Sustain Pedal doesn't work

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Postby Tobe1337 » 03-15-17 8:38 am

Hey guys, my first post on this forum.

I have a masterkey 61 and zepthus® Universal Sustain Pedal on windows 7. However when i press a note and then the pedal to sustain it, nothing happens in Synthesia.
I downloaded Midi-OX to see if there's any signal at all and yes there is. So I'm assuming the problem is Software related. Does anybody have an idea? Thx!
Posts: 5

Postby Nicholas » 03-16-17 7:02 am

Which signal do you see in MIDI-OX? If you could: hearing which STATUS, DATA1, and DATA2 values you're seeing will be helpful.

We had some pedal fixes included in Synthesia 10.3 so if you have an older version, downloading the latest might help. And, there was one other small bug discovered since then that will be in the next development preview (beta) of Synthesia 11. Depending on the exact DATA1 and DATA2 values in MIDI-OX, some pedal messages were being erroneously filtered out.
Posts: 11427

Postby IvanL » 03-16-17 12:25 pm

What is supposed to happen in Synthesia? I haven't seen any pedal annotations in the built in songs yet.
Posts: 42

Postby Nicholas » 03-17-17 5:40 am

Synthesia doesn't use the pedal for anything in particular. Instead, it leaves it as a completely unaltered stylistic user-choice that simply gets forwarded to your output device.

(The lack of pedal markings in the sheet music is a limitation of Synthesia's sheet music renderer that we'll be fixing in the upcoming Synthesia 11 release.)
Posts: 11427

Postby Tobe1337 » 03-20-17 5:19 am

Hello Nicholas,

my current version of Synthesia is 10.3.4096
Here is what I'm getting in Midi-OX when I press and release the pedal.
Am i correct in assuming that the problem is with Synthesia since I'm getting a signal?

Kind regards
midi-ox.jpg (18.64 KiB) Viewed 5322 times
Posts: 5

Postby Nicholas » 03-23-17 1:23 pm

Hmm, that looks correct (and it shouldn't have hit the recently discovered bug; that was only if DATA2 was also showing 40). Just to double-check, are you using the latest version of Synthesia? It should say 10.3 at the lower-right on the title screen.

It would also be helpful to see what Synthesia is actually sending out. If it's not too much trouble, here's how you can set that up to monitor Synthesia's output in MIDI-OX:

  1. Install one of the free virtual MIDI loopback drivers: either LoopBe1 or loopMIDI.
  2. Set Synthesia to also output "Everything" to that driver (on the Settings screen).
  3. In MIDI-OX's device window, turn off input from your keyboard and turn on input from the loopback driver.
Now, if you run both at the same time, everything Synthesia sends out should be caught by MIDI-OX. Now what happens when you press your pedal during a song? Does it generate pedal messages?
Posts: 11427

Postby Tobe1337 » 03-25-17 9:52 am

Hello Nicholas, thank you so much for your help!

So i downloaded the 10.3 installer from the Synthesia homepage and uninstalled my current version, installed again and it still shows 10.3.4096. But I don't think that's the problem.

I'm not sure if I did those 3 steps correctly that you asked for. The first 2 were easy enough.
I dled loopMIDI and set it as an output device for Synthesia (first 2 steps). Then it got a little trickier.
First i opened MIDI-OX.
Then i opened the MIDI Devices Window as seen in the picture. I then selected masterkey61 and hit the red cross (not sure if that did anything). Then i selected the loopMIDI Port and hit OK.
After that i opened loopMIDI and added a new port as seen in the picture.
Then i opened Synthesia and played a note and activated the sustain pedal in "Free Play".
This is the result i was getting in MIDI-OX.

It doesn't look much different from before so I'm not sure if it worked.
Devices.JPG (38.07 KiB) Viewed 5169 times
midi-ox.jpg (22.08 KiB) Viewed 5169 times
loopMIDI.JPG (24.17 KiB) Viewed 5169 times
Posts: 5

Postby Tobe1337 » 03-27-17 1:59 pm

It works now, It's just that Synthesia doesnt recognize the pedal for the score counter sadly. I guess that was what you were refering to about the upcoming version. Well, thank you for your help anyway. It would be great to see this feature implemented soon. Best wishes.
Posts: 5

Postby Nicholas » 03-27-17 3:20 pm

When you say "it works now", you mean you can hear notes making the usual sustained/held sound when holding your pedal? By design back in 2014 we removed any influence the pedal had on scoring or holding the in-game keys down. It's been returned to a simple, stylistic tool that you can use however you like. The 11 release only contains a bug fix for cases where it wasn't even doing that. If you can already hear the sustain effect, 11 won't change anything.
Posts: 11427

Postby Tobe1337 » 03-27-17 4:11 pm

Yea I can hear the sustained sound now. Why did you remove that effect by choice? I'm not able to beat my old high scores (that I did with cramping fingers :D) when using the pedal now.
Posts: 5

Postby Nicholas » 03-30-17 5:14 pm

Looking at it from the perspective of users that don't have a pedal for their digital piano, now they're on an even playing field with you! :lol:

It wasn't the only thing to change at the same time. Simultaneous with the pedal no longer holding notes down in-game, we also adjusted the scoring algorithm to no longer award points for holding notes their entire duration. Often the duration of notes in a MIDI file are exaggerated to achieve a particular sound/effect instead of mimicking the actual position -- held or released -- of the piano key. So, it seemed unfair on both sides to require exact-length presses. Even worse, it encouraged a kind of robotic playing that discouraged good pedaling technique.

Taken together, the two changes complemented themselves and made Synthesia a little more flexible.
Posts: 11427

Postby eFse7en » 06-26-17 6:11 pm

Nicholas wrote:(...) Simultaneous with the pedal no longer holding notes down in-game, we also adjusted the scoring algorithm to no longer award points for holding notes their entire duration. (...)


In which version are the points no longer awarded for holding notes for entire duration?
Because I'm on released version (10.3.4096) and scoring system gives me penalty for not holding notes, even though i hold them with sustain pedal.
I can hear the pedal working, but the notes in Synthesia are released when I release piano keys even with sustain pressed. I would be fine with that if penalty wouldn't be given.

Posts: 33

Postby Nicholas » 06-28-17 1:01 am

Hmm... it seems I've (sort of) been spreading misinformation again (and have been since Dec-2014).

I'm kind of at a loss, actually. Clearly the intent was to remove that. I was even able to find a code commit message from around the same time that says "Removed timing component from melody practice scoring". Hmm. It looks like that factor was removed from the 0 to 10,000 point system (on the "Points Earned" tab) but not from the progress metric (on the "Progress Breakdown" tab you showed).

Trying to rationalize after-the-fact, I wonder if I was worried that the progress breakdown tab would kind of lose most of its meaning if there was only one metric listed there? I'm not sure. It definitely seems inconsistent to ignore it for one set of metrics but not another. Perhaps it's time to remove it for good!

(What do you think? Is there an argument for its removal in Rhythm/Recital as well for the same arguments?)
Posts: 11427

Postby eFse7en » 06-28-17 5:37 pm

Well we have 3 cases here:
1. In case "Note duration scoring" is on and song cannot be played without the help of pedal - allow pedal to actually extend the notes.
2. Encourage players to hold the notes for full duration (either with or without holding the pedal)
3. In case midi have short notes and user would like to use pedal for his intepretation/better soundeffect - ignore pedal effect for "Note duration scoring"

The only solution that comes to my mind to fulfill all 3 cases at the same time would be to keep the "Note duration scoring", enable pedal to extend notes by default and allow user to switch it off for given songs.

Anyway I don't really need #3, so if not many users needed it, you could simply keep the "Note duration scoring" and enable pedal to extend notes.
Posts: 33

Postby Nicholas » 07-08-17 7:36 pm

Another after-the-fact rationalization might have been that the upcoming radical departure (essentially a score wipe) that is the core of the Synthesia 12 update is already going to be a big enough change, that making small ones ahead of time would just needlessly introduce frustration.

I've heard the designers on Blizzard's World of Warcraft team describe how they try to avoid -- I'm forgetting the exact term here, but -- system fatigue or change fatigue. This is where changes are introduced to the same design element on such a regular basis that players begin having trouble developing any sort of investment or attachment to those systems anymore. (Laconically: they've been burned too often.)

I know that tearing out the existing progress metric in 12 for a (hopefully) much more robust, measure-based system of tracking progress is going to upset quite a few users. So I suspect a few years ago, already knowing about this upcoming change, I may have erred on the side of fewer incremental changes to the existing system.
Posts: 11427

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