Okay, to clear the mist with this question we first of all have to define what C5 means in FL Studio midi implementation, you dig?

You see, with some DAWS (Digital Audio Workstations) the note C3 refers to what’s called the middle C and, with some rare DAWS middle C is sometimes referenced to the note C4. Furthermore, with other DAWS middle C is set to the note C5 e.g inside FL Studio’s Piano roll or Sonar’s Piano Roll middle C is set to the note C5.

Therefore, when you play a drum sound whether it’s a kick, snare or percussion sound FL Studio will play this note on a default tuning that the sound is referenced using the note A = 440 Hz tuning or otherwise  A = 432 Hz Tuning (that is, if you drag  FL Studio’s master tuning pitch down by -32 cents; therefore will reflect back to 432 Hz tuning).

Furthermore, if  you load a random drum sample sound to FL Studio’s Channel Rack and click on the first step sequencer button. FL Studio will play that sample as is. Meaning it will be referenced to the standard tuning of A = 440 Hz, where middle C will essentially be the note C5 inside FL Studio piano roll.

Now, to answer this question in laymen terms this means in Cubase middle C is the note C3,  in other words that would be 261.6 frequency Hz. The same applies Presonus Studio One, but in FL Studio this would be the note C5.

Use Your Ears as a Guideline

So the moral of the story is to use your ears as a guideline in terms of tuning drum samples. Just because you play your Kick drum  or Snare drum inside FL Studio’s piano roll on the note C5 doesn’t necessarily mean it’s out of tune unless you hear the significant differences of it failing to blend with the bassline or other instruments.

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