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Do most piano piano players use a half damper pedal ?


bennyray

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I miss it on my Nord but not gonna pay a fortune for a special pedal as an extra.

Was nice to have on my CP33. I'd take it over 'string resonance' any day.

 

My foot still does it so it takes some imagination to make believe it works. Live, in a band, I'm sure no one notices...

 

On a real piano - most definitely.

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My S90ES supports it, and I sprung for the extra-cost pedal when I bought it. But I don't believe I'd miss it if I didn't have it. It certainly will not be a deal-breaker on any future keyboard I buy if it doesn't have it.
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Just curious cause some prefer sustain pedal to half damper pedal. Just wanna hear some different opinions. Thanks and looking forward to hearing expertise answers and opinions.

Piano players play pianos so ....Sustain pedal is the 'half damper' pedal. Often you don't want the dampers wide open. Half pedaling is really effective in the higher registers. It is simply part of pedaling technique. Chopin's student would lay on the floor to see hiw this was done.

 

Use the Sostenuto a lot also because of my repertoire. I use Sostenuto for electronic keyboards also if I have one. It is handy. You can hit a chord or pedal tone hold it with the sostenuto then free both hands for a 2 hand run. I play a lot of Grieg and he calls for it a lot.

 

For gig crap most of this goes out the window. But I ordered the DS1H for the Kronos. You are going to drop 4k on a workstation what is another $45 for the sustain switch. :laugh:

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There isn't a lot of call for it in a band setting. If you are playing solo piano then I would recommend it.
Latest Set Up: Kronos 61, Casio Privia, Korg TR61, EoWave Ribbon, TEC Breath Controller, StudioLogic MP-117 Bass Pedals, Moog Theremini.
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I've been playing a lot more classic piano music, and I really miss it. The ability to have "graded" sustain release makes a large difference in my playing. I don't miss una-corda and have yet miss Sostenuto. I'll probably have to get a new EP for this reason - likely an MP11.
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I grew up studying classical piano, took jazz lessons through high school and studied with some amazing instructors in music school. I'd never heard of "half-damper" or "half-pedaling" until I read about it in marketing brochures and on forums within the past 5 years.

 

It is of course nice for smooth transitions between sustain on and off, especially for solo piano. But I have yet to run into a professional setting where it's been called for. NO producer, artist or show has said to me, "We HAVE to have half-pedaling right here.".

 

 

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Anybody playing an acoustic piano uses "half damper", whether or not they consciously realize it. It's just part of the instrument and a natural extension of your brain.

 

Now I need to figure out how the heck to get a piano-style pedal integrated in my rock band rig. I am still using FC-5 wedges. The damn spinet organ is in the way. I need something with four legs...

 

Wes

Hammond: L111, M100, M3, BC, CV, Franken CV, A100, D152, C3, B3

Leslie: 710, 760, 51C, 147, 145, 122, 22H, 31H

Yamaha: CP4, DGX-620, DX7II-FD-E!, PF85, DX9

Roland: VR-09, RD-800

 

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Because it is just called pedaling.

 

Right. I should have been more specific. Never had a professional setting where someone said "This on/off sustain pedal won't do. We need that half-damper feature."

 

I still think it's a cool feature, just thought that it gets a disproportionately large amount of attention compared to other features.

 

To me, the coolest thing about it was finding out while working with synth companies like Kurz, Casio and Physis what OTHER cool developments and discoveries were made as a byproduct of chasing down half-pedaling.

 

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For electronic music I agree with you. I find in a band I pedal a whole lot less than normal.

 

I also think sostenuto doesn't get enough attention. The selective sustains you can do with a sostenuto function can let you setup up some nice pedal tones under some really cool licks. I think the little wedge pedals like a FC-5 would be great for that sort of thing.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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I have played all these years and always just used a sustain pedal for piano in a band situation. Never had a problem but I guess half damper would be ideal . I only used it on acoustic piano. My Yamaha Electric Grand CP70 I had back in the 80's had a sustain pedal. I guess I just worked the pedal and got good results so I never considered a half damper pedal until now.
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Anybody playing an acoustic piano uses "half damper", whether or not they consciously realize it. It's just part of the instrument and a natural extension of your brain.
Right. Although, some of us use it better than others! (pedal or brain? Either!)

 

I use half-damping on grand piano; not holding it there, but I often let up the sustain pedal partway quickly and go straight back down, to stop some of the sustain but not all of it.

 

The CP4 is the first digital I've had with half-damper, and it's nice. It doesn't respond like an acoustic, really -- the behavior is pretty different. Nonetheless you can use it to get the same job done, or close enough. It's a great feature.

 

That said, I use a switch pedal for live use, because it's lighter and fits better with my other pedals. I leave the half-damper pedal for use at home. Even then I often use a switch simply because if the CP4's in the car, I move my old MR76 to the stand, and it isn't compatible. When I switch the CP4 back in I often leave the pedal, and notice it later when playing ... but usually not enough to stop and swap.

 

Regardless, it's a great feature. Not a deal killer for me this last time, but it might be next time, the more I get used to it.

 

And definitely not a deal-killer for gigging. I don't have the kind of gigs where that kind of subtlety matters.

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Yeah, I use it, but I very rarely have a chance to play a proper acoustic these days, so, in practice, no, not really. Yes, as someone mentioned above, it's probably more unconscious than anything else.

 

I guess from digital pianos I have gotten pretty used to just jamming the sustain pedal to the floor whenever I want sustain.

 

Never used the sostenuto pedal, maybe a few times as a young teenager doing some classical.

 

The una corda is what I miss the most on digital pianos -- I find that extremely useful (so long as you don't abuse/overuse it).

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One thing I've noticed is I've come to use less and less damper pedal of any kind over the years. When I was young, I used to sit down and plant my foot on it (not pressed, but ready to press), then leave it there the whole time I played. Now, I can get three-quarters of the way through a gig and realize I haven't touched it yet. Maybe (actually, definitely) for a ballad that needs the sound of a sustain pedal, and not just the sustain itself. But beyond that I notice that I think of sustain as a function of fingers and not feet, the older I get.

 

Which is very, very old.

 

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The una corda is what I miss the most on digital pianos -- I find that extremely useful (so long as you don't abuse/overuse it).

 

The Kawai MP7 and MP11 models both have una corda abilities.

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The Kurzweil PC3 and PC3K series have una corda, however, it is only implemented on a single factory piano patch #3 Rubenstein.

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One thing I've noticed is I've come to use less and less damper pedal of any kind over the years. When I was young, I used to sit down and plant my foot on it (not pressed, but ready to press), then leave it there the whole time I played. Now, I can get three-quarters of the way through a gig and realize I haven't touched it yet. Maybe (actually, definitely) for a ballad that needs the sound of a sustain pedal, and not just the sustain itself. But beyond that I notice that I think of sustain as a function of fingers and not feet, the older I get.
Ditto, only more guilty. As a kid, I used to hold the pedal down steadily, and just pull it up now and then. Ugh!

 

In any case, I hardly notice using my foot; it operates itself (which is surprising, because I'm generally pretty clumsy and have to work hard to add any new techniques.) When I first started playing two keyboards at right angles, I was amazed that my left foot could control the keyboard on the left with no difficulty. But when I first moved to stacked boards, it didn't work at all!

 

Something I noticed on the CP4 that caught me by surprise. I get some benefit from the implementation of pedaling that I didn't get from my MR76, and haven't noticed on other DPs like CDP100. That is, if I up-pedal for a very brief instant, it drops the volume of the ringing chord, but doesn't stop all the notes. On my MR76, I'm pretty confident that pedal-up is treated pretty much the same way as note-off: even a millisecond of pedal up and it goes into release mode, running the whole release.

 

On the CP4, when the pedal is up, it's in release mode, but when the pedal goes back down again, it returns to sustain mode at whatever volume/tone level it reached for the brief time with pedal up. I can see how that's necessary, for half-pedaling to work at all: pedal up is no longer a "final" event in the life of a note.

 

It surprised me when it first happened; my foot doing a quick half-pedal without me thinking about it, and I got (some) half-pedaling behavior while knowing I was using a switch pedal. Nice!

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Hey, Jeff!

 

Sounds like you and I used to pedal alike in our youth. I got into that very bad habit from a very stiff upright, that somehow was easier to play with the pedal down.

 

Good tip re. the CP4 behaviour. I was wondering about that myself, but didn't have time to investigate it. I am still using FC-5 wedge pedals on gigs when it sits on top of my L111. There isn't enough room for the FC-3 that came with it.

 

Wes

Hammond: L111, M100, M3, BC, CV, Franken CV, A100, D152, C3, B3

Leslie: 710, 760, 51C, 147, 145, 122, 22H, 31H

Yamaha: CP4, DGX-620, DX7II-FD-E!, PF85, DX9

Roland: VR-09, RD-800

 

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It is one of the thing i miss on my NS Classic.

 

I do not know if it are called a Half Damper or what, but it are when you can feel it on your toe when the dampers just release the strings.

I found it very useful to level around this point with the pedal, for rhythmic comping in different bands when I used my CP70 or Rhodes back in the old days.

Can not remember how it worked on the Wurly, it have been gone for to long.

 

I have a Kronos 61 here, use it most at home as I do not feel connected to it for different reasons. Bought a Half Damper pedal for it and enabled it for a few piano programs, but I miss that feel or mechanical difference around the Half Damper.

Non weighted keys have of course a lot to do with how it feels for me, but that could be adjusted to response acceptable.

 

Have wondering if I could find the point and put something under/inside the pedal (some stiff foam perhaps ? ) so it was easier to hit.

/Bjørn - old gearjunkie, still with lot of GAS
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Unlike any grand I can remember, the CP4 has a fairly wide band in the middle of the pedal travel where it affects sustain duration. At the top end of that range, you can hear that it just decays faster than normal (faster than unsustained). The further you push the pedal, the faster the decay. No doubt at some point it triggers release samples, but I didn't check for that.

 

That's what makes it feel different than an acoustic. On an acoustic, the range is really tight, and it takes a bit of practice to half-damp the strings. (I only do it momentarily in any case.) The CP4 is more forgiving and easier to control. All in all I like the way they did it, even though it isn't "authentic". Instead, it's "useful".

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