Introduce myself

Hi All

I thought that I would introduce myself. My name is John. I have been reading this forum for about 2 1/2 years. I am a private person and don’t feel a great need to say too much.

I am a retired software engineer, developer, architect and system integrator. (when you as old as I am there was time to do many things). A lifelong musician, my 15 minutes of rock and roll fame was in 1966, and the last time I actually played for my supper was about 30 years ago at a rooftop restaurant on the island of Santorini. Now I have a very simple home setup (Cantabile Solo) for my own pleasure.

I would llike to complement first, Brad and Cantabile for a fine product. Anybody who knows me would be surprised that I would ever use Windows again. In my long and painful experience, Microsoft has no respect for their product, customer or developers. End of rant. I am a Linux user.

I would also like to give a shout out to the fine contributors to this forum. When I have needed information, I have been able to find it in the manual, videos and the contributions to this forum.

I do have a curiosity question. There seems to be a preferrence for external control surfaces rather than the touch screen capabilities of Cantabile, to which Brad has seemed to pay some attention. I use an X-touch Mini. I have plenty of experience with remote synchronization, control, communications, etc., in other areas, and it is sometimes necessary to solve a problem, but it does add a lot of complexity and lowers robustness. Why do you think that the control surfaces are preferred? Do we just like to grab physical knobs?



Hi @john, and welcome to the forum from a fellow linux user! :wink:

I use Linux for work and Windows for music and I agree that Cantabile is such a fine product.
Coming to your question, I have not explored the use of touch screens for music, yet. Probably, in my case, the reason for sticking with slides and knobs is that I am trying to reproduce the experience I had with my MiniMoog…I guess I like to be more “physically” connected to the instrument. Anyway, maybe I could get a similar level of involvement with a touch screen…I can’t exclude it and I am surely willing to try it, some day!


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I do use touch screens, but not particularly gladly. I’d hate to run Windows with a touch screen.

When I reach for a touch screen I often catch stuff I didn’t mean to touch. When I reach for a physical control I know I have the right thing under my fingers. TBH, once the show is running, I don’t need to do much beyond play the right notes - Cantabile handles the rest without any input from me!

On a lesser note I also hate to see finger smears on a screen.

As to Linux… I use it, mainly on a Raspberry Pi 400 (and now a Steam Deck) for (retro) gaming, but I can’t really take it seriously beyond that. Invariably, to do much useful, beyond basic browsing, I end up having to type in a string of impossibly obscure command line statements that mean nothing to me. It seems to me that when everything meaningful I want to do starts with me having to type ‘sudo’ there’s something lacking in the interface.


For me, it’s just a matter of the best tool for the job. I use Cantabile in a live-focused setup; in the heat of the battle, I need to be able to just reach out and hit a button - almost without looking. That’s where tactile interfaces like buttons, faders and knobs are just the better option - with a touch screen, there’s nothing to anchor your fingers, so you need to always look carefully at what you are doing.

So having only a touch screen would require me to concentrate more on operating a “system” than on making music. Using buttons and faders, I can pretty much rely on muscle memory - it’s more like playing an instrument.

I do have a touch screen in my live setup (I don’t usually have a PC keyboard in my rig) - but that’s mainly for starting up / shutting down and maybe switching basic configurations; the rest is driven either by my MIDI controllers or via LivePrompter (song changes).




I suppose one thing in favor of touch screens is that all the sliders and knobs are “motorized”. But yeah, you have to look at them in order to use them, unlike many hardware control devices.

I also prefer using knobs/sliders without having to look at the screen all the time but since I use 2in1 convertibles I have the touch capabilities available in parallel.

Hi John,

If you’re in a controlled environment like your home studio I think the touchscreen will work fine. I use several hand me down Samsung Galaxy Tab A’s as remote recording controllers for Reaper. That way I can record from a drum set and keyboard rack that aren’t near my recording/mixing desk. It presents all the tracks with a volume slider for each and track arm, solo and mute. On the other side is transport controls.