AEG Electrolux | CP 33 | Half Damper function

Half Damper Function, Damper Resonance Effect and Key Off sample
Half Damper function that lets you finely control the decay of the sound—and expressively recreate the
complex characteristics of acoustic instruments, especially piano and stringed instruments.
When the Half Damper switch is turned ON, you can use the Half Damper function with an optional Foot
Controller FC3 connected to the FOOT SWITCH SUSTAIN jack. The Half Damper function requires the
optional Yamaha FC3 pedal (sold separately). The FC3 sends sustain data values 0 through 127 for cc064,
which is different from the FC4 or FC5. The FC4/5 are simply sending “On” or “Off” (0 or 127) values – like
most typical momentary sustain pedals. But more than just the FC3 is required for a keyboard to respond to
the half dampering. In other words, plugging an FC3 into a keyboard does not necessarily give you halfdamper response – the keyboard must be capable of the feature. The MO6/8, original Motif and Motif ES, for
example, do not have this functionality and cannot use the FC3 pedal at all for any sustain type function.
Yamaha P-series pianos (P60, P70, P90, P120, P140, P250), CP-series (CP33/CP300), PF-series pianos
(PF500, PF1000) and the S90 ES have this function.
When the Half Damper function is set to ON (only FC3)
By connecting an optional FC3 foot controller to the back panel SUSTAIN FOOT PEDAL jack, you can use the
Half Damper feature. The Half Damper feature reproduces the fine control of an acoustic piano's damper
pedal to control the sustain over time: pressing the pedal fully down makes the sound last longer, while
letting up on the pedal part of the way slightly mutes the sustained sound. Effective use of the Half Damper
feature lets you play piano sounds more expressively and realistically.
When the Half Damper function is set to OFF (regular sustain)
By pressing the footswitch (sustain) on/off, you can control whether the sound is cut off or continues
playing, even when the keys are released. Keep in mind that some sounds may not be suitable for use in all
situations with the Sustain footswitch. For example, for organ sounds that have no natural decay, the sound
continues at the same level when holding down the Sustain footswitch. On the other hand, many sounds
benefit from the use of Sustain, such as piano, which has a natural decay when a note is held. This is all
dependent on the AEG (Amplitude Envelope Generator) for the Voice’s Elements. If the envelope is
programmed to return to 0 level it will eventually decay completely even with a sustain pedal (same as in
the real world). If, however, the AEG DECAY 2 LEVEL is not 0, the pedal will hold the sound at that level
indefinitely. The “sustain” parameter in MIDI is called HOLD 1.
You can setup the XS for the Half Damper function here:
Press [F1] GENERAL
Press [SF1] PLAY
Select “Sustain Pedal” = FC3 (Half On)
Settings: FC3 (Half On), FC3 (Half Off), FC4/5
_ If you are using an FC4 or FC5 sustain pedal set this
parameter to “FC4/5.” You cannot use the half
damper function with the FC4 or FC5.
The “Sustain Pedal” parameter selects the Foot
Controller type connected to the FOOTSWITCH
Within in the VOICE data you can customize the HalfDamper response on a per VOICE basis.
From VOICE mode select the Voice you wish to
program. For an example of how this works, call up
Preset 1: 001(A01) FULL CONCERT GRAND
Press [EDIT]
Press Track [1] to select Element parameters
Press [F4] AMP
Press [SF2] AEG
Set “Half Damper Switch” = ON
From this display (Motif XS Editor
window) you can make the “Half
Damper Sustain Time” setting and level
settings for the Amplitude EG, which
determine how the volume of the sound
changes over time. Also influencing
this is the envelopes Release Time
parameter. These can be used to
control the change in volume from the
moment a note is pressed on the
keyboard to the moment the sound
Half Damper Switch: ON/OFF
RELEASE Time: 0 ~ 127
DECAY 2 LEVEL: 0 ~ 127 (if any value other
than 0, sustain will be indefinite at that level as
long as a key is held or sustain pedal is down).
Unlike a conventional damper pedal control
which simply turns sustain on and off, the Half
Damper function lets you finely control the
amount of sustain and natural decay—just as
with a real acoustic piano—by using a
continuous pedal controller. When the sustain
pedal is released the decay time after the key is
released is determined by the RELEASE TIME
parameter. When the Release time is less than
the Half Damper Time you create a very pianolike effect.
Important notes:
_Keep in mind that two separate parameters must be set in order to use the Half Damper function, as
outlined above.
_The ON/OFF setting of the half-damper feature automatically affects the AEG (Amplitude Envelope
Generator) settings.
_The default setting for the “Sustain Pedal” parameter is “FC (Half On).” When using the FC4 or FC5, make
sure to change this setting, depending on the particular footswitch you are using.
_You can also control the half damper function by using Control Change messages from an external device.
In this case, you do not need to set the Sustain Pedal Select parameter.
When using a Footswitch connected to the FOOT SWITCH (SUSTAIN) jack
When the Half Damper function is set to OFF:
When you release the key while holding the Footswitch, the sound will stay at the “Decay 2 Level”, as shown
below. For Voices having a “Decay 2 Level” of 0, the sound eventually decays naturally to silence. If
however, the Voice has a “DECAY 2 Level” other than 0, the sound will remain at that volume until key off.
The “Decay 2 Level” basically determines whether a sound is percussive or self-oscillating. What this means
in acoustic instrument terms is, percussive sounds will eventually stop sounding because the vibration which
is set in motion by a hammer, strike or pluck eventually stops due to air friction or other forces like gravity.
A self-oscillating instrument is one where the sound can continue as long as the musician applies “pressure”
to that instrument
When releasing the Footswitch, the operation is same as key off; the sound will start to decay, and finally
decay to silence according to the Release Time. Level (Release Level) in the Motif XS envelope is assumed to
always be 0.
When the Half Damper function is set to ON (FC3 only)
When you release a key while pressing the Footswitch fully down, the sound will decay to the Sustain Level
(Decay 2 Level), according to the Sustain Time (Decay 2 Time) value.
In this case, you can control the decay time between the Sustain Time and Release Time by how far down
you press the pedal. However, when you release the pedal after releasing the keys (key off event), the
sound will decay according to the Release Time, as if the Half Damper function was set to off.
When releasing the key before the sound reaches the Sustain Level
When pressing the sustain pedal fully down, the sound will decay after reaching the Sustain Level (after the
Decay 2 Time). When the Footswitch is not pressed fully down, the sound will decay immediately.
Damper Resonance – Insertion Effect — This is an Insertion Effect algorithm that reproduces
the rich harmonics and unique sound characteristics of an actual grand piano when using the damper pedal.
This effect algorithm intended for use with acoustic piano samples, can be applied to any sound (with
varying results). However, when used on the acoustic piano Voices you can add a very realistic sound-board
simulation effect which is related to your use of the sustain pedal.
--Screen shot of DAMPER RESONANCE parameters from the Motif XS Editor--
You can isolate the soundboard effect by making the DRY/WET value “D<W63”, completely wet, then step
on the sustain pedal while playing to bring in the soundboard. (In the screen shot above taken from the “Full
Concert Grand: 001 (A01) Voice, the Dry/Wet parameter is currently Dry 33/ Wet.)
By setting “D<W63” - This is like hearing just the soundboard resonance. You can hear how it is “biased” to
the sustain pedal (Damper Control) – in other words, there will be no sound at all until the pedal is
activated. Setting “Damper Control” to anything more than 0 makes the soundboard resonance less biased
to the pedal’s position. Using the FC3 to control this Damper Resonance you can control the amount
continuously. The “Pedal Response” (PedalRsp) is the time it takes the soundboard’s ‘aura’ to rise to full
volume in response to the pedal going down.
Once again subtlety is important for realism. Soundboard resonance is best felt rather than heard. See the
Power User article on REVERBERATION in the Behind the Manual area for a discussion of reverberation inside
the piano verses outside in the room environment.
The Key Off sample is responsible in the “Full Concert Grand” (Element 8), for the sound of the dampers
(felts) falling back on the string at release (of the key or the sustain pedal). This works via the Xpanded
Articulation Control (XA) – the element only sounds when a key is released (as if the key is being held by the
sustain pedal, when the sustain pedal is finally released). The volume of the Key Off sample is determined,
quite naturally, by the overall level to which the Voice has decayed. Again, you can experiment with the
output level of this Element. Turn AS2 KNOB (knob 8) clockwise from twelve o’clock to increase the output
level of Element 8. (Alternatively you can raise CS8, remembering to ‘hook’ the red arrow to activate
control). As you release keys and/or release the sustain pedal, you will hear a “thud” and a change to how
the piano sound ends – the felt dampers falling back onto the keys deadening their vibration. Again, subtlety
is the key. It is best felt and not heard. It is really uncanny how this small thing can make the sound of the
piano feel right. It makes playing any other piano sample not as much fun. Combine this with the
soundboard resonance and we can hear how the technology nears closer to reality. This is “state-of-the-art”.
“State-of-the-art” is a great phrase because it does not presuppose that this is the best it will ever be. It
simply says: this is where we are with the technology now! Enjoy…
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