Few questions about PC based rig

Is there a 61 keys MIDI keyboard with large enough surface to put on a laptop?
Do you think I can put a laptop on the surface of the Yamaha MODX6 or the KORG Krome EX 61? I’ll mention I prefer a laptop with a touch screen, so if there is any possible issue with that please tell me.

Can you somehow use a laptop these days without an external audio interface and run Cantabile with VSTs on it? Are there laptops on the market that capable for that?

That’s it for now, if I’ll remember more question later I’ll post them here.
Thank you.

A bit of Velcro and a small piece of hardboard make for a good laptop surface at one end of a keyboard, as long as there’s some space to attach it. The new Hydrasynth Deluxe even has a dedicated space and additional shelf provided as standard.

You can avoid an additional audio interface if your chosen keyboard allows it to take that task on. Synths such as the Korg Kronos, System-8 and Jupiter 80 do this to my knowledge - maybe those ones you mention too, but check before you buy.

Velcro and a small piece of hardboard looks like a step in right direction, although I don’t know about this stuff.
Maybe there is some laptop stand that attach to the keyboard bottom, something built and ready to use, instead of me constructing a laptop stand from Velcro and a piece of hardboard? I’m not a handy guy when it comes to domestic constructions and stuff like that…

I’m to DIY what Helen Mirram is to all-in cage fighting, but even I can stick some Velcro to a piece of wood and a synth panel. It really is that easy!

If you want to get fancy, then use something like this:
Laptop Stand
(No longer available, but I have this one, and I know it would do the job. Something similar would work.)

It’s all about having a surface to which you could stick the Velcro.

1 Like

I wouldn’t really recommend that - with all the moving and shaking that can go on on stage, this wouldn’t be my preferred option. Especially when playing standing up like I do, there’s too much movement of my keyboard setup to trust a laptop to stay safe there.

When I use a laptop on stage, I give it its own stand - I can recommend the K&M laptop stand which I have standing somewhere around my keyboard setup.

This decouples the laptop from my wild flailing around my keyboards. Mostly, I actually have the laptop stand very low, with the laptop underneath my keyboards (less swaying of the stand) or somewhere safe behind me on stage, with a separate 10 inch touch screen on a mic stand directly within reach.

That’s also my standard setup with my live cube: it sits somewhere safe backstage with my keyboards rack, with only the touch screen on the mic stand right beside my master keyboard.

The quality of the onboard sound chips in laptops has become pretty decent over the past years, so you could give it a try, but I wouldn’t really trust the low-latency performance of these chips for a live gig. I’d rather get a decent low-latency USB audio interface like the Zoom UAC-2 - super-solid low-latency performance so far. One less thing to worry about…

And in a setup with my Cantabile setup safely backstage, one more small piece of gear doesn’t really matter. In my setup, it’s integrated in my live rack, so I simply plug a USB cable from my laptop or live cube to my rack, and that’s it.




I use small form factors laptop such as GPD pocket computers. Can use internal soundcard but a good dedicated ASIO driver is almost always better.
For light usage (Pianoteq and a few synths) I use intenal card.
Being so small, these laptops can fit on anything with a small velcro patch.


As I mentioned recently on another thread - the Behringer UCA202 has been on sale for $11 - it has very good (low) latency and is like my UMC204HD except it has a slightly higher noise floor. You need a couple of RCA to female 1/4 jack adapters

1 Like

I’m with Torsten… I have a laptop stand and use a dedicated interface… I wouldn’t trust the performance or stability you need for a live gig with onboard.
I also mounted a $40 hard plastic pistol case to the laptop stand… Laptop secured with Velcro, put the top on and latch it, then carry with the pistol case handle. Worked great for years. I also mounted power supply, wireless receiver, and a Scarlett 2i4 on it. I think I posted pics a few years ago in “show me your rig”.

Added benefit - nobody messes with you during the show :grinning:

I can play a solo, and pop a cap at the same time! :rofl:
Afterall…I live in Memphis. :smirk:

Every musician I know carries. Many have a strap-on small pistol on their ankle. Most use a belt holster, but a gun mounted on my rig would be quickly stolen once it was noticed. I’ve never carried, but may need to in these times.
So the subject on this thread is “questions about pc based rig”. If PC means pistol case, would I escape being OT? :thinking:

1 Like

Sweetwater has them for $9.99. I found a site that posted a detailed tech analysis and its actually not a bad piece of gear. So even though I don’t need it, for $10 I couldn’t resist…I’ll find a use for it somewhere. Here’s the review:

I bought as many as I hope I can deploy to people who don’t know how cool it is to take an old laptop and turn it into the worlds best synth.


I’ll probably do that for my kid. He’s already decent on guitar and drums, time to get him into synth too, or one of my B3-X seats! It’s going to be hilarious when we compare the same plugins thru this thing and my top shelf DACs into the same monitoring and probably nobody can tell the difference.

1 Like

I suppose I’m relieved to report that there was a pretty noticeable difference between the $9.99 Behringer DAC and my good DACs.

But the Berry is quiet and runs fine at 132 sample latency (the lowest it can be set running Windows driver). And it sounds fine if you don’t have a top shelf DAC to A/B it with. Plus just plug it in and it works.

For me it works great as part of a low $ rig for the kids that packs a really nice punch. Great find, dsteinschneider.

1 Like

Wow! I was in Memphis a few years ago. If I’d known that I would have been considerably more nervous!!! :open_mouth: :astonished:

It’s lunacy that those things are on the streets!

In Memphis, one has to keep aware of everything around you. I never had a dangerous encounter here, but saw a guy get multi-stabbed on Beale Street. Every tourist area draws the criminals. One really needs a 360 degree view at all times. Getting gas, even in daytime, is now a vehicle hi-jack attraction. Memphis is now the #1 most dangerous city, per capita, in the U.S. But really, any major city in the U.S. is super dangerous anymore. Never had any problems at any venues, but while you are performing, someone can very easily have their catalytic converter (under vehicle) removed in less than 2 minutes.
My days in Arkansas were different. Always a fight, stabbings, and shootings at the venues, but safe to go shopping.

Just a part of Wild West living.

Wife works at a large church right off a freeway and they’ve had a lot of problems with catalytic converters being stolen from cars parked in the lots. And that’s with cameras everywhere and off-duty cops patrolling the lots. Crazy.

1 Like

A guitarist friend played a gig on Beale Street a few weeks ago and parked his car in one of the parking lots available. An attendant was on the lot. After the gig, he got in his car and it wouldn’t start. Had it towed to his home, and found his converter gone. He was later told the attendant was part of the theft. More like a lookout.

That’s awful!