Duality for Two

I have graduated from using C3 on a single host to render my WindSynth MIDI in software, through some hardware units, and controlling FX and backing tracks. I now have a series of concerts and sessions with 5 piano players, who will each join me and bring their own keyboard controller. However, I will render and mix their sound.

So my new rig uses two laptops – let’s call them Atlas and Wimpy – to render myself (Atlas) and the keyboard (Wimpy). This works because our style isn’t so much “Songs, A, B, C, …” as I pick a sound for myself and pick a sound for the keyboard and we play. My setup has all the dozens of possible keyboard sounds as separate songs in a preloaded set list on Wimpy, and all the dozens of sounds I used for my WindSynth as separate songs in a preloaded set list on Atlas. I call up sounds by switching songs on each laptop using some drum pads (MPD-218 and a FaderFox EC4). Works beautifully … until …

Atlas died. GPU fan failed.

Now I’ve got one laptop (Wimpy) for both of us. The problem is …

I’d still like to be able to pick sounds for each of us on the fly. If I could run two instances of C3 on the same host, that would be ideal (although I think there are a lot of issues with that idea).

Has anyone dealt with a scenario like this??

Any thoughts or advice appreciated …

I have often run a single instance of Cantabile for two players. It’s simple to send incoming data to separate racks.

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Yes, I’ve done it too, just set up a ‘master rack’ for each player and use rack states as song states/sound selections. I used a similar set up also to create a ‘generic’ set up for a 2 keyboard rig for gigs where I don’t know what’s coming, sound wise and need to just have a set of sounds I can grab at will. If you need to see what I did, I’m quite happy to share the files.



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Thank you @The_Elf and @Toaster! I must admit that I have used racks in limited ways, to encapsulate the set of Reverb plugins that I use and similar “reusable complex components that appear in many songs”.

So I am a bit unsure how this will work … I currently use the background rack to change songs based on input from MIDI control surfaces. These bindings will move into the rack? And they will trigger rack states instead of song load actions??

… it might help if I take you up on the your offer @Toaster:

If you need to see what I did, I’m quite happy to share the files.

… I don’t know if you would post those file here or … ???

Ok Clint,

I attach the 2 rack files that I use when I’m using this ‘generic’ setup. Obviously, these racks include the specific plugins that I used, which won’t load on your system but you’ll be able to see the bindings which are the most important bit for you…

So here’s the song level.

As you can see, I have one rack for each board with the keyboard and pedal controls on different channels. These are set from the controllers and just make it easier to differentiate different messages and make sure that the pads I use to change the sounds don’t trigger notes in the plugins (they’re sending note off messages as you can see later)

Now into the racks:

As you can see, I have 4 states, for 4 different sounds. The routes switch on and off for each state and I switch the organ rack off for all states it’s not used in because I have the leslie wind noise on for realism and it’s annoying over a piano sound… (and it helps with CPU usage)

Now the bindings in the rack…


The ones you’ll be interested in are in the ‘Load States’ group, which take an input from a pad (a note off in this case) and select the required state.

Tha’s pretty much as far down the rabbit hole you’d need to go, in order to get what you want working, just create a different rack for each instrument you’re connecting, set the states for the sounds you need and away you go!

The rest of the stuff in those racks (and embedded racks) is pretty much unique to my situation, with the pad and button lights etc for my specific keyboards but if you want me to explain all that I did to get that working, feel free to PM me, if digging about in the racks doesn’t make any sense to you.

hope that helps.


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Sorry, can’t upload the racks and song here, they’re too big.

here’s a DB link: