My sustain pedal isn't working in MainStage

There are a few reasons why your sustain pedal may not be functioning as normal. 

The most common reason your sustain pedal might be flipped and functioning backwards is the order you've plugged everything in. We recommend that you plug your pedal into the keyboard port before connecting your keyboard to a computer. Sometimes if you plug in your pedal after connecting it to your computer and opening software, it will get inverted. 

If you're still having an issue, please go through the list of easy fixes and test the sustain after implementing each potential solution:

  1. Make sure that your sustain pedal is assigned in the MainStage “Layout" tab. Also make sure that the “Type:" is set to “Press / Release", and the “Send Value to:” is set to “None."
  2. Check to make sure your sustain pedal is plugged into the correct port on the keyboard controller.
  3. If the sustain pedal is inverted (functioning backwards): check to see if it has a polarity switch (this may be located underneath the pedal), and if so, flip the switch.
    If there is no polarity switch, you can check out our tutorial for reversing the pedal polarity here: 

If your pedal is acting like a switch, where one press activates the sustain, and another press releases it, and you have tried step 3: In the “Edit" tab, click the sustain pedal and then click the sustain tab in the bottom window. Make sure that “momentary behavior is selected."

If you've tried all these things, and the sustain pedal is still not working properly, it may not be sending the MIDI control change message #64. There are two ways to address this if its the case:

  1. You can find the setting on the hardware to change the MIDI # for the sustain pedal, and then change it to 64.
  2. You can have MainStage translate the MIDI # it is receiving into a sustain message. For this, please watch the video below- the video is titled about the mod wheel and faders, but if you watch it through, you will see how it gets into showing what MIDI # is being sent, and also how to translate MIDI messages. This concept applies to the sustain pedal (as it is a shelf control).

    You want the Midi Monitor to show it like this:
    On: Channnel 1, CC64, 127
    Off: Channel 1, CC64, 0.


If you've tried several pedals and still can't get this working, follow the below steps - this would be an example where for off it says Channel 1, CC64, 40 instead of Channel 1, CC64, 0:

  1. Select the onscreen pedal in Edit mode while at the concert level.
  2. In the Inspector at the bottom of the screen you’ll need to add a mapping to “Send to All>Keyboard 1 Destinations> 64 Sustain”.
  3. After making that mapping you’ll need to click the little bar graph area below the Max and Min values for the mapping. It’ll be labeled “transform”.
  4. A window will pop up displaying a diagonal line from bottom left to top right. Click and drag the bottom left dot to the right until it says “0, 40”. make sure it doesn’t go any higher in the graph, just to the right.

If you have tried all these steps and are still having issues, open the MIDI Message Monitor while in the “Edit” tab (Select Window > MIDI Message Monitor). Then click the “Filters” dropdown and make sure all the boxes are checked. Next, press “Clear.” Next, press and release the sustain pedal 4 times. Take screenshot of the log that generates, and then send a picture of that screenshot along with what you've tried so far to so we can help diagnose the problem further. 

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