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Topic: Best expression pedal?

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  1. #1

    Best expression pedal?

    Hi everyone,

    Was wandering if anyone could give me some advice on the best expression pedal to buy? (Just got the Gofrillor!)

    Im looking for one that is not too expensive, about £20-40, has a wide range, and can also be used as sustain pedal. Which makes me ask, is that possible? an expression pedal has no spring in it no? where as a sustain needs one... Is it possible to get a pedal which can "switch on and off" the spring feature?!

    Thanks for all advice!

    Ben

  2. #2

    Re: Best expression pedal?

    Hi, Ben

    You hit upon part of your own answer - Sustain pedals and Expression pedals are two totally different types. Sustain pedals are just momentary switches, on or off. Expression, like volume pedals, send out a stream of data ranging from 0 to 127. That's why on the backs of keyboards there are separate inputs for sustain and expression.

    Pedals are nice, but it works perfectly fine if you have a keyboard with assignable sliders or wheels. I think you're wanting to play your Cello live, pedal while playing notes - and that's one advantage of the pedal. Of course many maybe most people record expression data on a second pass through. Works so many different ways.

    Brands? I wouldn't be able to steer you to a "best" brand - They're very simple things really, I would hazard to guess all pedals are created equal - but that may not be right.

    Anyway, maybe you don't need a pedal at all actually?

    Randy B.

  3. #3

    Re: Best expression pedal?

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser-
    I would hazard to guess all pedals are created equal - but that may not be right.
    Good hazard, Randy. They're not all created equal. Unlike sustain pedals, you'll need to get an expression pedal compatible with your keyboard. Different brands use different voltages and methods to regulate the control. That's not to say that you can't cross brands. Some are completely cross compatible, but you should do your research.

    Reegs

  4. #4

    Re: Best expression pedal?

    Reegs speaks truth.

    I have a Kurzweil keyboard. And a Yamaha expression pedal. They are not compatible. I'm an electrical engineer, and I tried some mods, but none worked. The only simple solution, aside from replacing it with a compatible pedal, is to change the potentiometer for one with the correct values.

    It's much easier to buy the correct pedal in the first place.

    Also, make sure that your keyboard has a jack for an expression pedal. Some of the less expensive keyboards skip that feature(!)

  5. #5

    Re: Best expression pedal?

    Well! There it is!

    Thank you Jon and Reegs for posting about the potential incompatibility problems with Expression pedals and various keyboards.

    It sounds like the old problem from Years ago, when the electrical polarity of how a given piece of gear worked was critical. Some were postive, others were negative - you HAd to know what your gear needed.

    I've never used an Expression pedal, just a Volume pedal which went through a "Pocket Pedal" which was an intermediary device to translate the pedal's data into any kind of MIDI controller you wanted - an important little guy to have years ago when MIDI work was all being done with hardware, pre-computers.

    I own The Strad, which needs cc11 Expression data - I just assign my Mod Wheel to that and off I go. I like the control I have over the volume that way, exactly like using cc1 for GPO. Foot pedals - not as controllable an action for me as with my left hand.

    Randy B.

  6. #6
    Senior Member bigears's Avatar
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    Re: Best expression pedal?

    there is a great deal of info here...
    http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/...ad.php?t=48873

  7. #7

    Re: Best expression pedal?

    thanks everyone for your words...

    unfortunately my cheap cheap M-audio keystation 49e doesnt have an expression pedal socket...is there a way of using a midi-in socket for an expression pedal socket?

    If not I suppose I will have to use the mod wheel, as in GPO, which is what I was actually expecting in the first place!shame tho, i loved having such expressive control over vibrato at my fingertips!

    Randy, how do you assign the mod wheel to volume? I dont seem to be able to work out how to do it in the KP2! thanks.


    Ben

  8. #8

    Re: Best expression pedal?

    Quote Originally Posted by BenNichols
    Randy, how do you assign the mod wheel to volume? I dont seem to be able to work out how to do it in the KP2! thanks.
    I'm not Randy, but I think you have to do it on the keyboard, not in KP2. I don't know about the Keystation, but my M-Audio Axiom 61 can reassign all the controls to whatever CC you want.

    --Richard

  9. #9

    Re: Best expression pedal?

    Quote Originally Posted by BenNichols
    thanks everyone for your words...

    unfortunately my cheap cheap M-audio keystation 49e doesnt have an expression pedal socket...is there a way of using a midi-in socket for an expression pedal socket?
    Yes, but you won't like the price.

    Randy, how do you assign the mod wheel to volume? I dont seem to be able to work out how to do it in the KP2! thanks.
    I also am not Randy, but there is a program called Enigma that does just this for M-Audio boards, and I think it will work for your keyboard model.

    Let us know how it goes.

    Reegs

  10. #10

    Re: Best expression pedal?

    Quote Originally Posted by RBowser
    Hi, Ben

    Sustain pedals and Expression pedals are two totally different types. Sustain pedals are just momentary switches, on or off.
    That's generally true, but of course sustain pedals in real pianos are a 'continuous' pedal, just like an expression/mod pedal. Modern electric pianos, 'sampler' pianos and sustain pedals themselves now reflect this (ie some sustain pedals are continuous, not momentary) - eg Yamaha FC3 pedal, Yamaha Motif synth, and (I hope) Garritan's Steinway!

    You can get out of the 'compatibility' trap by, rather than looking for controllers that plug into your keyboard, look for midi controllers and plug them into a midi in/thru. I use a Behringer FCB1010 for this - it has two pedals and 10 programmable switches. I have one pedal set up as expression (11) and one as modwheel (1) (and users of Strad/GPO will understand why).

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