Figured out how to see all my specific song notes in a completely separate app, right from C2

Maybe someone’s already done this, but it’s new for me, and hopefully can help someone trying to achieve the same goal. This is sort of similar to Torsten’s LivePrompter scenario, my goal was essentially the same as his… but this is far more simplistic than LP, which is awesome… a very elegant, robust approach. (I tried LP but it had some attributes that made it not the best solution for my specific situation.) Thanks Torsten… your post got me thinking about this!

My goal was to link and sync another app with my notes, directly to Cantabile, so when I select a song in Cantabile, the other app displays my notes… as big or in whatever format/layout I want. I’m in 2 bands, playing 2 instruments and singing, learning new songs all the time, and my brain just can’t keep up. I’m also not a coder so I have to work within my limitations :slight_smile: Please note that I also have avoided moving to C3, which of course has song note capability built in, simply because I have so many songs, and finding enough time to make a full changeover and full test is daunting. My current rig in C2 is bulletproof, so taking some steps backwards feels a little risky…but maybe some day I’ll get around to that.

Essentially, a short midi file is created with just one midi command, and stored with each C2 song/session. You select the song, hit Spacebar to play that short midi file, and your notes appear… full screen, or whatever configuration you want. So here’s how I did it… not the most elegant solution perhaps, but it works, and is really easy to set up:

All my song notes are in Word. I’ve added to them over the years, so it’s pretty extensive. 1 song per page, with a lot of formatting and color coded notes (midi sax are purple, guitar are yellow, overall song structure white, etc.). Page 1-3 are my Table of contents. And each song title in the TOC is actually a hyperlink to that page. All that’s pretty easy to create in Word.

So first I used loopmidi to create virtual midi ports, and make sure they’re active in Cantabile. Then I used Bome’s midi translator classic free, spent a while figuring it out and getting it to work, and got a simple midi pgm change # on an unused midi channel, converted to keystrokes. The incoming midi is pretty straightofrward, but strangely, it took a while to get Bome’s to capture the outgoing key commands correctly… not the easiest key capture utility I’ve used. So the Bome outgoing command is this:

Alt(Tab)F5 2 2 Enter Alt(F4 )Ctrl ) In this example 22 is my page number.
Tip: in Outgoing, check the option to “Enter Tab and Backspace” only while doing the ALT+Tab press, then uncheck it to complete the command. So… Alt Tab=change view to next window (Word), F5=Go To, 22=page, Enter, CTRL+F4=close the Go To dialog). This command is of course specific to my situation, but all you need to figure out are the keyboard shortcuts that achieve your goal.

Then all I had to do was create a very short midi file with that pgm #, and drop it into C2 for that song. Set that file to “start playback on Master Transport”. I don’t know enough about Bome’s yet, but I may have to create a different midi command file for each song, but that’s pretty easy. It would be nice to use that same midi file for all songs and jsut change the page number in the outgoing command, but I’m not sure about that part yet. Then assign the output of that file to the loopMIDI port. Done.

Of course, in C2 all my songs are in one master Set List alphabetically. Find the song, select it, and hit the spacebar to play the mid file (you won’t even realize it’s played since it’s so short). Bingo, there are my Notes.

My typical layout is C2 in a narrow window on the left of my laptop screen, just wide enough to see the set list. My Word document fills the rest of the screen. But you can change this around however you’d like… or you can go full screen too, which I will probably do going forward… just Alt+Tab to get back to Cantabile, to choose the next song.

Well, hope this helps someone. Now I just have to figure out the fastest way to change the page numbers on Bome’s for each song. It may be due to the limitation of the free Classic version, but I’m not finding a way to change only the page number yet.

Hi @twaw,

Sounds like you’re having fun with this. I like the idea of being able to control Word from Cantabile - that basically means your notes formatting is very flexible. Very cool.

I think you’re running Solo right? One thing where Performer would help you with this is C2’s triggers - they let you send program changes (and many other MIDI events) automatically when a session loads and would avoid needing the MIDI file.

Still very creative solution!


Thanks, Brad… yeah it’s pretty cool, and yes, the formatting is really flexible… and in a gig setting where we change up the set list on the fly, the color coding and bolding is really helpful, so I can switch songs pretty quickly… it’s more helpful than I thought it would be.

Yeah, I did read up on the Triggers in Performer… and I very well may do that! One of these days I need to find a week or two between gigs, bite the bullet, and move to C3… it definitely does have a lot of features I’d really use! Thanks!

For what you are doing, I’d really recommend moving to C3 Performer - loading a specific Word document is super-easy with a “On Song Load–>External Command” binding: you can use a song-specific command-line like “C:\ProgramFiles…\Word.exe Song1.docx” to automatically open Word with the respective document (maybe you’ll need another program/script to close the old document before that :wink: ).

Once you get comfortable with the new logic of C3, there’s no looking back - it’s a quantum leap!



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Hi Torsten, you’re absolutely right, I know I need to make the move! Does C3 allow going to a specific page number in Word? I guess that’s not a big deal, I could just make each song it’s own file, too.

Also, it just occurred to me, do you know if it’s possible, or a good idea, to continue to use C2 on gigs, while I’m also in the process of migrating everything over to C3? On the same laptop? I guess I could just copy and rename all my session files and any associated tracks from C2, then import them into C3 before starting to migrate… so I wouldn’t be taking any risk with my C2 files.

That would take some of the “pressure” off and give me as much time as I need to make the move. Thanks!

This is not a C3 capability issue - Cantabile can simply send command-lines to Windows. I don’t believe that Word allows opening a document on a specific page via the command line. But of course, there could be a way around it - a simple script in AutoIt could

  • take two parameters (document, page)
  • close an existing instance of Word
  • open Word with a the specified document
  • send key-presses to Word to send it to to the selected page

Pretty easy to realize in AutoIt. Not sure if AutoIt could also make sure that the Word window is always at the correct location and size. But you could also make the AutoIt script re-use an existing Word window and simply “type” an “open” command.



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AFAIK, C3 coexists peacefully with C2, so I’d definitely recommend this as a migration strategy! But of course you shouldn’t try run them side-by-side; they’ll compete for MIDI and audio ports, which isn’t helpful :wink:



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It’s absolutely fine - I have C2 and C3 on the same machine, and when migrating old stuff from C2 into C3 I often have both running simultaneously to look at how I did something in C2. Just make sure you don’t have the audio engine enabled on both simultaneously - as @Torsten says, they’ll fight for ports!


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Thanks everyone… that sounds like a plan. Now I don’t have an excuse to make the switch!