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Play flute; looking for sustain pedal for arpeggios.

dddiam

Member
Messages
11
I play the concert flute (acoustic).

I am looking for a sustain pedal that behaves like a piano or keyboard sustain pedal. One that handles fast arpeggios, not just slow arpeggios.

The Plus Pedal would work with a simple firmware routine that would detect a change in pitch, wait a user-set number of milliseconds, and then sample the sound. I emailed Game Changer about it, but never got a response. The current Plus Pedal implementation needs the user to manually cue each note during the Sustain portion of the instrument's ADSR envelope. That is viable for slow arpeggios only, not for fast ones.

So what other options do I have?
 

MadFrank

Gold Supporting Member
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,250
That’s an interesting question. In of itself, the Game Changer is the only piano type sustain pedal on the market for guitar. It’s certainly unique for what it does and it’s form factor. It’s pretty left field and niche, so I wouldn’t expect many other brands trying the concept out.
I’m not sure exactly how unique the pedal is in terms of the sounds, functions it can offer, so it may be that there are compressor/ limiter pedals out there with expression capability that could get you somewhere similar? Does the Sonuus Volume pedal do anything like this?

Other than that, I’d guess you’d have more luck looking into the world of keyboards and electric pianos for anything like the sustain pedal that may be adaptable to your flute. Good luck.
 

webs

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,098
I don't think there are any pedal makers out there who are likely to build and ship a firmware tweak like you're asking about. It's more work and involvement than it sounds like, for no real payoff. In any case I'm fairly sure there aren't any sustain pedals, as such, that'll do what you're asking. They're thin on the ground as it is and none of them have any sort of envelope or pitch-detection capability, as far as I know. Not sure that's something that can be bodged in with a firmware update either, but I'm no expert. If I'm wrong, I'd love to know so I can buy one. But I doubt it.

A reverb with a hold function (particularly the kind that cranks the mix) might be the solution. The Empress Reverb and the Meris Mercury 7 have a pretty good 'smear' on the hold function, which is what I use when I want a similar feeling to a sustained piano. Depending on how clean you want the arpeggios to be, it may be the best option.
 

Vhailor

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,742
Aren't there pitch-shifting delays, where the pitch-shift is applied to the delayed signal only? Montreal Assembly Count To Five and Red Panda Particle come to mind, but I'm not really sure: pitch-shifting delay, to me, is kinda hard to stomach.


To get anywhere close to what's being discussed, I'd guess that you'd need to resort to midi; didn't Yamaha once make a flute-like breath-controller? Once your signal was in the midi / digital domain, I'd guess that you'd have quite a few options (although I can't really list any, as this area is very foreign to me.)
 
Messages
3,688
My initial reaction is a reverb or a freeze type effect, but I'm not super familiar with the sustain pedal on a piano.

Does it basically extend the decay time of the notes?
 

dddiam

Member
Messages
11
Thank you for your feedback and suggestions.

I am going to give up on a true, clean sustain pedal for flute, and perhaps look into a reverb/delay/hold box instead. There are a lot of options out there, some more reasonably priced, and many with a rent-to-buy option, so you can try them out. That is especially important if I am going to use it with a flute. The demo videos all use a guitar, which has a sharper attack than a flute, so it is hard to know ahead of time what the effects box will sound like with a flute.

I will have a lot of fun watching demo videos and exploring options.

Please feel free to post any additional thoughts that you might have.

To @sixesandsevens: The piano's sustain pedal keeps all strings unmuted, so that the sound fades naturally over a long period of time. Without the sustain pedal pressed, releasing a piano key mutes its associated string, stopping the sound.
 
Last edited:

urQuill

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,542
This is very interesting! I really would enjoy hearing clips of your exploration of this idea, however experimental. No doubt, many would!

I think pitch-shifting delays could work very well for you, perhaps not in exact accordance with your initial concept but maybe in other ways.
 

lefort_1

Nuzzled Firmly Betwixt
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,959
(I tried to type this in theAM, but a forum update kept blocking me. My apologies)

Kinda like your comments in #6, I was thinking about:
a multi-tap delay
set the first tap for your Xmsecs delay
and feed the tap (not the dry) into a very fine-grained reverb... no big reflections.
If it is modeled on a continuous angled wall, then you should get a sustain-like return w/out unique 'echoes'.

I'm not sure if this is what you had in mind, but it may be a starting point.
 

ZENTISH

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
380
I say run that flute through a Wah Wah!! o_O Only kidding but it might be fun? A freind of mine used to blow a sax through a Wah Wah,sounded cool!

Carry on, TISH
 

dddiam

Member
Messages
11
Here is a YouTube recording of Melissa Keeling playing Claire de Lune on her flute.

She gets a lot of mileage out of her Boss VE-20 pedal.

Not quite what I was looking for, but beautiful, nevertheless. Among other things, that box can add harmonizing intervals (e.g., a fifth below).

I am not sure, but I think that this piece might also have a Boss DD-3 or DD-5 in the loop.
 
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3waytie4last

Unfluencer
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
4,382
A good "horn-style" fuzz is what you need. It doesn't have to sound like fuzz, but can do fantastic sustain if dealt with properly.
 

lefort_1

Nuzzled Firmly Betwixt
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,959
re: Violin through a Wah is the ultimate war-toy.

I see what you mean o_O ;) !

Nice!

I'll see your Blues GitFiddle and raise you a Jerry Goodman Wah Violin Rant.
Buried in this three-way trade of solo riffs (McLaughlin/Hammer/Goodman) is some insane fretless wah-age.
.. starts with a 15 second ramp-up, with the wah being comped along under the rhythm.
Then all hell breaks loose.


I was raised on this from about age 13... no wonder I'm warped.
This is the kind of stuff I was trying to figure out on my Harmony Sovereign... ruined me forever.
 
Messages
3,688
Thank you for your feedback and suggestions.

I am going to give up on a true, clean sustain pedal for flute, and perhaps look into a reverb/delay/hold box instead. There are a lot of options out there, some more reasonably priced, and many with a rent-to-buy option, so you can try them out. That is especially important if I am going to use it with a flute. The demo videos all use a guitar, which has a sharper attack than a flute, so it is hard to know ahead of time what the effects box will sound like with a flute.

I will have a lot of fun watching demo videos and exploring options.

Please feel free to post any additional thoughts that you might have.

To @sixesandsevens: The piano's sustain pedal keeps all strings unmuted, so that the sound fades naturally over a long period of time. Without the sustain pedal pressed, releasing a piano key mutes its associated string, stopping the sound.
It sounds to me like you might really want to look at a flexible reverb unit. I'm not enough of a reverb guru to tell you exactly what kind of model you would be looking for, but I bet with a near-0 pre-delay you would get something very similar to what you're looking for. Because it was on my radar recently, I would suggest maybe the Meris Mercury 7. If you want to spend more to experiment with something even more flexible, maybe an old Lexicon unit, but the headache factor might go up with that since it is rack mount gear.

If you wanted to selectively sustain certain notes further than others, I would suggest maybe getting an expression pedal so that you can use your foot to modulate the decay time and other parameters as appropriate for the effect you want.
 

dddiam

Member
Messages
11
Thanks. I will look into them.
It sounds to me like you might really want to look at a flexible reverb unit. I'm not enough of a reverb guru to tell you exactly what kind of model you would be looking for, but I bet with a near-0 pre-delay you would get something very similar to what you're looking for. Because it was on my radar recently, I would suggest maybe the Meris Mercury 7. If you want to spend more to experiment with something even more flexible, maybe an old Lexicon unit, but the headache factor might go up with that since it is rack mount gear.

If you wanted to selectively sustain certain notes further than others, I would suggest maybe getting an expression pedal so that you can use your foot to modulate the decay time and other parameters as appropriate for the effect you want.
 

webs

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,098
What about the freeze pedal?
No, it's even less capable of this than the Plus pedal mentioned in the first post. The goal here is to allow for continuous and overlapping holding of multiple notes as they come, to extend their decay. The Freeze cannot do that, as it can't do layers. The Plus can sort of manage it but not automatically and not fast enough to be useful in this circumstance.

Forgot about the Superego+. That's a good option for sure. I'm not wild about how it sounds, but in the sustain mode it does automatically layer based on envelope.
 

drbob1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
26,914
I'm a bit confused. I've used the Plus pedal, and it terminates a given hold when you trigger the next. So you can get a sustain of each note in an arpeggio, but not a hold of one note and a hold of the next note overlapping. If what you want is a Freeze with an auto trigger then Eurorack is super easy-a fine grained reverb controlled by a ducking envelope generator (so the envelop closes when the next note plays and reopens). If you want the notes to overlap, then don't use the envelope to feed the reverb, rather than control it. Pedal-wise, it's harder, I'm not sure what reverbs might have built in envelope generators or which can be controlled by an external one. And yes, if you venture into midi, all of this becomes easier.
 




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