Odd FM8 sustain pedal problem with incoming MIDI data

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Phileosophos
Phileosophos Member Posts: 18 Member

This seems a bit weird to me, and I've found a workaround already, but I thought I'd post and ask the question to see if anyone else recognizes this issue. I had a MIDI track in Cubase 12 Pro with piano performance data on MIDI channel 9, completely with plenty of use of the sustain pedal as CC 64 also on MIDI channel 9. When I route the data on this channel to any of my external keyboards, the sustain pedal works as expected, holding the notes already playing.

I'm increasingly trying to get rid of my outboard gear, however, so I was using Native Instruments FM8 to emulate the DX7II-FD sound being produced externally. When I route that MIDI track data to the FM8 instance, however, the piano notes play just fine but the sustain pedal seems completely ignored. I verified the data was still there, and I searched the manual and FM8 UI for anything that seemed related without success. If I route data from my external keyboards to FM8 for recording, it responds just fine to the sustain pedal, but it ignores the pre-recorded MIDI CC 64 data on the MIDI track I have.

Finally, largely out of frustration and not really expecting anything to change, I opened up the MIDI piano-roll editor, selected all the controller data for the sustain pedal, and moved those events to MIDI channel 1. I was entirely surprised when the next time I routed that MIDI track to the FM8 instance and played it back, the plugin now handled the sustain pedal properly. It's almost as if it responds to the sustain pedal only on MIDI channel 1 and was happy to apply it to all the note on/off data it was still receiving on MIDI channel 9.

Is this a bug? Or a feature? I obviously have a way I can work around it, but I would think the plugin should respect sustain pedal data on the same channel as the note on/off data its playing. I don't know what to make of this. Thanks in advance.

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  • Jeremy_NI
    Jeremy_NI Customer Care Posts: 9,994 mod
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    Hey @Phileosophos I can reproduce the issue in Cubase 12, I set my external keyboard to emit on channel 4. Sustain will only be functional if I set the MIDI input channel to channel 1.

    Now I tried to reproduce the issue in Ableton and there the sustain will be activated and recorded on MIDI channel 4 or any MIDI channel, so it seems the issue is in Cubase side. I'm not an expert on MIDI in Cubase so I'm not sure if there is a special setting. The thing is that my keyboard would play the notes on any MIDI channel selected within Cubase on that track even if my keyboard is set to MIDI channel 4.


  • Phileosophos
    Phileosophos Member Posts: 18 Member
    edited March 2023
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    I'm not sure you've really demonstrated that it's on the Cubase side, but I'm not sure it's not either. For the record, I've posted in the Steinberg Cubase forums as well and will try to keep both sides updated if there's ever a better solution.

  • Jeremy_NI
    Jeremy_NI Customer Care Posts: 9,994 mod
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    @Phileosophos My will was not to demonstrate it was on Cubase side, it's just I was not able to reproduce in another DAW. I also don't have an extensive knowledge on how the MIDI works in Cubase so you will probably get more insights on Steinberg forums.

  • Phileosophos
    Phileosophos Member Posts: 18 Member
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    Here's an interesting update: the problem does NOT happen with the VST2 version of the FM8 plugin. One of the Steinberg users noticed this, and I can confirm it. Now I have no idea where the problem lies, Native Instruments or Cubase, but I'll keep pushing for a fix.

  • Jeremy_NI
    Jeremy_NI Customer Care Posts: 9,994 mod
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    @Phileosophos Thanks for the update. That's valuable information. Have you contacted Steinberg's support about this?

  • Phileosophos
    Phileosophos Member Posts: 18 Member
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    I’ve posted in their forums but haven’t filed a formal ticket yet. I’ll see about that. They sometimes weigh in on the forums.

  • Jeremy_NI
    Jeremy_NI Customer Care Posts: 9,994 mod
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    Alright! Please keep us posted!

  • Phileosophos
    Phileosophos Member Posts: 18 Member
    edited June 2023
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    Bizarrely enough, Steinberg support has now responded to me months after posting to them. The rep apologized for the delay and said he wasn't sure how my message had fallen through the cracks but said it did. He asked me to do some testing. Here's what I found:

    1. If I simply swap the FM8 plugin for another keyboard plugin (I've tried a couple), then the sustain data is processed correctly no matter what MIDI channel it's assigned. Only the NI FM8 plugin fails to handle the data when it's on channel 9 like the note on/off data.
    2. I also find, interestingly enough, that if I'm using the FM8 plugin with the MIDI note and controller data all on channel 9, and then configure my controller to transmit on that same channel and play along the physical sustain pedal works and causes all notes to sustain, including those that otherwise don't when I lift my foot off the physical sustain pedal! I find that particularly weird. It's like somehow only the pre-recorded sustain data on channel 9 is being ignored entirely. The live sustain data on channel 9 triggers sustain for all the notes, as one would expect.
    3. I tried resetting my Cubase preferences as the Steinberg tech suggested but found it made no difference.

    The Steinberg folks say that because I see this problem only with the NI FM8 plugin that it's likely a problem with the NI FM8 plugin and not Cubase. Can y'all look into this for a fix? I can easily supply you the problematic track and FM8 patch if you like.

  • Phileosophos
    Phileosophos Member Posts: 18 Member
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    Any response, @Jeremy_NI or other NI staff?

  • Phileosophos
    Phileosophos Member Posts: 18 Member
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    Again, any response, @Jeremy_NI or other NI staff?

  • Jeremy_NI
    Jeremy_NI Customer Care Posts: 9,994 mod
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    @Phileosophos I'm sorry for not getting back earlier, we've been super busy these past weeks and I couldn't find time for a repro. I wasn't able to reproduce the issue on my side. I would recommend to contact my colleagues here to do a full bug report: https://bit.ly/NISupport_Synth

    You should know that FM8 is not a high priority at the moment and that this bug is very very specific. The chances that it gets fixed eventually are rather slim.

  • Phileosophos
    Phileosophos Member Posts: 18 Member
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    I appreciate the explanation and the candor, @Jeremy_NI. Sorry if my double posting was a problem. I felt like maybe this thread had been marked closed or ignore or something. I'll use that link to report the bug and see if anything comes of it. Cheers!

  • Jeremy_NI
    Jeremy_NI Customer Care Posts: 9,994 mod
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    @Phileosophos No problem at all, on the contrary, it was a good reminder!

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