Expression Pedal Sensitivity in Volume Control (CC11)

I am using a Yamaha FC7 on a NI Komplete Kontrol S88 and am having some difficulty with volume change sensitivity in the low range of the pedal (eg. 1st 5-10 degrees has a steeper / less linear sensitivity). I have a CC11 binding set to master level gain in Cantabile. I’ve done some on-line research, have found reports of similar issues with compatibility between keyboards and pedals, with similar symptoms and specifically the FC7. I also came across some lists of different potentiometer and polarity standards on pedals (eg. 50k pot on Yamaha vs. 10K pot on others) and ways to address this through soldering, etc., which I would rather not get into, if that is even the cause. I was wondering if any of you came across issues like this and how you dealt with them. I was also wondering if Cantabile might have a way to compensate for this.

I may just have a hardware incompatibility thing going on here and I need to validate that. Unfortunately there isn’t much available from NI on requirements for the S88 or specs from the pedal makers either. I will probably reach out to them or Guitar Center (where I bought the keyboard) to get some additional insight. If necessary I’d just go out and buy something else, but I’m not sure what the specs or make should be on the replacement yet.

Do any of you have insights on Cantabile work arounds or similar experiences?

Thanks you.


Hi MIke,

Not sure about the hardware side of it, but you might be able to compensate for it in Cantabile with a velocity curve MIDI filter on the CC in question.



Concerning hardware: obviously there are 2 different standards out there. I had issues with the combination FC7 / UF7 (CME), f.e.

In my case a crossing adapter exchanging tip and ring solved the problem.

Regards, humphrey

PS: here a link with a closer description I posted in the forte forum:

Hey Mike,

I am using an FC-7 on a Kurzweil PC3K. This is one of the combinations that doesn’t perform correctly, due to different polarity, so I simply soldered an adapter (female TRS jack --> male TRS plug) which corrects the polarity (so I don’t need to permanently modify my FC-7).

Without this adapter, the FC-7 shows similar characteristics as you describe (uneven sensitivity, limited linear range), so it may be that the Kontrol S88 expects Roland compatible expression pedals, not Yamaha style. You might try building an adapter similar to mine - doesn’t cost the world and will allow you to use the (great!) FC-7 with your setup.

What I found is that (at least for my Kurzweil board) the difference in pot resistance doesn’t really have a negative effect on pedal characteristics, once you fix the polarity.

What you COULD try on the software side is to insert a MIDI filter on your Kontrol S88 input that sets a different controller curve: Tools --> Options --> MIDI ports --> Edit --> Filters --> Add --> Velocity / Controller Curve.

Set it to affect CC11 only and play around with the “Enhance” or “Curve” settings. Maybe that’ll help even without any soldering, as long as your pedal produces all CC values from 0 to 127…



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Thank you guys for the quick replies.

Brad, I found and tried the velocity curve adjustment in Cantabile last night before posting, but didn’t notice any impact. I was shot and may have missed something, so I’ll will try it again tonight. It looked promising though and I was psyched when I found it.

If this doesn’t pan out I’ll try some of the other suggestions and post an update.

I certainly appreciated the help.


Well, sorry for the diversion guys. With a fresh head tonight I realized that I had cc11 mapped to both the Cantabile Master Level and the Pluggin level. So I think I was getting a compound effect. Anyhow, the Yamaha FC7 seems to be working fine now controlling volume on my NI S88.

One additional options did occur to me though. Since I have only one expression input on the NI 88, if I want to use it to control other things at some point, maybe it would be better for me to just insert a Standard Audio Volume pedal between my Focusrite USB Audio Interface and the house/mixer. Is either approach considered best practice, or doesn’t it matter.

Thanks again for your help.


If you need more expression pedal inputs (or switch inputs), you could also consider getting a MIDI Expression Quattro, providing four extra pedal inputs. More flexible to keep control in the digital domain, rather than using a conventional analogue volume pedal.


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Thanks for the Quattro recommendation. I just checked out their videos and the product looks great. Seems like a perfect use for that SamAsh gift card I have laying around. Maybe get a couple more pedals while I’m at it!


One thing I like is that the Quattro comes with a VST plugin you can put in your Cantabile background rack to configure the pedal types. Nice to keep things centralised.


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Yup, the Quattro is a nice piece of kit (just the shipping from China is a bit of a nightmare here in Germany with all the customs issues…).

I built my own USB pedal controller - similar to the Quattro, but not as powerful - with a Teensy (Arduino-compatible micro-controller) to be independent of keyboard features and ports, so I can use whatever weighted MIDI keyboard I may find or prefer at the time and simply bring all my pedals with the pedal controller. Similarly, I’ve configured a Novation Launch Control for all my controller needs to be independent of keyboard controllers, buttons or sliders.

Keeps things modular but simple :wink:



I see. The Quattro does not seem to be sold through any of the big music chains here in the U.S. I’ll have to research some alternatives or buy direct and put the gift card back in the drawer.

Adding my Thumbs Up for the Quattro. I have a custom pedalboard with 3 Moog EP-3 expression pedals (alongside 2 sustain footswitches), and although I often just use them as volume pedals for individual parts, the flexibility is there for any of the pedals to control almost anything via Cantabile Routings.