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I have to admit that after ignoring halfpedaling on my DP and with the free sample libraries that I've created, I really need to attempt to implement it. I finally sat down at my acoustic and realized that I totally half pedal all of the time.

Before I try to implement it, I need to verify I understand it correctly by bouncing it off the community. I know there are many pedaling techniques, and I think I probably should narrow this down to the following instances:

1. trigger the sample (play the note with no damper pedal), add half pedal to get more resonance, but not as much resonance as a full pedal down.
2. half pedal first, trigger the sample, get resonance somewhere between no pedal and full pedal

For people with a half pedal VST setup and pedals that support it, is that what is going on? Bear in mind, I'm asking about what the VST's are doing, not what a real piano would do....

Incidentally, I found this youtube and plan on making a pedal controller so I can have a try.



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Half-pedaling is not so much about resonances, I'd even go as far as to say the resonances don't matter at all. It's about using it for a very fine control of legato between the notes. With a fully pressed pedal, the note sustain long. With half-pedaling the sustain becomes shorter and you can precisely control that up to a point where the notes have almost no sustain and get muted quickly. And this needs to be varied, for instance you start with a fully pressed pedal, then briefly you can raise the pedal to shorten the sustain but then press it again, etc. using your aural feedback. I suggest that you take care of how you program/model the sustain and release of your samples through envelopes, etc. and leave the resonance for a later point.


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No digital piano nor VST is able to correctly represent the actual half-pedaling piano technique.

Most VSTs don't care about pedaling. They are single note recordings of pianos with room microphones, which give you the impression of a recording on that piano in that location when fed with a MIDI file. All you need you need for that is sustain your samples on the appropriate MIDI CC (64). "Half-pedaling" usually shortens the sustain if the CC value isn't at full (127).


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I recommend to pay attention to repedaling, which is still more important than halph pedaling. Generally, this is a quick pair of pedal off & pedal on events, after which the sustained note(s) remain sustained, but are quieter. In acoustic pianos this produces deep artistic effects, especially pedal pulsations.

Last edited by Andrew_G; 09/28/21 01:16 PM.
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So what you're saying is that the half pedaling affects the envelope more than the timbre? That does sound complicated.

And if that is true, is it really implemented in VST's (I mean VST's that support half pedaling) that way?

Last edited by Dore; 09/28/21 01:21 PM.

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Originally Posted by JoeT
No digital piano nor VST is able to correctly represent the actual half-pedaling piano technique.

Most VSTs don't care about pedaling. They are single note recordings of pianos with room microphones, which give you the impression of a recording on that piano in that location when fed with a MIDI file. All you need you need for that is sustain your samples on the appropriate MIDI CC (64). "Half-pedaling" usually shortens the sustain if the CC value isn't at full (127).

That's an oversimplification.

Pianoteq takes some care to modify the tone of a single note, repeated, as the pedal goes from "dampers down" to "dampers up". It's not just the sustain time that changes:

. . . more "bloom" is added, from the resonating harp.


. Charles
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Originally Posted by Dore
So what you're saying is that the half pedaling affects the envelope more than the timbre? That does sound complicated.

And if that is true, is it really implemented in VST's (I mean VST's that support half pedaling) that way?
Garritan CFX supports all that perfectly.


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Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
Pianoteq takes some care to modify the tone of a single note, repeated, as the pedal goes from "dampers down" to "dampers up". It's not just the sustain time that changes:

. . . more "bloom" is added, from the resonating harp.

Of course, it's a polyphonic synth. It does something with damper/expression pedal messages.


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Originally Posted by JoeT
No digital piano nor VST is able to correctly represent the actual half-pedaling piano technique.

What aspects based on your experiences are omitted?

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Hello,

Originally Posted by CyberGene
Originally Posted by Dore
So what you're saying is that the half pedaling affects the envelope more than the timbre? That does sound complicated.

And if that is true, is it really implemented in VST's (I mean VST's that support half pedaling) that way?
Garritan CFX supports all that perfectly.

Aha! That means that you can peek at their implementation to get much-needed inspiration for your own, @Dore! Or at least so I guess?!

In any case, I think these are brave endeavors of yours, best of luck!

Cheers and have lots of fun,

HZ

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Originally Posted by clothearednincompo
What aspects based on your experiences are omitted?

This is a good question/observation because we have a knack for generalized omission(s) when the truth is we, the collective, can indeed omit the cream but still add two sugars (metaphor), and universal omissions imply that it’s either all or nothing, black or white, good or evil, etc….

I look forward to a world where omissions are local and not global.

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Originally Posted by Dore
So what you're saying is that the half pedaling affects the envelope more than the timbre? That does sound complicated.

Envelope changes are the most basic implementation of half-pedaling. The envelope change is different for bass notes than for treble notes while the always-undampened notes aren't affected at all. Heavy bass strings are not affected as much by short bursts of half pedal while lightweight strings can be dampened for more clarity, especially on upright pianos.

All that mostly isn't really needed on a digital instrument though (perfect in tune, with shorter sustain and artificial resonance effects), so you can keep the pedal down all the way with a slight lift on harmonic changes.


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Originally Posted by clothearednincompo
Originally Posted by JoeT
No digital piano nor VST is able to correctly represent the actual half-pedaling piano technique.

What aspects based on your experiences are omitted?

Originally Posted by Andrew_G
In acoustic pianos this produces deep artistic effects, especially pedal pulsations.

Originally Posted by HZPiano
Aha! That means that you can peek at their implementation to get much-needed inspiration for your own, @Dore!

Is it open source?


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Working on a new free library right now. I think it will blow your mind (for a free one especially). Considering to add the half pedaling, but need to understand it better.

I don't think I can look at other VST implementations, but I can observe behavior, which is what I'm asking on this thread. Before I get my hardware in and get to soldering and mod'ing arduinos, I figure I can use my current VST's to experiment with CC64 curves.

Any suggestions on CC64 curves I should try? So far I'm not getting anything on Grandeur. Or someone send me a MIDI file so I can observe the behavior?


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Most VSTs don't support any MIDI CC64 beside on/off.


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There is a half pedal option in Grandeur, so it should respond to multiple CC64 messages.

I just tried Garritan, and just drew CC64 curves in the DAW and this is what I detected:

* CC64 above 65 didn't make a difference (at least by my ears - maybe I should do a spectral/gain analysis) compared to full pedal down
* CC64 in the range just below 65: the notes trailed off sooner than full pedal down but longer than full pedal up. This must be the half pedal range where the envelope changes.
* CC64 in the range above and closer to 0: sounds like full pedal up to me.

I did not notice any discernable timbre changes - but again, maybe I should do a spectral analysis. I would expect the timbre change because certainly my acoustic changes in timbre with the dampers partially/nearly engaged compared to fully engaged.


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Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
Pianoteq takes some care to modify the tone of a single note, repeated, as the pedal goes from "dampers down" to "dampers up". It's not just the sustain time that changes:

. . . more "bloom" is added, from the resonating harp.

Of course, it's a polyphonic synth. It does something with damper/expression pedal messages.

I have a few polyphonic synths, and I understand pretty well what they do.

Pianoteq goes well beyond their capabilities, _for emulating an acoustic piano_. It's special-purpose, not general-purpose.

As an example, I don't think you'll find a polyphonic synth (in the normal sense of that word) that emulates "string resonance":

. . . Hold down C3, let the sound die out;

. . . Strike G4 staccato, and listen to the long-continued sustain
. . . caused by the open C3 string.

Other VST's emulate the same behavior. They are _not_ simple "sample-playback" engines -- not any more.


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My Korg simulates halfpedaling by allowing releases and resonances to sustain a little if the pedal is quickly put back down after note striking. So it’s partially implemented using a time from key release to pedal down method.

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Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
Pianoteq takes some care to modify the tone of a single note, repeated, as the pedal goes from "dampers down" to "dampers up". It's not just the sustain time that changes:

. . . more "bloom" is added, from the resonating harp.

Of course, it's a polyphonic synth. It does something with damper/expression pedal messages.

I have a few polyphonic synths, and I understand pretty well what they do.

Pianoteq goes well beyond their capabilities, _for emulating an acoustic piano_. It's special-purpose, not general-purpose.

The Modartt patent about Pianoteq is about an additive synthesis where some partial parameters are computed and afterward, samples are computed as a sum of sinus functions.

So it's a digital synthesizer. Before sampling became mainstream, synths have been used all the time to emulate "natural" sounds with more or less accuracy.


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Originally Posted by JoeT
. . .
The Modartt patent about Pianoteq is about an additive synthesis where some partial parameters are computed and afterward, samples are computed as a sum of sinus functions.

So it's a digital synthesizer. Before sampling became mainstream, synths have been used all the time to emulate "natural" sounds with more or less accuracy.

You are correct. Of course, under that broad definition, _any_ VST -- or any digital emulation of any instrument, hardware- or software-based -- is a "digital synthesizer". And for piano, they're all polyphonic.

When I hear "polyphonic synth", I naturally think of a microKorg or Roland Gaia or DS88 or Yamaha Motif -- not a Kawai NV10. But that's my mistake.


. Charles
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