Komplete Kontrol S88 Mk2 and Fatar (Studiologic) VFP3-15 sustain pedal compatibility

ToddlerTN
ToddlerTN Member Posts: 16 Member
edited May 2022 in Komplete Kontrol

I'm looking at buying the S88 and the Fatar VFP3-15 is listed here as compatible:

List of Compatible Pedals with KOMPLETE KONTROL Keyboards – Native Instruments (native-instruments.com)

"Compatible" to me implies all three pedals are fully supported, and there's no asterisk or footnote to discourage that interpretation. But there's also no mention anywhere in the S88 Mk2 user manual about utilizing three pedals, and I can't find any references to it online, either. I've scoured user forums, Reddit, YouTube comments, etc.

Can anyone confirm? If not, I'll probably go with the Arturia Keylab 88 Mkii.

Tagged:

Best Answer

  • SlipUit
    SlipUit Member Posts: 1 Member
    Answer ✓

    I've just purchased a S88 MK2 and the VFP-15 from Fatar, and I think i've managed to have them working properly together this way :

    Pedal 1 : Tip : Type : Ctrl Change --- Channel : 1 --- Number : 64 --- Mode : Gate --- Value 0 .. 127 (Sustain)

    Ring : Type : Ctrl Change --- Channel : 1 --- Number : 67 --- Mode : Gate --- Value 0 .. 127 (Soft Ped)

    Pedal 2 : Tip : Type : Ctrl Change --- Channel : 1 --- Number : 66 --- Mode : Gate --- Value 0 .. 127 (Sostenuto)

    I've swapped Soft Pedal and Sostenuto because I'm using more Sostenuto than Soft and the pedal are a bit too close from each others for me. But it works properly too if you configure them the right way.

    67 is the right midi code for Soft Pedal, but the result is not fantastic, if any. But i'm good for now, given the keyboard is amazing and you really can play softly without a pedal

«1

Answers

  • Blindeddie
    Blindeddie Member Posts: 1,559 Expert

    It should work based on this article... Pedal A input settings allow for different settings for the Tip and Ring if the VFP3-15 TRS Jack and pedal B input allows mapping as well for the TS jack (the document is unclear if the Pedal B input only allows for a TS connection based on how they are configuring it as an Expression pedal)

    How to Configure Sustain / Expression Pedals on KOMPLETE KONTROL Keyboards – Native Instruments (native-instruments.com)

    The S Series manual also has a section that explains the different Modes that can be assigned to the pedals if you need clarification.

  • ToddlerTN
    ToddlerTN Member Posts: 16 Member

    Thanks. The language is confusing, but if I'm reading that document correctly, "Pedal A" can support two separate switch pedals on one TRS cable and "Pedal B" can support one pedal. I'm pretty unclear if Pedal A can support a continuous controller for half pedaling and a second switch pedal. That's the only natural configuration for pianists.

  • Kaiwan_NI
    Kaiwan_NI Administrator Posts: 2,534 admin

    You can configure a half-damper pedal on Komplete Kontrol software right @Jeremy_NI? If I remember correctly not all VSTs support half pedaling though 🤔

  • Jeremy_NI
    Jeremy_NI Customer Care Posts: 9,547 mod

    Well, @Kaiwan_NI @ToddlerTN I will need clarification from the Komplete Kontrol team on this subject, this 3 way pedal is indeed supported but no information on how to set it up can be found. I'll update the post as soon as I get more info.

  • ToddlerTN
    ToddlerTN Member Posts: 16 Member

    Still hoping for an answer to this question, although I think maybe the VFP-15 itself doesn’t support half-pedaling (it seems to just be three open/closed switches). What I’m looking for is a triple pedal with una corda, sostenuto and continuous sustain. The Studiologic SLP3-D is the only triple pedal I can find that offers this.

  • Jeremy_NI
    Jeremy_NI Customer Care Posts: 9,547 mod

    After investigation, it seems that these pedals are not supported in the end, as there is no way to configure them properly in the Komplete Kontrol software. In order to clear this out we'll order these pedals to test them in-house.

  • SlipUit
    SlipUit Member Posts: 1 Member
    Answer ✓

    I've just purchased a S88 MK2 and the VFP-15 from Fatar, and I think i've managed to have them working properly together this way :

    Pedal 1 : Tip : Type : Ctrl Change --- Channel : 1 --- Number : 64 --- Mode : Gate --- Value 0 .. 127 (Sustain)

    Ring : Type : Ctrl Change --- Channel : 1 --- Number : 67 --- Mode : Gate --- Value 0 .. 127 (Soft Ped)

    Pedal 2 : Tip : Type : Ctrl Change --- Channel : 1 --- Number : 66 --- Mode : Gate --- Value 0 .. 127 (Sostenuto)

    I've swapped Soft Pedal and Sostenuto because I'm using more Sostenuto than Soft and the pedal are a bit too close from each others for me. But it works properly too if you configure them the right way.

    67 is the right midi code for Soft Pedal, but the result is not fantastic, if any. But i'm good for now, given the keyboard is amazing and you really can play softly without a pedal

  • ToddlerTN
    ToddlerTN Member Posts: 16 Member
    edited July 2022

    Thanks, SlipUit. I’ve seen several posts now about configuring the VFP3-15 triple pedal on NI hardware, setting it up just as you did. It does work. I don’t know why Jeremy’s post saying that it doesn’t work got marked at the “answer” when it’s completely wrong. NI doesn’t have these pedals themselves to test and so they speculate that it doesn’t work, whereas owners who actually have the hardware working say that it does. It’s so frustrating when unreliable info gets handed out by NI tech support and marked as the “answer” in the official support forum.

  • Brad Yost
    Brad Yost Member Posts: 350 Pro
    edited July 2022

    Jeremy’s post saying that it doesn’t work got marked at the “answer” when it’s completely wrong.

    With all the magnitude of possible permutations of gear interconnectivity out there, I'd opt to cut 'em just a little slack occasionally. 😉

    I have a fellow composer that has it set up and working well for years now with the StudioLogic triple pedal.

  • Jeremy_NI
    Jeremy_NI Customer Care Posts: 9,547 mod

    My answer says the pedals are not supported, that doesn't necessarily means it will not work. I also said we would test this in-house. I was out of office for a while, I should be able to check this out next week. I'll remove it as an answer, since it was not a definitive one. This topic has been a grey area for a while, we want to clear things up.

    @SlipUit thanks for providing the info, that will be really helpful.

  • zhangdoa
    zhangdoa Member Posts: 2 Member

    Hi dear KK community!

    I'd share a bit about my journey of how I solved the problem (almost) perfectly:

    (TL;DR: Buy one of the Fatar VFP3-Ds on the market and resolder (max 5-6 wires needed) the cable. That's it.)

    I wanted to find a triple pedal with half-damper support for my S88Mk2, and I found the discussion here and another thread.

    Fatar VFP3-15 works, but without half-damper (and the one that supports it is VFP3-D which I couldn't find any place to purchase it as others stated). It also looks exactly just a Studiologic VFP3/15 since Fatar ~= Studiologic.

    Studiologic SLP3-D is what we want, but only one TRS cable, and afaik we can't add a custom signal splitting script or whatsoever to Komplete Kontrol to configure all three pedals. And I found Clavia Nord Triple Pedal looks quite suspiciously the same, but just the jacks and the logos are different. But the Nord one is almost triple the price of the Studiologic one and idk why (or I know but prefer not to talk about it).

    Then I found Kawai F30, which has two cables, one for TS and another for TRS. Of course, it looks again like a Studiologic SLP3-D, or we better call them VFP3-D for simplicity from now on.

    No one ever mentioned if Kawai F30 works with S88, but I found an interesting DIY guide somewhere that would instruct you to install optic sensors to detect the pedal movement and output them through USB. So I decided to purchase a Kawai F30 to try on my S88. The best result is it works charmingly out of the box. The worst case is I'd have to follow that DIY guide to make it at least useful for me (or get a Kawai digital piano or return/sell it since I don't have that much money to waste).

    And I ordered one from a digital piano dealer in my reage it's not in stock on Thomann (btw you should check the category "sustain pedals" there, you'll get the same Deja Vu as me when seeing those models). 

    Look at the actual package box of the Kawai F30 I ordered:

    (A VFP3-3D perhaps is the ultimate solution for everything everywhere right?)

    Unfortunately, after trying almost all combinations in Komplete Kontrol, I just can't get it to work with my Pianoteq 7. So I unscrewed the screws to see what's the magic inside (I didn't care about the warranty anymore as soon as I touched the box and the pedal, I meant not something bad, but it just feels like a simple axe that you know nothing is complicated inside and there's very less chance you'd send it to an AppleCare later). 

    (Notice the right pedal's potentiometer only has two wires soldered, and it mixed with one of the switches on the TRS jack)

    After quick learning on the fly by searching keywords like "expression pedal wiring" online, I realized it seems the wiring of the Kawai F30 is specifically designed for the Kawai digital pianos. But since a half-damper/continuous sustain/expression pedal is basically just a rotational potentiometer with a foot pedal, why can't I change the wiring a bit to make it work? So I got two 6.5mm TRS female jacks and a soldering gun and replaced all five wires there (the original wiring is quite a tricky design tbh, bless you the designers in Kawai). I'm pretty enough with this kind of cable-from-the-device design, so I thought to improve it a bit to be slightly more flexible in case I need to connect it to another slightly incompatible device (Santa Claus might send me an S88Mk3 one day who knows!). And after one hour of struggling to weld things correctly without hurting anything or anyone, the CC64 is a continuous signal now! And I have to reverse the mapping for another two switch pedals in Komplete Kontrol because I just have to. I also tried to wire them to another two sockets on the PCB which have the number "15" next to them (VFP-3/10-D I think this is what I eventually got, and if it's a VFP-3/15-D then it might work flawlessly), but nope it not works in that way (It seems I need more education in EE to understand if it could be solved by adding two more resistors).

    (On the PCB you could see 10/15/25/GND, sorry for the blurring tho)

    And the happiness:


    So, the conclusion, industrial giants please, just send a few emails to each other and get simple things like this done, not everyone has the luck like me to get over the challenges.

    And for NI: can we have a more advanced pedal assignation interface in Komplete Kontrol so that the signal can be split and swapped between the pedal sockets? Can you send a B2B order to Fatar and have a duo-TRS version of VFP-D fully compatible with S88 on market (then I don't need to replace the Kawai logo sticker with an NI one 😋)?

  • ToddlerTN
    ToddlerTN Member Posts: 16 Member
    edited September 2022

    Hey zhangdoa, great ingenuity. I thought about trying that myself with the Studiologic SLP3-D. I found the wiring schematic and figured I could do much as you did.

    Ultimately, I decided to go another direction. I bought the Roland RPU-3 which has three continuous pedals, and a device called a MIDI Expression iO that converts up to four independent pedal inputs to USB:

    This solution had a few advantages – no need to void the warranty on an expensive pedal device; it’ll work across all my keyboards now and in the future, regardless of manufacturer; it’s incredibly versatile, since all the pedals on the Roland are continuous input devices, and the MIDI Expression allows for some wild customizations such as interpreting double-taps as unique commands; plus, I just liked how the Roland is heavy and really stays put. So here I am after spending $300 on a pedal and a USB controller, but it’s forever solution that gives me a ton of flexibility. It even works with drum hi-hat controllers, which may be fun to explore down the road.

    That said, if I’d seen your post three months ago, I’d have followed your path and saved $150 and been quite happy. So hopefully our discussion thread here helps others in the future.

    I’m still irritated that NI doesn’t offer a quality pedal for people who purchase their premium keyboards and piano libraries that support half-pedaling. They could easily contract with Fatar to modify the wiring on the VFP3-D as you’ve shown and sell that under the NI brand.

  • zhangdoa
    zhangdoa Member Posts: 2 Member

    Hi ToddlerTN,

    I also considered a less destructive solution exactly like what you got, but regarding the increase of cost, and it's yet another USB device, and I don't want to connect too many cables to my already messy laptop and hubs, I finally decided to gamble on that Fatar/Kawai one.

    I think for most of the people who go for an S88 what they expect to get is a full-weight 88 premium keyboard with nice NI integrations. I used to have an M-Audio Hammer 88 before which served solely as a piano-like input device, while all the controllers faders knobs were from other devices or interacted on computers. To have a better and smoother NKS workflow I chose S88 as an upgrade. But seems within the same price range, I could get a Maschine + any other hammer-action 88 keys instead. Sadly if I'm going to upgrade the next time my main keyboard, I won't choose this type of integrated solution anymore.

  • John Erebus
    John Erebus Member Posts: 4 Newcomer

    I just ordered the S88 for staring my piano lessons, and found that situation about the pedal, reading you solution, i think is the best one, i found something similar to MIDI Expression iO (Its unavailable right now), its called DOREMIDI MPC-20 and have four inputs, maybe ir will work?

    But reading in the Roland RPU-3 product info page, it mention this:

    • Negative (-) polarity for use with normally-closed pianos and keyboards
    • Half damper functionality when used with Roland keyboards

    Thats mean it will not work as Half damper with S88? Sorry if its a dumb question, im just starting to learn.

  • ToddlerTN
    ToddlerTN Member Posts: 16 Member

    No, that’s not what it means. Ignore the documentation because you’re using the pedal in a different way.

    The MPC-20 will auto-detect your Roland pedals as continuous input devices, meaning they send a range of values instead of simple on/off values. The default for a sustain pedal is either 127 or 0, whereas a continuous controller sends any value between 0 and 127, depending on the position of the pedal. You’ll need to use the software for the MPC-20 to define how your pedals are configured, and you’ll probably need to remap the sustain pedal from CC21 (expression) to CC64 (sustain). At that point, it’ll be up to your VST or playback module as to how it responds to sustain values between 0 and 127. Not all of them will support half-pedaling, and even the ones that do often have to be told to do so in the user settings. For example, Alicia’s Keys and other NI Kontakt pianos do support half-pedaling, but it’s disabled by default since most users won’t have the hardware or the experience to take advantage of it. I’m sure the documentation for the MPC-20 will explain how to configure your pedals.

Back To Top