Beginner's help for using a Reverb effect

I’m a little bit in a hurry, because although I’m an advanced mucisian, I’m not an engineer so having made many mistakes (including installing a wrong version of Cantantabile!), I still don’t have a clue how to add the reverb plug-in I bought (Spaces II) to my Synthogy Ivory American D - and my evaluation time is running out.

The instructions given in the Cantabile manual don’t work for me, and the instructions in the Spaces II manual aren’t compatible with the Cantabile terminology.

Can anyone help? I don’t need a carreer switch to studio engineering, I don’t have to understand what’s going on under the hood, just knowing what menu items to click will suffice for now. When I can finally hear some satisfying sounds out of my headphones, I can purchase Cantabile.

Hi Cryptografiek,

Since I don’t know how far along you are with Cantabile install I assume you have installed it and set up the audio engine part of it. Without that done nothing will go. If it’s done the next thing required is that the Ivory Vst and the reverb Vst are in a folder on the diskdrive that Canatbile can search to register the plugins. If that is done then you go to a new song and click “Add Object” on the main route pane and choose plugin.

select your piano plugin (i used mini grand instead of Ivory for example)

and it will load into a slot on the song. Repeat the “Add Object” steps and add the reverb Vst

Then you route the piano plugin to the reverb plugin

and then route the reverb to the speaker output

Done, it should make music.

You can adjust the reverb by opening it’s interface (double click the plugin name on the slot)

This will hopefully get you started there.




Thank you very much for your help, Dave. I’ve spent some hours trying to make it work, but it still doesn’t give me any acceptable results. It even brings Cantabile to a hold.
Playing The Synthogy American Grand with its quite acceptable inbuilt reverb did work from the beginning, though, with no latency, so I think I’ll have to look for another application to make recordings with better reverb, and use Cantabile Lite only for practicing at home with Synthogy’s inbuilt reverb.

I’ve spent many hours trying to get my reverb plug-in working. Quite frustrating that nothing came out of it.

But still, many thanks for your efforts!



TBH, this approach isn’t likely to really get you anywhere. To use Cantabile, you definitely need to do some plumbing underneath the hood - it just isn’t a click-and-play kind of software. The previous version (Cantabile 2) was a bit easier in that direction - you could simply chain some plugins together. Since Version 3, things have become more complex (you need to “connect” everything yourself via routes), but infinitesimally more powerful as well.

IMHO. @dave_dore did give you a quite detailed click-by-click, and if it took you “hours” to try and make it work, I suspect that Cantabile might not be the right tool for you.

Cantabile does take a bit of an engineer’s mindset to get things done - and I guess most of us here on this forum are a bit on the nerdy side of things :nerd_face:, with quite a number of us with a technology background.

If you want to “make recordings with a better reverb”, you should probably rather go for a dedicated recording software (a DAW) like Cubase, Reaper or Studio One. These programs are made for recording, including all kinds of effects, and offer far broader capabilities in terms of recording and editing. Cantabile is optimized for using VST plugins live - and to build complex and powerful setups with lots of automation and control capabilities.

But to be sure: pretty much every application will have a learning curve - as soon as you want to combine plugins and record the result, there will be some “engineering” involved; not really a way around that.

Best way to get a feeling for Cantabile and find out if it is the right tool for you would be to watch @brad’s excellent videos and learn your first baby steps. BTW: You can learn a lot with the free version of Cantabile (Lite version), even though it will not allow you to record. But once you know your way around the Lite version, you’ll be in a much better position to judge if the investment in Solo or Performer is justified for you.




Just to add weight to the replies above… Cantabile is very much aimed at playing live. For a ‘studio’ you may be better looking at a DAW, such as Cubase, Reaper, or the like.

Saws are great for cutting wood, but not so good at banging in nails - and vice versa. You may be holding the wrong tool in your hands right now.

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@dave_dore, @Torsten, @The_Elf

I really still think Cantabile is the right tool for me. I intend to use it for practicing piano for some six hours a day. In essence, practicing is playing live. Making a recording once in a while is for self-educational purposes, no mastering of studio engineering needed as in a full-bloem DAW.

In the mean time, I think I have solved the problems I had with my reverb in Cantabile. First thing I did after buying Spaces II, was reading its manual.

“ To use EastWest Spaces II as a SEND effect, load it onto an Auxillary Track in your DAW. Next, click on the ‘Settings’ button in the Navigation Bar on the top-left area of the interface to bring up the Settings menu.
Click inside the circle to the left of the option ‘Use as a send effect by default’ to place a check-mark there, indicating the option is enabled. Please note that changing this option will alter the default load state of the plug-in to a SEND effect until the option is disabled.”

I did that immediately because I remembered from past experiences, SEND reverb is the way to go for optimum realism. I think there’s some explanation for my problems, here…

I’ll look into this tomorrow and will let you know! I think I’ve read a topic here about using a Rack in Cantabile and maybe that’s what I need.

OK, here we go down the rabbit hole - unfortunately, there’s a bit of audio engineering knowledge you’ll need to understand: using a reverb in SEND or INSERT mode has nothing to do with “optimum realism” - it only has to do with the routing of the signal.

When you put a reverb inside the signal chain from the piano to the output, it is INSERTed in the signal chain. Looks like this:

This means that the reverb has to create a mix of the original piano sound (called DRY) and the reverberation (called WET). When you set DRY to 100% and WET to zero, you’ll only hear the piano without reverb, when you set DRY to zero and WET to 100%, you’ll hear only the reverberation, but not the direct signal anymore. Ususally, in an insert configuration, you’ll leave DRY at 100% and turn up the WET control until you have enough reverb added to the piano sound.

The alternative routing (called SEND routing, usually used in mixing desk and DAWs) is to have the reverb on a separate path like this:

So the piano sound goes directly to output via one straight route, but there is a separate route from the piano to the reverb effect, which in turn sends its results to the main output. Why this complicated routing? Easy - that’s so many instruments can share the same reverb, but in different amounts:

In this case, you control the amount of reverb per instrument by the signal level you send from the instrument to the reverb plugin (the so-called “send” level).

In this specific case, you don’t want any dry signal coming from the reverb (it is already going from the instrument directly to the output) - you’ll only want the reverberation. So in SEND mode, you’ll set the DRY amount to zero and the WET amount to 100% to make sure we’re only getting reverb. This is called using reverb as a SEND effect.

Since you don’t want to share your reverb between different instruments, you don’t need to go for a complicated setup like this, but rather just use the reverb as an INSERT, as I illustrated above.

In this case, do this:

  • disable the option “Use as a send effect by default” in Spaces

  • Create the effects chain as in my first picture: connect the piano output to the reverb input, then the reverb output to main output

  • Within Spaces, select a nice stage reverb, turn the DRY level to 100%, then do a bit of playing and adjust the WET level until you’re happy with what you are hearing.

Good luck!



BTW: this has nothing to do with using a rack in Cantabile - totally different territory…