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  1. Fredrik
  2. MONTAGE
  3. Tuesday, 22 November 2016
Ok so we are limited to use the Yamaha FC-7 as a controlpedal for the superknob on the montage- annoying but ok fine.

The throw of the FC-7 pedal is so long so for me at 182 cm's long(mean height in sweden) to play comfortably it has to be placed 20-30 cm's behind any other pedals in my arsenal(Roland, Proel, Nord...). This means it cannot be used with a regular x-stand for example. Ok so with a table stand to avoid any singer, guitarplayer or any other loose people hanging around from stumbling on my leg sticking out from underneath my keys. Is there a mod for this pedal so it can actually be used without a crazy foot angle when it's fully closed?

/Fred
Responses (8)
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
First - "fully closed" is a bit ambiguous. I like BM's language - so I borrowed it - "full heel" position meaning your heel is closest to the ground and "full toe" position meaning your toe is closest to the ground.

Before modifying the pedal - have you explored the tilt position adjustment? The manual page 4 calls this "selectable pedal angle". The travel is the same - but the angle of the pedal in starting (full heel) and ending (full toe) positions are different. See manual for the diagram.

If that doesn't work ...

According to some sources on a quick source, the FC7 position detection is from resistance of a potentiometer ( aka "POT" - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potentiometer ). You can switch out the POT with a higher resistance one. Sources say this is 50k from middle pin to highest resistance of either outer pin. If you want half the travel, then you would find a POT that is 100k from middle pin to highest resistance of either pin and follows the same general scaling (log scale, not linear).

The downside here is then you would defeat the "fortissimo" function of the pedal if you were planning on using that.

After reducing the travel - you'll want to add a mechanical "stop" so the pedal travel only goes to the 50k (half way) position.

If you wanted to modify the pedal so it could be switched back to "normal" operation - you could use a switch between one leg of a resistor and one pin of the potentiomer where the resistor when switched "on" is placed between the middle and outer pin of the POT and when switched "off" is disconnected. A 100k log taper POT with a 100k resistor (in this case, in "parallel" with the POT) would give you a 50k pot - back to the original. This also scales the resistance of the lowest resistance - so you may need to add an adjustable trim/linear POT in series between either middle pin and the circuit board or outer pin and the circuit board. This would enable "lifting" the lower resistance value to match the original POT's lowest resistance. It may not matter - roland pedals have this trim and this should be essentially how its wired on the inside.

If you wanted the travel to be more than 50% and less than 100% - stick with the 100k log POT (because 75k log pots are not common) and add a resistor in parallel to scale the highest resistance value down. Like the above where I scale it back down to 50k by using a 100k in parallel - but scale it down to maybe 75k by using a 300k resistor instead of 100k in parallel. If you wanted to combine this with still being able to return "to normal" - you could use a 100k + 200k in series - this combination being in parallel with the POT - then using the switch to short out the 200k resistor which would get you back to 100k in parallel - which gives you the choice of selecting between a 75k POT or 50k (original) POT.

If not comfortable with all of this soldering and electrical theory - you could probably find an expression pedal out there that provides the travel you want and matches - to a workable degree - what Yamaha expects.

You can also find someone who can handle doing the modification for you in your local area. Any service tech who works on amps or just about any equipment (musical or not) should be able to handle the math, part replacement, design of a modified pedal for you.

I guess if you still wanted the fortissimo function, then the heel position could be shimmed and potentiometer rotated - then put the pedal on a ramp so the angle of full heel is not too far forward.

I'm glossing over some of the details because I haven't torn open the pedal to see exactly what the starting schematic is of the FC7. If this is a dual POT - then some adjustments (just variety on the theme) would be made. Handling of tip-ring vs tip-sleeve is not covered here. If any of this made sense - then you would be able to make the necessary adjustments once "seeing" the current connections.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 1
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Thanks for the extensive answer on this, fantastic!

I think the full heel and full toe makes perfect sense.

I guess I was more after a positioning mod so I don't need to solder etc. The standing position is not bad at all actually, even though I prefer a shorter through of the pedal this way I don't need to do any soldering and experimentation prior to next gig.

I will actually look into making a modified pedal as you suggest above, it's not a bad idea.

The other option, which comes down more to programming is if it is possible to set e.g. the superknob to respond 0-100% to the two end points of the fortissimo setting of the FC7?

/Fredrik
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 2
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Programming is an option if you're up for that. Every single thing that touches the FC7 that you use would need some form of adjustment. FC7 can be set to all kinds of things - so you may have your programming hands full.

What you will lose doing it this way is granularity. The hardware mod approach should have the same granularity (as a non modified pedal) - the downside to the hardware hack approach is that it is more sensitive (angular rotation vs. values 0-127 vs. "point density";). When you do the programming mod, you're only really using points maybe 0-80 (or whatever you feel like is a better full-toe angle) and you end up scaling this up. So you still get 81 points maximum vs 128 points max. You end up without the ability to "fine tune" as much whichever parameter you are targeting - since your destination has a "k factor" (meaning multiplier) applied.

The "easiest" solution (which doesn't exist) in programming would be if you can set the FC7 scaling factor (value output) vs the incoming resistance. This would be global so you wouldn't have to go in and adjust all destinations which you would otherwise have to do now to achieve the solution programatically. I suppose also keep in mind that placing yourself in a different spot on the log scale also will give a different kind of curve response/feel within the limited range because you do not adjust the curve shape to fit the new range. This may not really matter - it would be worse if limiting the range made the response more exponential - which it does not - it is less exponential.

This may be perfectly fine for whatever you are trying to do - just playing out the pros/cons of each approach.

Just using a wooden wedge/ramp/shim cut to whatever angle you want using a circular saw may get you there as well if the "standing" vs. "sitting" angle adjustment is not "cutting it".
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 3
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Just a note that I am using the Korg EXP-2 pedal instead of FC-7. Works just great.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 4
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Whenever you buy some keyboard from whatever company they only recommend their own sustain pedals and foot controllers. Yamaha is no different. My understanding is that this is mostly marketing. In all the 30 years I used synthesizers I have always used the controllers that work best for me. If you think that the EXP-2 could damage the Montage, that's a different thing. But I would be very surprised if that's the case. Please confirm.

For me the EXP-2 just works exactly as I want it. When it is the full heel position, the Superknob is at 0. In full toe position Superknob is at max. In between it changes in a smooth way. If the FC7 works differently then it does not work in the way I need it ;).

Similar for the sustain pedal. The manual only recommends Yamaha ones. I use a Roland DP-10. It works great for me. And it has this nice rubber plate which you can slide out. It helps me holding the pedal in place, so I don't want to switch to anything else. I actually tested in the store that it works, otherwise I would not have bought the Montage.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 5
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Pedals and support follow different philosophies across the industry. Since I was helping with Nord on another thread - I was having to read some of their documentation and noticed they have a number of expression pedals supported - with firmware updates that add more. I imagine there's a setup screen which has the user tell the board which expression pedal is connected and the A/D output is scaled or shifted (or both) accordingly.

3rd party enablement of expression pedals is not a difficult task to add although it does cannibalize sales of a high(er)-margin product. Given the price point of Montage - I'm sure the goal is not to use it as a vehicle for selling pedals - because the upside is so little as a percentage of the keyboard sale.

Just to provide some competitive perspective - Nord doesn't make their own Expression Pedal according to the NE5 accessories list. They show support for: Yamaha FC7, Roland EV-7, Roland EV-5, Korg EXP2 and Korg XVP10 expression pedals. The system menu has the following options:

"5 - CONTROL PEDAL TYPE gives you a range of
options corresponding to the most common
makes and models. Possible settings are: Roland
EV7, Yamaha FC7, KORG EXP2, KORG
XVP10, Boss FV500L and Fatar SL. "

Therefore - locking you into a single expression pedal is not ubiquitous.

Which approach is better is open for interpretation. There are examples in other electronics industries where users are very happy with a more controlled user experience (limited options - but all options available work elegantly) as well as happy with having choice (lots of solutions, different support channels and possibly interoperability issues, but typically has more range in price-point which makes the penny pinchers happy).

Given the overhead (meaning user's costs vs. the cost of the Montage) involved with getting an FC7 (which is very little) - I'd say the strategy to only support a limited set of Yamaha accessories is a wise choice as it best guides the user to something which is going to work out of the box. The build quality of the pedal is respected.

Expression pedals are passive devices - it would be fairly difficult to cause damage as the input port should be able to operate without failure providing a short between all pins for an indefinite amount of time ("forever";). This would be as simple, on Yamaha's side, as adding a $0.001 (less than a penny) series resistor to limit the current when a short occurs. I don't have schematics - but this has to be the design approach as anyone could plug in maybe their momentary normally closed footswitch pedal into the same port. $0.001 to save lots more on warranty costs is a no-brainer - and Yamaha is not lacking in that department.

The primary concern is over range - so if heel always gets you 0 and toe always gets you 127 - and there's a sufficient "landing area" at 0 and also 127 (meaning it's not going to roll off of 0 if a flea lands on the pedal toe area - and is not going to roll off 127 if the flea jumps to the heel -- because there's margin at 0 and margin at 127) then you're covered. Extents isn't the whole game as travel (log vs. linear) maybe important as well. This is where the "sweep" feels right or not. Might boil down to a subjective call. Montage is tuned for log - but if you used the 'wrong' POT - your foot may be OK with the response.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 6
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Hi...i am a new user here. As per my observation if you wanted to modify the pedal so it could be switched back to "normal" operation - you could use a switch between one leg of a resistor and one pin of the potentiomer where the resistor when switched "on" is placed between the middle and outer pin of the POT and when switched "off" is disconnected. A 100k log taper POT with a 100k resistor would give you a 50k pot - back to the original. This also scales the resistance of the lowest resistance - so you may need to add an adjustable trim/linear POT in series between either middle pin and the circuit board or outer pin and the circuit assembly.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 7
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
With electronics know-how, it is easy to design a pedal that can switch personalities. However, I am in favor of Nord's approach who adjusts the A/D response limits, curves, and polarity through software (firmware). As there is a very small minority of users who are comfortable with the soldering approach to take a non-supported expression pedal and provide the "hooks" to make 3rd party hardware act as an FC7 while still being able to retain the original function (through switch) in order to be used with the original equipment the 3rd party pedal was purposed for.

I think the discussion, including my own, of how to modify a pedal maybe reaches double-digits in people who can use the information. Even those of us who could modify the equipment left-and-right may not want to introduce the reliability hit that can occur through the extra heat cycle of the rework job. And there's some risk of it not being a clean job (solder alloy not matching original - bond not being as strong as a result - etc). Depending on the enclosure - you may damage the enclosure by taking some other pedal apart. In other words, even if you can apply this information - you may not want to.

However, this all started by a user wanting to modify the response because the FC7 didn't do what he wanted. And presumably was comfortable with doing the modification. I'm not sure a software (firmware) solution is going to happen because so far there's been one user who needed this kind of functionality (basically to scale the FC7 to avoid a large "throw";). The thread did take a left turn talking about non-FC7s, but the heart of this thread is about wanting to change the FC7 response.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 8
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