Tips for cantabile-oriented laptop

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Hi, this is my first post :slight_smile: I have a 2015 laptop which I’d like to use with Cantabile (specs: i3-4030U, 1.9. GHz with 8GB of RAM and 500 GB HDD). Before the pandemic, I used it for playing some lightweight VSTs on Ableton with no problems, although it used to take one minute to launch Ableton.

Since I have another laptop for my other activities, now I’d like to use the old laptop exclusively to play in concert with Cantabile and the VSTs. Maybe some of you guys do the same, but you probably have betters computers. Could you give some tips of which programs do you keep and erase in your cantabile-oriented laptops in order to make them faster and more stable? Is there anything else that I can do?

The only VST that I use are: Combo Model V (free VST), Lounge Lizard, Fire (Fender Rhodes Piano Bass VST) and EZKeys Grand Piano. Also, I have some Gibson G101 wave samples which I use through TX16Wx. I’m a keyboardist in a Doors tribute band and I play the organ and keyboard bass.

Thank you for your tips!


Hi Max, and welcome to the forum.

You should be good with the old laptop. I have a much older Win7 laptop and it does well with most things. I shy away from large sample libraries, and use mostly “modeled” vsts, to keep the CPU load at a reasonable rate.
My 2 Win10 machines have large SSD drives, and 16GB Ram. With them, I can use Omnisphere and large Kontakt libraries easily. But keep in mind, when gigging, a large library piano will sound no better than a very small modeled piano. If you are recording, or on a huge stage, is where consideration to the sample libraries can be judged.
The best thing is to test it out, and see what it can handle. For me though, I keep it light and simple, just to keep the gig flowing without crashes.
I use all the Hammond clones, and Pianoteq for most keyboard type sounds. The Korg M1 is lean, but has enough sounds to catch most anything you want.
There are several threads on site that discuss laptop specs and vsts everyone here uses. Just use the search engine for those discussions
Good luck!


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Hi Max,

Welcome to the forum. Despite the i3-4030U is an old processor, your VSTs seems not so CPU-hungry.
All you need is:
Replace the HDD with a SATA SSD.
Upgrade the 8GB to 16 RAM if you plan to use sample-based instruments.
A good tuning of the whole PC. Here is a great guide.

Ouch Corky, our usual overlapping :slight_smile: :rofl:


Hi terramax, welcome to the forum.

I’ve got a little Dell 2 in 1 laptop from 2015 with the i3-4010U (1.6Ghz). It also has 8GB RAM. You should get yourself a 1TB SSD - I’m using a Crucial MX500. Are you aware that you can upgrade for free from Windows 7 to Windows 10 still? I recommend you do that, I haven’t seen noticeable difference in OS overhead between 7 and 10. Download the Microsoft Windows 10 upgrade assistant and run it. You have to do it from inside Windows 7 to get the free upgrade. If you want a clean install you can then boot from a USB stick you make using the Microsoft Media Creation tool and delete the existing partitions and do a fresh install - it will activate because Windows 10 always activates again.

I’m recommending all this because the chip I have is slightly slower but it runs Cantabile and the VST’s you mentioned very well.


Wow. If this is true, I am looking at a Surface Pro 7 with 8gb RAM and an i5 cpu, but I am running Omnisphere 2.7 on it. So, I am a little worried. Sorry to hijack the conversation.

Doesn’t Omnisphere require one of these?


I’ve sat on one of those Crays. Very comfy they were…