Pianists and keyboard players all across the globe rely on their melody making to capture a variety of audiences. As grand as the instrument can get, sometimes musicians need tools to further their sound and playing experience.
Today, we’re going to look at some of the best sustain pedals available out there today.
When you’re a piano player, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the notes you’re executing. After all, it is fun to experiment with a bunch of chords and keys, and hearing all of the sounds you’re able to produce does give any player excitement.
But sometimes, it’s important to give emphasis to certain phrases or parts of songs. As an artist, it’s your responsibility to highlight certain nuances of your song.
Nothing is more important than making that connection with your audience – whether it be big or small.
This is why genius minds have come up with a way to expand your piano sounds and captivate your audience. That’s right. We’re talking about a sustain pedal.
But what exactly is it? Do you need one? How does one work? We’ll tackle all about the best sustain pedal and how you can get one for yourself.
Let’s get into the thick of things first.
What is a sustain pedal?
Simply put, a sustain pedal lets your note ring out a little bit longer even though your hands are no longer touching your instrument. This tool helps you push your performance to the next level – allowing you to highlight emotions through certain parts of the music you are playing.
Now that you have a brief overview of how useful this pedal is, let’s head right into the buying guide.
First off, you’re going to want to consider your budget.
A lot of manufacturers offer the same brand once you purchase a piano or a keyboard. Most of the time, they come packaged (or at a discount). If you’re only starting out with the piano, you can always resort to the bundled options.
Another is durability. Since you’re most likely to be stepping on quite often, having a good quality and durable sustain pedal is essential – especially for any serious musician. One of the things you can consider here is the slipping factor (or the ability of the pedal to stay in place).
Action is another factor you want to look into. This pertains to the level of resistance once you step on the pedal and apply pressure.
Now we have all of that out of the way, let’s get right into our roundup of the best sustain pedals out there today!
A note on choosing sustain pedals
Take a minute to think about how often you use the sustain pedal. Keyboard sustain pedals are probably the one part of your keyboard that gets more use than anything else. Trust me on this – this is not something to cheap out on.
Make sure you get a good sustain pedal with piano style action and slip resistant rubber feet. If you’re seriously aiming to reproduce more subtle acoustic piano sounds you should also look for ability to support half pedalling, or even triple pedals. However, if you do go down that road make sure that your keyboard or digital piano actually has triple pedal jacks so that it can use the signal from all three keyboard pedals.
Coming in at number 1 is no stranger to quality audio equipment. From MIDI controllers, audio interfaces, they have you covered.
The SP-2 Universal from M-Audio is an inexpensive yet reliable sustain pedal. But don’t be fooled! Just because it’s cheap, doesn’t mean it will break immediately after a few steps.
The SP-2 is known for having a great build and decent action. It also houses a polarity switch, allowing the player to choose between negative or positive polarity.
Next on our list is an offering from one of the most respected brands in the piano community. The SP-20 from Casio boasts a sleek design, a sturdy build, and a price that can be fair enough for beginners and seasoned musicians.
A lot of users loved the pedal being extremely sensitive to light pressure and its lightweight construction.
When looking for a traditional type of sustain pedal, this offering from Roland can be something you want to consider. The DP-10 is like your usual sustain pedal, but can be a little bit more forgiving for those with smaller feet.
A lot of users found it extremely well-built and has cables long enough for stacked keyboard players.
When in the market for a compact sustain pedal, this next offering lives up to the expectations. It also helps to know that it’s from a company that’s been around the music industry long enough for them to know what actually works for musicians.
The Yamaha FC-5 is renowned for its soft spring-action, and its unique shape and form.
Although it lacks a polarity switch, it’s still one of the most popular offerings in terms of having a decent sustain pedal.
Completing our roundup is another one from the budget-friendly department.
The Donner DSP-003 takes pride in being responsive and comfortable to utilize. It has good resistance, making it ideal for the nuances in feel while playing your instrument.
It also boasts an anti-slip setting and a build that is capable of withstanding any serious musician’s feel and approach.
In summary, any sustain pedal can work for you.
As long as you’re well aware of how to make the most of it, they all have their own purpose. All of the items mentioned in this roundup do their job pretty well.
It’s just a matter of preference of how you want your instrument to sound. Have fun exploring with your sustain pedals!