Possible future software rig-Am I covered?

Here a list of VIs I’m thinking to use live on keyboard:

Acoustic pianos-
Pianoteq with addons, Garritan CFX, Ravenscroft 275, Galaxy Vintage D…
Electric pianos-
Spectrasonics Keyscape, Neo Soul Keys…
Tonewheel Organs-
Synth section-
Spectrasonics Omnisphere, U-He Zebra with the best patches packs…
East West Symphonic Orchestra
Chris Hein Horns Compact
Pianoteq Hans Ruckers II addon is awesome IMO.
Pionteq free one is nice IMO, but I’m not expert in clavichords, not sure about that yet.
Pipe organs-the ones from Kontakt factory library are awesome IMO, may find something even better.
Accordion-Kontakt factory library has a one great accordion patch IMO.
Harmonica- Chris Hein.
Choir- East West Goliath General MIDI choir patch is perfect.
Music Box-the one East West Goliath.

Sonically I want to beat the best contemporary keyboard workstations out there, i.e -
Yamaha Montage, Korg Kronos, Kurzweil PC3K, etc…
I want to see your opinions about whether this list is manage to do it.
And I want to be covered for this genres: pop, rock, symphonic metal, jazz, R&B.
If you think there are sounds missing in this list which are essential for the above genres please note me about that(I don’t think I will need guitars sounds since I play guitar as a first instrument).

Thanks in advance.

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Looks like a solid list to me, for sure. You are looking at a lot of stuff that would have a seriously huge load time on most machines, as well as hog your RAM so be aware of that. But if your computer is up to it and you pre-load you’re in good shape. Otherwise, maybe consider more modeled VSTs (for instance, Lounge Lizard) to sample based ones.

A few personal favorites I’d throw in for consideration are:

u-He Diva
Sonokinetic Toccata and Project SAM Mystique (pipe organs)
Addictive Keys
Hollow Sun (Kontakt Libraries, just tons of odds and ends at great prices)
Omnisphere actually covers choirs quite well for live use if you don’t need to get crazy with phrases and things.

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redProgGH, I didn’t knew Omnisphere has such an extensive set of choir patches .
Thanks to you I checked this issue and I may remove East West Goliath from my buying list.
I think I can find some good and cheaper musix box for Kontakt instead of the one in East West Goliath.
You helped me to save money, thank you!

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Fred has already shouted out for UH-E DIVA, and I would say this is a must if you want the “Queen” of VSTi based virtual analog. It depends on your needs an budget of course.

My main GOTO list includes

  • UH-E DIVA - THE awesome analog
  • UH-E Zebra - Second only the DIVA
  • Arturia V Collection - covers a lot of ground (inc Mini Moog)
  • Spectrasonics Omnisphere - the Swiss army knife of sound modules
  • XILS-LABS Poly M - excellent emulation of the much (and wrongly) maligned PolyMoog
  • XILS-LABS PolyKobol - very interesting and unique emulation of a very rare synth
  • OPXII - Much more than an Oberheim emulation
  • Painoteq - the free CP model through its chorus unit is “instant Tony Banks”
  • GFroce MTRON PRO - for “that” classic prog sound
  • Gforce Virtual String Machine - for “those” classic vintage string machines

As Fred says, you will need a decent PC to run some of these. I’ve been meaning to post some guides that I have written on how to build a gig rack and how to setup Cantabile in a basic context, so I will do a post on that in a minute and I hope it is useful.



I second on Diva, M-Tron Pro, Ravenscroft 275 and Omnisphere. Additionally I like „Repro 1 / 5“ (Sequential Circuits Pro 1 and Prophet 5) and „The Legend“ (Mini Moog) alot when it comes to reproduction of analog synths. For modern synth sounds I‘d recommend Viper (a recreation of Acess Virus TI by adam szabo) and Serum (xfer records).

OP-X and VB3 are nice but can introduce some compatibility issues when used in x64. Concernig hammond clones B5 and Blue 3 could be worth a look.

East West Symphony Orchester: well, used the diamond edition for some time but substituted it by NI Symphony Series (real orchester sounds) & Disco Strings (pop music) due to smaller footprint and playability meanwhile.

I also had used CHH compact but switched to NI Session Horns Pro due to sound and playability.

It is always a good idea to have some bread and butter sounds available in case. Korg M1 is one of the most underestimated plugs for only a few bucks here.

Final hint: non of the mentioned plugs makes a great sound without lots of tweaking for a band-/ live situation. For workstations some of this work is already done. Don‘t expect to be ready by just putting tons of high end plugs into cantabile. The good news: cantabile is definitely able to get superior results and this forum will be a good companion if you like.

Good luck, humphrey

The whole Korg Legacy series is pretty sweet, for sure. And the Repro-1/Repro-5 is a monster! I love the Poly M personally but it is sort of a very specific sound. Another cool synth that might or might not fit the bill if you need 80s sounds is Arturia’s Synclavier V. Better than the real thing at about 1/100th of the price!

And of course, M-tron Pro. Everyone should use Mellotrons. :smiley:

I checked your recommendations, and yes, I think I’ll add U-H Diva to my buying list. I guess string machine sounds is a must have so I also add Gforce Virtual String Machine.
About GFroce MTRON PRO, yeah Mellotone sound is also a must have, I forgot to mention them.
About Arturia V-Collection, I don’t know, people at KVRAudio told me they don’t sound at all like the hardware synths they are trying to emulate, it doesn’t mean they don’t sound good, but it made me a turn off on Arturia V-Collection, because it sold as an emulation, if I’ll just want a good general synths there are tons of other options.

humphrey, East West Symphony Orchestra Diamond is really heavy on the system, but I think that the Gold version is sufficient for live performance, and it is much lighter on the system.
About NI Symphony Series, when I had the chance to try them I saw it it is possible to control the dynamics of the instruments only via mod wheel.
Is that correct?
If so, for me, it is unacceptable for live performance.
Is there a way to control dynamics via velocity, that I’m unaware of?
If so, I think it is worth it to recheck NI Symphony Sereis.

About NI Session Horns Pro vs Chris Hein Horns Compact, I’m sure NI SHP sounds good although I didn’t checked it deeply, but I think CHHC sounds very good too, plus you get with CHHC many instruments you don’t get with NI SHP.

FredProgGH, I checked your web-site and I saw your band perfrom on YouTube, very cool stuff, it is very nice to have someone in you level in the Cantabile user forum.

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Thanks! There’s several note-worthy players on the forum, more-so than me lol About the Arturia synths… it depends. I swore by them for a while but now the official Roland emulations, and things like Diva and Legend are probably better. But, the digital synths, the Synclavier and CMI are amazing.

BTW, speaking of Roland, the new soft-synth version of the Orchestral JV expansion card- VS SRX I think?- might be worth a look. It can’t complete with the big NI libraries, but it’s compact and might fit the bill for live work.

Cool. In terms of your question re Arturia, your best bet is to check out the Sound Reviews of the individual synths like the Mini V. Gordon Reid (an alalog synth afficiando) gave it the thumbs up as a very good emulation, and made the point that “synth nerds may look at waveforms on an oscilloscope and say there are differences, but drop the sound in the mix and will the people listening notice it is not a Moog?”. The other thing to bear in mind is that quite often companies model against a single reference synth, which, due to component tolerances and /or calibration sound different to somebody else’s. So who is right.

The thing is if it sounds good, then it is good. :slight_smile:

Oh, yes. Prog without a Melly is like peaches without cream :wink:

[quote=“humphrey, post:5, topic:2722, full:true”] For modern synth sounds I‘d recommend Viper (a recreation of Acess Virus TI by adam szabo) …

Hey, Humphrey, thanks for that mention!

I have been wondering for ages if anybody would ever do an emulation of the very highly regarded Virus, seems like I missed it! :blush:

It sounds great!

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The Arturia might not have quite the bite of the real thing, but as you say in a mix not many people are going to split hairs. And it has one thing none of the rest of them have: the interface. There’s something to be said for the comfort factor of looking up and seeing that familiar control panel and not thinking twice about what knob to tweak to get the sound you want. (Until you pop the secret back panel that is; there be monsters!) :wink: Ditto the Modular. I think the u-He synths have a slight edge though in the “scream” factor; that bite that the old hardward synths had.


yep, concerning NI Symphony you got me by the balls :sweat_smile: . Youre partly right: not every articulation can be controlled by velocity. For legato velocity is used for switching between legato and portamento. Staccato, Spiccato and Pizzicato react on velocity as you need it. Im sure you`re aware that mod-wheel controls dynamics for all ariculations (means not only volume but merging between the different velocity layers).

For me this is sufficient as I usually map dynamics to my volume pedal. Depending on the sort of song I sometimes map the controller to dynamics & volume. This way I can compensate too high dynamic ranges I`d get with increasing dynamics by decreasing volume softly (there is often not that much room for large dynamics in rock band).

But I confess: the time I used East West I was playing in a symphonic metal band and here velocity control was useful. Nowadays its more cover and orchestral sounds are mostly the carpet in the background (sweetening :wink:). Finally: EW play worked flawlessly so far, so no reason not to use it.

Concerning Session Horns Pro: agreed, just a question of personal taste, great if youre happy with CHH, its definitely bullet proof and a good library.

reagards, humphrey

I want choir sounds I can play expressively, with sensitivity to how strong I press on the keys.
Do the Human Voices patches in Omnisphere have several velocity layers?
Or just one velocity layer that played on a keyboard like an organ sound?

I think most of them have a good degree of velocity sensitivity and mod wheel control for dynamics. Doing anything with afterpressure though, I’m really not sure. If I was setup here at home at the moment I’d tell you but I"m not…

I don’t need aftertouch if that’s what you mean.
I just want to control dynamics via velocity and not via mod wheel.

I´m not aware of explicit velocity layers for patches inside Omni. Even though there is the possibility to realize multis consisiting of several patches and map each to a velocity range. Furthermore this editor (stack mode) is able to blend layers when overlapping. This is what orchester libraries are doing. What you wont find are velocity layers for a certain patch. The other way to implement velo dependent behavior is to use the filters. So, if you really need this omni probably wont be the way to go.

I second that recommendation for Blue3. I stopped using VB3 a while back .

Even volume doesn’t respond to velocity in Omnisphere patches?

Oh, sorry. Of course it‘s possible to control volume by veloicity! Moreover its even possible to map velocity to nearly any parameter in the edit page (I think between 50 and 100 parameters). Furthermore it is possible to have up to 12 mappings in parallel for each of both layers if you like.

The only thing not available are several sampled velocity layers for one basic sound.