Saturday, May 23, 2015

UPDATED: A new MIDI sostenuto pedal solution with Pianoteq

In my video on rolled chords with the independent sostenuto pedal, the piano sound is generated by Pianoteq 5, indispensable software for anyone who wants to get a realistic acoustic sound from a MIDI keyboard. At the time I published the video, Pianoteq didn't support the independent sostenuto pedal. This has been fixed as of last month—there's now an option to have the sostenuto pedal ignore dampers raised by the damper pedal!

My original method of hacking a sostenuto pedal can now be greatly simplified. I still use a Pure Data patch to "convert" my USB pedal into a sostenuto pedal. However, the patch only needs to send controller messages to the Pianoteq virtual instrument; the sostenuto effect is correctly managed within Pianoteq. My new patch is here:

The setup instructions are still the same as before. However, Pianoteq will be receiving MIDI data from two separate sources: the MIDI keyboard, and Pure Data. To send MIDI data from Pure Data to Pianoteq, I do the following (this is Mac specific):

  1. Open the Application "Audio MIDI Setup".
  2. Under the Window menu, select "MIDI Studio".
  3. Doubleclick IAC Driver to open the "IAC Driver Properties" window.
  4. Make sure the "Device is online" box is checked.
  5. In the Pure Data application, select "MIDI Settings" under the Media menu.
  6. Set the Output Device to IAC Driver.
  7. Pianoteq will now need to accept MIDI data from both the IAC Driver and the external MIDI from the keyboard.
  8. In Pianoteq, select "Audio/MIDI Setup" in the File menu.
  9. Make sure all the relevant inputs are checked under "Active MIDI inputs", or just check "Listen to all MIDI inputs".
  10. Don't forget to select the independent sostenuto option! Right-click (or control-click) the sostenuto pedal and check the "Ignore the damper pedal" box.
Happy pedaling!

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