Expression pedal suddenly doesn’t work

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    • #163782

      Looking for help diagnosing the reason why my M-Audio expression pedal suddenly stopped working with my Eventide Space box in the middle of a gig last week. I tried plugging my volume pedal into the Expression jack, and it worked well enough to get me through the gig–not ideal, but it did adjust the setting the M-Audio had been mapped to. So I assumed it must be an issue with the M-Audio, and got a replacement from Sweetwater. But the new M-Audio doesn’t work either. I’m at a loss. Been using M-Audio with the Space box for years and never had a problem. I know those pedals have a switch that selects between “M-Audio” and “Other”–that’s been a gotcha before if it accidentally gets flipped. But I’ve tried it both ways on both pedals, and no dice. Seems like maybe a software problem? Any advice welcome.

    • #163783

      Maybe check the pedal settings/calibration and the automatic calibration settings in the SPACE system settings…
      Check the behavior of the expression pedal output… Does it vary the parameter 0-100% neatly?
      Also an ohm-meter (multimeter) will tell you the resistance behavior if you want a sanity check to compare pots, tapers, etc. and whether the resistance track is behaving erratically… which doesn’t seem to be your problem. For example, the Ernie Ball VP Jr varies resistance from 0 ohms heel position (shorted to ground) to 25Kohms resistance when in the toe position.  For your information, I believe the M-Audio EXP is 10K linear pot.

    • #163794

      The problem is that the Space just suddenly acted like I’d disconnected the expression pedal–like there’s no expression pedal connected at all. Thought it was the pedal itself, so got a new one, but same result: Space simply doesn’t recognize it’s connected. This is after years of using the same M-Audio exp pedal, same set-up. Maybe it’s the jack? Except the jack does take information from my (Ernie Ball VPjr) volume pedal. I tried alcohol swabbing the jack, but no joy there either.

      I have connected to the Space via the desktop H9 Controller app, but I’m not seeing the automatic calibration setting you refer to. I’ve attached a screen shot of the control panel I’m seeing. I’m also wondering if there’s a way to just reset to original factory settings? I thought I’d seen that somewhere in the past but I’m not finding it now.

      So frustrating.

      Screen Shot 2022-05-19 at 12.05.55 PM


    • #163795

      New datapoint: I’m actually able to get the Space to recognize the exp pedal when I insert the jack partway in. It’s only intermittent and not a solution for the problem, but at least indicates it’s a hardware issue. The exp pedal jack is a stereo rather than the standard 1/4-inch guitar cable I was using to connect the Ernie Ball VP, so that may explain the difference, i.e. the female on the Space isn’t getting full contact with the stereo, but can get something from the mono guitar cable (when it’s in the exp jack, the volume pedal only uses a tiny fraction of its sweep to go from 0 to 100). I don’t have any contact cleaner other than alcohol swab, which I tried, but maybe I can get some and try that. Otherwise getting the jack replaced would be the answer, which kinda sucks.

    • #163796


      [UTILITY] —> [PEDAL CAL]
      Select OFF to disable automatic Expression Pedal calibration

      Here’s for the SPACE, p.26 U.M.:

      Because different pedals can have different electrical characteristics, it is a good idea to “calibrate” your Stompbox to match the pedal. This can be done automatically, either all the time, or only when wanted. To turn calibration On/Off:
      1) Press and hold the Encoder and Right Footswitch simultaneously for a few seconds to enter System Mode. Release the Encoder.
      2) Turn the Encoder until [UTILITY] is displayed.
      3) Momentarily press the Encoder.
      4) Turn the Encoder until [PEDAL CAL] is displayed.
      5) Momentarily press the Encoder.
      6) Turn the Encoder to select either ON or OFF.
      7) Press and hold the Encoder and Right Footswitch simultaneously for a few seconds to exit System Mode.
      When Calibration is ON, the unit will remember the highest and lowest values it sees and will use these as pedal up and pedal down. Typically you will turn it ON, move the pedal between its maximum and minimum values a few times, then turn it OFF. Be aware that some pedals can be a bit quirky and pressing hard and pressing gently may give different values. For this reason we suggest turning calibration OFF when you’re happy with the setting. When Calibration is OFF, the values will be remembered and will not be changed by moving the pedal.
      The Expression Pedal settings can be adjusted simply by pressing the Pedal to the full heel or full toe position and turning the Control Knobs. You’ll notice afterwards that whenever you move the Pedal, the green “Edited” LED in the upper right corner blinks. This indicates that Pedal programming is “live.” To program, press the heel completely down and adjust the knobs to get the sound that you want for the heel down position. You must turn the knobs to create the assignment. Knobs that are not turned are not assigned. Now, press the toe completely down and change the settings of any or all of the knobs. Parameters associated with any knobs that are moved will be mapped to the Pedal. Now, when you rock the pedal back and forth, you’ll hear the sound change between the two settings. After a few seconds of pedal and knob inactivity, the green “Edited” LED will stop flashing.
      When the LED is solidly lit, you can turn any of the Parameter Control Knobs to change the sound without changing the Expression Pedal mapping.
      When the Expression Pedal is used, the Billboard will display the changing value. If the Expression Pedal has been set up to control a single parameter, the display will show the parameter name and value in the same way as if you were turning the Control Knob. If the Expression Pedal has been set up to control multiple parameters, the display is a graphic representation of the Control Knobs. Control Knobs that are controlled by the Expression Pedal are represented as circles while unassigned Control Knobs are indicated by a solid line (dash). The 2nd character from the left indicates the position of the Expression Pedal with a value from 0-9 (0 = heel, 9 = toe).

    • #163797

      Also, you were asking on the SPACE, according to U.M. p.56

      1/4″ EXP jack is TIP_SLEEVE (TS “mono”)
      1/4″ AUX jack IS TIP_RING_SLEEVE (TRS “stereo”)

      If the actual jack is bad, it should not be too hard to fix…
      I’ve also heard of contact/buggy issues fixed w re-seating the ribbon cables but am not sure if this would have anything to do w your problem…

    • #163798

      And just because you asked… (UM p.54)

      Restoring Factory System Settings
      To restore System settings, power up while simultaneously pressing the Right Footswitch and the Encoder until [CLEAR SETUP] is displayed.

      Restoring Factory Presets and System Settings CAUTION: This function will overwrite any Presets that you have saved.
      To restore Factory Presets and all System settings, power up while simultaneously pressing the Middle Footswitch and the Encoder until [INITIALIZING] is displayed.

    • #163850

      New data point is that I got a TRS–>TS adapter and tried that with the M-Audio, and the Eventide seems to only intermittently recognize it. Setting the range control on the side of the pedal to one of the extremes seemed to work… until it didn’t. As I say, I have an Ernie Ball volume pedal that works more or less, using a TS jack, but it doesn’t seem to calibrate, and the whole “throw” from 0 to 100% only uses about 1/3 of the pedal range, which is awkward. Do they make a dedicated expression pedal any more? I haven’t been able to find one. I’ve looked at others and they all seem to have TRS connectors. The UM has a link to recommended pedals page, but it’s a 404.

      I’m starting to wonder if it’s a problem with the Eventide jack itself, but I don’t know how to definitively diagnose it, not being an electronics tech. Is there a list of Eventide-authorized repair shops somewhere?

    • #163861

      Generally, VP Jr (25K) or the Mission Engineering are the ones recommended. In the past I’ve used several but prefer the VP Jr because the string design keeps any position extremely stable and doesn’t “wiggle” the parameter. I’m currently using a VP Jr on another pedal and much of the throw is towards the “toe 1/3rd” end, so this may be normal. Not sure if you are expecting perfection.

      Any tech should be able to diagnose whether its the proper behavior. Then you could send it in to support if there is an actual issue.
      If expression works with the VP Jr. it is almost certainly not the SPACE, generally expression pedals with range adjustment etc are more prone to not being set up correctly.

      • #163862


        Turns out the TRS-TS adapter was working. What made it seem erratic was that I had earlier reverted to factory settings, and a lot of the presets map the expression pedal to certain control knobs by default. This made the usual method of initiating the edit/assignment process using the pedal and the knobs seemed like it wasn’t working, because whatever knob I was choosing was just being added to the mapping for that preset and only the default one showed in the status display. Once I connected to the H9 app via USB I could see what was happening and un-map the default. After that the new M-Audio pedal worked as expected, so yay. I did have to futz with the trim a few times, but that that seemed to magically clear up the second time I did a calibration on it, so I’m getting a nice precise 0-100% heel-toe.

        I’m still baffled by the question why my original M-Audio pedal worked fine for so many years without any question of using an adapter. I can only conclude that M-Audio changed the jack from TS to TRS at some point. The TRS connection does seem to dominate among midi-controlled devices—keyboards and the like–and that’s their primary market, so it would make sense. I just wish I’d stumbled on that info sooner if that’s what happened. I’ve posed the question over there but no response yet. May remain a mystery.

        But for anyone else who runs into this problem: just get the adapter! Woulda saved me a lot of time and frustration if I’d known.

    • #163865

      My best guess is this:
      TRS-to-TS adapter connects the signal equally between the tip and the ring… This way the ring (R) is not FLOATING inside the SPACE exp jack… (which is likely how the SPACE EXP jack handles a ring connection) Instead, it allows the ring to conduct thru the TIP (T) of the adapter for the SPACE to read properly.

      If all of this is indeed correct (I dont have one in front of me to test), then cutting and re-wiring a new TS jack to the M-audio would also work.
      The wires connected and soldered together as T+R–TIP and keeping S as SLEEVE/GROUND

      EDIT: In electronic terms, this converts it from a voltage divider to a variable resistor (“rheostat” config). The Ernie Ball VP Jr is wired as a 25K variable resistor. I just checked.

      • #163872

        Correction: The Ernie Ball VP Jr is technically a volume pedal, so the signal needs to go between the guitar and the amp with mono TS cables (Volume pedal config, with the potentiometer in series, as a voltage divider.

        But it can ALSO function using only one TS cable rather than two and here it would just be making a simple 2-contact variable resistor. Two birds, one stone as they say… Great pedal…

        Just wanted to be thorough…

        Maybe be careful with TRS 1-cable-style expression pedals, unless you want to be playing around with TRS-TS adapters or solder…


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