Question about use of Cantabile and GSI VB3 II



I’m a new user of Cantabile, using a trial version of the ‘Solo’ version until I decide whether it works for me. Please forgive my possible misuse of terminology related to this software.

I have a Roland RD-64. It can act as a MIDI controller and switching between channels is relatively easy to do (press one button, then one key to assign MIDI channel).

I’ve figured out how to add VST plugins to Cantabile and how to assign (route) MIDI channels to those VSTs. I have GSI’s VB3 II and MrRay. I can switch between organ and rhodes pretty easily.

Here’s where my problem starts… because my keyboard lacks drawbars I want to have several VB3 drawbar registrations (settings) available for live performance. My idea is/was to have several instances of VB3 added, assign (route) different MIDI channels to them, and then edit the drawbars in each instance to my liking.

Here’s what happens. I route MIDI channel one to VB3 and make the settings. I stop and restart Cantabile - everything is remembered (great!). I then add a second MIDI route to another instance of VB3 VST plugin. Then, it seems I cannot access the upper manual (used on MIDI channel 1). It defaults to and I can use the lower manual. This isn’t terrible because I can use different drawbars to get the sound I’m after.

Now, if I add a third route (MIDI channel 3) to yet another VB3 VST instance I can access neither nor upper manuals. The only thing available (what makes sound) are the virtual pedals.

To me it seems that every load/instance of VB3 consumes (locks) a manual. Does this makes sense? Is there a way I can have completely independent instances of the same plugin (VB3) from within Cantabile? Am I fundamentally missing something?

Thank you for reading,


With VB3, you have to assign midi channel to upper/lower on the instrument. When you switch midi on your controller, VB3 only knows to stay on it’s assigned midi channel. You are better off using states to change different drawbars, or use VB3 A/B. Unfortunately, the Solo version of Cantabile will limit what you are able to do with states. If you stay with solo, consider getting a midi drawbar controller, then you can adjust on the fly.


I guess what you are missing is that VB3-II maps MIDI channels to manuals: 1 to upper, 2 to lower, 3 to pedals.

So to do what you are trying to do, you’ll need to re-map the MIDI channel of each route to 1.

Looks like this in overview (I ust used Bazille - no VB3 on my office machine…

That should do the trick




Yes - fully agree with @Corky on that one - sooner or later, you’ll want to try Performer. Using racks and states is far more efficient than adding a new instance for every preset. Gets kinda crowded with synths…




and why don’t you use the reversed keys presets on your VB3 II? They are fully programable. You could this way change to your desired drawbar registrations by pressing one of the “black” keys like on a real Hammond.



Do you think that remapping in this way could lead to my ability to utilize different drawbar settings per MIDI channel sent from my keyboard (controller)?


The ‘reverse key’ presets would be acceptable I believe. I need to figure out a way to make this change ‘live’ from my MIDI controller. I’m not sure how to do that (right now). Do you know how?


What do you mean by ‘VB3 A/B’? Does this mean upper/lower manual?

Thanks for your patience!


Each manual has an A/B (plus 8 Presets and “All-Zero”) accessed notes (C1 to B1 - Reversed Keys on the VB3).


Ah yes, of course - thank you. I’ll dig into how (and if) it’s possible to control A/B and/or the presets from the MIDI controller through Cantabile…


Yes - what this does is the following (in my example):

  • if your keyboard sends on MIDI channel 1, then the third route on my keyboard (input channel 1, output channel 1) sends signals to instance Bazille 3 on channel 1
  • if your keyboard sends on channel 2, then the second route (input channel 2, output channel 1) sends signals to Bazille 2 on channel 1
  • if your keyboard sends on channel 3, then the first route (input channel 3, output channel 1) sends to Bazille 1 on channel 1

So if you use this mapping with VB3-II, every route will send to a different VB3 instance, but all will send on channel 1 - so all of them will activate the upper keyboard on the respective instance. Seems to be what you wanted to do…




I’m away from home right now, but I just setup a song where I am selecting different VB3 (and IK Media Leslie) registrations via state changes selected from the Scene buttons on my Yamaha Montage.

Basically I have three bindings listening to the CC value sent by each scene button and I select the required state in the Rack I have put VB3 and the IK Leslie in. In effect each state in the rack is a preset which selects different patches in the VSTs. Seems to work well.


Yup, that’s the way I would do it as well. Unfortunately, the OP wants to do this with the Solo version of Cantabile - it does not have racks and states, so he’ll have to fiddle with multiple instances.




Ah, my bad. Although maybe such tantalising possibilities may tempt the OP into going the whole hog, and you can demo Performer before buying. :slight_smile:


There is an option in the menu to activate the reverse keys, so you can change the registration just by pressing the key, usually the lower ones.

If your keyboard doesn’t have enough keys to spend this way, you can also define any button you may have in your controller (which should send midi CC’s) to do the same as pressing the key. You should just bind the midi CC to the VST parameter.



I have the same set up and I use the iCon midi controller(simular to the Korg Nano Kontrol). To keep the chance of my computer crashing, i run all my vst’s as one layer and i midi map the iCon’s sliders to the VB3. I just added the IK Amplitude Leslie to the mix and routed the leslie speed switch to my sustain pedal and have it latched…


I ran on Solo for a year. Once I had the basics working and I wanted to do a little more it was always hard to figure out if Solo limitations excluded me following recommendations here on the forum. I upgraded to Performer and now Cantabile is performing magic.