Creating Set Lists


Howdy folks.

I’ve recently switched away from Band Helper to using Cantabile exclusively for all our MIDI needs. The one feature I’m missing is the set list creation capabilities. Band Helper has a web interface, runs on IOS and Android, and has a fair amount of sorting and customization designed to really make it easy to create an informative and well formatted set list.

It is also a subscription based service, and I don’t use enough of the features to justify spending the money on it when Cantabile does everything else for me.

What do you guys use for managing and creating set lists? If you use something like Excel or Access, and are feeling generous, feel free to attach your templates :wink:

Thanks in advance,


Well…setlists are a part of Cantabile. I play in several bands. For any particular band, I will create songs, then pull up a blank set list, and “add” any or all of those songs into a named set list. For each band, I create one called “song list”, which has all the available songs for that band. Then, for a gig, I will create a set list for that venue and date, add songs to perform from song list, then arrange them in the order we will play them.


Hey Corky!

I do this as well, but to get the length of time right for each set I used an Excel spreadsheet I threw together (It was nasty and I felt sad when I had to use it). I’ll still put the setlists into Cantabile because it runs the show, but for getting the length of the sets right, I need something else.


The only thing I have seen here for precise show timing was other spreadsheets. Hopefully, someone else will chime in on that. I do not use backing tracks or timed sequences in any of my bands. We are completely, 100%, live music and are our own timers (or old timers) :rofl:


I use my favourite lyrics app, Setlist Helper. Easy to create setlists, automatically calculates set duration, etc. Available on Android and iOS and also has a Web interface for seamless synching etc.


Hey Robb, I agree with @hermanoantequera, I used Setlist Helper for years before C3. It is very inexpensive but very powerful. A little tricky on editing, but did the job I needed it to do.


Regarding setlists, I link Cantabile to LivePrompter and manage my setlists in LivePrompter

  • In Cantabile, I have one large pre-loaded setlist for each of my bands, sorted alphabetically. Each song has an individual bank/program change address
  • In LivePrompter, I manage a list of bank/program changes for each of my songs
  • During a gig, I simply step through my songs in LivePrompter; my Cantabile laptop automatically switches to the correct song file

For editing my setlists for LivePrompter, I have knocked together a little tool called SetlistMaker. It scans through my LivePrompter directory, extracts times and tempos, and allows me to simply click together my setlists, which are then instantly available in LivePrompter. Via right-click, I can also insert dividers and comments/instructions in my setlist. Pretty simple - and not at all pretty - but it does the job.

If there is enough interest, I’ll put together a MVOM (minimum viable operations manual) and post the beast online.




Oh, I forgot: SetlistMaker also allows you to print the setlist (pretty much as it apears on the right side of the screen) - it simply opens a browser with the setlist as a table. You can also copy that table to Word if you want some fancy-shmancy formatting, but for me, the HTML output is good enough…


Hi Torsten,

I would love to use this tool! Thanks for sharing!



@Torsten That program is exactly what I was looking for!
Please share :slight_smile:


I still find that c3 should have some extra field with for example the play time of a song and show this in the left playlist and make a simple calculation on top of the playlist next to the name. There are more people waiting for this function @brad

Also I’d love to see a function that adds the id number of a file instead of a song. Because now when you change the name of a song, you need to change this in every existing playlist. The playlist are made of an xml by file name. Can be very time consuming.


That is just genious Torsten and just what we need! Super! Bring it on!

Can we use setlist maker without live prompter? Just to sort the c3 files ?


Unfortunately no - it works with the Liveprompter files, not with the Cantabile files. So if you aren’t using LivePrompter (shame), the very least you’d have to do to use SetlistMaker is to create a minimum file with the meta information (title, artist, tempo, duration) for every song in a separate LivePrompter dirextory. These files are simple text files, so the effort should be manageable.

But then the setlists are also just text files (or HTML files for the print output) - so they can’t be used in Cantabile directly. It’s definitely more fun using this with LivePrompter - setlists then become immediately available for use in the LivePrompter directory.




I know it’s a shame but i really don’t have any use for live prompter :grin:


All right, look here:

Have fun!



BTW: as always: use at your own risk!


@Torsten Thank you so much! I’ve downloaded SetlistBuilder and will start making the song files for it.
You’re a star human being!



I created a little batch file to make it easier to create the data files.
Paste the following into a plain text file with a .bat extension, and put it in the same folder you pointed SetlistBuilder to. Running it will prompt you for the song information then generate the associated .txt files for SetlistBuilder.

—Begin .Bat File—

:Get Info
Echo Enter your song information below
set /p SongName=[Song Name]
set /p Artist=[Artist]
set /p Duration=[Duration]
set /p Tempo=[Tempo]
set /p Book=[Book Name]

:Create File
ECHO {title: %SongName%} > “%SongName%”.txt
ECHO {artist: %Artist%} >> “%SongName%”.txt
ECHO {duration: %Duration%} >> “%SongName%”.txt
ECHO {tempo: %Tempo%} >> “%SongName%”.txt
ECHO {book: %Book%} >> “%SongName%”.txt

—End Bat File—


Coooool - very nerdy :nerd_face:

Just remember: you can have more than one {book:…} tag in a song file; may be useful to have books like „ballads“ or „uptempo“, etc.




Still need to check this out :blush:
Maybe you and Brad could work on this together to improve c3. I really miss a decent setlist function.
Also the name of songs should be able to be changed Independent. As stated before. So if you change the name on setlist 1, other setlist with this song still function. Now you need to manually add the song again.
Risky business on stage.


I still hope brad will add some basic functionality to the program that adds the tempo and duration with sum to the c3. Would help allot.
Doesn’t seem like a big programming the way i suggested it? (Check my other post)
I didn’t find a way yet to add this to the trello?