Old 01-11-2017, 05:54 PM   #1
bldaggerhart
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Default Need help with Half-Sustain on piano

Hello,
I am currently using the trial version of Reaper. I decided to test it out after multiple people telling me of its quality.

In setting up midi, I'm having an issue. While recording midi into Reaper (using the Iowa Piano VST), I am not getting any half-pedaling sustain in the recordings. Basically, my sustain/damper pedal is just acting like a basic on/off switch, which it shouldn't. My signal chain is:

Korg SP250 > (Midi) > Focusrite Scarlett 18i6 > (USB) > Reaper 5.29 (OS X El Capitan).

My track setup is:

1.Insert > Virtual Instrument on New Track
2.Select Piano (Iowa Piano)
3.Build Routing “NO”
4.Change Primary Midi track to: Input Midi > Focusrite > All Channels
5.Arm, Record

It should be noted that, as far as the piano hardware goes, the SP250 (and its pedal) do half-pedaling just fine using its internal audio & speakers. It's just in the midi process.

Am I missing something or setting something up incorrectly? Will this not work with Iowa Piano or Reaper (or both)?

Thanks!

Last edited by bldaggerhart; 01-11-2017 at 05:56 PM. Reason: Reaper & OS details
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Old 01-11-2017, 07:42 PM   #2
pcartwright
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First thought: Are you certain Iowa Piano supports half pedaling?

Second: Have you used this hardware setup with another DAW app (like ProTools or Cubase)? If so, did they have the same issue?

Third: Try inserting ReaControlMidi before your piano vst. Click the button that says show log. Try using the sustain pedal by itself. You should see something like "CC 0 64 ###" where the ### ranges from 0 - 127. When trying the half pedal, do you see a number in the middle (in the 60s or so)? This will tell you if the keyboard is transmitting those half pedal values.
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:21 PM   #3
bldaggerhart
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Thanks for the reply!

1 - No, I'm not certain, and there's not a lot of information about the plugin - I was hoping someone else had enough experience with it that they would know, but in hindsight, I see why that may be faulty logic.

2 - I've only ever used friends' setups for recording before, so I don't really have a "Previous" setup to go by.

3 - I've shut down my mac for the night, but I will try all your suggestions tomorrow, thanks so much!
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:22 PM   #4
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My guess is that Iowa Piano is not compatible with half pedaling. I can only think of one VSTi library that supports half pedaling (PianoTeq) though there are probably others. It's not a very common feature.
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Old 01-12-2017, 01:19 AM   #5
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And of course are you sure the Korg actually sends half pedal MIDI information from its external port?
It may well do half pedal with the internal sound engine but not support a MIDI out version. I had this problem with my Emu Xboard & never did resolve whether or not I could "get" half pedal output. Even bought on sale or return a damper pedal that supposedly would allow it if the keyboard supported it.
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Old 01-12-2017, 06:19 AM   #6
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Hi,
The midi spec sheet of the korg will tell all. No, I'm not gonna look it up:-)
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Old 01-12-2017, 12:22 PM   #7
bldaggerhart
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Thanks for the response. Still haven't gotten back into my studio to do the testing pcartwright recommended but in the meantime, to answer other questions:

ivansc & LugNut, from what I can tell, I believe it does support the half pedal MIDI info. Attached is the last page in the manual re: MIDI, which I'm assuming is the Spec Sheet mentioned (I am somewhat new to MIDI, hopefully this is what you were looking for). You can see at the bottom of the image that the following information is mentioned:

"*3: Half-pedal input/output value (0, 38, 74, 127)"

Does that mean what it seems to mean to my not-very-well-knowledgable-in-MIDI self?

Thanks again for the responses & help!
Attached Images
File Type: gif KorgSP250.gif (55.6 KB, 11 views)
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Old 01-12-2017, 12:54 PM   #8
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Conventional messages for damper on off are CC64 0 to (I think)67 for off and 69 to 127 for on. Or sometrhing like that!

I would interpret the control messages you have showing as the two OTHER messages are what the Korg uses for half pedal on off range.
Not sure how far along the road that takes you. First thing to check is if your actual dampler pedal can SEND more than just on and off.
Ands bear in mind that all you know so far is that the Korg itself is capable of RESPONDING to those CC codes, not that it can also automatially output them to its MIDI out port(s).
That`s for Part DSeux....
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Old 01-12-2017, 01:41 PM   #9
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Well I believe I've found a large part of the answer - I was able to get a response from someone on the KVR message boards that the Iowa piano does not, in fact support half-dampering. Looks like the issue is going to come down to me purchasing a good product.

(Of course this doesn't mean my Korg can send the half-damper signal to begin with, as ivansc mentioned, but at least it's a start)

Thanks for the responses!

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Old 01-13-2017, 07:18 AM   #10
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Hi,
From what you posted the korg sends the half pedal correctly, but as you found out the vst needs to also comply.
Good luck
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Old 01-13-2017, 11:19 AM   #11
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Just wondering if EZK or AK2 instruments support this...

If so, a great excuse to buy a new keyboard!
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Old 01-13-2017, 04:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LugNut View Post
Hi,
From what you posted the korg sends the half pedal correctly, but as you found out the vst needs to also comply.
Good luck
Well this is the first I've heard of half pedal for VSTi pianos. I know what it does on real pianos and it's certainly wouldn't be hard to apply it to a VSTi piano, at least one in Kontakt.

One way or another, the release of an AHDSR envelop is used to apply the damping on a sampled piano. Well that's unless they are using release samples.

The big problem is, that the good pianos in Kontakt have locked scripts, so that they can't be altered to do this.

This gives me something to think about in the future though.
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Old 01-15-2017, 05:58 AM   #13
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Hi Tod,
That's a first for me also.
Couldn't some sort of reaper scripts release settings effecting the "normal" sustained sounds? That unit sends 4 possible values.
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Old 01-15-2017, 09:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LugNut View Post
Hi Tod,
That's a first for me also.
Couldn't some sort of reaper scripts release settings effecting the "normal" sustained sounds? That unit sends 4 possible values.
Hi LugNut, yeah, it could be part of a script if there's a script slot open, sometimes the slots are all taken.

It can also be done without scripts unless there are release samples, which are used on nearly all VSTi pianos. Even if they don't have release samples, they'll probably be controlling the release within a script and it would be difficult, if not impossible, to override that control.

Actually, come to think of it, the Kontakt factory pianos have unlocked scripts, so a person might be able to do it with one of those.
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