Page 1 of 1

expression / volume pedal woes!

Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 4:31 pm
by electricfuzz
Driving me nuts!! What is it about expression pedals that makes them unreliable and confusing? Seems like a fairly simple thing to do, send value range from 0 - 127 and nothing else! The only ones that ever work for me are the 2 digital ones on my FCB1010 (midi controller foot pedal) and these have to be callibrated from time to time, any analogue ones have always been an issue. I found this is somewhat of a common issue according to another thread here but I did not find any way of resolving (or at least explaining) it yet. One person mentioned he never heard of an expression pedal that did not send values of 0 -127, ironically, I have not found one that does!

Just bought a brand new yamaha FC-7 expression pedal, hooked it up to my key board, started forte and tested it out. Would not bring volume to zero. I also own another volume pedal (cheapo m-audio) that does bring volume to zero. Closed Forte and downloaded midiox so I could read the midi signals coming from my keyboard(s). Below are my results

Yamaha pedal hooked up to axiom61 (which will display the values on the LCD screen): On axiom screen, top value = 127, lowest value = 65. I double checked the value range on the axiom's expression pedal input and it is set to 0 - 127. At the same time, midi ox reports a top value of 7f (different enumerating scale I guess) which I think is near to 127. Low value of 41 (comprable to 65? I don't know. Anyone know how to put midiox into the 0 -127 scale?).

M-audio pedal hooked up exactly the same as above (merely switched the pedals out and changed nothing else): On axiom screen, top value = 124 (close enough), lowest value = 0 (perfect). Still the range on should be 0 - 127. At the same time, midi ox reports a top value of 79 (again, I assume this is at or near 127) and a low value of 0.

I assumed that the yamaha pedal was malfunctioning so took it back to the store. We hooked it up to a random keyboard there and the pedal had no problem bringing the keyboard volume to zero (or close enough that it was completely inaudible, so probably zero) had no way of accurately checking top value but it seemed to be up there.

One more interesting anomaly. When I hook it to my M-audio prokeys 88sx (The one I plan on having it hooked up to) midi ox reports a top value of 7f and a low value of 41, just like the other keyboard but when i return the pedal to the bottom it always appends another cc send. It adds a cc01 (modulation) with a value of 33. I don't understand this behavior at all but I do have issues with the modulation wheel on this keyboard, and in Forte, I have it disabled in any patch that is effected by it.

Last piece of info (maybe the key to it all?). On the axiom, the expression input is assigned to cc 76 and on the keystation the expression input is set to cc80. I changed these from their default of cc11 because most my patches are effected by cc11 and I did not want to have to go disable it on every patch (is there a quick way to do this with rack editor? I'v never used that yet).

I know this really has very little to do with the Forte program since this testing was done outside of Forte, but when I go to other forums nobody has any idea what I am talking about, this is my preferred think tank.

I look forward to any suggestions and/or shared knowledge. Thanks in advance.


Re: expression / volume pedal woes!

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:43 am
by fab
seems to me that rather the expression pedal inputs on the m-audios keyboards are the problem? maybe not compatible with yamaha pedals? i have two FC7, both work absolutely great for me with three different controllers (kawai mp9500, roland a50, doepfer lmk 2+) and also more precisely than my FCB1010.

Re: expression / volume pedal woes!

Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:17 pm
by Volker Grosch

Sounds pretty familiar to me: I use a FC7 on my Yamaha ES7 without a problem. When I tried to use it on an CME UF7 I got similar issues (no zero volume and the like) and I found the reason: obviously there are 2 different sorts of wiring of volume pedals out there: one is working with Yamaha the other works with Roland synths. So if you use an FC7 on a keyboard with "Roland-wiring" the adjustable resistance oft the pedal produces something like a weak shortcut which leads to a decrease of voltage (but is not able to go down to zero volts). The result: you get volume or expression values of far more than 0.

I'd strongly recommend to not connect the pedal to your keyboard any more as this could lead to a danage in worst case. The solution is a simple adapter you have to place between pedal and keyboard. This adapter only has to cross 2 of the 3 wires (as far as I remember tip and ring of the connector have to be exchanged).

Since using this adapter my FC7 works flawlessly with the UF7.

Regards, Volker

P.S.: just had a look on my adapter and it is as I described: tip & ring have to be changed. This can of course be done by simply cutting the former TRS connector and replacing it by a new one. You only have to make sure that the cables are crosswired as I described. This is a proper solution if you are sure you'll never use your pedal on a Yamahatype keyboard lateron.

Otherwise you can simply use a TRS headphone prolonguation with plugs that can be opened. Here the procedure is the same.

Hope this can solve your problem,

regards, Volker

Re: expression / volume pedal woes!

Posted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:27 am
by electricfuzz
Thanks Volker, this is information I did not know! It is also information that the "professionals" at Guitar Center didn't know (referring to my branch only). I should have expected that from the place that, when trying to buy a high G harmonica, wanted to argue that one octave up from G was F#! I will try your fix and expect to report no further issue with it! Thanks again brainspawn geniuses!

Re: expression / volume pedal woes!

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:22 pm
by electricfuzz
Went to the music store to buy the parts to make a pretty little adapter. The cost of $30 in parts made me change my mind about the "pretty" part, went home empty handed and made a Frankenstein adapter from old parts and electrical tape (could not find my soldering iron). Works like a charm, thanks again!!

Re: expression / volume pedal woes!

Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:15 pm
by Volker Grosch

great to hear you got it sorted,

chears, Volker

Re: expression / volume pedal woes!

Posted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 6:11 pm
by mhertzbe
FWIW, Roland FV-500L is a very nice expression pedal. It has an adjustment knob to determine the minimum value, which I keep at 0. Works perfectly plugged into the expression port of an M-Audio Oxygen 88, reliably outputting 0-127 on CC11.