Moving to the dark side


Right, some of this gear I hadn’t actually received when writing this post. BUT, I did get the awesome laptop yesterday, and have gone through the Glitch Free e-book and made the necessary changes, so I’ll be setting it all up over this weekend.

One question though, the laptop has only 2 USB ports. I fear that I will require at least 3 (audio interface, MIDI controller and a spare for general use). I remember using Cantabile before, and the USB ports being reassigned every time I disconnected the USB hub. So, is there a solution to this? (I think I may have read something about this somewhere…). Is using a USB hub a bad idea, or…??


That is a Windows thing as far as the re-assignment of ports go, but no matter, it still can happen. Still, many folks use USB Hubs without trouble. Also some of us use MIDI cables to connect from the controller to the Audio Interface (which is equipped with MIDI as yours is) instead of USB and that saves a USB port and is a more sturdy plugin. So you could have the MOTU into 1 port with the keyboard plugged into it via MIDI and have your general purpose open for another device if you wish no hub. The MOTU MIDI port would be what you configured in C3 options to be the Main Keyboard.

Also, there are some posts in the sprawl of info here you can access using the search function at the top of the page. Just enter USB Hub and see what comes up. There is a lot of information scattered through the threads here. If it is a specific hassle there are a good number of MOTU users who are familiar with the interfaces.

Personally I always plug into the same USB ports out of procedure to hopefully prevent this very problem!



Hi All.

I took a liberty and moved this thread to the general area and out of the blog category because I thought it fit better here. Let me know if that is a problem, this way it gets seen by more eyes I think.



Thank you, that’s cool with me!


I have all of the connectors on my Gig Rack and then cables from the keyboards labelled precisely for this reason :slight_smile:

I got caught out badly before a gig once, when I connected into the wrong ports on my laptop (and my Focusrite interface did not like USB3 so HAD to go into a USB 2 port). Cantabile 2 was a little quirky in certain aspects when it came to port handling and if the USB ports changed. Cantabile 3 is much better due to the physical/logical port separation.

So, I managed to totally screw the Cantabile show up as a result of trying to get things working (but not noticing that my USB Audio interface was in the USB 3 port it hate. I had no backup of the Cantabile files on the laptop (it was 60 miles away at home…).

I learnt a lot the hard way that night! I managed to get things reprogrammed just before show start, but, man, was I stressed!

So, ports are all labelled now, and I always carry a backup ; several in fact - on computer, on USB stick, images of the hard disk, etc.

I mention this as if you are new to using computers on stage, then it does pay to think ahead through the “what if” scenarios. Not trying to scare you off. I have not done a gig without a computer for years, but it does pay to make sure you can dig yourself out of trouble if it does strike. :slight_smile:


A powered USB Hub is the answer. I have three ports on my main laptop. I usually connect my interface and main keyboard on the same two ports, then I use the 3rd port for my hub. It does not matter what order my my other keyboard, foot pedal, mouse etc are in on the hub. Just make sure it is “powered” as the laptop is limited on how much power it can distribute. The powered hub relieves the laptop drain. I’ve had no problems with it in 2 yrs. Again order does not matter in the hub. I have a 7 port hub. The 1st 4 ports (closest to power input) distribute power equally, the other 3 ports are reduced power.


I will point out that I have had issues even when plugging into the same ports with Win7. Although I seem to be the only one reporting that so it may have been specific to the laptop I used at the time somehow. Still, to be safe I run a MIDI merger and everything into my audio interface and 1 USB cable for all of it so it CAN’T get scrambled. It gives me great peace of mind. :wink:


@FredProgGH what does a midi merger do?


A midi merger normally has several midi inputs and at least one midi output. It takes the midi signal of various sources and “merges” / mixes them together.


Wow, did you literally have to reprogram your entire set?

This is something I reaaaaally don’t want to experience! So my plan has been to set up a Cantabile based rig at home, and stress testing it as much as possible… and only when I feel comfortable, swap out my current rig.

Thanks for the advice!!


Since I’m only going to use 2 keyboards, I think I’ll connect similarly! Nothing wrong with MIDI daisy chaining :slight_smile:

In my previous Genesis tribute band, I used a Kenton MIDI merge box with 4 keyboards - worked great!!


I’m afraid so, in terms of remapping the ports and song states (which was very different in C2). It was my own stupid fault for not having the backup with me, so a hard lesson learnt and worth sharing. I am quite pedantic about recovery options now, especially as my last lot of gigs with Welsh Floyd were in medium size theatres which meant the show had to go on even if you had problems. So I had to think through what would happen if specific bits of kit failed then how would I get through the show without it?

Even if not sonically perfect and as planned, you still need to make a sound! You obviously can’t carry replacements for everything due to expense, so some sideways thinking is needed. For example, we had two laptops. One for Cantabile and one for Video projection. If the Cantabile laptop failed, then I had a duplicate setup on the video laptop and we’d had to have ditched the video, but the show would go on sonically. There is no way I can have a spare Montage and Kronos hanging about, but I have my sets for both on media so I can reload if for some reason they were corrupted, or on the off chance I could borrow/hire one in the event of failure. I also had an “emergency” set of programs on each synth for organ, piano, electric piano, strings and different synth sounds that meant I could do something on one keyboard if needed even if you do not have the full sound, some sound is better than nothing.

As I mentioned, the root cause of the problem in the experience I outlined above was more to do with C2. C3 is much superior in the way you decouple the virtual ports the songs use from the physical ports. So the screw up I happened in C2 would not happen in C3. But even so, make sure you have a backup to hand if you need it! :slight_smile:


Wow, that IK Mutimedia Leslie plugin isn’t cheap… is it worth the cash in practice?

I went ahead and bought Blue3, but to me I feel like it’s missing something. My Nord Electro 5D is my current go-to for organs, and it really bites through.

Could the IK Leslie sim be the missing piece???


$130 is steep, I agree. Is it worth it… only you can say! For me, yes, I gotta have that sound. I don’t know how often IK has sales but I know they do, could be worth waiting for one…


I have been doing a lot of testing on Blue 3 the last few weeks and will be .posting what I’ve discovered on the tips page soon. I can’t imagine Blue3 not cutting thru a mix, since it’s pretty much an in-your-face plug. As for IK, I have it, and love it…still tweaking it tho. I will also be doing a Blue3 + IK as part of the demo. There was a blind survey on the tips page concerning Leslie sims. IK is one of them.


Depends. Likely your audience won’t know the difference. Will your bandmates? Will you? Some of us (most?) are pretty obsessive about B3 sounds and it matters to us no matter what anybody else thinks. When I first started playing with my current band, it took me 3 or 4 trips to get in all my keys and horns. My band mates suggested I “get one of those little Casios, 'cause it’s easier”. Well, we just finished in the recording studio and they were blown away by Blue3 and IK Leslie organ parts. And they thought the horn section was really great, only it was VSTs enhancing the trumpet and t-bone. Mission Accomplished. That said, if I’m playing a deep B3 pad buried in the mix, I’ll use Blue3’s build in Leslie because it uses much less computer resources. But for “Bexar County House of Steel” (about the Jail in San Antonio, TX) i want as much rip-in-your-face-whirley-screaming-nasty-distorted-blues-old-broken-down-1956-B3 sound as I can get.


Blue3 + IK Leslie is what I settled on. I also VB3 II and like it, especially when playing solo. But in our band’s live mix (mostly 70s-80s classic rock + occasional 70s mainstream prog rock), the Blue3 cut rhough the mix much better while still sounding fairly true to the B3 (to my ears anyway).

One other thing I have just started trying that is intriguing me: adding Waves’ Abbey Roads Plates reverb after the Leslie. Used in moderation, it delivers even more punch that I prefer over the spring reverb; pushed a little, it becomes a beast in a good way. I plan to use it when we cover Uriah Heep’s Stealin’ and Deep Purple’s Perfect Strangers. (We have a nice British medley that combines those 2 songs plus Another Brick in the Wall.) The only downside: even more CPU hit. But my laptop (Lenovo Yoga 920) can handle it so far.


For Solina sounds I like Sonicproject’s Stringer 2.0. Sometimes I use the Arturia, but I agree it is too harsh.


How was VB3 II through the IK Leslie? Did you try that combo?
I bought VB3 a few years ago, so hoping my licence is still valid, so I can give that a whirl as well.

Nice tip about the Waves plugin. I guess I won’t know for sure until I’m in a band setting, to see what works and what doesn’t… fun times!


Yeh I love SonicProjects OPX-II, so I may try their Stringer VST as well.

Right now though, absolutely LOVING Air’s Velvet plugin. It’s delicious to play!!