Insane Sustain - Pedal Issue?

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Insane Sustain - Pedal Issue?

Unread post by stixstudios » Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:41 pm

Hey guys, this doesn't make sense.

I've recently purchased the MODX7, and instead of buying the Yamaha pedal (FC4A?), on advice, I purchased a generic brand pedal.

Well, all is ok if I use it as an expression pedal. In my case, the mod wheel in place of aftertouch, which works fine - I can definitely "feel and hear" the levels change. But just mucking around, if I plug the pedal into the sustain input I get either zero, or 100% sustain until the end of polyphony. Of course it sounds awful. Surely this is not right.

I thought I could use the pedal for both - I guess not??

Probably should purchase the correct "sustain" pedal. Unless somehow I've forgotten what sustain is, or there is a setting I can change. With my limited piano experience you can control how much sustain you want by pressing on the the pedal to a certain level.

Maybe I've lost the plot completely?

[EDIT] I guess "expression pedal" isn't the same as the "sustain pedal"? and nothing to do with MODX.?? :?:

Steve.
Last edited by stixstudios on Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Insane Sustain - Pedal Issue?

Unread post by Saul » Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:50 pm

Hi Steve

I know what you are wanting to do but the FC4 is the wrong pedal anyway. It is a pretty simple switching pedal so yes you can use it for sustain but it will either be all or nothing. You can also use it to assigned "switch" type functions.

What you need is the Yamaha FC3A or equivalent as that will give you the different levels of sustain that you want. Not cheap of course but well worth it.
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Re: Insane Sustain - Pedal Issue?

Unread post by stixstudios » Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:56 pm

Thanks Saul.

I guess it was my fault for not knowing. In any case, I can still use the other.

So, I'm still a bit confused. I've never used a sustain pedal on a synth. Does it "overide" all patches?. Seems like it should but I don't know how.
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Re: Insane Sustain - Pedal Issue?

Unread post by Saul » Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:15 pm

It is not something I have ever really used other than on acoustic pianos but as far as I know the sustain will only work on patches that have it programmed in but someone else may be able to chip in here?
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Re: Insane Sustain - Pedal Issue?

Unread post by stixstudios » Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:28 pm

Interesting.

I'd like to know before I purchase it. Previously I was thinking that I would have to edit the patch/es to include sustain (with or without the pedal).

I wonder.

In my way of thinking, sustain should happen AFTER any and all, much like a piano. But I don't know.
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Re: Insane Sustain - Pedal Issue?

Unread post by ZT Scheer » Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:20 pm

Here's how Sustain works ...

If you have a sound with an audible Sustain portion ... organs, pads, etc. ... After the Attack and Decay portions of the envelope, depressing the pedal holds the sound at the Sustain level until you release it, at which point the envelope goes on the to Release time. This is why it's sometimes called a "Hold Pedal".

With something like a Piano or Electric Piano ... the Sustain level is zero, but the Decay time is pretty long. Playing without the pedal depressed means your note cuts out as soon as you release the keys. With the pedal depressed, the sounds continues through the Decay portion, even if you remove your fingers from the keys.

If you zero familiarity with synthesizers, this might be confusing at first.
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Re: Insane Sustain - Pedal Issue?

Unread post by stixstudios » Fri Apr 05, 2019 3:48 pm

ZT Scheer wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:20 pm

. . . If you zero familiarity with synthesizers, this might be confusing at first.
Ahhh... Yep, thanks Scheer.

Probably incorrect nomenclature/meaning of "sustain" on my behalf. My familiarity with synthesizers is indeed limited, but I'm not too old to learn. :clap:

What I mean, or what effect I'm after is like a real piano "dampner pedal" the last pedal on the right, which is called the sustaining pedal (or damper pedal).

When pressed, the "dampners" are lifted off the strings causing the strings to "sustain" the sound. It's also variable depending on how much the pedal is pressed. What I'm getting now, is NOTHING like that at all.

So maybe in the synth world my "sustain" could be better described as "decay"??? (not reverb).

It's not a big deal and I'm sure there is a simple solution. In my view it should be common to all parts of the performance and no need to get into nitty gritty and edit each part. But maybe I might have to?

The "decay" I'm talking about would be perhaps 2 seconds max. not huge. But I'm also thinking subtle as well. (variable)

So, hopefully this explains the effect that I'm after - I'm happy to be enlightened :)

Steve.

[EDIT] Oh yeah, and of course the effect should be variable depending how much the pedal is pressed (this is a MUST). It's not rocket science. Also forgot to mention I'm using the MODX.
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Re: Insane Sustain - Pedal Issue?

Unread post by ZT Scheer » Fri Apr 05, 2019 5:01 pm

stixstudios wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 3:48 pm
What I mean, or what effect I'm after is like a real piano "dampner pedal" the last pedal on the right, which is called the sustaining pedal (or damper pedal).

When pressed, the "dampners" are lifted off the strings causing the strings to "sustain" the sound.
This is exactly the behavior being mimic'd when playing a Piano or Electric Piano on the MODX, or any modern workstation keyboard.
stixstudios wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 3:48 pm
It's also variable depending on how much the pedal is pressed.
I've been playing, selling, tuning and servicing real pianos for decades. There is no such thing as "variability" regarding the damper pedal, regarding the decay rate. You either lift the dampers or you don't. Some pianos have two other pedals, for "una corda" and "sostenuto". It's probably not wise to describe those, when you are still confused about what the first one does, or is supposed to do.

With respect ... You seem to be coming at this with a series of assumptions which don't play out in reality. Take a deep breath and consider the possibility that you may need to reevaluate those assumptions.
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Re: Insane Sustain - Pedal Issue?

Unread post by Saul » Fri Apr 05, 2019 5:22 pm

Nice explanation of what acoustic piano pedals do over on Wikipedia here https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piano_pedals

Although of course in the synth world you can modify what the damper/sustain pedal does much more than the acoustic equivalent.
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Re: Insane Sustain - Pedal Issue?

Unread post by stixstudios » Fri Apr 05, 2019 6:04 pm

You are right Scheer.

My assumptions ARE INCORRECT!. I did just review what the 3 pedals are for.

I wonder where my incorrect assumptions came from. I'm thinking that the last piano (upright) many years ago, perhaps the sustain/damper system was screwed. Therefore seemingly giving a "variable" sustain/decay - which I thought was normal. Anyway, that's my story.

But like I said previously - the sustain on the MODX using the pedal is pretty much infinite, which is absolutely un-natural whichever way you look at it. With a real piano, it eventually dies out after a few seconds?

Hopefully I can work this out to get what I want. I guess one positive is that at least I KNOW what I want, even if it may seem hard to get there.

It's 4AM in the morning here and time to retire. Looking forward to solving this.

Cheers, Steve.
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Re: Insane Sustain - Pedal Issue?

Unread post by ZT Scheer » Fri Apr 05, 2019 11:31 pm

Are you using a Sustain pedal yet ... or still using an Expression pedal?

You need either a Yamaha FC3A (or a similar footswitch pedal*) to the dedicated Sustain Pedal jack on the MODX back panel. You cannot use a volume or expression-type pedal.

*Some other footswitch pedal models to consider. I am guessing that Sweetwater shipping to AU would be prohibitively expensive, but use this as guide for sourcing a pedal locally:
https://www.sweetwater.com/c520--Keyboa ... RhaW4iXX19
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Re: Insane Sustain - Pedal Issue?

Unread post by anotherscott » Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:45 pm

Saul wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:15 pm
as far as I know the sustain will only work on patches that have it programmed in but someone else may be able to chip in here?
Yes, sustain will only work on patches that have it programmed in, but most patches are programmed to use it (which you can override and turn off, if you want). In certain cases, using a sustain pedal would make no sense, like a pizzicato (plucked) string sound. Organ is a case where you typically don't want sustain (organs don't have sustain pedals), though sometimes it can be useful to hold a droned note/chord while your hands leave and go off to do something else. If you're playing a split with bass guitar under your left hand and piano under your right, you'd want sustain pedal for your right hand sound but not your left. The point is, desirability of the sustain pedal function varies in different situations.
stixstudios wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:28 pm
In my way of thinking, sustain should happen AFTER any and all, much like a piano.
I don't know what "after any and all" means. But the simple way to look at is is: With the sustain pedal down, the keys behave as if your fingers were still pressing them down, even if you lift your fingers off the key. And they will continue to behave as if the keys were being held down, until you release the pedal. This also means that the sustain pedal does different things on different sounds. Without using a pedal, if you hold the key down on a piano sound, the piano sound will eventually fade away, so that's what happens if you hold the pedal down as well. OTOH, without using a pedal, if you hold the key down on a violin sound, the violin sound will play forever, so that's what happens if you hold the pedal down as well. The sound won't stop until you release the pedal (or until the keyboard runs out of polyphony).
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Re: Insane Sustain - Pedal Issue?

Unread post by stixstudios » Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:09 pm

An incorrect assumption on my part.

"after any and all" means the very final adjustment/affect in the chain.

I haven't yet purchased the FC4A pedal because I'm not sure if it will resolve my "apparent" issue. Therefore, I may never be able to make an informed evaluation. I'd like to, but the cost is getting too much.

I've seen outboard gear (in AUS) become 20% more expensive over the last 6 months.
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Re: Insane Sustain - Pedal Issue?

Unread post by stixstudios » Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:26 pm

Sorry, couldn't edit the last post.

Now that I know that I CAN edit sustain depending on the patch (thanks to all), then there are other more pressing issues. Although eventually I'll have to buy the FC4A.

I'm going around in circles :)
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Re: Insane Sustain - Pedal Issue?

Unread post by Kurzweil » Tue Apr 09, 2019 5:18 pm

I believe that Yamaha has TWO sustain pedals, one of which behaves somewhat like you wish. With acoustic pianos, there is such a thing as "half-pedaling" which lifts the dampers incompletely. You get an incomplete sutain and the MODX will do this. That is the FC3A pedal. The FC4 is a straight normally closed switch.

Here is an article that explains it better than I:
https://yamahasynth.com/component/k2/ha ... off-sample

Actually, the link did not work but I found the article by going to their XF forum page and searching. Here is the salient language (FC3 was the original version of the FC3A):

When the Half Damper switch is turned ON, you can use the Half Damper function with an optional Foot Controller FC3 connected to the FOOT SWITCH SUSTAIN jack. The Half Damper function requires the optional Yamaha FC3 pedal (sold separately). The FC3 sends sustain data values 0 through 127 for cc064, which is different from the FC4 or FC5. The FC4/5 are simply sending "On" or "Off" (0 or 127) values - like most typical momentary sustain pedals. But more than just the FC3 is required for a keyboard to respond to the half dampering. In other words, plugging an FC3 into a keyboard does not necessarily give you half-damper response - the keyboard must be capable of the feature. The MO6/8, original Motif and Motif ES, for example, do not have this functionality and cannot use the FC3 pedal at all for any sustain type function.

When the Half Damper function is set to ON (only FC3)

By connecting an optional FC3 foot controller to the back panel SUSTAIN FOOT PEDAL jack, you can use the Half Damper feature. The Half Damper feature reproduces the fine control of an acoustic piano's damper pedal to control the sustain over time: pressing the pedal fully down makes the sound last longer, while letting up on the pedal part of the way slightly mutes the sustained sound. Effective use of the Half Damper feature lets you play piano sounds more expressively and realistically.


Seems like your expression pedal might have worked but I suspect the polarity was for Korg/Kurzweil/Fatar rather than Yamaha/Roland. This worked on the Motif XF and also the current models (Montage/MODX). It may be necessary to tell the MODX that you are using an FC3A rather than the default FC4A (or any other generic NC (normally closed) pedal. Most have a switch and can do all keyboards. Straight sustain, that is, not half-pedalling.
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