File Structure for Cloud Backup and Portability?

Hi all-- I’m upgrading my performance PC (and a few of the peripherals), and since I’m starting from a clean slate, I want to be really thoughtful about the file structure for Cantabile and related VSTs. There are two things I’m thinking:
–I want to keep everything (Cantabile and all VSTs) in one place so I can back up easily with a cloud service running background, and
–At some point soon, I’ll upgrade my home production machine as well, and I’d like to be able to just grab and copy the master folder containing all the songs, presets, etc.

Any suggestions on how to organize and configure everything to keep all Cantabile files, VSTs, and configuration files in a master location?

Hey there,

TL;DR: “one master folder” to copy will not work. But there are ways to make your life easier.

It does make sense to keep all your Cantabile stuff (racks, songs, set lists, presets, one-shot samples, backing tracks, …) in one place, so it can be easily transferred, backed up or replicated across multiple systems. I use Dropbox for this. This is what the “Cantabile” folder in my Dropbox looks like:

(“Pausenmusik” means “intermission music”).

It’s different with VST plugins and instruments. Very few VST instruments are self-contained .dll files (these are easy) - most require installation and install a “program files” folder and / or some data folder. Some use %appdata% or %programdata%, others (e.g. U-he) create their own data folder.

There is no cut-and-dried approach for this - you’ll have to deal with your plugins and their individual ideosyncrasies individually, unfortunately.

I’ve built myself a little script to compare plugin versions and / or file time stamps between different installations, so I know which machine I need to update (e.g. before a gig) to have plugin versions in sync, but that works for only about 85% of my plugins, so it’s a bit hit and miss…

I try to at least keep all my sample folders for Kontakt, EZdrummer, etc in one root folder “Samples” on my drive, so it is at least easy to copy - but a lot of sample-based instruments (e.g. Kontakt) require a bit of fiddling to “know” where their instruments are, so also no cut-and-dried approach here. But the “one root” is definitely a healthy starting point.

Hope this helps!



Here’s my dropbox folder called “MUSIC”

Nice! I wish my folders were this well organized but I got some ideas here on some ways to make them better.

Thanks Doug & Torsten, :smile:


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A rather thorny topic … especially if you don’t put some thought into it at the start!

Here’s a post that details my current setup. I am using carefully crafted Directory Junctions (symlinks) on Win10x64. It also details the issues that @Torsten pointed out with “idiosyncrasies” of plugins and applications. Here’s a link to that post:

Thanks, all-- great stuff. @ClintGoss, Kontakt is the the thorniest one for me too-- everything else is pretty straight-forward, and similar to what Torsten and Doug shared, but Kontakt is tricky.

Well, I’ve tamed Kontakt by keeping my sound libraries in two directories: /SoundLib_NI (for Native Instruments libraries installed by Native Access) and /SoundLib_3P (for other sound libraries).

So, for me, the big complexity is synching the config files managed by various applications (such as the KMI SoftStep Programming Editor, and the VoiceLive Preset editor) and VSTs (e.g. Cthulhu and Respiro). These often live in C:/Users//… I am currently keeping a list of these and synchronizing them by hand. Ugh.