Rig ideas needed -- how to do a software synth for live performance setup


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I've been using a MOXF8 for playing in a rock cover band. I split my time in the band 60% keys and 40% guitar. The guitar goes through a POD GO pedal and I use in-ear monitors with no amp.

I'm tired of carrying this super heavy beast. Carrying it up the stairs after practice, I actually knocked a picture off the bass player's stairwell wall, where it tumbled down the stairs. The frame broke apart and dented the downstairs wall! Fortunately it was NOT glass but plastic covered so it didn't shatter. And the keyboard takes up a lot of space on tight stages.

I'm considering going to a controller keyboard -- 76 keys would be fine or maybe even 61? And using my laptop with software synths. I find it pretty hard to match sounds with the original recording on my MOXF8. Using VSTs would really open up things. I remember using Structure to recreate keyboard sounds from Rush and I was able to get very close to the original sounds, and program splits and layers. My Pro Tools hardware died so I don't have Structure anymore.

My gear setup at the moment is MOXF8 --> midi in to Scarlett 2i4 --> Windows laptop with 8gb Ram, SSD drive

I tried a few things so far -- I downloaded both Cantabile and Ableton Live 11. I can't use Ableton at all -- it bogs down my CPU like mad and the sound is very crackly. Even with the buffer set high, maxing out the latency, it's not workable. I have the correct Focusrite ASIO driver installed which works fine for Cantabile and Reaper. Cantabile seems fine but I don't have many VSTs right now since I had to wipe and redo my laptop last fall. I'm using the free version which is limited in how many VSTs you can load. I don't want to buy anything until I know it's going to work for me.

I'm a pretty experienced Reaper user and I think that might work, but I've never used it for live performance.

Our drummer always plays to a click track so I'd like the option of using something where I could incorporate some backing tracks. It's not a dealbreaker tho.

Any advice is welcome! I'm hoping not to have to go to an Apple setup but if I can run everything off an iPad I would consider it.
 
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happyrat1

Destroyer of Eardrums!!!
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If you're going to perform with VSTs then I'd suggest quadrupling the RAM and installing a 1 TB SSD if you don't already have one installed.

VSTs eat memory like candy :)

Gary ;)
 
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If you're going to run VSTs on a PC for live performance, something designed specifically for that may be better than using a DAW. Besides Cantabile, there's Gig Performer and Camelot Pro, both of which have free demos.
 

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