Cannot get my pedal to work with sustain

Hello. A few days ago my sustain pedal stopped working properly. I am completely stuck as I need to be able to use it and haven’t found a fix yet.

My pedal is plugged into the “sustain” P1 input of a Roland A-800 pro MIDI keyboard. I have checked in the MIDI list and the MIDI monitor, there is no MIDI data when I use the pedal in that input. However, when I use the pedal in the P2 “expression” input of my keyboard, there is MIDI data (CC 11 “expression”). This leads me to believe that the pedal must not be the issue, and that either the keyboard P1 input is faulty or my settings got misconfigured.

My MIDI knowledge is very limited, but I think that there could be a way to use my P2 keyboard input and have it activate a CC64 message instead of CC11. That would be one way to fix my problem. Alternatively, if my P1 input is not faulty, there might be a setting I might have overlooked. I don’t care if I need to use P2 instead of P1, as long as I can use my pedal as I record. In the worst case scenario, I would have to add the sustain manually which would be bad.

What I have tried so far:

  • checking the filters
  • cleaning and opening the pedal and keyboard, no physical issue at first glance
  • using a run command prompt in windows and changing the name of the cubase folders to reset the preferences
  • transforming CC11 into CC64 using a logic filter. It is the only thing that partially worked, as I could hear sustain at times but the volume was very low (or nonexistant), as if the expression command was still being used.

As you can see I am still stuck and if you have any information to share, it would be extremely appreciated.

Thank you

Download this utility with this you can see any midi data coming into windows and what type it is. However is looks like the bus on your A-800 somehow is not working properly, because you can see data on the expression bus? Could be a hardware issue (bad contact?) but is could also be a configuration issue with settings in the A-800. Maybe a polarity setting?

Thanks for your reply.

Yes I do see data on the expression bus. I have looked at as much configuration as I could and it seems to be a hardware problem with my P1 input (therefore I cannot use P1)

HOWEVER I have found a way to use P2. I have managed to transform CC11 (when I use my pedal through P2) into CC64. I had tried it before but something was missing.

I will write it here for those who may encounter the same issue.

MIDI Inserts > Transformer

Under “Filter target…”
Type is / Equal / Controller
Midi Controller No. / Equal / CC11 (Expression)

Under “Action Target”
Value 1 / Set to fixed value : 64

When I tried it before, the expression was still active and the pedal inverted. I have figured out that the problem occured if I used the pedal before inserting the transformer. What fixed it for me was to create the transformer and then use the pedal. The only thing that is not as good is that in my MIDI data there are now a lot of messages (in P1 there were only messages for values of 0 and 127, now there is data for many more values because it still thinks it’s recording expression and therefore creates a gradient. It is not perfect but it is not really a problem for me)

Thank you again for your suggestions.

Roland is a little different than others when it comes to sustain pedals. There are two leads, A and B, on Roland they are connected permanently and when you step on it the connection is broken. On all other brands I have come across the connection is made when you step on it. Some pedals have a switch on the bottom to set them to Roland mode.
Anyhow, if you fire up your keyboard without the sustain pedal, and then connect it, what happens then ?
It could easily be that you just need a Roland compatible sustain pedal.

When I was dirt poor I made my own sustain pedals :wink:

In the case of owning a pedal that has the ‘wrong polarity’. I have such a pedal, and my AKAI MPK2 doesn’t have a firmware setting to invert it. In Cubase…

One can correct this. Simply ‘invert’ the CC64 event with a transform filter. In the transformer, use ‘mirror’ value 2, and set the transform value to 64 (the half way point between 0 and 127).

With this ‘mirror’ filter, a value of 0 gets flipped to 127, and vice verse.
A value of 63 would be flipped to 65. 65 gets flipped to 63.
A value of 2 would be flipped to 126, where 126 would get flipped to 2, and so forth…

This transformer isn’t limited to ‘on/off’ controllers. It could also be used to ‘reverse’ the direction that a continuios pedal, or even a pot or fader works.
Imagine that you have two faders side by side on your MIDI controller, and you’d like to set them up as ‘cross faders’ where pulling them up or down ‘together’ would do a crossfade. Simply ‘mirror’ the right fader from a base value of 64, and it now works ‘backwards’…