Do preloaded sets consume a great deal of RAM

I am just embarking on using Setlists. I am running Ableton backing tracks form the same computer. Do preloaded setlists take up significant RAM and resources? Thanks.

Yes, pre-loaded setlists do take up some RAM and resources, since Cantabile loads all plugins used locally in songs as well as in linked racks into memory on loading the setlist.

When using pre-loaded setlists, try to avoid any local plugins in your songs, but rather use linked racks exclusively - these will only be loaded once in a pre-loaded setlist. If you have the same plugin directly in your songs, a separate instance of it will be loaded for every such song in your setlist - this can add up very quickly!

For orientation: my current repertoire for my classic rock project has a setlist with 191 plugins that weighs in at 3.5 GB. Still a bit inefficient, since there are some old and new versions in there that I need to clean up. My other R&B project is a bit leaner; consumes 2 GB at present.

Mind you, I use very few sample-based instruments; if you need to pre-load massive Kontakt libraries, this will increase dramatically!

You can check resource usage in the Monitor / Load & Info tab on the left.

Hope this helps!




I forgot about the info tab! Thank you so much for the information. I am finally broaching the subject of racks after its introduction years ago. I am trying to increase my understanding of racks and proper use of them. This program is so incredibly powerful I love it! My classic rock band is a pre-programmed five-set show of 11 songs for each set that are launched via Ableton with backing tracks. So to avoid having to have two laptops on stage I am running everything from one laptop. I am terrified that during a show it will break down at some point. Of course I have two backup laptops in the wings just in case. I am using Native Instruments classic Keys collection. For the clavinet and the electric pianos. I will have to look at how much RAM that uses up. Native Instruments never seems to take into consideration RAM and CPU usage. Their programmers are not very lean. Probably like I was. Taking 500 lines of code that could have been accomplished in 100 well-thought-out lines of code.

Pre-loading can take a lot of RAM, but you know it’s allocated with no issues and you won’t have any surprises.


My record is 13 Gigs on a 112 song set list! Not neccessarily a record to be proud of …


I think I’m in that same neighborhood. Kontakt is definitely the culprit. I know there are lo RAM alternatives but what the heck; I want the sound I want and I’ve got the RAM in the machine- that’s what it’s for!


I agree about the sound of the NI products. I love my classic keys collection. Modeling such as LL and VB3 run lean, but LL sounds a little thin, to me. I have 16gigs of ram. Probably should consider 32.

Fully agree, I got the horse power to run what I liked the sound of. Many large sample libraries UVI, Ivory (I run different ones in same set list) and Kontakt.

Just checked. I am using 4 of 16 gb. I think I’m good. I have been using The Grand 3 only because I got it at the educational price. I am not a piano player, but it just doesn’t sound quite right.

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If you want to reduce memory footprint, I’d recommend Pianoteq: pretty decent Rhodes, Wurly and Clavinet (you need to buy the expansion). My current favorite for Wurly and Rhodes is AIR Velvet - packs a great punch and dynamics, with reasonable CPU and RAM impact. For acoustic piano, so far nothing comes close to Addictive Keys (in a classic rock context)

Uuuggh - classic rock and backing tracks? What is this world coming to :worried: ?

And do you really play five sets of 11 songs on one night or do you pick 2 or three of these sets for a night? After five sets of 11, I’d be dead on my feet with my voice completely ruined…



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Which addictive keys? The studio grand or the upright?

You are correct. We don’t play all 5 sets. Each set has its own “nature” to it. Like a Rolling Stones Type set, an Eagles type set, a Steely Dan type set, a Southern Rock and soft rock set. Clients can choose whole sets or mix and match. (Or let us decide, which is what usually happens).

Also, it gets worse regarding our band. We not only use backing tracks but our drummer uses Roland V-Drums, only.

A little history on it is: We had a bass player in 2014. He was good, but high maintenance. Our band has always played to an in-ear click as the drummer was a stickler for tempo. IEM’s also allowed us to talk to each other, while playing, without it going to the house. We had a significant show scheduled (almost exactly 4 years ago) and the bass player quit 2 weeks before the show. We signed a contract, were already paid $1800, and it was a nightmare. The Lead guitarist (who played bass for many years, and is a home studio wizard) suggested that he program all the bass parts to the L channel of the laptop routed to the house, and the click would remain on the right. Bass tracks were exported from Pro Tools as “stems” not MIDI. The band prudent reserve purchased IKmultimedia ModoBass (has pull-offs, slide, string sounds, fingered, pick, a “Rick”, yes!) since our guitarist stated that was the only MIDI bass he could tolerate. Night and day, he spent programming, and a quick practice to test it out before the show. We were terrified, but the show went absolutely amazing!

The guitarist offered the idea of not replacing the bass player, purchasing Ableton, and running signature sounds and backing vocals, song introduction effects as “clips” fully stereo mixed in Ableton using stems created in ProTools (Not MIDI). He went absolutely crazy.

For the past 4 years we have dialed in a show with no bass player, a full sound that can be played at any volume. No bass player has ever played Moondance right (ever). We do. We get hired by venues that need a full sound at a lower volume due to our ability to adjust sound and maintain the energy. We also have a concert setup that sounds just as good in the big-house.

Our lead guitarist said that a bass player came up and said, “You guys need a real bass player.” Our guitarist (who also plays bass equally well) responded, “What would you do better than our current one?” He replied, “First, I am a real player.” Our lead guitarist said, “Many real players suck. Especially at bass. Would you play perfectly, for free, have no attitude or argument, maintain a consistent volume, adjust your bass eq and sound to match the original song, always show, never quit, etc.? if you can do that, then, yeah, join us.”

Don’t worry about the world copying what we do. As opposed to the single complaint above we have received overwhelming praise by other musicians in the audience who are fully aware of what we are doing. When we explain the technology, knowledge, talent, preparation and gear used to accomplish what we do, these musicians say, “Wow, never mind.” We now run all bass and backing tracks through a UI24R using Ableton, and I run C3 on the same computer using the same interface (UI24R 32 track ASIO interface). Tracks are full stereo, subtly mixed into our live performance, and sound great.

But don’t worry. Most musicians like the sound, but don’t want to go to the trouble. By the way, with backing tracks, setup is shorter. It is all ready to go. I have 2 back up laptops and one back up interface if either goes out. Live musicians are Rhythm Guitar, Singer, Lead Guitar, Drums and Keys. Backing tracks done wrong is if the live musicians stop playing and there is little missing from the song, the tracks were done wrong. If the song is unplayable without live musicians, then the backing tracks are just right. We are aware that there are benefits to a live bass player, but a CBA/BCA favors our current setup.

Sorry it is so long, but I love this band and our set up.

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OK. That’s it!! I quit !! I am buying a karaoke machine and maybe DJ equipment.


JPG The awful picture of what comes to my mind when I think about a “Classic Rock” band.

@Corky you are always a good laugh! Better than Amy Schumer, but not as good as Bill Burr.


For me, I think the Addictive Upright has a lot of character and I like it in a mix. The Grand is very good too but that;s the point where I usually og “Eh” and just load a Kontakt piano instead.

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I am going to try the Upright. I don’t know if it was you who suggested I purchase Serum. Anyway, I did, and I love that synth!



Sounds like some of the garage bands I’ve been in. All that is really complicated, and totally understand your avatar. :grin:

A little example of what I am doing with a 3 piece band I am in:
We are all in-ear. No amps, no acoustic drums. Only a good PA. The 3 of us understand each other, and have respect for each other, which is hard to find. We enjoy playing together, and it shows in our performance. With only 3, dedicated people, there is no drama, and we have fun.
We all sing, I play keyboards and guitar, bass player also plays keyboard. We switch to instruments as needed, and in the middle of songs. Our goal was to have 3 people that create the sound of a fully manned larger band. We have achieved that. We don’t play to impress other musicians, but rather to impress the audience. The comments that many people, and other musicians have made, are “I was looking for the other musicians” , and “you’re not using backing tracks?”. We play mostly classic rock, and are able to pull off Pink Floyd, Steely Dan, Doobies, Eagles, etc and have a full band sound. With only 3, we make more money, have less equipment (less stage footprint), help each other with load in and breakdown, fully enjoy what we do, and get very good comments. So simple…so fun. Fully live music is hard to find anymore, so we are somewhat unique…and just maybe a little crazy. But satisfied :sunglasses:


That is awesome! And truly unique. All of you are multitalented. We don’t have much of that in my neck of the woods. Modesto, Ca. We, we also, have no drama (since ridding the bass player), and it is completely democratic. If we had your talent, we wouldn’t need backing tracks, of course. We, secondly, play to the audience and first to the one who hired us, in order to represent them well. Yes, less musicians is more money. This is how my playing is justified with my wife. Not that she tells me what to do. Sort of. Well…maybe. My drummer always comments on how various event planners look, to which I reply, “Would she be interested in a recently divorced, established, middle aged man?” He would respond, “But, you are married.” I would say, “That depends.”


In repeating myself…this is why I am happily divorced. (She really was supportive of my music). :grin:

@FredProgGH Wow. Looking at your website, we truly are a garage band. I don’t realize the talent with which I am mingling in this forum.

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Eh, nonsense lol We just started at the right time and made a dent. But I appreciate you saying that. I’m guessing most here play rings around me :wink: Now Neil, he’s a star :smiley:

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