Cantabile 3 recommended control devices

C3 is a great product, I would love to see a dedicated control surface some day that the user community contributed to make full use of C3.
Until then can you recommend some control devices that have ample (midi assignable) nobs, sliders, pads to effectively use for a control surface? I am looking for something small and discreet enough to maybe sit on and open area of a keyboard like a S90/XS or MX88 that does not look like something to control Ableton live.

Although the patches on my keyboard are assignable only some of the nobs are midi assignable.
I am looking to transition to a dedicated control surface instead since the keyboard might be different at given venues and/or recording sessions also.

Typical use might be zoned patch control, midi file loading/playing/stop, calling and enabling a specific vst from a rack of multiple deactivated vst Organs for instance and then deactivating it when needed too, etc.
I already have two Midi solutions pedal controllers for volume and Leslie slower/faster triggering so those items are covered.

Organ Drawbar control functionality for B-5 Organ V2, NI Vintage Organs, VB3, etc would probably be a whole other topic but ideas are welcome for that too.

Thanks Curt


Don’t jump the gun and retire that keyboard just yet!

Cantabile is extremely flexible in its application of bindings, splits, filters, etc. A cursory and quick read through the “Show me your Cantabile rig” thread will demonstrate the wide variety of controllers that people have working for them!


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Hi Curt,

Been through the same considerations: although my main masterkeyboard (Kurzweil PC3K) has enough knobs and sliders (no pads though), I’ve been working on making my setup keyboard-neutral, so that I can simply use whatever weighted keyboard is available when travelling light.

Some suggestions to consider:

  • Novation LaunchControl (only knobs) or LaunchControl XL (knobs and sliders). Great universal controllers - assign their controls to some consecutive CCs and do the mapping in Cantabile. What looks like pads are unfortunately only big buttons, no dynamics here…

  • an alternative if you need dynamic pads: Akay LPD 8: just 8 pads and 8 rotary knobs

  • another recommendation: AudioFront MidiExpression Quattro. Especially when you don’t know what kind of keyboard to expect on site, this is a great little beast: it can handle up to four pedals (switches or continuous), connected directly to your PC/laptop. Simply connect it to the same MIDI input as your main keyboard and bring along your favorite pedals to the gig. Ignore the pedals on the keyboard you find and simply use your own ones through MidiExpression.

My own travelling Cantabile setup is just some pedals, a MidiExpression and a LaunchControl, plus of course an audio interface.



Hi Terry,
Thanks for responding back regarding my query, I’ll be keeping keep the S90/XS around for a home keyboard because I like that balanced action primarily.

It works great for patch song states too but I wanted a dedicated portable controller so I took Torstens advice and purchased a Novation LaunchControl XL.

I had made a regretful purchase of a Yamaha MOXF8 a while back and never liked the action because it is too light and the keys are noisy despite it being a decent midi controller for controlling Cantabile. I traded it in for a Casio Privia PX-560M and could not be happier with that purchase thus far. The action of the Privia is a weighted GHS type.
I am by primary occupation an IT guy who plays jazz with left hand bass so computers make sense for triggering better quality samples over standard hardware keyboards but having an all inclusive rig like the Doepfer LMK Masterkeyboard is not for me.
The LaunchControl that Torsten mention seemed robust enough to handle what I need so far so I purchased one.

Actually some of the patches on the PX-560 are good enough to want to assign to Cantabile Racks assuming they can be called in Cantabile 3.
I am still trying to find a way of using Cantabile 3 to play the non GM sounds from the PX-560.

Thanks again!

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Hi Torsten,
Thanks for mentioning the Launchcontrol XL and MidiExpression Quattro. I ordered a Novation LaunchcontrolXL and I am starting to move my bindings to it.

I am currently using two MidiSolutions pedal controller boxes and a Midisolutions power adapter to configure RH piano volume and Organ leslie effects.
Those three items are cumbersome and were an expensive solution at the time of purchase.
I wish I had known about the MidiExpression when I initially looked into midi connected pedal controllers. I like the option of plugging in multiple pedals instead of having one of these for each pedal.

My latest project after picking up a Casio Privia PX-560M for playing out is seeing if I can configure sounds for playback on the PX-560M from Cantabile 3.
The keyboard actually has a lot of great sounds (in addition to the GM set) that I would like to utilize but since I have Midi local set to off I am not yet sure how to address that and if it is even possible.

This is a great forum for Cantabile users.



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