Sustain Pedal Problem - Is it just me?

I am now on my 3rd sustain pedal, and after only a few months it started to “hang”, meaning that I press it down with my feet but sometimes it does not release the MIDI sustain when I pull my foot off. Is it just me that have bad luck with these sustain pedals? :frowning:


That’s weird… A sustain pedal (unless it’s an analog one, like the Roland RPU-3 or something) is just a switch, and if anything, one would expect it to just stop responding, or (more likely) generate switch bounce, triggering a bunch of extra on/off events.

What are you using for the analog-to-MIDI conversion? Are you sure it’s not the CC messages that are dropped occasionally?

I’m using an M-Audio SP2:

It worked like a charm for a few months, but now today (and yes I restarted both my computer, my MIDI keyboard, and USB-hubs) it started to miss pedal up (meaning it gets stuck in sustain mode). Sometimes for a short moment, sometimes it hangs completely.

It’s connected to “pedal” back on my Studiologic MIDI keyboard. I tried on my NI MIDI as well, same issues. So it is either the sustain pedal, or some sort of USB-glitch.

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For example, here I released the sustain pedal at bar 3, but it still stuck on sustain.

Well, that’s… interesting. o.O The delay thing sounds weird. It’s possible for some kinds of switches to become “sticky,” but it’s rather unusual. I’d probably look at the MIDI/USB side first, and considering that it’s happening with both MIDI controllers suggests it’s something on the USB or driver side.

Do you have some other device that takes switch pedals, to check the pedal? Probably the easiest part to test in isolation.

For the MIDI/USB/driver side, do you have some hardware synth that you can hook up directly to one of the controllers?

Another example I just recorded, releasing the sustain pedal when I do the short staccato notes. As you can see it worked fine until bar 10, then it went stuck in sustain pedal down for 2 bars.

This is driving me crazy, as tech issues likes this forces me to do lots of retakes. I cursed a lot for my last 2 sustain pedals, and wanted to smash them with a hammer for this issue. And this is my 3rd one, and it worked great for 2-3 months, and now today I get this same kind of “hanging sustain” issues. :frowning:

UPDATE: It seems as if I don’t push the pedal down completely, like half-pedal (still only on/off on this pedal) it never hangs. It only hangs when I push it down completely, almost like the switch inside it “sticks”.

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Man, it is becoming worse by the minute now, I was wrong about the half pedaling. Now it even started to not recognize pedal down. It’s like something in the connection inside is “glitching”. Same damn issue I’ve had for my previous 2 sustain pedals! :sleepy:

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Meanwhile, my “ancient” (90’s) Fatar VFP2 is still rock solid… (Haven’t gotten around to finish the analog pedals setup yet.)

I feel the old man “They don’t build’em like that anymore!” coming. :-/

I found some threads on forums online now, and it seems more people have issues with these “cheap” sustain pedals. Bad soldering and stuff inside. Perhaps I should just buy a really expensive “brand” pedal like Roland or something.

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Probably - but I don’t have much faith left in brands in general… You can’t trust anything these days, as many of the former “high end” brands have turned to trying to make quick money off of their former reputation. It’s all about individual products, and a bit of dumb luck, it seems. Problematic for niche products where you can’t find any significant number of reviews, or where most reviews are obviously from people who’ve barely touched the products.

Ok so I opened it up, removed the spring and am manually switching on and off by pressing the pedal up and down with my hands. It sure is something wrong here, it’s glitching when in the correct mode, but when I switch the polarity, it does not glitch when I move the pedal up and down.

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What kind of switch? I’m assuming it has multiple functions, so the reverse polarity mode uses different contact points…?

polarity, so sustain is on when I NOT press the pedal. Then it does not glitch. This is just a switch on the circuit board.

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I can sense it now. It the “correct polarity”, I really have to force my hand to pull the pedal to open position to make it “unstuck” the pedal down. Meaning the spring may not actually open it up from “pedal down state” every time. So it seems to be mainly a mechanical issue.

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Or it may be the actual “sustain switch” on the cirquit board that gets stuck. But it’s on the wrong side so I can’t see it without also removing the entire circuit board. But yeah, looking inside it sure looks like “china quality” crap. I thought M-Audio had higher quality than this! :stuck_out_tongue:

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Ehm. I “solved it”, kind of. As I mentioned, in switch 1 (on the polarity switch), it does not glitch. Problem is that it means the sustain pedal is down when the physical pedal is up. Well…that was on my master keyboard. When I connected it now to my other MIDI keyboard, it seems that the pedal input is reversed in that keyboard. Meaning that noe in position 1, it acually works as the other keyboard in position 2. Strange! But this way I can still use this sustain pedal, since it does not glitch on that polarity mode! :stuck_out_tongue:

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Ah! Yes. Some devices will auto-sense whether pedals are normally open or normally closed. (I assume they just check the state of the pedal on power-on, and assume that to be the “up” state.) In some cases, you can select it in the settings.

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Granted, it may only be some time before switch 1 mode will also start to glitch. We will see.

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Well at least it works for now. When it breaks, next time I will buy a Roland or some other famous “piano brand”, and hope they still have some honor in their quality approach! :stuck_out_tongue:

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