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Bug: Sustain pedal off kills notes that are still held down

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    Bug: Sustain pedal off kills notes that are still held down

    Bug: When releasing the sustain pedal also notes are killed that are still held down.

    (See for, I think, the same issue for fireball; maybe this is also relevant for lemondrop.)

    Expected behavior: Upon releasing the sustain pedal, only those notes should stop where the corresponding keys are no longer pressed down. Or reversely, for any keys that I am still pressing down the corresponding notes should continue even if I'm releasing the sustain pedal.

    Basically, this is how e.g. a sustain pedal on a piano works. And, as a long-term piano/keys player, the different behavior on the Blackbox has been tripping me all the time, which makes it hard to use the Blackbox for multisampled pianos etc.. E.g., I have a Yamaha Reface CP (= rhodes, wurlitzer etc. emulations) whose sustain functionality behaves as expected and as described above. I have multisampled it into the BB and it's amazing to play except that suddenly notes disappear even though I'm still holding the corresponding keys down.

    To state the issue more precisely and make a possible fix easier to see, consider the following five steps (taken from where, I think, the same issue is discussed):

    1) Press (with finger) a note and hold
    2) Press the sustain pedal
    3) Release the note with finger (due to the sustain object, the note will still be sounding).
    4) Again, press the same key with finger and hold.
    5) Release the sustain pedal.
    The expected behavior is that the note should continue sounding. However, on the Blackbox, the note disappears. In the link above, the OP writes

    I understand why it's happening: The sustain holds all note-off messages until it is released. Thus when I first take my finger off the note (at step 3) the sustain receives and stores a note-off. When I put my finger back on the key (step 4) the note-off does not vanish from the sustain object; that's the bug. When I release the pedal, the sustain object sends the note-off event generated at step 3, which was meant to kill the first note, but instead kills the second.
    This quote already points to the fix: when the sustain pedal is released the BB would need to check for each pressed down note whether there is a note-off event stored and, if so, remove it before sending all the note-off messages. (Or, alternatively, for every new note pressed down while the sustain pedal is hold, check whether there is a note-off message that needs to be deleted from the list. I'm not sure which of the two approaches is more efficient.)

    I hope that makes sense.

    If the BB would handle the sustain pedal like a piano would, this would be amazing and would further open up the possibilities for which kinds of instruments to multisample and play.
    Last edited by jonlemon; 02-26-2023, 03:56 AM.
  • Answer selected by jonlemon at 03-25-2023, 02:43 PM.

    The new firmware 3.0.7 has fixed this bug for me (used the Minifreak). Amazing, thanks 1010music!


      Which MIDI Controller and sustain pedal are you using? When I'm using, for example, a KeystepPro and a LiveWire sustain pedal (Guitar Center) the blackbox honors sustain as expected, as you describe above.

      The fireball and lemondrop are separate issues and have been reported to our database. Those will be fixed in the next round of updates.


        I've used FW 2.1.0, the MiniFreak as a controller, and a Yamaha FC5 sustain pedal.

        IIRC I've also got the same result with using a Keystep and a Keystep 37 as the controller.

        What should I try next: Latest firmware or a different controller or different pedal?
        Last edited by jonlemon; 03-02-2023, 12:56 AM.


          I've now updated to FW 3.0.1 and still get the same bug in a couple of different setups I've tried (using the Yamaha FC5 pedal):

          - MiniFreak (pedal or using the on-board hold button)
          - Yamaha Reface CP (which internally behaves as expected when using the sustain pedal)
          - Keystep 37

          One thing is important: on the BB I have set the launch mode to "Gate", otherwise the multisample doesn't behave like a piano-like instrument. For example, the "Trigger" mode would always play the whole sample, irrespective of what your finger or sustain pedal does and thus the bug wouldn't be noticeable. Or put differently, the bug can only appear in the "Gate" mode.

          Steve : Can you confirm that the sustain behavior in your setup works as expected when using the "Gate mode"? Thanks!​
          Last edited by jonlemon; 03-02-2023, 06:00 AM.


            I've now tried another sustain pedal (Clavia VFP1) using the MiniFreak and using BB FW 3.0.1 and the bug is also present.
            Last edited by jonlemon; 03-02-2023, 06:01 AM.


              It should only work in gate Mode. Thanks for providing the model of your pedal. My guess is you need to use a different pedal. Yamaha, Roland, and Kawai all require a "normally closed circuit" sustain pedal. You can change the behavior at the keyboard by powering on with the sustain fully pressed, or engaged.

              I found another pedal in my studio - the KF-1 by KAT. The KF-1 and my Livewire are both set to "normally open." Both of these work with all of my controllers as expected. I do not have an FC5 to test but this is my best answer. Can you try a "normally open" pedal and report back?


                Steve and I tried out different things and Steve concluded:

                Ok... here is what I found. *Some* controllers handle sustain differently than others. I originally tested this with several controllers. They all work as you and I expect. When I use the LK Mini Mk3 or the Alesis V25, I see the issue.

                Basically, we handle sustain the way the KSP (and other seemingly more expensive controllers) handle sustain. But some of the smaller, budget (no judgment here) controllers seem to do things differently. On these controllers, retriggering notes while sustain is active sends a Note Off command. And that is the issue.

                I appreciate your patience and diligence. I have logged this and it will be fixed at some point. Basically, we need to create a special case for sustain+retriggering for controllers that handle these events differently.​
                to which I responded

                It's interesting that the Keystep Pro handles this correctly, but other Arturia products (e.g., MiniFreak, Keystep 37) do not.

                Fixing this would be really awesome because the irony is that the Blackbox is so attractive for a small portable setup where you would then also use a more compact controller, which, as you suspect, tend to not deal with the sustain as they should.​


                  The new firmware 3.0.7 has fixed this bug for me (used the Minifreak). Amazing, thanks 1010music!