Using C3 with multiple keyboards?

Is there a way to setup C3 so that no matter what keyboard is connected it works without needing any adjustments?


PS: same question I guess for controllers (viz Korg Nano series et al)

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Not exactly. The best you can do is plugin all the devices you’re ever going to use and then select them all in Options -> MIDI Devices -> (some port name, probably Main Keyboard) -> double click -> place check mark next to every one. Cantabile will use which ever one(s) are connected.

Thanks Brad -reason I was asking is I want to start re-setting up C3 for gigging, but I’ll probs be changing keyboard in about two months and was looking to avoid having to again reset song connections in such a short space of time.

Hey Dennis,

there are three aspects to this:

  1. make sure that you only use generic port names in your songs: I generally use “Main Keyboard”, “Second Keyboard”, “Fader Controller”. Then use the Options–>MIDI dialog to assign physical MIDI inputs / outputs to those logical MIDI ports. Once you change your keyboard, you only need to assign your new keyboard MIDI driver (I assume it is connected via USB and has its own driver) to the correct logical port, and all your songs should be working as before. So only one little change - no need to look at all your songs.

  2. If you want to jump back and forth between different USB keyboards (one in the rehearsal room, one for live), you simply assign both to the same logical port, e.g. “Main Keyboard” (you can only do that while it is plugged in and the driver is active). Cantabile will recognize if one is not present and simply ignore it, so if both are assigned and only one is plugged in, that one will be used.

  3. If you want to be able to wildly plug in any MIDI keyboard at a moment’s notice, the best configuration is to go with old-fashioned DIN MIDI cables and a separate MIDI interface (I like the iConnectivity MIO range). Then, you simply assign its MIDI Inputs to your logical MIDI ports (e.g. MIO Input 1 → Main Keyboard, MIO Input 2 → Second keyboard) and whatever MIDI device you plug into port 1 of your MIDI interface is now Main Keyboard.

The last scenario helped me enormously, when during a gig my main keyboard failed completely: I simply switched MIDI cables around and made my second keyboard my main one (a bit of a hack, having to play piano parts on a lightweight 49 key synth keyboard, but hey - better than total silence). In the meantime someone went and just brought in some generic MIDI masterkeyboard; once that arrived, it was a matter of plugging in power and MIDI, and everything was back to normal. With USB connections, this would have meant re-assigning drivers within Cantabile to make my secondary the main one, installing new drivers for the new masterkeyboard, then re-configuring everything again. Not something you’d want to do on stage while the lights are on…




BTW: if it’s not only about the plain keyboard functions (i.e. notes, aftertouch, mod, pitch), but also about controllers, then it’s helpful to abstract those into separate racks:

My typical input racks Main Keyboard and Second Keyboard provide separate output ports for

  • Notes
  • Aftertouch
  • Modulation
  • Pitch Wheel

That’s it - nothing else leaves that rack. Makes it super-easy to connect and avoid any nasty side-effects from controllers.

Then, I have a rack called “faders”. It abstracts all hardware faders I use and routes them to separate outputs for

  • Main volume
  • Main Reverb level
  • Main Delay level
  • Solo volume
  • Solo Reverb level
  • Solo Delay level
  • Main parameter 1 (just a song-specific parameter when I need to control something, e.g. ePiano trem)
  • Solo parameter 1
    … etc

These output ports only spit out CC 7 (for all “level” outputs) or CC 11 (for parameter outputs), independent of what CC originally is created by my keyboards or fader controller.

In my songs, I then use these outputs and connect them wherever necessary. When I need a different CC, I simply use a filter on a route.

Now if I were to buy a new keyboard with different faders, rotary controls etc, I’d simply edit this rack (bindings) to map its controllers to the standard output port. All songs can stay as they are.




Hi Torsten - that was a great reply thanks! It sounds like a quite logical way to set things up. I just need to set these racks up first of all and then go from there.


Torsten’s suggestion has saved me literally weeks of work over the past 12 months!

Torsten’s way method also helped me. I play in a band sometimes where they have a good 88 key mid controller that just stays set up in the rehearsal space (I am not the only keyboard player that plays with them). All I need to bring is my laptop, my Roland interface with midi cables and output cables, plus a direct box to hook up to heir mixer. I just plus in everything and I’m ready to go.

  • Paul