The SusEx Pedal from Black BT combines the power of sustain and expression into a single pedal and is Bluetooth MIDI-compatible for good measure.
This is one futuristic-looking pedal. The basic idea is that the pedal can detect how you’ve placed your feet. If you put your foot on the front of the SusEx it will adopt Sustain Mode and push down to apply sustain to whatever it’s plugged into. Shift your foot to the centre, and it adopts Expression Mode. Now you push the pedal to apply expression or MIDI control over a parameter.
It has a few different modes. The default is “Auto-mode” for switching between sustain and expression. You have a Drum Mode, which turns sustain into a trigger, and you have Expression Mode, where there’s no sustain at all. Finally, there’s a Wired Sustain Mode which usefully makes it work with a regular jack cable to your keyboard. There’s no wired output for the expression side which seems odd to me. The USB port seems to be only for charging and not actually for MIDI, which makes it brilliantly wireless, but it makes expression only available over Bluetooth MIDI. I think that will be annoying for anything other than a DAW.
So SusEx is a smart-looking and innovative pedal that’s really only useful with a computer which feels a little out of step with our current interest in hardware synthesizers. Or I guess you can get some Bluetooth MIDI adapters for your synths. You can also run two pedals together into one computer which is cool. If it had a physical expression output this would be such an awesome product. But as it is, it is the world’s first combined footswitch and continuous controller pedal, and that’s pretty cool.
Update: Satish from Black BT got in touch to say that the reason there’s no MIDI over USB is because the pedal comes with Black BT HubBLE App for iOS and Android. The app can turn any USB MIDI instrument into a Bluetooth MIDI instrument. You plug your synth into your phone, and the app provides the connection and also MIDI mapping for the SusEx.
You can have a go at booth #11006.
- Black BT website.
- Black BT SusEx: Black BT