Simple Sostenuto

I was excited when sostenuto was added as a feature.
I have since been unable to make a simple version. Perhaps someone can help.
It would be;
Ped down [cc66] makes:
1.Note[s] currently sounding will be held at out A, AND, any new notes will sound outA.
2. At ped Up, all notes are cancelled.

This would be the simplest form. Can it be done?

Yes, do this:


For Sustain pipe, set Mode to Sostenuto, map the Pedal On parameter to CC66.

Thank you. Unfortunately, have you noticed that if you happen to strike a note that you were holding when pressing down the sostenuto, it will stick even at sostenuto up.
This basically makes it musically unuseful.

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Ok, I see what you mean, I’ve PM’ed you a new firmware build to try that will produce a Note Off message before the sustained note is retriggered, so it should work with synths that use reference counted notes. Check your inbox and let me know if this works better.

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Thank you for the update.

No, indeed, all notes are off at pedal up. But, when you re-play a note that was held at Pedal down, it’s sustains until pedal up. It should not.

Notes played that were not sounding at pedal down, Do not sustain as it should be.
So you are making progress, but not quite there…

As I haven’t played with a instrument that had Sostenuto pedal before, I did some research, and it looks like the standard behavior of Sostenuto pedal is the following:

  • When the Sostenuto pedal is pressed down, the already held notes are sustained.
  • The additional notes played after the pedal is down are not getting sustained.
  • The original sustained notes, if played again, are retriggered and still sustained.
  • The original sustained notes get muted when the pedal goes up, unless the keys are still held.

I’ve tried all of these variations with Pianoteq’s Sustain pedal, and these rules are confirmed by it, as it specializes in physical simulation of Piano’s, it should be a reputable source.

It might be some sort of variation on Sostenuto pedal, I’ve implemented a mode called ‘Semi Sostenuto’ for you to try out that mutes the notes after replaying the held ones, I’ll send you a firmware build to try.

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HI-thank you for the response!
I have had several Steinway grands at my studio. I can assure you, that notes being held at pedal down down do not re-sound when replayed before pedal up. This is because the damper of the piano is on the string. It cannot sound until the pedal is released. I attached the wiki definition for you below (the bold is mine.). I hope you will implement this!

Also Understood that this is a midi implementation of a physical mechanism. So in addition, we need to block any pitch bend messages to the Sostenuto held notes when playing over them. [We might play a horn over a piano, for example. You can’t have the piano chord pitch drifting because the horn is expressively bending pitch.] How would that be implemented if, for example, the held notes are on channel 1, and the notes played over the held notes are on channel 2?
Thank you!
ps- no knock on Pianoteq, but they are, after all, a simulation. The Steinway factory is here in New York.

wiki…### Sostenuto pedal

The last pedal added to the modern grand was the middle pedal, the sostenuto, which was inspired by the French. Using this pedal, a pianist can sustain selected notes, while other notes remain unaffected. The sostenuto was first shown at the French Industrial Exposition of 1844 in Paris, by Boisselot & Fils, a Marseille company. French piano builders Alexandre François Debain and Claude Montal built sostenuto mechanisms in 1860 and 1862, respectively. These innovative efforts did not immediately catch on with other piano builders. In 1874, Albert Steinway perfected and patented the sostenuto pedal.[9] He began to advertise it publicly in 1876, and soon the Steinway company was including it on all of their grands and their high-end uprights.[10] Other American piano builders quickly adopted the sostenuto pedal into their piano design. The adoption by European manufacturers went far more slowly and was essentially completed only in recent times.[11]

The term “sostenuto” is perhaps not the best descriptive term for what this pedal actually does. Sostenuto in Italian means sustained.[1] This definition alone would make it sound as if the sostenuto pedal accomplishes the same thing as the damper, or “sustaining” pedal. The sostenuto pedal was originally called the “tone-sustaining” pedal.[10] That name would be more accurately descriptive of what the pedal accomplishes, i.e., sustainment of a single tone or group of tones. The pedal holds up only dampers that were already raised at the moment that it was depressed. So if a player: (i) holds down a note or chord, and (ii) while so doing depresses this pedal, and then (iii) lifts the fingers from that note or chord while keeping the pedal depressed, then that note or chord is not damped until the foot is lifted—despite subsequently played notes being damped normally on their release. Uses for the sostenuto pedal include playing transcriptions of organ music (where the selective sustaining of notes can substitute for the organ’s held notes in its pedals), or in much contemporary music, especially spectral music.[citation needed*] Usually, the sostenuto pedal is played with the right foot.

Do you mean the notes held at the moment Sostenuto pedal was engaged can no longer be retriggered, until the pedal is up again?

The text descriptions around the internet that I found, including wiki, of Sostenuto, are missing the essential bit of what happens when the same held notes are getting played again. :slight_smile:

As I understand it, when a piano string damper is up, the note keeps sounding. Once it is down, the note gets muted. If a Sostenuto pedal keeps a set of dampers up, that shouldn’t stop the note hammers of the set from triggering again, in the same way as when the Sustain pedal is used.

I found these two videos that seem to confirm that notes held by Sostenuto can be retriggered and sound the same way as retriggering a sustained note:

This is how it works in the last firmware build, did you give it a try?

If you have a piano behaving differently, it would be great if you could point me to a video demonstration of its behavior.

I can’t send a video because it is no longer in my studio. Me Being a guitar player anyway.

Anyway, it wouldn’t be so intrusive except that any pitch band Messages affect the sostenuto held note. So a held note that is re-triggered, and then affected by pitch bend really sticks out.
Is there a way to keep the pitch band messages from affecting the sostenutoo held down note?

Leaving aside Midihub capabilities, if the notes that are to be ‘bent’ are on the same channel as the held notes, then No; pitch bend is a channel wide message so affects all notes in a channel

ie. this is a MIDI spec thing

This, incidentally, also figures in the Micro Scale pipe setup:

This pipe acts similar to the Dispatcher pipe, as it dispatches each note to a new channel, since Pitch Bend messages apply for every note in the channel, to get correct polyphony, each note must go to its own channel.

Maybe what you actually want is a Dispatcher pipe in Chord mode? If the notes you want to be sustained could be played all at once like a chord, you could use the Surplus Channel parameter to send the other notes to a different channel, and you could control which channels receive the pitch bend and which do not.

This could be similar to a Sostenuto pedal, except it’s automatically enabled as soon as notes get played and disabled whenever there’s no more notes playing.

Otherwise, the Sustain pipe would require a similar Surplus Channel concept to send the non-sustained notes to a different channel.

Thank you for the replies!
Ha ha, our Steinway debate aside, Because I use sostenuto in musical situations with other players, sometimes in public, the most musical application to me is a sostenuto that simply holds the notes upon depression and lets you play over those without retriggering held notes.
Is there a way to do this? or, Do I understand that this is not possible?


Of course, Ressonoter is correct about PB/ and Channels , so the new notes would have to be routed to channel 2. I am using a Breath Controller from a seperate source as well and I can’t quite figure out the midi hub architecture to also route the BC from Ch 1 ; /pedal down/ to Ch 2. Any thoughts on how to accomplish This would be appreciated!