Another prototype of a Cantabile-running workstation


#1

Hey people,

some of you might know, that I’m building instruments. For about a year now I focus on a keyboard, that has everything installed what’s necessary to run Cantabile flawlessly. With the help of @brad it was possible to include some unique features like the split-zone-LEDs or the naming of the OLEDs. Thanks again for this!

I’d like to show you the status quo and I’m open for your suggestions on what could be done better or if you miss something, etc.

Just a few specs:

  • 10" capacitive screen
  • RGB split-zone-LEDs
  • 10 OLEDs (I might kick the OLEDs on the right)
  • i7 quadcore with 4,4GHz (will maybe update to Coffee Lake as soon as the mainboards are released)
  • 16GB RAM (can be changed of course)
  • 512GB Samsung 960 PRO (can be changed of course)
  • RME Babyface Pro inside (subject to change because it’s expensive and I don’t like building other brands products into my own)
  • FATAR TP/40H Ivory (also subject to change. /H is very heavy…)

Yeah… so… that’s it! I’m open to your thoughts!

Thanks,
Chris



#2

Can I get it in orange??? :sunglasses:

Nice work! :slight_smile:

Terry


#3

Hi Christian,

I had to comment on this post. What an excellent effort! This is the nth degree for Cantabile controllers. I am new to touchpad devices so this, to me, is a departure from how keyboards were made. Also I love the artistry of making things from scratch, this is a work of art in it’s own right. Great work Chris, if I wasn’t up to my neck in gear I would be asking the price! On second thought I’ll ask anyway, have you decided on a price?

Many thanks for sharing,

Dave


#4

FAB work Chris, very well done indeed. Would love to know how its done and build one :grinning:


#5

Really great integrated workstation - looks absolutely gorgeous! And you’ve been pretty generous on the I/O-side as well - tons of ins and outs to integrate with a studio or live setup.

Myself, I’d rather keep things modular, so I’ll stick with a laptop that I can easily carry between rehearsal rooms (and simply have different keyboards in different locations) and different “dumb” keyboards that I can swap when I feel like it, but that’s just my approach. If I ever want (and can afford) a simple “plug-and-play” solution that I can set up for a gig in five minutes, this would definitely be top of my list!

Well done!!!

Cheers,

Torsten


#6

I concur with Torsten. I have keyboards in several places, so, for me, it is easier to move the laptop. But, I really admire what Christian is creating here. I must admit, there is much salivating going on here, lol.

Nice to know it wasn’t my under-developed playing skills at fault…it was that dumb keyboard all along !

Regards

Corky


#7

Thanks guys!

I totally understand the module-approach. But maybe if you once have the chance to watch this keyboard in action (videos will come soon… in the future… some time :slight_smile: ) you’ll change your mind because of it’s feature list.

BTW: Here you can see the controller panel:

And setting split-zones:
Splits


#8

How do I become a beta tester???


#9

Just a bit of constructive criticism if you’re okay with it…

I use the software with 3 88 key controllers (M-Audio Keystation 88es) and an 8 pad midi module. I connect to an old Dell E6410 / 8GB DDR3 / 240GB SSD. The audio processing goes through a 1st gen Scarlett 2i4.

I have thought about this type of build for a long time and I really like how you have integrated everything. I am truly impressed with it! There are some aspects of it I don’t grasp but I’m no electronics engineer. The form, fit and polish of it is incredible. I do see a few things maybe you could implement so that you could reach a larger audience if and when you move into production. Please understand this is simply my opinion and nothing I say is meant to offend. Again, fantastic build!

My opinions:

*Chassis is too deep (and possibly heavy?) to be used on anything other than a single keyboard stand

  • I have to use multiple keybeds when I perform to have access to different voices simultaneously. Perhaps a modular / standalone display would remedy that? I have also toyed around with the idea of using drawbars as sliders to integrate a dual feature.

*Overkill on the MOBO / Processor

  • Seems like massive computing power. Maybe just integrate a standalone sound card to improve the annoying Windows latency issues and save big bucks on the internals.

*More Keys!

  • I personally like having 88 keys. I’m sure you have already considered this option when doing your builds.

*Velocity / Pressure Sensitive Pads

  • A nice little set of pads to tap on would make the device more of a well rounded workstation.

That’s it! I hope you continue to follow your passion for building around the Cantabile platform as I am enjoying this workstation vicariously. You are doing something I have dreamt about for years. CHEERS!


#10

@CyrusTheVirus

Thanks for your criticism! It’s always welcome! Especially if it’s as constructive as your post.

1.) I’m aware of the depth-problem. This has something to do with internal PCBs. I have my eyes on it and will try to improve this! At the moment there is no comfortable way to play with two keys stacked over each other. But: The screen will be kept internal. You could connect another screen via HDMI in addition.

2.) You mean leave out the whole computer-unit and just include an interface? This might be something that could be done in addition to the product-portfolio. It’s always simple to rock things down to the minimum. But I try to create the “perfect work-horse” at first :slight_smile:

3.) More keys? Sure! This is just scaling. No problem to make a 88-key-version.

4.) Pads: I thought about it and you might be right. But it’s not easy to build such pads. From the sensors to the rubber-top… and in the end you can get the best pads on the market for about $50 (AKAI LPD8). So if you are in the need of that, just connect it via USB. Also I don’t have space for pads at the moment on the surface. If I would add those it will increase the depth again because I don’t want to put anything to the right (apart from the 12-button-block).

Thanks for your kind words!


#11

Just a quick update:

At the moment I’m on tour with this workstation. It works like a charm!! Thanks to @brad!

The second screen is powered through a 12V-DC-Output on the backside of the keyboard and is connected through HDMI to a MacBook, that runs Ableton. I control Ableton with Cantabile, which is an easy task. That also works great and I don’t have to have the MacBook near by.