Where is the Soft Pedal for Piano Performances?

Welcome to the new era from the company that brought you the DX and the Motif. Montage sets the next milestone with sophisticated dynamic control, massive sound creation and streamlined workflow.

Moderators: Derek, parametric, Saul

User avatar United States of America
Basspig
Member
Member
Posts: 87
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:26 am
Contact:

Where is the Soft Pedal for Piano Performances?

Unread post by Basspig » Sat Jan 18, 2020 7:42 pm

For about the last 15 years, I happily used a pair of pedals, Soft and Sustain with my Kurzweil K2600RS grand pianos and they nicely replicated the real thing.

Now that the Montage 8 is here, loaded with some nice grand piano libraries, I'm perplexed that none of these pianos respond to #67 Soft pedal control.

Just to be sure the setup was working, I routed the MIDI from the Montage through Cakewalk and assigned the Steinway D samples in my Kurz and played with both the soft and sustain pedals and got the expected results. So the Montage is recognizing and passing along the MIDI data.

But when i switch over to the CFX Grand or the Bosendorfer Grand, the soft pedal has no effect on the sound. For classical playing, this pedal is used quite a lot to darken the sound in soft passages. It yields a greater range of tonal color on the piano than can be obtained with just the standard 'dampers up' mode.

Surely an instrument in 2020 can do what late 90s samplers have been doing. When I hit the Edit button on a piano program (11 layers) on the K2600, I see settings for Sustain, Sustenuto and Soft pedals. I can turn them on or off or change how they affect the play.
Where is the equivalent setting in the Montage piano performance?
Best Regards,
Mark
-----------------------------------
Kurzweil K2600RS, K2500RS, PC2RO, ExpressionMate Ribbon
Roland A80, Peavey PC1600, Yamaha FS1R, Motif Rack XS, Montage 8, Korg Kronos 2
Advertisement
Loopcloud Music App from Loopmasters.com
Sweden
Macke
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 136
Joined: Thu May 30, 2019 8:03 pm

Re: Where is the Soft Pedal for Piano Performances?

Unread post by Macke » Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:05 pm

Basspig wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 7:42 pm
For about the last 15 years, I happily used a pair of pedals, Soft and Sustain with my Kurzweil K2600RS grand pianos and they nicely replicated the real thing.

Now that the Montage 8 is here, loaded with some nice grand piano libraries, I'm perplexed that none of these pianos respond to #67 Soft pedal control.

Just to be sure the setup was working, I routed the MIDI from the Montage through Cakewalk and assigned the Steinway D samples in my Kurz and played with both the soft and sustain pedals and got the expected results. So the Montage is recognizing and passing along the MIDI data.

But when i switch over to the CFX Grand or the Bosendorfer Grand, the soft pedal has no effect on the sound. For classical playing, this pedal is used quite a lot to darken the sound in soft passages. It yields a greater range of tonal color on the piano than can be obtained with just the standard 'dampers up' mode.

Surely an instrument in 2020 can do what late 90s samplers have been doing. When I hit the Edit button on a piano program (11 layers) on the K2600, I see settings for Sustain, Sustenuto and Soft pedals. I can turn them on or off or change how they affect the play.
Where is the equivalent setting in the Montage piano performance?
Hi Basspig,

I have no experience with half dampening or the pedals you refer to but found some information that might be useful to you.

You most likely found this setting already but I'll add it anyway.

Configure half dampening for the sustain pedal at:
[UTILITY] > “Settings” > “Sound” > “Sustain Pedal”, FC3A (Half on).

According to Bad Mister at the Yamaha synth forum most acoustic piano performances in the Montage should support half dampening.

Source 1: Connecting an FC3A half dampening pedal to MODX

Source 2: FC3a only starting to sustain after depressing by over 50%

Further down in thread 2 there is details about how to program half dampening.
User avatar United States of America
Basspig
Member
Member
Posts: 87
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:26 am
Contact:

Re: Where is the Soft Pedal for Piano Performances?

Unread post by Basspig » Sun Jan 19, 2020 3:52 am

Unfortunately, "half dampening" is not the same thing as the Soft Pedal. The original term is "una corda", meaning one string. When the soft pedal is depressed on a piano, only the fundamental string of the triad of strings for a given note is struck by the hammers, as the whole mechanism is shifted laterally by the pedal's action. The result is the loss of upper harmonics and a much softer volume level.

The Sustain pedal just lifts a damper across ALL strings allowing them to freely decay their resonance. The difference is letting a note ring out on all strings, which can be a brite tone, vs. darkening, mellow tone for playing Debussy or Chopin, giving the pianist the ability to control the tonal colors of the performance.

There is a specific MIDI controller for it (67) and every synth, sampler and ROMpler I've owned to now has had the feature, as it is basic and essential part of piano performance.
Best Regards,
Mark
-----------------------------------
Kurzweil K2600RS, K2500RS, PC2RO, ExpressionMate Ribbon
Roland A80, Peavey PC1600, Yamaha FS1R, Motif Rack XS, Montage 8, Korg Kronos 2
Sweden
Macke
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 136
Joined: Thu May 30, 2019 8:03 pm

Re: Where is the Soft Pedal for Piano Performances?

Unread post by Macke » Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:10 am

Basspig wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 3:52 am
Unfortunately, "half dampening" is not the same thing as the Soft Pedal. The original term is "una corda", meaning one string. When the soft pedal is depressed on a piano, only the fundamental string of the triad of strings for a given note is struck by the hammers, as the whole mechanism is shifted laterally by the pedal's action. The result is the loss of upper harmonics and a much softer volume level.

The Sustain pedal just lifts a damper across ALL strings allowing them to freely decay their resonance. The difference is letting a note ring out on all strings, which can be a brite tone, vs. darkening, mellow tone for playing Debussy or Chopin, giving the pianist the ability to control the tonal colors of the performance.

There is a specific MIDI controller for it (67) and every synth, sampler and ROMpler I've owned to now has had the feature, as it is basic and essential part of piano performance.
Thank you for explaining the difference between the said pedals.

Surely there should be a way of getting this to work on the Montage as well but it's unknown to me at this point.

I'll help keep looking but maybe one of our more piano knowlegable users might have some ideas?

EDIT: I searched around and unfortunately it does not seem that soft pedal is natively supported in any factory performance I've seen a reference to so far and the advice has been to customize and "add" the behaviour by a few different methods.

Some references:
Soft pedal use in Montage
Q for Bad Mister
User avatar United States of America
Basspig
Member
Member
Posts: 87
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:26 am
Contact:

Re: Where is the Soft Pedal for Piano Performances?

Unread post by Basspig » Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:18 pm

I see from those two linked topics that there is a problem here. But it's kind of like selling a car in 2020 without a steering wheel. Piano plays use these pedals a lot! Not to have them on a modern instrument is unthinkable.

It's beginning to look like I will not be able to replace my Kurzweil gear with the Montage, as I had hoped. Having more sample ROM doesn't mean more realistic sounds, as I am quickly learning. What a shame to have that nice Bosendorfer sample library, but not have the pedals to properly use it. As it's turning out, it's just another source of sounds, and as such, might have worked better as a rack tone generator rather than a full keyboard in this setup.
Best Regards,
Mark
-----------------------------------
Kurzweil K2600RS, K2500RS, PC2RO, ExpressionMate Ribbon
Roland A80, Peavey PC1600, Yamaha FS1R, Motif Rack XS, Montage 8, Korg Kronos 2
User avatar United States of America
puremusic
Member
Member
Posts: 206
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:48 am
Contact:

Re: Where is the Soft Pedal for Piano Performances?

Unread post by puremusic » Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:02 am

Are there any at all of the piano libraries pre-installed or purchasable for the Montage that you've found that use soft pedal and sostenuto?

I sometimes think of getting a rack XS, or an MX49 for a side keyboard (in blue), I wonder if the pianos for these have any support for all three pedals too?

In fact many of the software piano libraries I've seen don't have support for these, I know low end digital pianos often are only single foot pedal. I think the lack of support should be due to the Montage fitting into the flagship synthesizer niche rather than flagship digital piano part of the market.

I'd like to see more rack modules these days, they're more convenient, as I choose a main keyboard first on keybed action and sounds installed if any are secondary to me. Though it's always seredipitous when you can have what you want of both together in one.
Roland FP-90 - Touchkeys - TEC BC - MIDI Expression
Kontakt - Arturia CS80 - Arturia Piano V - Sonivox Eighty-Eight - Spitfire Symphony Orchestra
User avatar France
EXer
Member
Member
Posts: 292
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:15 pm

Re: Where is the Soft Pedal for Piano Performances?

Unread post by EXer » Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:53 am

Soft pedal? Forget about it! :mrgreen:
____

Do you know the use of the una corda pedal can damage your piano? 8O

At least if you have a grand piano.

That pedal shifts the whole keyboard, as you explained, so that the hammers strike only two strings out of three, hence its name meaning 'one string' (I guess the pianos had only 2 strings per note on the treble side at the time that pedal was added).

When you use that pedal too much the hammer felts wear out unevenly, resulting in all kinds of unwanted noises (buzzing, zinging, etc.) when you play without that pedal, normally, that is Image

Definitely not a good idea :evil:

A technical article in French. If you don't read French you can look at the pictures.

On an upright it works differently, as you know, and every pianist knows it's useless anyway (that opinion may not be shared by their neighbours :lol: ).
EX5 EX5 EX5R FS1R TX81Z TX81Z TX7 A4000
EX5Tech Member #101

VVLNERANT OMNES VLTIMA NECAT
User avatar United States of America
Basspig
Member
Member
Posts: 87
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:26 am
Contact:

Re: Where is the Soft Pedal for Piano Performances?

Unread post by Basspig » Mon Jan 20, 2020 6:58 pm

Puremusic, to my knowledge, none of the pianos in Montage, or in the Motif Rack XS that I also have, response to Soft Pedal. The only other synth module I have owned that didn't was a Roland CM64 that I'd had in 1989, but it was made for computer geeks who wanted to dabble in music.

I've always been a fan of rack tone modules myself. Most flexibility that way. And as you mentioned, you find a keyboard that has the right action, you don't want to give it up for a different keyboard. Fortunately for me, that was not a problem. Montage feels very similar to Roland A80.

Not terribly enamoured with the piano sounds in Motif XS either. Very heavy and bassy sounding. I will have to tweak the sounds with EQ to see if there's a piano under all that boom.

EXer, I was aware implicitly that una corda pedal use puts more wear on the felts, but I never really gave it much thought. Since my main piano has been the K2600, I can play Debussy or Chopin to my heart's content and nothing wears out. :)

Of course, I'm running into other unexpected problems with playback from Cakewalk Sonar, and getting that sinking feeling that I just spent $4000 on a unit that doesn't really do all the stuff I was able to do with the older gear. Of course, it's near impossible to get this information pre-sale, as nobody seems to know the answers or bothers to answer questions. When you buy a new car, you just assume it comes with a steering wheel and a brake pedal. :)
Best Regards,
Mark
-----------------------------------
Kurzweil K2600RS, K2500RS, PC2RO, ExpressionMate Ribbon
Roland A80, Peavey PC1600, Yamaha FS1R, Motif Rack XS, Montage 8, Korg Kronos 2
User avatar Great Britain
parametric
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 4086
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:00 am
Contact:

Re: Where is the Soft Pedal for Piano Performances?

Unread post by parametric » Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:17 am

Gonna stick my neck out a little here . . . .

When I was doing grades way back, I have to say that the Una Corda was little mentioned (or indeed recommended)

by my various Teachers. I learned on my Father's Baby Grand, described below - that had the una corda pedal . . .

And yes, the whole keybed moves to the right when you press it . . .


I assumed (rightly or wrongly) that I was expected to achieve the required "expression" purely by delicacy of touch . . . .

and my efforts were never lambasted for "NOT using that Pedal".

So I wonder about the origin of that pedal. Was it perhaps meant to be a bolt-on feature to assist Pianists who were

a bit short in the touch and delicacy department?

I think the plot thickens when you move to Digital Pianos and "Keyboards" that carry Piano Presets . . . .

I can't really see why Digital Pianos should NOT have una corda - as the instrument is ostensibly "A Piano" . . . .

With Workstations and Synths, the Piano is just another preset in the deswigner's minds - and they feel that una corda

is a bit too "deep" for a "Keyboard Player" - so it becomes something they can omit and save money . . . . :(

Perhaps Performance Synths and Stage Pianos should be lumped with Digital Pianos too?

This is why I think it's important to have MUSICIANS (e.g. actual PLAYERS) on the design team, along with the pure

design guys and SW engineers so that Gafs like this are avoided.

Just my opinion of course :)

parametric
Alesis Fusion 8SSD AND 6SSD - BOTH are 384Mb/120Gb SSD/Akai ADVANCE61/Yamaha MOXF6/1024Mb Flash Ram/Yamaha SY85/8.5mb vol/1024k non-vol/DX21/Roland MT32/Bachmann double overstrung Baby Grand Piano/Win10 Pro/Ubuntu MATE 15.0.4/iBook G4/Mac OS 10.4.6/ProTools 7.4/MBox2/M-Audio MicroTrack 24/96

NI Komplete11 Ultimate

Sector101 2x SYEMB06 / 4 x EXM-E3 128MB DRAM Module

BRAND NEW DSDD (720k) FLOPPY DISKS FOR SALE - http://www.yamahaforums.co.uk/forum/vie ... =22&t=9217

Watch out now! take care, BEWARE of the greedy leaders! They'll take you where you should not go - (George Harrison)

IT'S TRUE - "MONEY TALKS" - TO ME, IT MOSTLY SAYS "GOODBYE" ;-)
http://www.chrisnmiller.co.uk/Chris
User avatar United States of America
Basspig
Member
Member
Posts: 87
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:26 am
Contact:

Re: Where is the Soft Pedal for Piano Performances?

Unread post by Basspig » Tue Jan 21, 2020 2:30 am

I totally agree with you parametric. And think of the cost savings of omitting what is essentially a line of code. Pennies? I can see that on an entry level product, but on a flagship keyboard with 88 WEIGHTED keys? On a product that prides itself in it's touted grand piano libraries? Not sensible.

At least I could count on it being a good tone generator--or so I thought. It doesn't handle any input from the DAW past MIDI channel 8. My 16 track symphonic work only plays half of the orchestra. Every other synth/sampler/ROMpler I've owned, right down to my very first, could handle 16 tracks of MIDI simultaneously. Either I'm missing some basic understanding of Montage setup, or there are some serious limitations in this product.
Best Regards,
Mark
-----------------------------------
Kurzweil K2600RS, K2500RS, PC2RO, ExpressionMate Ribbon
Roland A80, Peavey PC1600, Yamaha FS1R, Motif Rack XS, Montage 8, Korg Kronos 2
User avatar Great Britain
parametric
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 4086
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:00 am
Contact:

Re: Where is the Soft Pedal for Piano Performances?

Unread post by parametric » Tue Jan 21, 2020 4:26 am

Hmm. I see what you mean Mark. If it really is just some code - then WHY not just put it in?

Less is More DOESN'T make sense here (to Me) :roll:

As to the other matter - you are using the Montage as a "Sound Module" (out of your DAW) yes?

I don't have a montage myself, but - don't midi channels normally go around in groups of 16? :wink: :lol:

I can't see why it should brick-wall at 8?

If it's anything like my Fusion - it needs to be in "Song" mode (Alesis-Speak) to be controlled externally? IYSWIM

I'm guessing you are addressing it via USB (My Fusion can only do DIN-midi). USB should be far simpler IMO

Could it be a Port Number issue? USB midi can have multiple ports - EACH ONE having 16 channels (I thought) :)

Maybe SOME of that helps?

ATB

parametric
Alesis Fusion 8SSD AND 6SSD - BOTH are 384Mb/120Gb SSD/Akai ADVANCE61/Yamaha MOXF6/1024Mb Flash Ram/Yamaha SY85/8.5mb vol/1024k non-vol/DX21/Roland MT32/Bachmann double overstrung Baby Grand Piano/Win10 Pro/Ubuntu MATE 15.0.4/iBook G4/Mac OS 10.4.6/ProTools 7.4/MBox2/M-Audio MicroTrack 24/96

NI Komplete11 Ultimate

Sector101 2x SYEMB06 / 4 x EXM-E3 128MB DRAM Module

BRAND NEW DSDD (720k) FLOPPY DISKS FOR SALE - http://www.yamahaforums.co.uk/forum/vie ... =22&t=9217

Watch out now! take care, BEWARE of the greedy leaders! They'll take you where you should not go - (George Harrison)

IT'S TRUE - "MONEY TALKS" - TO ME, IT MOSTLY SAYS "GOODBYE" ;-)
http://www.chrisnmiller.co.uk/Chris
User avatar United States of America
puremusic
Member
Member
Posts: 206
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:48 am
Contact:

Re: Where is the Soft Pedal for Piano Performances?

Unread post by puremusic » Tue Jan 21, 2020 4:33 am

Suddenly I really anticipate the arrival of MIDI 2.0!
Roland FP-90 - Touchkeys - TEC BC - MIDI Expression
Kontakt - Arturia CS80 - Arturia Piano V - Sonivox Eighty-Eight - Spitfire Symphony Orchestra
User avatar France
EXer
Member
Member
Posts: 292
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:15 pm

Re: Where is the Soft Pedal for Piano Performances?

Unread post by EXer » Tue Jan 21, 2020 11:08 am

According to the MIDI specification, a device should respond to CC#67 ("soft pedal on/off") by lowering the volume.

That's it. Everything else is up to the maker of the synth or DP.

Many synths don't even comply with that simple spec (which seems useless anyway if it does nothing else than lowering the volume).

If you want to emulate of the una corda, one way to do it could be to program the patch so that when CC#67 is on (value between 64 and 127) it reduces the volume and closes a LP filter slightly, and maybe so that it also slows the attack to emulate a softer part of the felt hitting the strings.

____________

That said, as an unassuming pianist I never felt I needed to use that pedal. As parametric said, to play pianissimo I use my fingers.

Anyway, when una corda is written on a music score, most of the time it was not written by the composer but by the editor.

And in the case it was written by the composer himself, e.g. Beethoven's "Clair de Lune" (IIRC), from what I know I believe his intention was to change the tone or timbre of the piano. But a piano of that era is so different tone wise from a modern piano that I'm not sure how close one could approach the composer's intention by using the una corda on a modern grand piano...
EX5 EX5 EX5R FS1R TX81Z TX81Z TX7 A4000
EX5Tech Member #101

VVLNERANT OMNES VLTIMA NECAT
User avatar Great Britain
parametric
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 4086
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:00 am
Contact:

Re: Where is the Soft Pedal for Piano Performances?

Unread post by parametric » Tue Jan 21, 2020 4:41 pm

Precisely Exer . . . .

It's my impression that the decisions about such details are made by those not really qualified to do so . . .

Hence my suggestion that Musicians/Players are part of the design/realisation Process . . . .

How can that NOT make sense? . . . . . :roll:

parametric
Alesis Fusion 8SSD AND 6SSD - BOTH are 384Mb/120Gb SSD/Akai ADVANCE61/Yamaha MOXF6/1024Mb Flash Ram/Yamaha SY85/8.5mb vol/1024k non-vol/DX21/Roland MT32/Bachmann double overstrung Baby Grand Piano/Win10 Pro/Ubuntu MATE 15.0.4/iBook G4/Mac OS 10.4.6/ProTools 7.4/MBox2/M-Audio MicroTrack 24/96

NI Komplete11 Ultimate

Sector101 2x SYEMB06 / 4 x EXM-E3 128MB DRAM Module

BRAND NEW DSDD (720k) FLOPPY DISKS FOR SALE - http://www.yamahaforums.co.uk/forum/vie ... =22&t=9217

Watch out now! take care, BEWARE of the greedy leaders! They'll take you where you should not go - (George Harrison)

IT'S TRUE - "MONEY TALKS" - TO ME, IT MOSTLY SAYS "GOODBYE" ;-)
http://www.chrisnmiller.co.uk/Chris
User avatar United States of America
Basspig
Member
Member
Posts: 87
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:26 am
Contact:

Re: Where is the Soft Pedal for Piano Performances?

Unread post by Basspig » Tue Jan 21, 2020 7:44 pm

I noticed there are three ports for the Montage via the USB driver: Montage-1, Montage-2 and Montage-3. Only Montage-1 responds and makes sounds when addressed from Cakewalk. I had a hunch Montage-2 might be more usable ports, but I've gotten no response assigning tracks to this port. No sound output. As for Montage-3, I found out that I can RECEIVE the MIDI data presented to the Montage's MIDI IN DIN port (my Roland PK25 pedals) and that's how I get the pedals routed into Cakewalk with the Montage.
The port, Montage-2 remains a mystery. Yamaha MUST have some technical paper describing these ports and their capabilities. Just where to find them eludes me at the moment.

Still, I'm not able to believe that an instrument sold in 2020 cannot do what an instrument sold in 1995 can do, as far as ensemble playback.

My first encounter with Voice vs. Multi mode came with the Yamaha Motif Rack XS. Not so bad. I press one button on the front of the unit and done.

With the Montage, there seems to be no button. It is necessary to dig through utility and advanced menus to change this parameter. If it is set up to play a piano with multiple parts, it won't play ensemble. It has to be in single channel mode to play from a DAW, multiple instruments on separate tracks. But then multipart sounds are incomplete. It's a mutually exclusive problem. Meanwhile, my Kurzweil's piano is 11 layers/parts and can be played from just one MIDI channel. Doesn't require one MIDI channel for each part/layer to play.

As for una corda pedal matters, my Kurzweil K2600RS not only lowers the volume a tiny, tiny, but, but it darkens the tone, much like what happens on the Steinway D models I've had access to. No matter how lightly you press a key, the double escapement action will always hit the strings with a certain minimum force. It's still pretty bright. Hence the una corda pedal, for a much softer sound. It's almost like playing with the lid closed, but not quite the same sound.
Best Regards,
Mark
-----------------------------------
Kurzweil K2600RS, K2500RS, PC2RO, ExpressionMate Ribbon
Roland A80, Peavey PC1600, Yamaha FS1R, Motif Rack XS, Montage 8, Korg Kronos 2
Post Reply

Return to “Yamaha Montage Forum”