My 1st DIY Cantabile Keyboard


Woah - that’s very cool. Looks like you had a ton of fun putting that together…

Not really :slight_smile: It was tricky and I just used what I had laying around and it’s not painted yet. I just bought a full HD display from beetronics (thanks Torsten for the hint!). The keyboard doesn’t look very professional at the moment but it works. Hey, a prototype HAS to look shitty! :wink:
I also had to finish it in the morning because the band practice was in the evening.

However, this is how I think it’s usable. No external notebooks on stage, no loose usb cables… Just put it on the keyboardstand, put power in, sustain pedal, stereo xlr out… and iam ready in a minute.

Thanks Brad for the software and all forum members for helping me!



That’s fantastic!


NICE !!!


Brilliant! - betcha you have given Brad a WHOLE lot of ideas - hahaha!

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Heh - @pax-eterna for sure - I see it coming soon - my dream machine - the Cantabile 3000 Workstation! :slight_smile:

@Roelli I’d love to build one of these. What an awesome project!


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Actually, when I saw this, I thought of Guido at GSI and how they dropped all their VSTi development to make hardware, or “Soundware” as they call it. Yes, The Cantabile 3000 Workstation…Soundware for working musicians… Only $6300.00 !!

Dude that’s amazing :slight_smile:

------Love it-------

Wow!!! Nice work. Hopefully keyboard manufacturers read this forum too!

I could make a better looking and more flexible version out of it. With a kind of blanc panels so that everyone can make their custom keyboard… so you can easily unscrew the blanc panels on top and at the rear of the keyboard and let them cut to your needs - thats not too expensive.
With this version the keybed isn’t at the bottom of the keyboard to get some room for a macbook.
Maybe an angled top like most workstations (Roland Fantom X) have would be nice.
And a notebook is probably not the best idea… I will replace the macbook soon. (I had to buy the 3rd power supply for this macbook, bad quality)
I thought about buying an Intel NUC, with 32GB Ram and one or two of the new M.2 disks. I think this will speed up anything to the maximum. SSD drives are much better then the old harddrives but still very slow compared to the 2500Mb/s M.2 disks.
Anyone interested in a Keyboard like this? With a Fatar Keybed and Mod/Pitch wheel? (so anyone can add displays, controller, computer to it himselfs… or I can cut the holes for standard displays.


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I kinda like the brushed aluminum look. It’s like my new refrigerator! (Don’t put a Whirlpool logo on it, though)

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Fantastic work! Bravo!

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Congratulations Roelli!! This is brilliant and totally amazing! It’s what I’m looking for since years… wow, fantastic!! Please keep us posted about the testing-time on stage and future developments…

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What mutiplexer/pcb are you using between the keybed and your computer? Doepfer? Or did you scavenge parts from a Studiologic controller or something like that?

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I used only parts I had laying around… in this case an m-audio Keystation 61 (no aftertouch, but mod wheel, pitch and assignable buttons for song/state/play switching).

Doepfer and Fatar is what I would use for the next version maybe. Somehow the guys from Fatar don’t respond to emails but it seems that their keybeds are easily available from some smaller distrubutor.

Building such a diy keyboard is kind of hard and it only worked out well because I have cnc machines at home (you need a 1000m x 500mm work area)
If someone would like to build such a diy keyboard I would suggest building it out of wood, just like the old Korg Poly 61 Synths. Even if it looks like ghetto-style you can use “warnex” paint… same stuff which is used for painting professional PA speakers… and in the end it will look fine.

Maybe I will make a “Version 2” of this keyboard, with an angled top cover (like nearly every keyboard has). And replacable aluminum top and rearcovers… so that people can let the top and rearpanel be cutted and engraved to their needs. (so that it’s possible to add displays, controllers, touchpads, switches, ipad holder or whatever)
But finding a general solution which always works is probably impossible. With my first diy version the keybed is quiet high so that a macbook can be placed UNDER the keybed. If I would make the keyboard just like all other keyboard then there is no space for this - which means only very small notebooks can be used… or use a small “intel NUC” computer which seems to be the best at the moment. It it small and powerful (i bet an Intel NUC with M.2 ram will be much faster then any other computer which people are using in this forum) And for professional shows you can even put two NUC computers into the keyboard for redundance. (if one computer fails)
Probably some people want a 61key version, others want a 73 or a 88 key version.

I could make the hole enclosure if there is some interest (group-buy). So people can buy a fatar keybed and make their own keyboards. But I would need to make at least one prototype first to see if everything fits… that might last a few weeks.