#
4B
4C
4C#
4D
4D#
4E
4F
4F#
4G
4G#
5C

The problem is that note octaves go 1 higher between B and C and not between G and A.

I don’t think he is talking about alpha numerical order, he talks about the order samplers are made to detect the notes.
Why do you want to write notes differently than anyone else?
Another way to write C#4 is to call it Db4, but i guess that won’t make a difference in your case.

Right. I didn’t mean alpha numerical order. I mean chromatically. If a sampler has the option " sort chromatically", then it will seach for filenames that have the designations C1, C#1, D1, D#1, E1, F1,…
at the end of the filename like: Mysample C1.wav, Mysample C#1.wav, Mysample D1.wav, Mysample D#1.wav, and so on.

Because I’m also a microtonalist (unfortunately Reniose is not my tracker of choice for composing microtonal music) and therefore notes are often just unnamend numbers with the coarse pitch (something more or less in the range of an octave) on the left-hand side and the fine pitch (something equivalent to a semitone but often smaller) on the right-hand side.

Because it is more important to know note itself before you know the octave of this note. Also it is easier to read.

2 Likes

Is there any example of somebody writing notes like this?
In my entire life I haven’t seen notes written like this. In literally every DAW I can imagine the notes are written just like in Renoise. And everybody knows how notes are written in “real life”:

what is this madness? some ancient germanic rune lore? :rofl:

1 Like