Is this possible?

I’m playing in the pit for a musical theatre production of The Toxic Avenger and because of space constraints I really need to keep my rig to a minimum. The majority of what I need to play is piano but there are instances where other instruments need to be layered over the top. What I’d like to be able to do is bring the secondary instruments in and out without involving a second keyboard. So my question is can an expression/volume pedal be assigned to affect a specific plugin without changing the volume of the rest? For example:

Input goes to two objects/plugins - piano and organ. Start of the song calls for both instruments to be played together then the organ fades out while the piano continues. Can the song be set up so that the expression pedal brings the volume down on the organ plugin only allowing the piano continue to be played unaffected by the pedal?

Totally. That’s pretty basic controller stuff. :wink:

It may be but I’m fairly new to MIDI and virtual instruments and all that stuff so it’s a bit out of my wheelhouse. In the past I would have done it with two keyboards or a keyboard and a hardware module and had the pedal connected to the specific hardware synth I wanted it to affect. I haven’t the slightest idea how to do this within Cantabile.

Hi Allen,

To do this you need to make a binding from your keyboard pedal to the program. To do this :

  • check that you block MIDI except notes (notes only option) on your routes for you keyboards, that way the bindings don’t get confused with pre wired or common controller messages. This may require that you create cc64 sustain pedal bindings for your piano as well since you would be blocking them. The idea is to know exactly what you are sending to the vsti modules besides notes.

  • go to the bindings tab on your song and left click and select (learn), the dialog box will appear

  • press or move your controller pedal and then select the binding from the list in the dialog box and press ok.

At this point your first part of your binding is done (the binding should appear partially complete with the MIDI cc number already selected for you source section )

  • press on (missing target) and select the vst you want to control the volume of. In my example I chose to just pass the cc11 data (midi expression pedal code) to the vst so i selected the diva - MIDI In and action as Controller 11 and viola, done. Now the volume on the diva is controlled but not the piano i also have loaded.

That’s one way to get there … hope it helps!


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Hey sorry about that- I was just wanting to let you know it was very doable, not imply it was obvious or you should know how to do it :wink: I wasn’t sure if you were already a Cantabile owner.

No worries. I’ve owned Cantabile for a year or so, but still learning how to use it as I come across new needs.

I got out of playing anything but an actual piano for about 10 years. A lot changed. It took me a while to piece together why nobody makes hardware modules any more. Between re-learning Finale, several different DAWs before I finally settled on Studio One and Cantabile for my live rig it’s been quite the adventure.

I have a similar situation. My expression pedal is connected to my MOXF8, but on some setups I play the organ with my Axiom61 controller. What I did is create a whole separate MIDI input for the expression pedal. It duplicates the regular MOXF input, but suppresses everything but the expression pedal. Then on the few patches where I want the pedal on the sound being controlled by the other keyboard I just route the expression pedal input to the same output and suppress the expression pedal if required on the other inputs.


I did the same approach for my Korg Wavestation keyboard’s pedal, which only ouputs on CC#4 or CC#7. Cantabile allowed me to set up whichever controller output I wanted using the filters. I make copies of that input and assign different CC# translations for different uses, which I switch in and out using states.

I really do not use the bindings enough, though - so I’m going to try out @dave_dore’s solution above also!


Yeah, VSTs, software like Cantabile and small form factor PCs have probably killed the rack module market, but the possibilities of the options that the “new world order” provide are endless! And we can build the rig of our dreams for a fraction of the cost and VSTis don’t add extra weight! :slight_smile:

I am looking forward to following the advice that I have gleaned from this forum to embedded a “brick” PC in my gig rack and that it is powerful to run my arsenal of VSTis. Coupled with my Korg Kronos, my Nord G2 Engine and whatever I replace my Yamaha EX5 with, that will be an awesome combination. :slight_smile:

You mean like these guys?

I like the Intel NUC, myself! Likely @FantomXR knows a thing or two about these! :slight_smile:

Yeah, something like that. Quite interested that the ones you mention can run OS X. That would be really cool when Cantabile for OS X is ready. :slight_smile: I am starting to hate Windoze 10 with a vengeance! Will need to look into them.

Yeah, I’m tempted by the Skull Canyon NUC - these beasts pack a decent punch. Would be clean and easy to just velcro one of these beasts into my live rack and have everything pre-set-up; just connect keyboards :wink:

But what still keeps me with my trusty laptop currently is the fact that with the NUC, I’d have to bring a separate screen, keyboard, mouse for any modifications, fixes, emergency operations. To some extent, this negates the simplicity of the setup (unless you build a fancy all-in-one like @FantomXR…)

So, for the moment, I’ve simply got one USB cable going from my laptop to my rack; everything else (audio interface, foot switch controller, MIDI interface, VoiceLive, …) sits happily in there. Laptop simply sits on top of the rack; when I need to fiddle with the setup, I’ve got screen, mouse, keyboard all ready to operate. And a second long cable (HDMI) goes to my keyboard, where a little 7’’ secondary screen (which I wouldnt want to use to do any editing) simply shows me the ShowNotes view.

Perfect for my setup, so probably no need to go on another GAS spree :money_mouth:

But I guess if you want to have everything (PC, audio interface) velcro’ed to your keyboard (or built-in), ready to rock (nice for festivals!), NUCs are the way to go!



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You are quite right there. I liked Neil D’s solution of a touch screen interface which you can put by your keyboards, so gig rack can be out the way, but you still have ready access to controlling it or keeping an eye on it. That in total ends up more expensive than a regular laptop, but I am after something with plenty of horse power for the resource hungry VSTis, and I think it will look better than a laptop plonked on a stand or on top of the rack. I have plenty of space in my van and “emergency boxes” for a cheap USB keyboard and mouse in case I need to do anything more deeper if required.

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