COMPLETE beginner - most basic setup - no sound

Absolute beginner…
I’m trying out the [Cantabile 4] software to determine if it will work for me to continue down this path.
I am just using a laptop with Windows 10 and trying to hear the output via the headphone jack or built in speakers on the laptop.
I cannot hear the metronome Nor the on-screen keyboard.
I do not have an external audio interface and don’t want to purchase one before knowing that this will work.

Are there [detailed] steps on how to get that far?

Hi @D4c and welcome to the forum,

a few info sources you can check to get you started:

  1. Getting started video

  2. Cantabile guides

  3. Derek’s guide to Cantabile

These are just possible starting points to understand how cantabile can be configured.

To better help you, more information would be needed. Which audio driver have you selected in Tools->Options->Audio Engine? which VST plugin are you using? have you routed the on-screen keyboard MIDI output to the plugin MIDI input and the audio output of the plugin to the Main Speaker output? etc.

Coming to the metronome: is the measure/beat display running after you hit the play button? Have you activated the metronome and raised its volume? Do you see the output meters in the top right part of the window moving?

All the best,


I thought I’d read that VST3 plugins were compatible with Cantabile 4…

I’d started following Brad’s video (the one in your link) and used a different plugin (some VST3 Strings somethingorother) and it just wouldn’t play. After trying it, neither would the metronome.

I reset everything, tried the metronome first - it worked!
Then loaded the VST plugin - no sound again (not even the metronome).
Deleted the plugin; found the same one Brad used for his example; loaded that plugin (BrainStormer 1) and it works.

Thanks for the suggestions! It appears that the plugin I tried killed/blocked the audio??? I’m not sure, exactly. But I know to suspect the plugin next time.

Hi David.
Check in plugin options that the path for VST3 plugins is present as you see it in the png below.

common files


They are, actually. :thinking: You could try reinstalling that particular plugin…also check that the plugin version (32bit or 64bit) is the same as the Cantabile version.
A way to debug plugin issues is to have a look at the log files, which you can access with
Tools->Open Settings Folder (in that folder you will find the present log file, usually empty until you quit cantabile, and the log file of the previous session). Maybe you can spot some plugin related error message in the log.