Silly Experiment - Cantabile on M1 iMac

For various reason, I changed from windows to iMac M1 and sadly, in the process, said goodbye to Cantabile.

I also installed parallels which allowed me to run the early release of win 11 for arm, which I needed in order to carry out some vital activities only available on Windows. … Well, vitally important old games that I like to play. :grinning:

Given the complexity of some of the games in terms of hardware, the inevitable thought occurred - I wonder if Cantabile would run on the M1.

So, I duly installed it, grabbed a couple of free VSTs and tried to fire it up … and much to my amazement I found that it works!

I don’t pretend that I have done any sort of exhaustive testing as I only did this for a giggle, and I really don’t want the licensing aggro of shifting any of my real VSTs over to allow me to test more thoroughly, but everything I tried actually seemed to work fine.

I just thought that it might be interesting information for others.


So you are running two emulations, (M1 -> Parallels -> WoA -> Win x86 -> Cantabile + VSTs), and working? That’s amazing.
Did you try any heavy VST? Just curiosity. :slightly_smiling_face:

Yes, that is exactly what is happening. I really didn’t expect it to work, it was more of a ‘I wonder if …’ sort of moment.

The only VST I tried was some freebie synth one, because as I said earlier I don’t want to mess about with licensing issues on my real ones. If you can suggest a free-to-download VST which eats resources I will give it a try.

Pendulate is a fairly CPU-intensive free monosynth - you could try building an 8-part poly out of that.

see this post - I built a little performance test song using the free Tyrell vst synth

you can see in this post how this performs on non-emulated systems - should be a pretty hefty test for your emulated setup.



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Yep, The test that Torsten talks is sort of “our standard” way of rating a PC performance.
Five Tyrrell instances can stress the processor.


I gave this a go, and here are some screenshots. I did notice the fans had started up, so the machine must have been working quite hard as I never normally hear them at all.

Cantabile Running the test:

Windows Resource monitor:

iMac Memory pressure:

iMac CPU load:

W11 Machine Config from Parallels:

The iMac is a 2021 Apple M1 with 16GB of memory.

Hope you find the info useful,

Best regards,


oops, forgot one:

Interesting! TBH, I’m surprised that you are getting results at below 100% average load for this setup :wink:

But with this kind of time load, I wouldn’t use the setup in a real-life gigging situation; looks like the whole emulation layer is eating up a ton of the M1 performance. My little Live Cube is sitting comfortably at around 31% with this and never peaks above 35% - natively, an M1 should be able to beat this.

So this Parallels solution is probably more an interesting engineering lab result than really usable in a live situation - but thanks for giving this a try and for sharing with us!




I agree with you on it being ‘an interesting engineering lab result’. As I said at the beginning of the topic, it really was just an idle moments thought ‘I wonder if …’. I was quite astounded when it actually fired up and ran!

Still, it was a bit of a giggle doing it.

Take care and all the best,


@brad Apple version? Please? :slight_smile:


It sure is interesting to see it working, but a little on the edge for live use. But if you like living dangerously on stage… :slight_smile:

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No way I would even consider using it for live work Derek, using it wouldn’t be living on the edge, rather inviting disaster.


Not bad considering the poor M1/MacOS that emulates WoA, which emulates Win x64.
Not useful, but still an interesting experiment.