Aftertouch alternatives for Keyboard Controllers

Anything about hardware musical instruments.
KVRist
39 posts since 23 Mar, 2014

Post Tue May 11, 2021 5:18 pm

Hi friends,

Recently I have bought a nice keyboard controller from Arturia (88keys) but unfortunately it doesn`t have aftertouch function on its keys and lots of my VSTis presets uses it as a kind of modulation source.
Is there an alternative way of transmiting it by changing any controller parameter or should I buy another piece of hardware?

Thank you very much

Best regards

KVRian
944 posts since 3 Oct, 2011 from Christchurch, New Zealand

Post Tue May 11, 2021 5:38 pm

I presume you just want channel aftertouch (aka channel pressure) - poly AT is much trickier

It's relatively trivial to remap midi CC to channel pressure - I wrote something in js for repaer to do just that so I could use the expression pedal for the same reason you've found ( plugins that presume channel AT rather than letting you chose which controller to use)

KVRist

Topic Starter

39 posts since 23 Mar, 2014

Post Tue May 11, 2021 6:25 pm

Thank you for the message. I don't think my controller has an input for expression pedal. I will check it. I have changed the aftertouch CC to mod wheel but since mod wheel is often used for vibrato most of the presets didn't sound like I wanted. That's really a pity that a 88 keyboard doesn't come with channel aftertouch! Thx

KVRian
944 posts since 3 Oct, 2011 from Christchurch, New Zealand

Post Tue May 11, 2021 7:03 pm

I'm guessing you've got the keylab 88 'essential' (which isn't hammer action) - as the hammer-action keylab 88 mkII has aftertouch thanks to the fatar keybed they use.

The essential DOES have a sustain pedal input - so you can remap that to aftertouch.

Otherwise you'd need to go with the keylab 88mkII, or the NI komplete kontrol s88 - both of them have aftertouch (and hammer action keybeds) - both are a lot dearer than the keylab 88 essential

User avatar
KVRAF
19051 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Post Tue May 11, 2021 8:01 pm

Expression Pedal

KVRist

Topic Starter

39 posts since 23 Mar, 2014

Post Wed May 12, 2021 1:30 pm

Yes, you are right! I have the Arturia 88 Essential. How to remap the sustain pedal to aftertouch? Where the change have to be take? On the controller, DAW or on the Vsti. Anyone!
Thank you very much

KVRAF
28404 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Wed May 12, 2021 1:34 pm

Just use the expression pedal as a "normal" modulation source. Like Aftertouch. :) It's just a normal MIDI CC message, I think.
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

KVRian
944 posts since 3 Oct, 2011 from Christchurch, New Zealand

Post Wed May 12, 2021 1:41 pm

chk071 wrote:
Wed May 12, 2021 1:34 pm
Just use the expression pedal as a "normal" modulation source. Like Aftertouch. :) It's just a normal MIDI CC message, I think.
actually it's not 'just a normal MIDI CC message' - channel aftertouch is a separate message type from CC ( cc is 1011 in the firs nibble, c.aft is 1101 in the first nibble). Most plugins should allow channel aftertouch as a mod source - but some may only allow 'proper' cc

KVRAF
28404 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Wed May 12, 2021 1:44 pm

I meant expression. Seems like it's MIDI CC 11.

Expression is a normal modulation source. Like Aftertouch.

Expression is just a normal MIDI CC message.

That's what I was saying. ;)
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

KVRian
944 posts since 3 Oct, 2011 from Christchurch, New Zealand

Post Wed May 12, 2021 1:54 pm

Carlo Celuque wrote:
Wed May 12, 2021 1:30 pm
Yes, you are right! I have the Arturia 88 Essential. How to remap the sustain pedal to aftertouch? Where the change have to be take? On the controller, DAW or on the Vsti. Anyone!
Thank you very much
I just had a quick read of the keylab essential manual - this is what it says for the options for the sustain pedal:

"3.7.3. Sustain Pedal Switched Control
This option can be selected to use your sustain pedal as a parameter controller.

Option: Choose between Gate and Toggle. Gate activates the sustain pedal only
when pressed and deactivates it when released, and Toggle activates the sustain
when pressed, and deactivates it when pressed again.

Channel: Select the MIDI channel output for the sustain pedal input, between 1 to
16. This can also be set to “user”, which will make the sustain pedal output to the
default MIDI channel selected in the Device Settings.

CC Number: Selects the MIDI command you would like to assign the sustain
pedal to. Standard MIDI assignments are named within the drop-down menu to
help you navigate the choices, but for normal sustain pedal use this should be
set to #64.

Off Value and On Value: These parameters let you select the Off and On MIDI
values for the sustain pedal. You could use these settings to customize the feel
of the pedal and how it reacts to your instruments. Use the on-screen rotaries to
choose a value between 0 and 127."

so you've got two problems - firstly using the arturia software you can ONLY remap the sustain pedal to a CC, and channel pressure is NOT a cc message, it's a separate message type (see my previous reply). This means you'd need to then remap the CC message to channel pressure inside your DAW (either via a midi utility plugin, or scripting if your DAW supports that)

However the show stopper issue is that last clause - the keylab essential ONLY supports on/off type sustain pedals (switch type), not continuous type sustain pedals (pot type), which is annoying as that means for pianos it doesn't support half-pedalling. For using the sustain pedal to send aftertouch that's even worse - as the whole IDEA is it's continuous/realtime variable mod source.

This leaves you with either having to remap the available continuous controllers on the keyboard (pitch or mod wheels - neither are ideal as it means you can only play one handed whilst using aftertouch), buying a dedicated midi foot controller with continuous/expression pedal support, or returning the keylab essential and getting something that actually just does aftertouch

KVRian
944 posts since 3 Oct, 2011 from Christchurch, New Zealand

Post Wed May 12, 2021 1:56 pm

chk071 wrote:
Wed May 12, 2021 1:44 pm
I meant expression. Seems like it's MIDI CC 11.

Expression is a normal modulation source. Like Aftertouch.

Expression is just a normal MIDI CC message.

That's what I was saying. ;)
except the keylab essential only has a sutain pedal input (no expression pedal input) - and according the manual only supports switch (on/off) sustain pedals.

KVRAF
28404 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Wed May 12, 2021 2:02 pm

Ah...

Well, that's bad luck then. May raise the awareness to take a deeper look at the specs next time you plan to buy a keyboard though.

Stupid question, but, aren't there standalone modulation pedals?
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

KVRian
944 posts since 3 Oct, 2011 from Christchurch, New Zealand

Post Wed May 12, 2021 2:20 pm

chk071 wrote:
Wed May 12, 2021 2:02 pm
Stupid question, but, aren't there standalone modulation pedals?
yep, things like the behringer fcb1010 etc - though a lot ONLY had midi in/out (not usb)

KVRist

Topic Starter

39 posts since 23 Mar, 2014

Post Wed May 12, 2021 2:56 pm

Well, thank you very much for the suporte! I have just bought this controller and could not study it yet. But it seems I have a problem Houston! I choosed this controller because it was the only 88 key that I could by here in Brazil! Our money is worthing like shit! It's about 1 US Dollar to 6 Reais! But I have another 5 octaves keyboard which has aftertouch function. At least I can use it on my right hand! Really thank you my friends!

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