Controlling CC11 with a mod wheel/knob etc.?


I’m going to buy myself a new midi keyboard, and I’ve been going through different options for couple of months now. I won’t talk much about that because I’ve managed to narrow my options to just a couple. However, I’m a bit puzzled about sustain/expression pedal jacks. The more expensive ones have both, and while I was inclined to get a keyboard from a higher price range for a while, I’m now leaning more towards getting a cheaper one that wouldn’t take up so much space on my desktop.

But my problem is, none of the cheaper models have input for expression pedal, only for sustain pedal. I have couple of questions which might sound awkward but my current keyboard doesn’t have any assignable controls or inputs so this is my first time dealing with these kind of things.

I assume if the input is labeled “sustain” it means you can not connect an expression pedal to it. Is this because Sustain is on/off while Expression sends a value between 1 and 127, or are they just labeled such because having a sustain pedal is more common? Is the advantage of having two input jacks in that it allows you to have both pedals connected at the same time, or can you not connect expression pedal to sustain pedal input at all? In case it matters, my options currently are Novation Launchkey and Nektar Impact, both of which have only sustain pedal input.

If it’s the last one and you can’t have both with just one input, it probably means no expression pedal for me. This got me thinking, is it possible to map CC11 to mod wheel or some knob in the keyboard? I suppose knobs and faders are assignable quite freely but I was just wondering if anyone has tried anything like that?

I guess what I’m trying to ask is, will I be ok without an expression pedal input in my keyboard even if I want to play sampled instruments in an expressive way?