Using sustain pedal with nanostudio

edited December 2018 in Support

User @Brattcave opened this topic in general @Blip Interactive bug thread. I'm creating this thread to clear this topix, cause it's little bit messy in original thread becaue of other unrelated posts.

@Brattcave can you please here again in nutshell describe your problem ? I think, your mentioned that some apps support this, some not - can you give examples ?

And what exactly is supposed fuctionality ?

To me it looks not really like bug but more like simply not implemented feature. But instill do not fully understand what sustain pedal should do to Obsidian

We need clear this ;-) Thanks!

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Comments

  • @dendy said:
    To me it looks not really like bug but more like simply not implemented feature. But I still do not fully understand what sustain pedal should do to Obsidian
    We need clear this ;-) Thanks!

    Hi,

    Initial disclaimer: This could be user error - I'm just a newbie trying to troubleshoot an issue :)

    Basically I'm just trying to use the sustain/Hold pedal in the same way as usual. To sustain notes while playing - particularly the piano/keys based patches.

    With internal obsidian instruments or AUs I cannot get the sustain pedal working on my external keyboards. (Roland FP-7, Roland FA-08). I've even rigged up a small little sustain switch on my iPhone that I use for convenience using midi designer over network connection - I even put it on the floor so I can use my foot! These different methods all work with every app I've tried. But not here for some reason.

    Example: Opened a new project with the default template and loaded an Obsidian patch - 'Electric Piano 2' from the factory preset. The app recognises my keyboard and I can play notes - but the sustain pedal has no effect.

    To make things stranger... I can go into the midi controller map for that track and when pressing learn for e.g Knob 1 it recognises my sustain pedal as cc64 (as expected) and inserts it as '64: Hold pedal'.

    However, neither internal or external instruments (e.g AU Ravenscroft piano) react to the sustain pedal in order to sustain notes. I've checked all the in/out settings but if there's a setting, then I'm missing it!

    Another user has reported a similar issue using the Nanokey studio. Whether this is a bug or not is a question of whether you are meant to be able to load up piano based patches like electric piano and be able to sustain notes using external keyboards.

    This can be de-bunked very easily: If anyone with an external keyboard or controller plugs it in and can get notes to sustain then the problem is at my end.

    Any help would be gratefully received - just trying to get some piano based material down tonight while I have the rare evening off! Loving the app apart from this so far though.

    Cheers,
    Brett

  • edited December 2018

    “For the sake of continuity”:

    If it is of any help, I have a nanokey studio (yep, love all nano stuff) that has a sustain button, which probably sends some kind of midi message.
    FWIW, I can confirm the button works with GarageBand, Nanologue (yeah that nano obsession again) and Magellan. It doesn’t with SynthOne, Animoog, SunrizerXS and yep you guessed it Nanostudio 2. So it could be something in the midi message implementation I believe.

    A cheap fake workaround could be the remap of pedal to the “knob 2” parameter of obsidian which in many cases act as an amp release parameter.
    Unless there is something I am missing, NS2 does not provide midi (re)mapping to obsidian other than the performance knobs.

  • edited December 2018

    Also for the sake of continuity
    I think it's exactly related to the implementation of midi messages - CC64 to be precise.
    I've not had any luck with the midi controller map as a workaround because as far as I can tell this will just enable me to use the learn feature to let me use the sustain pedal to control whatever is mapped to e.g knob 1. (Which it does - so it is picking up the sustain pedal)

    In the meantime, one thing I have done with obsidian piano/keys based patches is to map the sustain pedal to 'release' in the adsr. Not an elegant solution but it'll do for now. This won't work for AUs e.g Ravenscroft as AU parameters don't seem to be revealed at this point. So I can't map to the release there. (That I know of).

    Presently, I'd say this is a bug as it's a big function to be overlooked. There are lots of AU piano patches and internal keys based patches (Including IAPs). Sooner or later someone will probably fancy playing some piano sounds using their sustain pedal. Hopefully someone can chime in here and say "You're doing it wrong" and show me how it's done! Either way I'm sure it will all get ironed out soon.

    Plenty to play with in the meantime! :)

  • Good arguments, I agree, it’s a good idea to support the pedal especially now that there’s a robust multisample engine.

  • @dendy So would this be a feature request as opposed to a bug report? Either way it might be an idea to change the thread type to support.
    Hopefully you get the gist of my ramblings regarding this!
    I'm a big (but unskilled) keys guy so this is a big bummer for the likes of me.
    Cheers :)

  • edited December 2018

    yeah, feature request definitely... simply there was no good enough keyboyard player in beta team to mention this feature, for people who work just with device and some midi controller at best is this not much needed feature :-))

    holding fingers crossed for easy implementation of this thing ;-)

    moved to "support"

  • Indeed. I believe this was a feature request from me in the NS1 days. Sustain pedal is sorely needed.

  • @dendy Cheers, you’re a gentleman. Does using the sustain pedal make me a decent player then? :p
    I always thought it was to hide my inability to play through changes! :)
    Loads of tasty IAPs to make use of this feature - didn’t know this wasn’t on NS1. Hoping this is a possible addition...

  • @Brattcave said:
    @dendy Cheers, you’re a gentleman. Does using the sustain pedal make me a decent player then? :p
    I always thought it was to hide my inability to play through changes! :)
    Loads of tasty IAPs to make use of this feature - didn’t know this wasn’t on NS1. Hoping this is a possible addition...

    Uh, in my point of view if you can handle playing with multiple fingers and a foot at the same time, that’s a decent player.

  • edited December 2018

    This ! I barely play simple melody with single finger without misstyping key if tempo is more that 100 bpm :mrgreen: ... i'm knob twiddler, not musician :)))) My respect goes to every keyboyard player no matter of skill level...

  • Obsidian doesn't implicitly map the sustain pedal, but you can obtain similar results by mapping the controller to Obsidian's Knob 2, which is usually the amp release for most patches. You can do this via the mixer's setup page for the track:

    https://www.blipinteractive.co.uk/nanostudio2/user-manual/Mixer.html#track-setup

    If you want to use this as the default mapping for all Obsidian instruments in future:

    • Make the controller mapping via the mixer's setup page for the track (as above)
    • Scroll to the top of the controller mapping list and tap on 'USING CUSTOM MAP'
    • Choose 'Save as defaults for ...' to make this the default mapping for the current MIDI input controller

    I hadn't really expected there to be much demand for this as I'd considered NS2 more of a portable solution where 99% of people would use the touch screen or a smaller external MIDI controller. If there's high demand then it would be possible to add a dedicated automation controller which would be mapped to CC#64 by default.

  • @Blip Interactive said:
    If there's high demand then it would be possible to add a dedicated automation controller which would be mapped to CC#64 by default.

    I'm happy with Obsidian being as it was meant to be by its creator but the lack of sustain pedal and mod wheel in AU instruments that were supposed to have them is a bit of an issue... not sure how to add vibrato in the Minimoog Model D AU without access to the mod wheel parameter for example...

  • @Blip Interactive Thank you for that. I'm going to try this as soon as I get home.

    That said, being able to use the sustain pedal for the Auv3 plugins will be super helpful. In the NS1 days, when recording a piano part, workflow involved using the app with the piano recording into NS1 via Audiobus, so I could simply leverage the parameters in the other synth / piano app. With Auv3, it seems like it becomes necessary for NS2 to be able to recognize the sustain pedal (and for that matter the Mod Wheel) to be able to fully capture the performances using the Auv3 instruments.

    While NS2 is indeed a portable solution, for some folks like me, NS2 is basically the backbone of our entire studio, meaning that NS2 + external interface (keyboard, drum pad etc) make up not just a portable studio solution, but it is our entire studio solution.

  • Yep. What peanut_gallery said.

  • @Blip Interactive said:
    Obsidian doesn't implicitly map the sustain pedal, but you can obtain similar results by mapping the controller to Obsidian's Knob 2, which is usually the amp release for most patches. You can do this via the mixer's setup page for the track:

    https://www.blipinteractive.co.uk/nanostudio2/user-manual/Mixer.html#track-setup

    If you want to use this as the default mapping for all Obsidian instruments in future:

    • Make the controller mapping via the mixer's setup page for the track (as above)
    • Scroll to the top of the controller mapping list and tap on 'USING CUSTOM MAP'
    • Choose 'Save as defaults for ...' to make this the default mapping for the current MIDI input controller

    I hadn't really expected there to be much demand for this as I'd considered NS2 more of a portable solution where 99% of people would use the touch screen or a smaller external MIDI controller. If there's high demand then it would be possible to add a dedicated automation controller which would be mapped to CC#64 by default

    Please do add this to the features list at some point. I often use Ravenscroft AU with a Microkey Air with a Sustain Pedal and Sustain makes a world of difference for playing expression. If I were to make NS2 my main DAW this feature would be a critical one.

  • +1 for this. As a pianist, it’s just second nature (maybe first nature!) to use a sustain pedal while playing. It’s a much a part of the performance of what you are playing as it is the notes sequenced. The nuance of the passage you are playing are directly influenced by what you are “hearing”. Lots of people are poking in notes on the screen or whatever, but I play almost all my parts either on the onscreen keyboard or via controller and maybe do cleanup work only afterward, but the performance of my live play is at the heart of everything. Having the sustain pedal for piano’s, electric pianos, strings, etc makes it lots easier to get the performance captured all at once.

  • @Blip Interactive said:
    I hadn't really expected there to be much demand for this as I'd considered NS2 more of a portable solution where 99% of people would use the touch screen or a smaller external MIDI controller.

    Connecting a decent midi keyboard on iPad and using it along NS (or any “other daw app” to be politically correct) can create a powerful workstation.
    No, really. :)

    Of course there should be some more flexibility about midi (learn) mapping to the keyboard’s controllers but that’s another story.

  • edited December 2018

    @Blip Interactive said: I hadn't really expected there to be much demand for this as I'd considered NS2 more of a portable solution where 99% of people would use the touch screen or a smaller external MIDI controller. If there's high demand then it would be possible to add a dedicated automation controller which would be mapped to CC#64 by default.

    +1 I’m a piano player, and I’ll be using it on every track, pretty much.

  • I would like at least the mod wheel, seems like quite a few AUs would benefit.

  • I’m sure if he’s gonna be in the code to do one, it would be best to do the other at the same time :)

  • The mod wheel and sustain pedal requests seem to be pretty common so I'll add them to my list.

  • @Blip Interactive said:
    The mod wheel and sustain pedal requests seem to be pretty common so I'll add them to my list.

    THANK-YOU! =) This is great news. It would have been a shame not to support these types of expressive controls over NS2's rather superb instruments (As well as the AUs). Like everyone else here - I REALLY appreciate your efforts with all this. NS2 is an outstanding achievement!

  • Question for you all - if Blip's opening this code to support mod wheel and sustain pedal, what about aftertouch?

    Secondary question - maybe it would be best to work on having the output from AUv3 midi effects recordable, then these sort of transformations could be best applied using a midi effect? If there's only a few of us who would use these, then why take up screen real estate (or have deeper menu levels) when using an AU could do the job? And perhaps do it better, e.g. you're only adding this tool to a track you actually want the functionality....

    If it is to be added, perhaps an option for mapping channel aftertouch to a CC could be added in the MIDI CHANNEL ENABLE page of Track Settings in/out? It might need a scaling option to be usable, note. For example to control a LP filter, you'd want to be able to scale it to have the "no pressure" setting using a CC with some value.

    Or is channel aftertouch pretty much pointless for real players who need poly aftertouch? None of the above are going to work well for poly aftertouch... In which case perhaps audio tracks are the best answer for these cases?

    I think I'm going round in circles here, hope this isn't TLDR :) Sorry if it is...

    As a disclaimer, I've never used aftertouch - I have an Akai MPD218 which offers it but it's such a crappy piece of kit that I don't use it. I also have a Maschine and I think I will use that, but I will probably set up "push" to send a particular CC rather than aftertouch for that, so it will appear as a CC by the time it gets to Nanostudio 2. However I think aftertouch is coming in more regularly in cheap portable gear.

  • Setting knob 2 to the sustain pedal in Obsidian creates some odd audio effects. It basically retriggers the sound entirely rather than sustaining it from where it was.

  • +1 for aftertouch. I'm pairing NS2 with Linnstrument. Currently with Obsidian only. As a workaround it's possible to generate CC11 (or any other) on Linnstrument's pressure, assign it to Knob in Obsidian and modulate stuff from there. But direct support like for Pitch Bend would be much better.

    I also noticed that real-time recorded CCs are 'thinned' (that's how's usually called in HW sequencers). Would it be possible to adjust the level of CC data reduction? Expressive performance can't be captured properly now. It also affects Pitch Bends which, when being replayed, sound more like drunken guy detuning synth, not reflecting what was played.

    Thanks for considering this!

  • Could the problem with recorded CCs be that you have realtime automation quantize turned on?

  • edited December 2018

    @peanut_gallery said:
    Setting knob 2 to the sustain pedal in Obsidian creates some odd audio effects. It basically retriggers the sound entirely rather than sustaining it from where it was.

    It basically retriggers the sound entirely rather than sustaining it from where it was.

    Retrigger hapens if there is set voice limit for patch (which is by default i think 4, some patches have this limit lowered even to 1). You need increase it to 16 in oscillators voice menu.

    This trick very much depends of WHAT exactly is knob 2 modulating and how much.

    Here is more deep explanation.

    Point of this trick is that ENV Release in it's most right position means "infinity" - so basicaly after releasing key tone never fades out but stays on sustain level forever.... Till the end of universe. Or crash your device. Or when you'r batter dies... whatever. You got the point :)

    For example if your RELEASE is by default set to 0, and you set macro knob 2 -> AMP Release with mod amount 100 - it WILL work perfectly like @Blip Interactive described.

    Problem is, when release default value is for example 20, and macro knob is set to mod amount 50.
    This means most right position of macro knob will add 50 to AMP release - and because 50 + 20 = 70 - you're not in 'infinite' stage and it will NOT work like sustain.

    So - to use it this way - you always need re-check if macro knob in it's most right position adds to AMP Release enough to set it to "infinite" stage. Which is not the case in majority of patches.

    ANOTHER thing - FILTER envelope. If patch uses filter envelope, you need do SAME thing with filter envelope release like you did with amp envelope release.
    It means, macro knob, which controls release, must add to filter envelope release enought to cause it go to "infinity" too.

    It's a bit complicated. It's workaround, it works, but not out of box, it needs some intervetion, some tweaking. So i agree, definitely native support of sustain would be better solution.

    Here is example of patch which this trick. Try map sustain pedal to macro knob 2.
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/klwhsw4z4qs3thb/SustainPatch.zip?dl=0

    If you want for example a little bit release also without sustain pedal pressed, then add +10 to both AMP and FILTER releses, but decrese modulations in macro knob from 100 to 80. And so on ..

    Imporant: Everything i wrote above presumes that sustain pedal, when is turned ON, sends MIDI CC value "127". So causes Macro 2 go to most right position. If this is not the case, then all mod values needs to be adjusted differently ! But i think it is the case.

  • @number37 said:
    Could the problem with recorded CCs be that you have realtime automation quantize turned on?

    That was the first thing I disabled along with note quantization.

  • Yes please...implement a Sustain Pedal.

  • edited December 2018

    @Blip Interactive

    It would also be helpful to have aftertouch as a mappable source in the midi controller map. Some controllers don’t come with a straightforward way to use cc messages instead of aftertouch messages - eg the seaboard block...

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