Essential requirements for "Live Mode"

For me, I would say just a read-only indication of controller values for one/handful of chosen controllers, so a numeric value would be sufficient, but a graphical gauge that also indicates the actual value would be nicer in terms of instant visual indication on stage.

Perhaps this could be done using new MIDI assignment targets for Live Mode indicators, so you can also display mapped values if desired.

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I would like also to be able to run CB3 live mode windowed rather than full-screen.

The reason is that I have other applications running, such as CB2 with “in place GUI” for my guitar and Pod Farm.

Yes, was planning on this.

Just adding my 2 cents:

I agree with almost all of the comments here, and think @Neil_Durant’s list covered things nicely. Having even just some of these would be great.

But I especially like the idea of seeing the values of a few selected controllers (perhaps a different set of controllers per song) at runtime. I run multiple expression pedals through a MIDI Expression Quattro, and seeing the values would be great.

Real-life example: I have one controller (a knob, not a pedal) that controls the filter cutoff frequency in a particular song, and in one show I had warmed up playing the synth solo from that song and had turned that parameter all the way down. When it was time to play the song during the show, I got no sound since the cutoff frequency was too low. But I didn’t realize the problem until later. Having that parameter visible at runtime MIGHT have saved me from my own stupid mistake.

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All the above are great ideas. My one wish list item is a PDF (or multiformat) reader for sheet music. I perform a lot of different styles of music with different bands and memorizing is not always gonna happen and I would rather have it on my laptop since it is already there in front of me. Also w pageturning capabilities. Also, for PDF to be part of the preset, so the sheet music shows when I select a particular song. I use PDF Reader now, but it conflicts at times with CB2 and is a separate program of course.

It seems the consensus is that sheet music reader doesn’t belong in Cantabile - and I’m starting to lean in that direction too. Sheet music reading software is a fairly specialized thing and probably best left to dedicated software.

That said, I do plan two things here:

  1. basic “notes” viewing capabilities - probably limited to images and plain text to start with.
  2. better integration with score reading software (not sure what exactly this means yet).

See too this discussion

One of the “standards” in this field is MusicReader - pretty advanced PDF sheet music specialist. You can use Midi Triggers combined with Bome’s MIDI translator
to send key presses to MusicReader and thus automatically turn pages at song start or during the song - not sure if you can actually automate loading a specific song directly, but even that should be possible using tools like AutoIt and fiddling a bit.

Maybe MusicReader has an API that Cantabile could plug into to

  • load a song by number or title
  • turn page / half page

I don’t believe it makes sense for @brad to invest in developing this kind of Digital Music Stand functionality when it’s already there in a very sophisticated form for a reasonable price ($59).

Personally, I don’t need sheet music on stage - usually lyrics and chords are good enough for me, so my solution is my additional 8’’ tablet on my keyboard running a specialized text teleprompter. And it’s easy enough to just step thru the songs - as long as I run a pre-defined set list (simply press SPACE on the Cantabile laptop and press a pedal for my prompter for next song). If I were to do a very ad-hoc type of gig, i would indeed have to find the song both on Cantabile and on my prompter - but again, still doable - and I rarely do completely unplanned gigs :wink:

Just my 0.02 EUR



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I have MusicReader. I agree with Torsten. If it worked in tandem with Cantabile 3, I would be happy. I had issues with Cantabile2 and MusicReader working at the same time when doing song changes in each. This only happened occasionally.

Ski88, I don’t know if this is quite what you’re asking for, but I use iPad app Set List Maker to display chords and lyrics for each song. It is “synched” with Cantabile 3 using iConnectMidi+2. With these items communicating properly, every time I swipe to a new song on the SLM set list, it triggers the correct song in my Cantabile set list.

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Hi Brad,
Here’s a summary of my essentials based upon the excellent suggestions so far:

Songs in the setlist, with the current one highlighted

Song states in the current song, with the current one highlighted

Large, clear buttons for next/previous song / song state

Tempo / time signature

Flashing beat indicator,

Level meters for output channels

Option to auto-relaunch Cantabile in the last known good song / song state if it happens to crash

A one click link to a PDF of the chord charts for the currently selected song -Very helpful for unfamiliar material

Time - useful to know during gigs, especially if you take your watch off while on stage

Main Outs Volume Sliders by the output meters

Midi activity flasher to confirm that midi is being recieved by Cantabile - very helpful in quickly diagnosing a connection or hardware problem at a gig

MIDI Panic Button

Abilty to select from song list with mouse or touch screen or pad randomly (instead of using prev/next buttons) for when you need to go to a song quickly- Setlists often get ignored by the bandleader once a gig starts

Mouse Selectable Setlist with Current Song Highlighted (similar idea as above)

Ouput meters

Ability to select background and font colors.


I think this one translates to the ability to have buttons / keyboard shortcuts in live mode that can activate triggers. Then each song can have a trigger to load the appropriate PDF viewer and file (or whatever score/chord chart viewer you need).

Thanks everyone who’s posted here - very useful. I’ve spent a little time on a conceptual design for this which I’m quite happy with, covers most of the major points here and I hope is not too much work.

Still no promises on delivering this before launch, but a first pass attempt is still a possibility.

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LeesKeys…I am on android. One of my issues, is that some of my gigs are current pop, top40, R&B, and country. Many written lines 4 different instruments. So I need something like a PDF Reader since my requirements require more detail.

A post was split to a new topic: Building Live Mode

Agree - jmo, but I run an iPad running the chart reader, and C3 on laptop running everything else. Seems to me, to be the perfect combo! It is WAY too awkward to try and run charts all your music on the same device, believe me I have tried, MANY times…which is why I have evolved to the present setup. jm2c haha!

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I do display leadsheets with current Show Notes feature. Don’t know what I’d do without it.

On the ipad I run Unrealbook software for the charts. An advantage of this app is it can send midi messages (including sysex strings) via midi over any channel to any external hardware. It can do this when a chart is loaded automatically, and with “user-defined Hot Spots” where a simple touch of the spot sends whatever is set in it. These can be activated at any time.

Once I get me head fully around C3, I will set up various program changes within UnrealBook to control synths in C3. I still stress that imo, running a separate device for charts is vital!

What I’m totally missing in LiveMode is a view of current controller-state, especially Volume/Expression.

This could either be

  • in a seperate tab where “Show notes - Routes - Binding” is now
  • or be part of the Montor-Tab in left side-panel.

It should be configurable to show different controllers (07, 11), different Midi-inputs (or all), show range from 0-20 or 0-127.
Also this should be quite big, or adjustable to fill half the screen.

The reason for beeing so essential to me is, that I’m mainly in theater-business.
Here we usually have loads of differend sounds and exact remarks for specific volume they should be played in (which changes of course).

If it’s not clear what I’m thinking of, I’m happy to give examples!

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Good suggestion - it aims to solve the same problem as something I suggested here. My guess is that when Brad gets chance to implement something like either of these suggestions, it’ll be bigger, better and more flexible :relaxed:

Incidentally, remember that you can pre-program things like volume levels into song states in Cantabile, so you can step through exact volume changes, without having to dial them in with a physical controller (unless you need the effect of actual fades in/out). And even with fades, you can program song states to allow fading between specific start/end controller values (i.e. use the whole range of your hardware controller, and it’ll map to a specific range to fade over).


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Thanks @Jeff_Frohner

I’m aware of this kind of requirement and it’s one of a few things that are all related. Sometimes these things just need to sit and simmer for a while before a good solution pops out. :slight_smile: