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#2063063 - 04/11/13 06:44 PM Software pianos and partial pedalling
doremi Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 1718
I know nothing about software pianos, but I am curious about software pianos that support partial pedalling. I don't mean just half pedalling with 3 values, on, off, and some mid-value, but a continuous range.

So the question is, which software pianos support partial pedalling, and how realistic are they?

(No, I don't have easy access to software pianos frown )
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I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked

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#2063084 - 04/11/13 07:19 PM Re: Software pianos and partial pedalling [Re: doremi]
Vid Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/01
Posts: 794
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
Pianoteq and Galaxy Vintage D support partial pedaling and I'm pretty sure Ivory 2 does too.

I can't say how realistic it is because the pedal on my controller (a Clavinova) is only a switch.

(you can download and try the pianoteq demo for free)



Edited by Vid (04/11/13 07:19 PM)
_________________________
Kawai VPC1, Pianoteq, Galaxy Vintage D

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#2063110 - 04/11/13 08:33 PM Re: Software pianos and partial pedalling [Re: doremi]
doremi Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 1718
Ouch, which pedals support partial pedalling, and how are they connected? Directly to the computer or via the controller?
_________________________
I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked

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#2063114 - 04/11/13 08:44 PM Re: Software pianos and partial pedalling [Re: doremi]
Kawai James Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8847
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
If your digital piano/stage piano supports half-pedalling, it should ship with a capable pedal unit. The pedal is typically connected (or permanently attached) to the instrument, which sends the partial pedalling values to the computer via MIDI.

Cheers,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#2063156 - 04/11/13 10:26 PM Re: Software pianos and partial pedalling [Re: Kawai James]
doremi Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 1718
Hi James, I like to distinguish between half-pedalling (only a few MIDI values like on, off, midvalue) and partial-pedalling (continuous MIDI range like 0 to 127).

I wonder whether the F-30/VPC1 supports partial-pedalling, as the specs seems to say only half-pedalling http://www.kawaius.com/main_links/digital/vpc-1/vpc-1-specs.html
_________________________
I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked

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#2063183 - 04/11/13 11:13 PM Re: Software pianos and partial pedalling [Re: Vid]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3480
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: Vid
Pianoteq and Galaxy Vintage D support partial pedaling and I'm pretty sure Ivory 2 does too.


I don't think so. As far as I know, only PianoTeq has partial pedaling beyond just pedal up, down, and half. In fact, I don't know that for a fact either. A PT user may be able to chime in on that.

Digital pianos send pedal signals at discrete intervals, perhaps 12 or so, so we may choose to think of this as continuous pedal. If they sent more granular information than that it would clog up the MIDI signal. All the software pianos I know of map these values into up, half, and down. Often the half range is very small, in fact, as it is on an acoustic.

I don't have the feeling, playing software pianos, that this up, half, down trichotomy is a limiting factor. I at least, don't detect anything lacking in this aspect of software pianos. My foot is just not skilled enough to achieve quarter pedal, or eighth pedal, or whatever.


Edited by gvfarns (04/11/13 11:15 PM)

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#2063209 - 04/11/13 11:56 PM Re: Software pianos and partial pedalling [Re: doremi]
Kawai James Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8847
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: doremi
Hi James, I like to distinguish between half-pedalling (only a few MIDI values like on, off, midvalue) and partial-pedalling (continuous MIDI range like 0 to 127).

I wonder whether the F-30/VPC1 supports partial-pedalling, as the specs seems to say only half-pedalling http://www.kawaius.com/main_links/digital/vpc-1/vpc-1-specs.html


I believe the F-30/VPC1 sends damper pedal values in 25 steps.
I originally planned to include this information on the VPC website, however it was removed at at the last minute.

Cheers,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#2063278 - 04/12/13 03:36 AM Re: Software pianos and partial pedalling [Re: Kawai James]
Macy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 600
Half/partial pedaling isn't nearly as important as re-pedaling (IMO). Re-pedaling means that you can release the damper pedal and then as the sound starts to decay you can press the pedal again and the sound will sustain from that point in its decay. Alternatively, you can press a key and release it without the pedal down, and then quickly press the pedal to sustain it from a point in its decay. The first action occurs naturally as you play an acoustic piano and the second action is usually used deliberately for its effect.

Both the Vintage D and Ivory II pianos support re-pedaling (as well as half pedaling).
_________________________
Macy

CVP-409GP, Vintage D, Ivory II GP's & American Concert D, True Keys American D, Ravenscroft 275, Garritan Authorized Steinway, Alicia's Keys, EWQL Pianos, MainStage, iPad/forScore/PageFlip Cicada, Custom Mac MIDI/Audio Software Design, Macs Everywhere

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#2063289 - 04/12/13 04:18 AM Re: Software pianos and partial pedalling [Re: Macy]
Wess. Chr. K. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/12/13
Posts: 37
Loc: Sofia, Bulgaria
Originally Posted By: Macy
...Ivory II pianos support re-pedaling (as well as half pedaling).


Regarding half pedaling and re-pedaling – mmm...may be but with some reservation.
It is very difficult "to touch" the exact moment where it is if there are more than 1 or 2 values.
I compare the same action on AP and on Kawai 65, AG N1 and CLP 470. The situation on those DP is very close to AP, but is different with Ivory II (American Concert D).

Playing with Ivory is a pleasure, really, however the worst is, that there are no any real right pedal samples. The sound of the pedal is a modulation fake added to the clear sound (without pedaling).
If you get use, the re-pedaling on Ivory II is quite usable but forget for floating pedal action that you can do on real grand or some DP.

In addition:
East West QL Pianos have not half pedaling, however the release is long enough to enjoy playing. The very positive thing with this piano selection (Stainway, Bösendorfer, C6, Bechstein) is the fully sampled right pedal sound.
It spreads out very realistically and beautifully too.
Non of other piano I have tested are offering this option.
Unfortunately, QL Pianos have few very unpleasant disadvantages compared to Ivory II (American concert D) – unrealistic dynamic range and pretty hearable transition between velocity levels.
Sometimes 2 notes, near to each other sound very differently as volume intensity and timbre (mellow/harsh etc.)
The dynamic range is ca. "pp-f+".
No half pedaling, as I mentioned.


Edited by Wess. Chr. K. (04/12/13 04:22 AM)
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Wess

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#2063292 - 04/12/13 04:48 AM Re: Software pianos and partial pedalling [Re: doremi]
trax4katz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/11/13
Posts: 29
Loc: West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: doremi
I know nothing about software pianos, but I am curious about software pianos that support partial pedalling. I don't mean just half pedalling with 3 values, on, off, and some mid-value, but a continuous range.

So the question is, which software pianos support partial pedalling, and how realistic are they?

(No, I don't have easy access to software pianos frown )


Hi doremi,

This is my first real post (yipee) and I just wanted to say that I'm really interested currently in the topic of this thread; so a massive thanks for starting this discussion as it will be awesome to hear the opinions of different members of the Piano World community on this matter! I don't own any cutting edge Piano VSTi's (yet) but I am currently in the midst of researching them intensely for that very reason!

In response to your question I can't speak from the experience of owning an expensive/high quality MIDI piano style controller either (i.e. that utilizes an integrated/bespoke pedal solution as mentioned in this thread) but I'm familiar with current generic MIDI controller keyboard technologies which I use regularly to trigger hardware/soft synths etc. As such I'm primarily interested in how such controller keyboards and their support for controller pedals are able to work in conjunction with Piano VSTi's that offer sophisticated pedal modelling.

From my experience there appears to be so much ambiguity on the technical specs/descriptions of cutting edge Piano VSTI's as to the exact nature of how the individual software specifically responds to pedal input (almost deliberately vague it seems) as you can see the details provided vary significantly:

http://www.galaxy-instruments.com/vintage-d.html

"True half pedaling when using a continuous sustain pedal" (Galaxy - Vintage-D)

http://www.synthogy.com/products/americanconcertd.html

"Half-pedaling" (Ivory - American Concert D)

http://vilabsaudio.com/truekeyspianos

"No part of the sound in True Keys is modeled or synthesized in any way, nor is the half pedal feature. When the sustain pedal is held near a user-defined halfway point the effect known as half pedaling can be heard. In a real piano, the dampers at half pedal are very light on the strings, and the sound is only partially dampened with resonant trails left over. The use of actual samples in True Keys makes this effect truly real" (VI Labs Audio - True Keys)

Although they allude to providing support for the half peddling techniques, is seems difficult to find any articulation as to the exact nature of how the software developers have integrated the technology and how it is able to respond to a potential range of controllers (considering that there seems to be 3 possible devices that this software might be used with):

1) A simple sustain pedal typically targeted at low end MIDI controller keyboards that feature a 'pedal sustain input' such as the M-Audio SP1 which only provides on/off functionality:

http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/SP1.html


2) A more sophisticated design is a continuous controller (CC) expression pedal which begin to be utilized by more expensive MIDI controller keyboard models (i.e. used in conjunction with the aforementioned sustain pedal) but aimed at the 'expression pedal input' such as the M-Audio Ex-P which provides CC MIDI messages between 0~127:

http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/EXP.html

NOTE* However, as MIDI controller keyboards allow you to remap all controllers this can be assigned to control the sustain of a VSTI and thus provide full range MIDI CC messages (i.e. but whether the VSTI uses them all is something else)!


3) The 3rd option is some of the bespoke hardware specific pedal controllers (i.e. usually integrated with a digital piano) that are mentioned elsewhere in this thread. I have little knowledge of these other than that their individual range(s) can vary from full range to specific increments according to the manufacturer (as indicated by James above) such as the Kawai VPC:

http://www.kawai.co.jp/worldwide/vpc/questions/

QUESTION: Does the VPC1's F-30 triple pedal unit support half-pedalling?
ANSWER: Yes, the F-30's damper pedal supports half-pedalling, and sends progressive MIDI values.


Additionally, although the sustain pedal input is usually targeted at simple on/off pedals I have discovered that some keyboards provide dual purpose pedal inputs that can cater to either an on/off controller or a CC controller (subject to whether they use a stereo or mono jack). So as you can see there are a variety of hardware possibilities available which radically alter the level of expression that is achievable with regard to half pedaling or progressive sustain (which are often used interchangeably to describe this technique).

As such, I'm considering writing to a bunch of the leading Piano VSTi developers directly (such as VI Lab's True Keys, Ivory's American Concert D, Best Service Galaxy Vintage D et al) and asking them specifically for a definitive answer/description as I've struggled to find factual information so far - just hearsay which is frustrating! But I'll be sure to post my findings on this forum for anyone that might find the information useful!

I will be writing to different VSTI companies over the weekend and hopefully be able to publish my findings by next week (provided they are willing to relinquish said details) until then... hope this helps,

Kat smile

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"There should be a special island just for kats where the only vegetation is catnip..."

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#2063401 - 04/12/13 10:30 AM Re: Software pianos and partial pedalling [Re: trax4katz]
doremi Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 1718
Oh wow, Kat, that's some research wow

My personal interest is float-pedalling, it is one of the pleasures playing my acoustic grand.

I wonder if the range for float-pedalling can be mapped on the 0 to 127 MIDI values controlled by a continuous expression pedal, with a responsive software piano of course, for easy emulation of Horowitz' foot smile
_________________________
I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked

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#2063641 - 04/12/13 05:47 PM Re: Software pianos and partial pedalling [Re: doremi]
trax4katz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/11/13
Posts: 29
Loc: West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Hey there doremi,

I'm sorry you'll have to excuse my obsessive compulsive behaviour ha ha laugh I'm just an uber geek when it comes to needing to understand how things work! blush

And I'm just as intrigued as you are to find a definite answer to this question; so hopefully over the course of the next week I might have some answer(s) for you!

Regards Kat smile
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"There should be a special island just for kats where the only vegetation is catnip..."

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#2064085 - 04/13/13 03:25 PM Re: Software pianos and partial pedalling [Re: doremi]
Koko Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/26/13
Posts: 4
Loc: Israel
In Pianoteq the sustain pedal supports 0-127 midi values. It makes a big difference....
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studiologic acuna 88
Pianoteq 4
traktor audio 2
AKG k701
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#2065840 - 04/17/13 03:14 AM Re: Software pianos and partial pedalling [Re: doremi]
trax4katz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/11/13
Posts: 29
Loc: West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
PART 1: 'Ivory II American Concert D'

Hey doremi,

the responses are starting to flow but I have further questions with some of the VSTi companies so I will post more results shortly, however I can confirm that the 'Ivory II American Concert D' provides full MIDI range support for half-pedaling techniques!

Synthogy's brilliant Tech Support provided the following information:

"Ivory's implementation of half-pedaling is modeled directly on the behavior of
sustain pedals on acoustic pianos...The response to MIDI CC#64 from 0 to 127 may be
viewed as having three ranges (not counting fully released and fully depressed,
which obviously result in no sustain and full sustain, respectively). In the
first range, sustain remains fully off; you can press the pedal a little bit
with no effect on the sustain (i.e., the dampers do not move). In the second
range, sustain starts to become active, increasing smoothly until maximum
sustain is reached (i.e., the dampers are fully open). Maximum sustain occurs
before the pedal is fully depressed, so in the third range, from the point of
maximum sustain to the pedal being fully depressed, there is no further effect
on sustain; it just remains fully on (i.e., the dampers remain fully open). So
you can think of the half-pedal effect as acting smoothly from fully off to
fully on, but only in the middle area of the full range from 0-127, with the
areas on either side resulting in no sustain or full sustain."


Articulate as you could hope for so I think its safe to say that the 'Ivory II American Concert D' is capable of providing the detailed response you are seeking, note however they also provided some important considerations with regard to hardware controllers:

"Please note that Ivory's implementation is designed to be used with a sustain
pedal that supports half-pedaling (aka continuous sustain). You can send MIDI CC#64
from a continuous MIDI controller pedal, but that's not really the same thing as
using a sustain pedal that is designed for half-pedaling. Please note also that
the MIDI controller that the pedal is plugged into must support half-pedaling for
the pedal to function as intended."


The reason why this is the case is because although a general MIDI expression pedal can be used to control sustain - it doesn't perform physically like an acoustic sustain pedal (i.e. from a tactile or haptic perspective) in that there is no springiness or action of any kind (it just stays where you leave it)! This isn't a problem for someone like myself from a synth background as I'm used to it, but if you're from an Acoustic Piano background then your intuition is very much based around 'pedal memory' and factors like touch/feel/tension etc, so I would imagine you'd find it unpleasant and counter intuitive.

Fortunately there are awesome dedicated Piano style controllers out there, they are just priced accordingly sadly - but its good to know that there are at least inexpensive ways of accessing the technology for those out there like myself with simple generic style keyboard controllers!

Anyway I hope this helps, I will update this thread when I've communicated further with the other 2 VSTi companies I chose!

Best wishes,

Kat smile

PS - In the mean time here's a demo of the 'Ivory II American Concert D' which I really like!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWnbja5UXm8&list=UUOm6F8ipGuX6twOQ-R58CzQ&index=3 smile

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#2065879 - 04/17/13 07:26 AM Re: Software pianos and partial pedalling [Re: doremi]
trax4katz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/11/13
Posts: 29
Loc: West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
PART 2: 'Best Services Galaxy Vintage D'

Brilliant - Galaxy Instruments have contacted me and provided all the required insights/details so I can also confirm that the 'Galaxy Vintage D' responds to the full range of continuous controller MIDI data (0~127) for sustain/half-pedaling techniques on CC#64.

Consequently with respect to 'half-pedaling' the 'Galaxy Vintage D' essentially acts in a similarly detailed manner as the 'Ivory II American Concert D' in that (when using a suitable continuous MIDI sustain pedal) in addition to completely off (damper engaged: 0) and completely on (damper released: 127) there is a significant band towards the mid range of CC#64 whereby the sustain is gradually increased (i.e. to simulate the dampers slowly being raised) and as such "...the sustain or release time is being continuously increased as well as the amount of resonance"

As such, in addition to the aforementioned VSTi - the 'Galaxy Vintage D' is also capable of providing the detailed sustain pedal response(s) you are seeking doremi! wink

Kind regards,

Kat (meow) smile
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"There should be a special island just for kats where the only vegetation is catnip..."

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#2065880 - 04/17/13 07:29 AM Re: Software pianos and partial pedalling [Re: doremi]
trax4katz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/11/13
Posts: 29
Loc: West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
PART 3: 'Vi Labs True Keys'

I can also confirm that 'True Keys' responds to the full range of continuous controller messages (0~127) for sustain on CC#64.

"slowly press the pedal about half way down while playing notes. You will hear the normal release trails, but as you press the pedal further, the trails get longer until the pedal has entered the full sustain range" (p.25, True Keys Manual v1.0)

Additionally an update has provided the ability to define the range where the sustain pedal 'bites' (i.e. using Half pedal max cc/Half pedal min cc).

As such this is the last Piano VSTi that I examined, but its good news and reassuring that all 3 virtual instruments make full use of the entire range of a continuous MIDI sustain pedal!

Happy Kat smile


Edited by trax4katz (04/18/13 12:27 AM)
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#2065888 - 04/17/13 07:44 AM Re: Software pianos and partial pedalling [Re: Koko]
trax4katz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/11/13
Posts: 29
Loc: West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
PART 4: 'Modartt (Models and Data for Arts and Technology) Pianoteq'

Originally Posted By: Koko
In Pianoteq the sustain pedal supports 0-127 midi values. It makes a big difference....


Thanks for your contribution 'Koko' much appreciated! smile
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"There should be a special island just for kats where the only vegetation is catnip..."

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#2066097 - 04/17/13 04:33 PM Re: Software pianos and partial pedalling [Re: trax4katz]
doremi Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 1718
wow for Kat and wow for Koko

Yes, I like to float-pedal on my acoustic grand piano for my own amusement, i.e. graze the dampers on the strings to varying degrees as the music goes. The software pianos promise to respond to 0 to 127 MIDI values, but which piano type pedal provides those 0 to 127 MIDI values?

In a post further above, Kawai James believes that the F-30 pedal of the VPC1 provides damper pedal values in 25 steps, not 127 steps. My sense is that the F-30/VPC1 already sets kind of a gold standard here.

One could conceivably install a compression spring in a short travel continuous foot controller, position it back-to-front, and mount the base on an inclined angle so that the undepressed pedal position is horizontal, but it would still not quite be the same thing as a piano type pedal, I think.
_________________________
I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked

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#2066251 - 04/17/13 10:30 PM Re: Software pianos and partial pedalling [Re: doremi]
rentagx Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/17/13
Posts: 6
The first action occurs naturally as you play an acoustic piano and the second action is usually used deliberately for its effect.
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Robert Bunch

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#2066333 - 04/18/13 01:54 AM Re: Software pianos and partial pedalling [Re: doremi]
trax4katz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/11/13
Posts: 29
Loc: West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: doremi
wow for Kat and wow for Koko

Yes, I like to float-pedal on my acoustic grand piano for my own amusement, i.e. graze the dampers on the strings to varying degrees as the music goes. The software pianos promise to respond to 0 to 127 MIDI values, but which piano type pedal provides those 0 to 127 MIDI values?

In a post further above, Kawai James believes that the F-30 pedal of the VPC1 provides damper pedal values in 25 steps, not 127 steps. My sense is that the F-30/VPC1 already sets kind of a gold standard here.

One could conceivably install a compression spring in a short travel continuous foot controller, position it back-to-front, and mount the base on an inclined angle so that the undepressed pedal position is horizontal, but it would still not quite be the same thing as a piano type pedal, I think.


Hi doremi,

It was definitely useful to confirm that the leading Piano VSTi's all make full use of a continuous sustain pedal, but as far as which 'Digital Piano' (DP) controllers utilize this ability is another matter entirely. When I communicated with the companies above they all (to a greater or lesser degree) commented on how this varies from company to company.

I guess if anyone is considering purchasing a DP as a controller it is imperative to establish this via preliminary research although to be honest based upon my limited knowledge of DP hardware it seems to be equally difficult to establish how individual hardware works from online descriptions alone which tend to be rather vague as with the software VSTi's above (i.e. ...supports half pedaling etc)

its seems that direct communication with the manufacturer/developer is key in both cases for a definitive answer! As far as generic continuous sustain controllers go (i.e. for use with typical MIDI controller keyboards) there are different solutions available but the market is certainly not saturated with them by any means (actually there appears to be very few). There are either manufacturer specific pedals aimed at use with their own products or generic devices like the M-Audio model above - difficult territory really!

Its interesting you mentioned Kawai James' post as I would be interested in how this fractional steps approach works (i.e. is actually implemented in hardware). You see one thing that came to light through the research above was that although on a typical continuous sustain controller you are provided with 0~127 possible steps, the 'bite' range where half pedaling takes place actually only uses a small fraction of that range in the center of the pedal travel.

As such, with Kawai James' comment about the F-30/VPC1 it makes me think that this is likely implemented to match the general software pedal modelling responses stated above in that:

...with respect to 'half-pedaling' in addition to completely off (damper engaged: 0) and completely on (damper released: 127) there is a significant band towards the mid range of CC#64 whereby the sustain is gradually increased (i.e. to simulate the dampers slowly being raised)...

Thus if 25 steps were available for the F-30/VPC1 as suggested by Kawai James, then you could use 1 step for off, 1 step for on and the remaining 23 steps for the sweet zone in the center of the sustain pedal travel (i.e. bite point)!

This is just me thinking out loud but it makes a lot of sense and essentially means that there would be little difference (as far as the end user experience is concerned) between the 25 steps utilized by the F-30/VPC1 and another device using full range (0~127). I'm not familiar with the full functionality of the VPC1 but if you further add the ability to manipulate this mid range 'sweet spot' to some degree ( spread out the steps more/shift where the sweet zone resides) then you have a very comprehensive ability to fine tune it.

I just mentioned this because on the surface if the F-30/VPC1 only utilizes 25 steps it seems like it provides less accuracy or limited control but based on the logic above, there is no reason why it would be any different to a full range controller in terms of its use - but remember this is just me guessing; however it would be certainly very interesting to clarify this!

By the way I loved your idea about installing a spring in a generic continuous MIDI controller - brilliant - I'm all for modifying equipment to improve its usefulness but its a shame that you should have to! I will keep my eye out for generic continuous sustain pedals with acoustic piano style action and post links if I find any as I know they exist. The most comprehensive generic device I am currently aware of is the CME GPP-3:

GPP-3 V2-Grand Piano Style MIDI Pedal:
http://www.cme-pro.com/en/product-detail.php?product_id=34

Independent GPP-3 Review:
http://www.pethu.se/music/GPP-3_Review.pdf

Music Tech Magazine GPP-3 Review:
http://www.cme-pro.com/en/news-detail.php?news_id=107


Hopefully some 'Piano World' users might respond with some other useful suggestions based upon their individual experience of using such a device with a high quality Piano VSTi like the ones above (hint hint) ha ha

Kind regards,

Kat smile
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#2066338 - 04/18/13 02:13 AM Re: Software pianos and partial pedalling [Re: trax4katz]
Kawai James Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8847
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: trax4katz
I'm not familiar with the full functionality of the VPC1 but if you further add the ability to manipulate this mid range 'sweet spot' to some degree ( spread out the steps more/shift where the sweet zone resides) then you have a very comprehensive ability to fine tune it.


Sounds like a good idea. wink

James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#2066341 - 04/18/13 02:25 AM Re: Software pianos and partial pedalling [Re: Kawai James]
trax4katz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/11/13
Posts: 29
Loc: West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Originally Posted By: trax4katz
I'm not familiar with the full functionality of the VPC1 but if you further add the ability to manipulate this mid range 'sweet spot' to some degree ( spread out the steps more/shift where the sweet zone resides) then you have a very comprehensive ability to fine tune it.


Sounds like a good idea. wink

James
x


Hi James blush thanks he he laugh
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"There should be a special island just for kats where the only vegetation is catnip..."

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#2066457 - 04/18/13 09:36 AM Re: Software pianos and partial pedalling [Re: doremi]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3480
Loc: Pennsylvania
Good work getting this info from the horse's mouth!

I learned something new from this thread. Thanks.

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#2066461 - 04/18/13 09:57 AM Re: Software pianos and partial pedalling [Re: gvfarns]
trax4katz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/11/13
Posts: 29
Loc: West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
Good work getting this info from the horse's mouth!

I learned something new from this thread. Thanks.


Many thanks 'gvfarns', I'm just glad you found it useful, its been really interesting for me too and a great introduction to this forum (which is brilliant I might add), though I have to admit I feel exhausted after it ha ha... laugh

Fortunately I've been lucky enough to acquire a copy of the gorgeous 'Kawai Ex Pro' Piano VSTi (Acoustic Samples) from another user on this forum in the midst of it; so now I can basque in the lovely bright sound of the 'Ex Pro' as my reward - awesome!!! wink

Best wishes,

Kat smile
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"There should be a special island just for kats where the only vegetation is catnip..."

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#2066487 - 04/18/13 11:04 AM Re: Software pianos and partial pedalling [Re: trax4katz]
doremi Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 1718
Well, sorry, but fine tune or not, 25 steps between fully ON and fully OFF will always be coarser steps than 127 steps between fully ON and fully OFF.

It seems that the F-30 pedal does not allow you to take full advantage of the software piano capabilities. That is, IF the software piano capabilities of 127 steps indeed exist as stated by Pianoteq et al, which is a different question. This issue of matching pedal capabilities and software piano capabilities must have been discussed between the VPC1 designers at Kawai and Pianoteq et al.

The thing is that there is a BIG difference between a 0 to 127 RANGE and 127 STEPS. The 0 to 127 RANGE can very well be divided into 25 STEPS with each step being approximately 5 MIDI values if the range is divided equally into steps, for example.

The specifications of the GPP-3 pedal say 0 to 127 RANGE, but does NOT say 127 STEPS either.

Pedal manufacturers only say ‘continuous’ but there is a BIG difference between ‘continuous with 127 steps’ and ‘continuous with 25 steps’. The BIG difference is that on the average, the latter is 5 times coarser than the former, although they are both ‘continuous’.

This makes me wonder about the ‘continuous’ response of software pianos, too. Software pianos may respond to the full 0 to 127 RANGE, but they may only do so in 25 STEPS.

In addition to DPBSD we may need a SWPBSD. Dewster?
_________________________
I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked

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#2066510 - 04/18/13 11:44 AM Re: Software pianos and partial pedalling [Re: doremi]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1161
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: doremi
. . .

Pedal manufacturers only say ‘continuous’ but there is a BIG difference between ‘continuous with 127 steps’ and ‘continuous with 25 steps’. The BIG difference is that on the average, the latter is 5 times coarser than the former, although they are both ‘continuous’.

This makes me wonder about the ‘continuous’ response of software pianos, too. Software pianos may respond to the full 0 to 127 RANGE, but they may only do so in 25 STEPS.

In addition to DPBSD we may need a SWPBSD. Dewster?


PMFJI --

Digital resolution will always be limited. The question is:

. . . Is the digital resolution adequate to give the
. . . same effect as an analog device?

Think about the range of pedal positions, on an acoustic piano, that corresponds to the "half-pedal range", where the dampers aren't fully up, or fully down.

. . . Maybe it covers an inch of vertical travel, probably less. [I should post this question to the Piano Tuning forum, would get a reliable answer there.]

I'd challenge _any_ human pianist to move his foot to 25 reproducible positions in a 1" vertical span. Or even 25 non-reproducible positions!

And I'd challenge the same pianist to distinguish between 25 different values of note-decay time (which is what the "half-pedal" position controls).

One "half-pedal" value isn't enough. 5 "half-pedal" values is probably enough for most of us.

25 "half-pedal" values (spread over MIDI values 1 - 126) sounds like it's more than "enough" for anyone.

. Charles

PS -- This is not a new argument.

There is a story about a famous pianist. A piano-roll manufacturer was trying to convince him to generate some master rolls for it. He was resisting, arguing the limitations of the technology. The manufacturer's rep said:

"But our piano has sixteen levels of loudness!"

"Ah", said the player, "Unfortunately, _I_ have seventeen!"

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#2066529 - 04/18/13 12:10 PM Re: Software pianos and partial pedalling [Re: doremi]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3480
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: doremi
Pedal manufacturers only say ‘continuous’ but there is a BIG difference between ‘continuous with 127 steps’ and ‘continuous with 25 steps’. The BIG difference is that on the average, the latter is 5 times coarser than the former, although they are both ‘continuous’.


Good point. Of course, the granularity of the steps only really matters in the area where partial pedal is a possibility, and this is a small (physical) range. In that range granularity is beneficial but in others it is not.

A while back we had some folks complaining that they couldn't get partial pedal in some software pianos at all even though it was supported by both the software and their piano because the MIDI values that corresponded to partial pedal in the software were between two steps in the pedal (apparently). We know that Ivory and Galaxy have the pedal kick in in quite different MIDI locations, so it would be difficult for a digital piano manufacturer to know where in the pedal's range to put the high granularity if they were to implement it only in the middle. On the other hand I expect that if they actually implemented the whole 127 steps, random foot motions would clog up the MIDI.

I guess what we really need is for the software to be fully configurable. There should be something akin to the velocity curve that lets the user specify (after consulting the specs of their piano, perhaps) the MIDI point at which partial pedal begins to engage at the point at which full pedal engages.


Edited by gvfarns (04/18/13 12:11 PM)

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#2066600 - 04/18/13 03:16 PM Re: Software pianos and partial pedalling [Re: doremi]
doremi Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 1718
If I float-pedal on my acoustic grand piano, I do it by ear, not by foot position. It would be nice if the active range from fully ON to fully OFF would indeed have the true 7 bit resolution of MIDI of 127 steps.

Beyond the active range, there is mechanical play of the pedal. In other words, mechanically depressing the pedal further beyond fully ON won’t result in a MIDI value greater than 127, and mechanically releasing the pedal further beyond fully OFF won’t result in a MIDI value less than 0. The mechanical play of the pedal does not matter, the active range and the resolution in the active range do matter.

Instead of using a pedal, Dewster could digitally inject MIDI values 0, 1, 2, … , 127 in CC#64 and see whether the sound characteristics of software pianos indeed changes 127 times (full resolution response) or only 25 times (BS).
_________________________
I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked

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#2066623 - 04/18/13 03:45 PM Re: Software pianos and partial pedalling [Re: doremi]
maurus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 788
With all due respect, but from a practical perspective (i.e. the practice of piano playing) I find this discussion about "continuous" partial pedaling quite absurd. Even 4 or 8 steps of pedaling seem to be, to me, enough or more than ever needed in any practical situation and/or context.

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#2066632 - 04/18/13 03:54 PM Re: Software pianos and partial pedalling [Re: Charles Cohen]
Temperament Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/10
Posts: 424
Loc: Hun,EU
Originally Posted By: Charles Cohen
One "half-pedal" value isn't enough. 5 "half-pedal" values is probably enough for most of us.

25 "half-pedal" values (spread over MIDI values 1 - 126) sounds like it's more than "enough" for anyone.

Exactly. I had with my CA51 just 8 events, but it made a rather continuos half pedalling effect possible.

Beyond of that, we had some discussions with detailed observations by Aeons Holle here: Half Pedalling with CA95 The problem might be in the distribution of the sensor point along pedal travel: if sensor point placement is too dense for all of the 25 neighboring positions, resulting in too sharp changes in the SW, if these assume a more even distribution along the whole travelling distance.

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