[LAU] Midi Sustain Pedals

Ken Restivo ken at restivo.org
Sun Aug 16 16:32:31 EDT 2009

On Sat, Aug 08, 2009 at 11:49:11AM -1000, david wrote:
> Dominic Sacr?? wrote:
> > Hi Julien,
> > 
> > On Friday 07 of August 2009 08:26:26 Julien Claassen wrote:
> >>    If you want that, you need an "expression pedal". The sustain
> >> pedeals just do normal or sustain, no degrees. What should they
> >> signify?
> > 
> > The sustain pedal on an acoustic piano does not act as a simple on/off 
> > switch. Pressing the pedal lifts the damper from the strings, but it's 
> > also possible to let the damper just slightly touch the strings by not 
> > pressing the pedal all the way down. For some piano pieces, this 
> > technique is even essential to play them properly.
> Yes, I miss that in my digital piano playing!
> > There are sustain pedals which allow for this half pedal effect, but 
> > they can't be used with all keyboards. I've only seen this feature in 
> > digital pianos / stage pianos (88 keys with hammer action, etc.).
> > I'm not sure if it's supported by any of the more simple MIDI controller 
> > keyboards.
> Perhaps an expression pedal could be mapped to function as a sustain 
> more like a real piano's sustain pedal?

My teacher has one of these pedals. It was made in Italy and went with some keyboard he's long since gotten rid of.

I took it apart and there are two contact strips: one for the downstroke and one for the upstroke. So I guess it sends a note message for pedal down, and one for pedal up. It only has a 1/4" tip/sleeve jack so I'm not sure how it's sending that to the keyboard.

Since playing around with the Steinway Gigasample, I keep thinking it'd be nice if the pedal could be more expressive and get those "in between" spots or just not CLANG if I life the pedal gently.


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