MPK261 - sustain pedal issue

Hello,

I'm hoping someone can help out with what seems to be a simple issue. I've spent two hours trying to fix it and I'm nearing the end of my rope. Sorry about the long post but wanted to be clear about what I have tried. I've read the other threads on this issue and tried fixes suggested therein as detailed below. This pedal (Yamaha FC-5) worked just last week on my MPK 61 (old model) but doesn't work on the 2 that I just purchased. I tried using a different footswitch, and a different DAW (Studio One to Garageband). Essentially the problem is that my sustain pedal, when plugged in and not pressed, sustains forever. It gradually mutes when pressed down. Immediately I think polarity issue, but here are the fixes I have tried.

Preset is Studio 1.

1. Powered down and unplugged keyboard, then plugged in pedal to board, then replugged into USB and powered back on.

2. Same as #1 but with footswitch depressed when I powered back on.

3. Expression pedal jack with Midi cc set to 64, min and max at 000 and 127, respectively.

4. Footswitch 1 and 2 jacks with Type = Sustain, Midichannel = common, Midi to DIN is off.. Also tried footswitch channels with Type = MIDI cc, Midi CC= 64, channel common, MIDI to DIN off, Mode Momentary.

There is no polarity switch on the pedals themselves.

No matter what I do I get the eternal sustain when pedal is plugged in, then damps when depressed. I would greatly appreciate your help!

Thanks,
Kevin
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  • Edit: I tried with both the FC-3 and FC-5 pedals, not just the FC-5.

    I wonder if anyone has used those pedals with the MPK261 and had success, or whether Akai specifically tested the MPK2 series with these Yamaha pedals? The pedals worked with my MPK61 and I'm wondering whether something was changed that renders these pedals incompatible.

    Thanks for your time.
    • My best pedals are set up the same way. Closed when up, and open when pressed. I was unable to get the MPK261 to invert the MIDI signals it sends with such a pedal. I just have my DAW filter and invert the message.

      I've posted a CuBase solution in this thread, but I'm pretty sure most DAWs or Sequencers on the market will allow you to do something similar. Have a Google at "Inverting controller messages in Sonic 1" (or whatever DAW you'll be using).
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  • Solved, sort of. I bought the M-Audio pedal and that works. It seems that this problem is particular to the MPK2 series and Yamaha expression pedals. Not sure why the new generation lost functionality with Yamaha pedals.
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  • Thanks Kevin!

    There was another thread I had responded to essentially covering the same idea; some pedals will simply only work with one particular polarity of sustain input.

    It's not as commonplace now. I've found that it's more common with pedals that were designed by a manufacturer that also makes standalone keyboard/digital pianos.

    In either case, a polarity switch will always be the resolution. Let me know if you have any other questions.
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  • 1
    Hi,

    Just bought a MPK249 and it's the first keyboard on which I am having this problem with a generic sustain pedal (on my last keyboard controller - which I sold to buy the MPK249 - there was a Sustain Pedal Polarity in its options menu - why is this not possible with the MPK249, please?)

    Cheers,
    GilJ.
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    • This works on the MPK49, but not on the MPK249. Why?
    • Why? Because the engineers are not pianists. They have no concept of why a pianist needs such a thing called sustain pedals. Maybe they think pianists should learn not to depend on the pedal? I just don't know.
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  • Thanks for your answer Dan, but unfortunately it didn't resolve my problem :-(

    Guess I will have to buy another sustain pedal with a polarity switch (Think that I'll wait a little and see if the displaying of values for knobs and faders on the MPK's screen is possible before that - maybe that I finally did a wrong choice with the MPK that doesn't really suit my needs - despite of it being well built, having nice pads and keybed with AT, etc.)
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    • I'm not sure if it would be firmware or software update-able.

      What I'll do is submit a feature request on your behalf to the Akai Pro team!
    • Same trouble here, I agree this needs to be fixed. This is too nice of a controller to be bitten by such an oversight.

      Of course it can be fixed in the firmware. Just add the ability to 'invert' the MIDI message that will be sent. In Plus mode it sends 127 when the switch is closed and 0 when open. In minus mode it sends 0 when closed and 127 when open.

      For 'continuious expression' pedals that have the wrong polarity, all one has to do is swap the Max and Min values in the MPK2 and it should then work as expected. I.E. If your volume/expression pedal is working backwards, tap edit on the MPK2, move the pedal, and set the Max to 0 and Min to 127. Now it should start working the right way.

      Given that it works with the continuous controllers, I see no reason why the firmware can't do the same for an on/off switch.

      Meanwhile I've opted to just invert the incoming MIDI controller messages in my DAW at an insert stage (before recording or routing out to instruments). Most DAWs and MIDI Sequencers I know of will allow this sort of MIDI filtering/transforming in some way. Later in this tread I show a way to do it in CuBase.
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  • I'm having the same issue. I've got several nice momentary on/off pedals here to try, and so far they all have the 'on until pressed' type of switch. So they make contact when up, and lose contact when pressed.

    I did try cold booting the controller with the pedal plugged in to see if it would pick up my pedal type and fix itself. Nothing changed. The MPK261 sends 127 when the pedal is up (not being pushed) and 0 when it's pressed.

    AKAI, Please add to the firmware the ability to toggle/invert this setting 'on the go'. These pedals are very common, and some of the nicer ones happen to be set up in this manner. There are also some creative reasons to want to be able to reverse how a pedal works while playing in real time.......so even if you allow the thing to 'self configure' at boot, it'll still be a VERY good idea to make it so the user can decide and tweak it on demand.

    It bites to have to hunt a way to reverse this with third party software/hardware, buy another pedal, or pull out a different controller just to run some pedals :(

    My Fix for now, using CuBase 7.5 is to set up a track MIDI Transform insert to filter the incorrect MIDI controller message and invert it (Explained on page 595 of the CuBase 7.5 User Manual). In this case I'll use a sustain pedal as an example.

    1. I create a track insert to filter and invert the controller message assigned to the pedal. To do this I click the "Input Transformer" button () of a MIDI track in the Inspector to open the pop-up menu, then choose either global or local.

    Note, if you choose global any and all CC 64 messages coming into CuBase will be inverted. If you choose local, it will only apply for input entered when recording to that track. In my case, I'm only using one MIDI controller that will send sustain, and I will only use this particular pedal to send it, so I want to apply it globally.



    This causes the MIDI Input Transformer dialogue to pop up on screen.

    2. I set up a filter for CC 64 (MIDI Controller 64, the standard slot for sustain).

    3. I set up a transformation to 'mirror' value 2, and set the value to 64.

    4. I save a preset in the Transformer named "Invert Sustain" for future use.



    5. In the Input Transform window above: Don't forget to click the little power button to enable which ever transformer Module(s) you want active.



    Now the MIDI messages for CC 64 (Sustain) are inverted before being recorded or sent to an instrument. It's also possible to do this same procedure to invert other controller messages, such as an expression pedal or slider. The trick is to mirror 64 (or 63 in some sequencers) in value 2 of said controller.

    Note: If you use more than one MIDI controller that sends sustain, but only one of them needs this inversion filter, then you'll probably want to apply your insert as 'local' rather than 'global'. This way you can easily punch the transformation on and off on a track by track basis when needed.
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  • Here are some MIDI VST tools that might be useful.

    I wasn't successful in figuring out how to get CuBase 7.5 to load and use CCInverter (it shows up as a plugin, but I can't find a way to activate and use it within CuBase). Oh well, it still might work for others and their DAW of choice.

    http://jstuff.wordpress.com/js-midi-t...
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  • Is there a way to invert the incoming sustain MIDI data in Ableton? :(

    Dan R,

    Please ask the developers update firmware so we can have this option!!!
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  • Not sure about Ableton since I don't personally use that one, but I did a quick search and came up with this:
    https://www.ableton.com/en/articles/i...

    Which suggests (and provides links for) some MIDI translator packages like "Bomes" or "MIDIPipe".
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  • Hi Brian,

    I did see that article. I've just decided to wait for AKAI team to update the firmware. Until then, I will use my 88 keyboard for work that requires sustain pedal. (I hope they update the firmware)

    Thanks for the help. :)
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  • I hope they sort it out in firmware too! I've still got some pretty cool stand alone gear from the 80s and 90s that would be fun to drive live (no PC involved) with the MPK261....and my most favorite pedals are stomp-off instead of stomp-on switches.

    You might find that one of these VST based tools work with Ableton: The one to check out would be CCInverter.
    http://jstuff.wordpress.com/js-midi-t...
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  • In November 2015 I bought a M-audio CODE61, but I had problems using it because it stopped sending midi data through the USB port at random times. I spent weeks researching the cause of the problem, and concluded that there was a SW bug in CODE61. The m-audio technical team seemed to ignore the problem.

    So I returned the CODE61, and bought a MPK261. And I bought a sustain pedal (Roland DP-10). And I have the same problem as the guys above had one year ago. The sustain is ON when the pedal is up and the sustain is OFF when the pedal is down.
    I am an electronic designer myself, and I know that this problem can easily be adjusted in firmware.
    AKAI: Why have you not corrected this already?
    I use Cubase LE AI Elements 8. Is there a SIMPLE way I can correct the problem in Cubase?
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    • Thanks, Brian! I will investigate these options :)
    • I couldn't make the sustain pedal work in bitwig. The script had a bug, and someone in the bitwig community fix it!. Then the polarity issue appeared and I fixed it wonderfully with the cc inverter vst! Thanks so much!
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  • So after all this time, is there still an issue with sustain pedals and MPK261?
    I am ready to purchase this controller and want to know if I need to buy a new sustain pedal.
    • I just checked my AKAI Pro account for any firmware updates and I do NOT see any.

      Do you also run a continuous controller pedal? If not, I think you could possibly get a 'stomp off' type of pedal working if you plug it in there (instead of switch pedal ports 1 or 3), as that port has the ability to invert things 'wired backwards'. One would simply change the min value to 127 and the max to 0.

      If you've got the type of pedal that 'stomps off', and you're also running a continuous controller pedal, then you might want to go ahead and pick a pedal or two that is wired to 'stomp on'. If you can find a dual switched 'universal' pedal with a toggle that lets you change it back and forth, that's even better.

      The MPK2 has 2 1/4" ports to plug in two on/off pedals, and one additional port for a CC type pedal/breath controller/or whatever, for a total of 3. "Switch ports' 1 and 2 seem to prefer 'stomp on' type switches, with no internal way to 'invert' that.

      I've got some of the nice old Yamaha stomp off type (clef style arrangement like on a real piano), and also have a CC pedal, old CC breath controller, etc...so I just use software to correct them here (In the DAW track transformers, or with something like Bidule or Bome).
    • Thanks for this info. I have an old sustain pedal that works with my old Axiom 64 and my newer Nektar LX49 so I am hoping it will work with MPK261.
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