Show me your Cantabile Rig!


I hear Roli is working with these folks on their next big (secret) controller project!



They’re both M-Audio. The top is an older Oxygen which I’ve never had any issues with and has lots of sliders and knobs (You do have to be careful with the sliders, they’ll bend!) The bottom is a Keystation 88 (unweighted) that I got on eBay for $50. It had stuff that falls around inside it when you move it and cigarette burns on the keys but seems to work fine lol

They work for me but the action on the Keystation would be abominable for anyone who likes a weighted keyboard and it has no real MIDI functionality. I really like the Oxygen though.


Thanks, Fred. Just curious to get some ideas on what to look at when I finally get around to (and and get the dosh) to retire my EX5 from gigging :slight_smile:

I seriously coming the conclusion of a good master controller and a porky computer for VSTis (using Cantabile of course) is the way to go, augmented by a Nord G2 engine and my Kronos X61.

I used to have a DX7II myself (my first ever poly and the DX7 that I always promised myself!), but it was kinda redundant after getting an FS1r and SY77 (which morphed into an SY99 and TG77!) And that’s without considering FM in my Nord G2 and Kronos!


Hi, Neil.

Sure I can see Mike there on guitar… Very underrated guitar player! :slight_smile:

You may have mentioned it before, but I am curious to know what PC module you are using and your display (is it touch screen as well)?

I am still pontificating on how I retire my EX5 from gigging (as mentioned above), but I am thinking of a good powerful small form factor computer that can sit in my rack and UI may be better than a laptop? Then either a MIDI master keyboard or maybe a Kurz for extra sound options is what I will go for.

Basically, I am in love with UH-E Diva, so need to find something to run it (amongst other things), and my current laptop is not quite up to it.



Hi Derek,

My Cantabile PC is a Gigabyte Brix i7 4770R, with 16GB RAM and a 1TB SSD, and it runs beautifully, including with Diva (although I still do the jBridge “trick” just to be safe - then the load meter is hardly affected). Up until recently I was using a standard old 1280x1024 LCD desktop monitor, but was inspired by this thread to get something nicer, namely a GeChic 1303I, which is a beautiful 1920 x 1080 (native) touch screen. I thought it was a bit expensive, but once I had it I was converted! It’s great with Cantabile, and particularly good for displaying music scores clearly.

I definately prefer having a PC module in the rack, rather than a laptop. It feels more slick, and I can have important cabling plumbed in the rack instead of trailing around the stage. I use an Akai LPD8 to control Cantabile (state/song next/prev, toggling live mode, various other things), so don’t need access to the PC keyboard during the gig (although typically for next state I use a foot switch - I don’t generally have a hand free to be pressing buttons like @Torsten’s famous Big Red Button™ to go to the next state!). And now with the touch screen I can also use the controller bar at the bottom of Cantabile for any interaction during the gig too, which is nice.



Hi, Neil

Thanks very much for the prompt and detailed reply, I think I want to go this way once I get some spare cash for doing it! As you say lots of advantages compared to a laptop, and I like having everything hard wired and protected inside a rack.

For selections and control I have my trusty Roland FC300 (an amazing controller) as I also do not usually have a hand free!

One thing I forgot to ask, is how are you supporting the monitor by your keyboard. Also, did you purchase the Gigabyte BRIX in the UK a quick search of a few resellers this morning yielded no results, so if you have a good recommendation where to buy from, that would be appreciated.



There’s an optional VESA mount for the GeChic monitor, and I have an adaptor that provides a handy lift-off coupling for a VESA mount to a mic stand, which I just stand on the floor.

As for Gigabyte BRIX availability in the UK, I bought mine from Ambros. There are also other similar products worth looking at, such as the Intel NUC.



Hi, Neil

Thanks for the info. Plenty for me to think about there!


Here’s a recipe for my (small form factor) Cantabile computer:

  1. Intel NUC (SkullCanyon: i7-6770HQ (quad Core)
  2. Kingston 32GB DDR4 Ram
  3. 2 1TB SSD’s
  4. Windows 10 (Home)
  5. Universal Audio Apollo Twin Solo
  6. Apple Thunderbolt 3 -> 2 Adapter

This makes a speedy host in the package about the size of an VCR cassette (for any of you old enough to remember those! :wink:). This has handled almost everything I’ve thrown at it with low latency (thunderbolt IOs make a nice improvement over USB interfaces).

Here’s a vid of an equivalent config being used as a Pro-Tools rig.

If you want small-form-factor instead of a laptop, this works great!


Dang! That cannot be cheap lol (I noticed Amazon knocks $50 off the NUC if you get it without a power cord. Which I’m guessing is all crazy proprietary.)


Yeah - I wouldn’t claim it’s ‘cheap’ (somewhere ~ $1300 - $1600, not including interface). Chances are, you get something better spec’d than a laptop, though.

The power supply is a “19V 120W power supply with replaceable AC cords”. The brick is almost the same size as the case. Still - all-in-all, very portable, silent as can be, and almost no moving parts.


If we played more than a handful of shows a year it would be well well worth the cost.


Hi! I want to use cantabile at live shows, I have a few questions. Does anybody use bluetooth keyboard with cantabile? I saw “Roland go keys”, it has bluetooth 4.0, weight 4kg, I want to use cantabile wirelessly and I’m wondering if anybody has experience with that.


I don’t… have to say that gigging with any form of wireless anything would make me very, very nervous though :wink:


Hi Sebastian

From what I have read, the Go Keys is a beginner level device, and the bluetooth is for streaming music to it’s speakers. Bluetooth is not used in live performance, i.e. in ear monitors, because it is unreliable with dropouts and huge latency problems.


Wireless midi is the way to go if you want to risk wireless, remember guitar players use no cable fm solutions all the time, but bluetooth as stated by Fred and Corky above is not a good solution for pro use.


I don’t know about keyboards, but Bluetooth sound stream has a very noticeable latency. I once tried playing a synth sound on an iPAD via a wired keyboard, but streaming the sound to a little blue tooth speaker. I had to connect the speaker via a mini jack lead otherwise it was unplayable.

Maybe a Bluetooth keyboard will be designed not to have that latency, but one thing well worth checking!



Thank you for the answer. It seems that is not the best idea. I’m reading about this . It seems a better idea. And isn’t expensive.


Shockingly, that WiFi interface (WIDI X8) is not being carried anymore by Musicians’ Friend or Guitar Center, so something must be wrong somewhere! Not at Sweetwater either, nor BHPhoto or The Midi Store. May be discontinued.



there’s this too from Europe with direct shipping, panda midi, it looks like a good one.