Cantabile as plugin (again :))


All well understood - and the wish to have them is definitely clear!

Most of these could actually be addressed by providing a Re-Wire (or similar) interface to Cantabile, without fully wrapping Cantabile in a vst3 container. This would be lots easier to implement, without all the changes that would be necessary to make Cantabile work well as a plugin.

In fact, there is a lot of your list that can be done today (not the offline rendering part - agreed), if you use virtual audio and midi cables to wire Cantabile to your DAW - I’ve done this a couple of times. It’s a bit fiddly, but works.

But the key point: Cantabile is built with one top priority: to play VST instruments live - and in this area, Cantabile excels! Anything that pulls @brad’s valuable intellect and capacity away from this top priority - and anything that compromises Cantabile’s capabilities in this area - would be very difficult to accept for Cantabile’s core user base.

I can understand that Cantabile’s capabilities will be attractive for all kinds of other uses, but to me it is important that Cantabile is first and foremost a tool to use VST instruments and effects in a live setting - and it will continuously be optimized to excel in this task!

And if by adding too many features outside its core purpose, Cantabile becomes too complex or its performance suffers, this would definitely damage the core product - don’t take feature bloat too lightly. I really appreciate @brad’s way of weighing feature requests against the big picture continuously - I hope things stay this way!

I’ll always vote for live use as the top priority, any other features and feature requests need to be carefully evaluated in their potential to support or damage that priority.

There are tons of various tools for producers and film composers, but there are very few applications that can do what Cantabile does for live musicians - this is its core market, and I hope it stays that way. Cantabile has changed the way I work live, and I wouldn’t want to go back!




BTW: these two would NOT work with a standard VST implementation - VSTs are loaded with the containing song -.they reside within your DAW and are unloaded when you close your DAW. So when you want to use the same “Cantabile VST” setup in Studio One and Dorico, you’d have to load it in both programs separately.

VEP is special in that regard - it only provides a “front-end-plug-in” for your DAW that connects to the “real” engine that runs independently - either on the same machine or even on a remote machine.

Maybe this construct would be a way to realize the Cantabile-DAW connection: a “Cantabile Connector” VST plugin that simply provides a number of MIDI and audio connections between Cantabile and whatever DAW. Within Cantabile, this would simply be another MIDI and audio interface to select in MIDI and audio engine settings. That could address a number of your requirements. Unfortunately not the offline / faster-than-real-time rendering bit - that would probably require a loaded plugin directly within the DAW, since Cantabile is focussed on real-time input and output.

Such a VST plugin could actually be developed independently from Cantabile - it just needs to provide virtual MIDI and ASIO audio ports, like VoiceMeeter or LoopMidi do, but connected to a VST plugin that you could load into your DAW. This would allow you to simply select these MIDI and audio ports in Cantabile and have your songs instantly available in your DAW - with as many audio outputs as you configure.

Now we just need someone competent to code this plugin - and @brad stays free to focus on Cantabile as a live host. Everybody happy :wink:




ha ha ha, no… I’m definitely not insulting Brad. I think Cantabile is remarkable for several reasons. I also told him I’d recommend Cantabile to others who could use it. I tend to be one who likes to see others succeed and likes to help them get there. I just also tend to stir the pot a bit maybe once every couple years, but only when I think something is 99% amazing, but lacking something truly important. So I’m sorry I’m a bit “you’re crazy, it needs this! Duh!”… but in reality I never mean offense to anyone. I’m a very light hearted guy with people… though extremely serious about music and software dev.

The point about an older installer is actually very sincerely meant as a “why worry, you always have that option”. I save installers just in case devs don’t keep versions online. Anyone who has a need for stability… where their own income can be affected by it… learns to do that pretty fast, no? I think it’s sensible to suggest for every program out there, and reflects nothing on Brad’s work at all. Again, Cantabile is great. It could just be… greater. :wink:


I’m not saying Cantabile should become a plugin. I see issues with that AND it removes my #1 benefit: “preserve instruments in RAM”.

What I am suggesting is the front end plugin bit as you correctly understood it. I’ve done setups with LoopMIDI, rewire, and from simple to extremely complex. Without rendering files… in truth, without having full functionality that DAWs offer… it just gets limiting when you find you really need certain features at times.

Even Brad said it wouldn’t have to bog down Cantabile at all. Some devs struggle to put small and stable features out. Some crank out well-coded features like a boss. He knows his limits and his system best. I don’t. But I know new features don’t HAVE to cause issues. Brad could code the vst himself without bogging him down… potentially. He’d know better than we would.

Look at Freestyle. The dev made a sampler, loop tool, and vst chainer… several tools. It’s impressive stuff from one dev. The only thing that matters is good code. If it’s solid, requests like this aren’t an issue. It’s just a question of benefit, market, dev interest, etc. If it’s coded poorly and anything outside a narrow focus is a potential problem… then such a tool needs a rewrite anyway. Music… code… we all need rewrites. 3rd attempts are where my best work comes from. The Freestyle developer made “Massive” for Native Instruments. Studio One came from Steinberg’s vst3 developer and the Cubase dev manager. Avid bought Sibelius, fired the original dev team, Steinberg hired them to make Dorico. Devs with experience can do great things when starting anew. Dorico has brilliant stuff on the backend and front. Point is… even if Cantabile was really shaky (I’m not saying it is… only Brad knows that)… it would never hurt to rewrite it anyway.

Anyway, I won’t stay on here too long, as I’m merely an outsider here. I just wanted to add a bit of clarity to my viewpoint here.

Best of luck to all!



As a professional pianist, part-time producer and three year user of Cantabile I agree 100% with RefinedGoals.


If I may add to this discussion: I think I do not need the full Cantabile to be a plugin to use in DAW’s, but I think it would be good if at least the Cantabile Racks would be usuable in DAWs.

I have spend quite some time in making racks of several of my plugins - with in some case 100+ plugin snapshots and rack states - for live usage in Cantabile, and it would be great if I can re-use that work in DAWs if I want to record something.

Cantabile should in my view indeed stick to its strength, which is live usage.

I think the re-use of Cantabile setups in other DAWs could be established with making a stand-alone Cantabile rack vst2/3 that allows Cantabile instrument and effect racks to be used in other DAWs.

I experimented recently with the new Unify VST, which can be used to reuse a plugin setup between DAWs and Cantabile, but using multiple Unify presets in Cantabile is not as optimised as are dedicated (linked) racks in setlist in Cantabile.


That was exactly my suggestion! :smiley:

Cubase does what Cubase does, Cantabile does what Cantabile does, and I do not want to see them to try to be each other, but I would love to be able to take a Cantabile rack and load it in Cubase! :slight_smile:


Hi @Derek,

Good to hear that we are on the same track there. I hope this kind of separate plugin would not divert @Brad too much, but would be extremely helpful to several existing Cantabile users.

Given the ‘market’ discussion, I cannot judge chances that this will bring Cantabile many new customers, but for sure it’d make existing ones even happier.:grinning:

And I’d be ready to pay an additional fee for the ‘Rack’ VST plugin as well.

It could be something like the recent Reason Rack Plugin, which also helped existing Reason users (like me) to port their stuff to other DAWs and Cantabile


I would love to be able to run my Cantabile racks from a DAW but for my use-case I think a simple VST plugin that would take midi/audio from the daw track and get audio from the standalone “server” version would suit me better than having a full-blown VST plugin with full GUI duplicating the standalone version…


Indeed :slight_smile: I am sure that Brad logged it as an idea, but I don’t have time to go hunting through the Trello board right right now.

As an example of why I would love to see this, I have racks with VB3 a distortion plugin in and IK Leslie in. If I want to record using that setup in Cubase, I need to recreate that in Cubase which is a complete faff. It would be so much nicer to load a Cantabile rack as a lightweight container as a VST. :slight_smile:


I have a couple of instrument racks with additional processing too and I fully agree that it would be great to be able to use them inside the DAW.


Everyone who comes to Cantabile does so precisely because of the non-DAW, streamlined interface. And that’s where the attractiveness of importing those streamlined setups into a DAW becomes so appealing.

As the meat and potatoes of Cantabile is now well established, I think it only fair that any assessment of how Brad’s intellect may be compromised by developing Cantabile in a form that can be recalled in a DAW is best left for him.

It’s reasonable for us to discuss development of the software. All else is a personal matter for Brad to weigh up.




This horse has been well beaten. We could just copy and paste repeated comments to make things easier. Yes, discussion is vital and reasonable, especially when the discussion moves forward and stays fresh. Stagnation is now filling the air. Yes, Brad will make any ultimate decision anyway. Many have well voiced opinions, and made them very clear. I have my opinion, and for the most part, kept an open mind for the sake of the discussion. Understand though, this is only a discussion, not a one-sided campaign for votes, nor a closing statement at trial. Listening should be practiced on BOTH sides, for that is the main part of the discussion process. Brad has final say regardless. Carry on…




I Like bacon




I’m kinda encouraged that the topic garners interest … from new participants.


One way you could achieve this type of configuration (I just thought of this myself)…Voltage Modular synth can be used as a synth or effects plugin in a DAW. If you had the Core bundle ($99 regular price), they have plugin modules that would allow you to sequence any of your favorite synth and effects plugins into the modular signal patch. Then you just save your patch. All you would have to do is insert Voltage Modular as a plugin in your DAW and then call up the saved patch.

You would need to look into this, I’m not sure if Voltage works with every DAW that’s out there. Next to Cantabile, Voltage Modular is the most useful tool I have. You can use it as a standalone app, as a synth plugin, as an effects plugin…it pairs really well with Cantabile and has very flexible MIDI controls. They had a really good Black Friday sale, I forget was the deal was…the entry-level Nucleus bundle was only $9. I upgraded really quick while the sale was still going as soon as I saw how good the MIDI controls worked with my wind controller.


Thanks. there are all sorts of ways I could achieve it by wrapping VSTs in a wrapper and putting the wrapper in both Cubase and Cantabile, but I would simply like to see a cantabile rack available as a Cubase VST. Simples. Not sure it will ever happen, but if you don’t ask you don’t get :slight_smile: