Announcing suite of open source MIDI generator plugins for Cantabile

@brad if this in inappropriate by all means remove.

Short story: I’m releasing 2 open source MIDI generator plugins specifically developed for use with Cantabile, and I’ll be doing several more. The whole story behind this can be read here ( ) but in one line: a year ago I wanted to transition from a Korg Kronos to a Cantabile rig, because my Kronos is too much of a hassle to transport for playing internationally.

The Korg has arranger-like functionality thanks to its Karma engine. I looked at tons of plugins but simply could not find the functionality I need (my needs are not average :slight_smile: - read the link above for that) - so I decided to write what I need myself. It is (will be) a suite of modular arranger plugins.

So, without further ado: here’s 2 plugins ready for the world:

Topiary Beatz: a plugin that generates drum patterns and allows live “improvisation” with those patterns. Transitions can be quantized according to transport (locked to measures, beats etc). Can be used for other things than drums (loops samples for example) - FWIW Topiary Beatz has replaced my use of Geist2.

Overview here:

Manual here:

Topiary Presetz: a plugin that allows you to set up 8 “variations” of 12 “mix settings”, and call those up live, at the touch of a button. Quantized to measures, beats etc if needed. “Mix settings” can be anything: volume, pan, preset number - basically anything you can control with a Midi CC message.

Overview here:

Manual here:

Though developed for Cantabile, these are general VST plugins that can be used in any host. They’ve been tested in Cubase and Reaper as well. (a big Thank You to @Neil who started playing with beta versions (and caught quite a few bugs) as early as november last year.)

Download for free, give ‘em a whirl, and by all means tell me what you think (and report any bugs). I’ll be releasing more plugins of this type over the following months and I’m planning a couple of video walkthrus of real cases I use these for.


And where do we actually get the plugin from? All I can see from the links is info, no actual downloads…

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Downoad links are found on the pages linked to :slight_smile:

Nope sorry, no download links there…and I tried all the links in your post there is the link - buried in the manual under “See The Release Notes for download”

After I finally found it haha, I had a read of the manual - looks pretty cool! I’ll give it a go. I currently use Jamstix but this does seem a little simpler and suits the “ad hoc” way I like to do things.

Cheers and thanks for the heads-up

I’ll add those explicitly tonight when I get home. Apologies.

haha, all good Tom :slight_smile:

One question - sorry if I missed it somewhere - is it 32 or 64 bit?

64bit - clarified that on the download page. If you want a 32 bit version let me know and I’ll build that too. I don’t have access to Mac development tools; if someone who does want to compile a Mac version that should be easy to do as well.
I added a bunch more download links as those seem difficult to find :).

I didn’t know Jamstix, certinainly looks interesting (and I’ll definitely play with it for inspiration for upcoming versions :slight_smile: ). Does it allow you to trigger different parts (chorus, verse, fill, ending) at will, at any time during a performance? Or do you always have to set up a song with predetermined bars of the appropriate type? My specific needs are absolute freedom to trigger any drum part at any time …

Yes (re triggering) under the Live Play option. You can assign notes or CC message to each and any of the parts to start them whenever you want. They will just loop until you press a controller or key.

What I am liking about yours, is the apparent simplicity of it. Although I must say the first time I used it (with Addictive Drums 2) in Sonar it crashed Sonar…haven’t been back yet to try again and see if it was just an anomaly or not.

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Sorry Tom - it just does not work with Sonar. There is no way (in Sonar) to connect the output of Beatz to the input of a drum VST. In Sonar a VST is always treated as an audio device hence the only “outs” are to an audio bus or master out. You cannot send the midi from Beats to the midi in of Addictive drums (the one I use).

And apart from the line “connect a sound source” there is no instruction on how to send the MIDI out (doing this from within Beatz) to the drum plugin.

I’ll see if I can find a demo version of Sonar to try this out - that’ll be some time next week though. Tx for signalling this!

Tom, Sonar has been rebranded as “Cakewalk by Bandlab” and is free software now. No “demo” needed. Download it here:


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Tom, my bad…apparently there is a switch (in a drop down menu) that allows MIDI out from a VST instrument track to another VST Instrument track. So no need to go hunting.
I managed to set the out to the drum VST and get a couple of patterns actually running in Beatz, but nothing out to the drum sound generator. This might be a project I’ll need to re-visit one day. IN the interim I’ll stick with Jamstix.
That is not an indictment on your software. What you have done is quite remarkable, not sure though how “real-world” simple it will be to use.

@terrybritton : tx for the tip - I’ll give it a whirl 2nd half of this week.

@pax-eterna : if I can figure out how to route MIDI out of the plugin I’ll let you know!

Tom see my post above - I’ve already done that :slight_smile:

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