I have a Yamaha P200 keyboard and I wanted to start using it as a midi controller. I've learned that the sustain input and pedal (FC4) currently only acts as a switch. I would like to use software that supports a continuous sustain input. So, I'm wondering if it's possible to use some of the continuous sustain pedals via the foot controller input?

I know that the Yamaha FC7 foot controller will work, however, I really would like to keep with the damper pedal style and feel so I'm not looking at this option atm.

3 Answers 3


Yes, the "foot controller" input on your keyboard is the only input that will support levels other than "on" or "off".

Most of the pedals for this are the type that rock back and forth. There are pedals (such as the Yamaha FC3) that are in the format you describe. Attach these to your foot controller input, and you are good to go.

Most pedals are fairly universal. Sometimes a particular pedal may not be exactly calibrated to the range of your keyboard, but most will work just fine. the FC3 specifically states it is compatible with your keyboard.

  • It sounds like asker wants an FC3 that will stay down like a FC7. "continuous sustain" Of course I could be misunderstanding that. It's compatible, but I don't know what if "continuous sustain" can be done with that.
    – d-_-b
    Commented Feb 3, 2011 at 15:28
  • I believe you have misunderstood, but we'll see when he comes back. I believe his meaning of "continuous" is a pedal where the keyboard can detect how far it is down and send the appropriate MIDI CC value (0-127) back, just like a standard control pedal, but in sustain pedal format.
    – Brad
    Commented Feb 3, 2011 at 17:13
  • It sounds like "variable". Looking at Yamaha's website, they do call it a "continous zone". So you're probably correct. I didn't know MIDI sustain had "levels" (0-127). Or is that a proprietary extension?
    – d-_-b
    Commented Feb 4, 2011 at 6:42
  • Yes, MIDI sustain messages are set up so that a value 63 and less are off, and 64 and higher are on. A whole range of values could be sent. See midi.org/techspecs/midimessages.php. That being said, most software doesn't interpret it the full range and will only use on/off. I was expecting Qberticus to plug this pedal into his foot controller input and use it for any normal CC, like any other foot controller. The only difference is the physical pedal is in the format of a sustain pedal, rather than the type that rocks back and forth.
    – Brad
    Commented Feb 4, 2011 at 14:11

In the P200 spec it says:


So it is very possible that it is an on/off type switch rather than a variable type switch that you would get with a volume foot controller (Yamaha FC7). However, for sustain, you really only need a switch. Continous sustain, like the kind you get when you "lock down" the sustain pedal of piano would obviously need to be done on the pedal. In other words the pedal needs to physically lock. OR you could program your synth to do something like a toggle: press once to turn sustain "on" and press again to turn it "off". However, that depends on the synth/software you are using.


There are two types of footswitches for keyboards. Those in which the connection is normally opened and those which are normally closed. Some even have a switch to change between the two. Most modern keyboards automatically detect which is plugged in when you turn on the keyboard.

If you have the footswitch depressed when the keyboard is turned on, it will act as a continuous sustain when released and only release the notes when you depress the switch.

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