Full Backup feature suggestion

I tried installing on my other computer again but that isn’t so easy. Maybe rethink the portable structure of the program would be very interesting.
What locations are used for the software to run?
Can you break it down Brad?

Hey @So_Godly

What were the problems? Cantabile only really has two required folders:

  1. The program installation folder (C:\Program Files\Topten Software\Cantabile 3.0) and everything in it
  2. The settings folder - settings.json, plugins.json, plugins.cache.json and log files

Everything else is configured in Cantabile -> Options -> File Locations and covers default locations for songs, racks etc…

I’m not aware of any reason why the entire installation folder couldn’t be moved to a portable drive and ran from there - but as mentioned you’ll need to get the same driver letter.


Thx, I’ll take a good look again. I managed before, but couldn’t figure out in 1-2-3 how I did that and what isn’t working atm. So that’s my real question, would be easier if it was really portable.

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Hi @brad, would it be a big work to convert Cantabile to a portable version.
In Reaper f.e. you have the option to install as user or portable.
I think it would be most handy with C3 also, because that way you can sync and backup the full program, settings and song files.
I tried installing my setup on a new computer lately and it was a big problem, finnaly found out to get it fixed, but don’t know what was causing the problem all the time.

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I know Dropbox, Google Drive and the likes can be used for automatic backup purposes, and I do actually use these for my day job (which unfortunately does not involve playing music) but these programs sometimes lock files while they are being synchronised, which may potentially cause problems in Cantabile. That’s why I’ve opted for a separate synch program that gives me total control over versions, changes, etc.

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I use Dropbox with Cantabile, seamlessly, across three machines, and have never had a problem. Although I make sure I don’t run Cantabile with the same files on multiple machines simultaneously.

One concern with the desire for a fully portable setup is that you’d still need to make sure all the plugins and associated sample libraries, patches etc. are synchronised / backed up, which isn’t necessarily straightforward, particularly as many use registry entries.


Perhaps I should have added I use the same synchronisation program to sync all my Sonar projects, and it is with Sonar files that Dropbox has caused some problems for me in the past. This was a few years back, though, so it’s good to hear Dropbox works for you.

Me also, using Syncback, and that’s exactly the reasen why a fully portable version would be handy. To have a backup that can be moved between computers and starts without probs.
I had to many problems with Google Sync also, I lost files this way…

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That could be fixed like in most programs (like premiere f.e.) that asks where my content is located?

Hi @So_Godly

The biggest problem here will be the plugins.

Cantabile has practically zero installation requirements anyway - you just need to copy the folder to another machine and it’ll work (assuming it’s got .NET 4 installed - which any modern version of Windows does).

The catch with making it portable are drive letters. Cantabile saves full paths for things like the plugin folders so there’d need to be a way to indicate that the drive is the “portable drive” and replace the drive letter if you happen to plugin to a machine that assigns a different drive letter.

Still… the biggest problem will be the plugins. Unless you limit yourself to a set of plugins that are happy when copied between machines (and I would think that would exclude anything with any kind of licensing) then it’s probably not going to work.



Dropbox has worked beautifully.
I put some time into a plugin setup that is easy to duplicate across several machines.
6 aliased directories sit on the desktop of each machine and the sources for those aliases are kept in the same relative path across all machines.

  1. 32 bit plugins
  2. 64 bit plugins
  3. 32 bit jbridged
  4. 64 bit jbridged
  5. 32 bit hidden jbridged (for those plugins which which will automatically be jbridged by the host)
  6. 64 bit hidden jbridged (for those plugins which which will automatically be jbridged by the host)

Whenever a project or any component is saved from any of the computers, I see the file update immediately on any of the other machines which are associated with the Dropbox account.
It’s as portable a system as one could wish for - and maintains crucial autonomy where necessary.


Hi @Neil_Durant @brad

where the config.json file is located now? Can’t find it anymore in the Cantabile folder, except for a file named config.example.json

Thank you!

The default is c:\Users\ --your user name-- \AppData\Topten Software\Cantabile 3.0 (x64)\

With a startup parameter, you can make that folder live anywhere.


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Oh in AppData…in a previous post I remember it was in the program folder (Program Files…).
However, I just checked and I don’t have that folder. I see AppData>Local>Topten Software>Cantabile and the file seems now to be named settings.json

@brad Can you confirm?

Thank you!

Cantabile looks for a file config.json in the same location as the Cantabile.exe file ie: typically C:\Program Files\Topten Software\Cantabile.

By default, no such file exists, but there is an file config.example.json that you copy or rename as a starting point.

The options in config.json determines which folder is used as the base for the settings folders. When no config.json file is present it defaults to C:\Users\yourname\AppData\Local\Topten Software.

More details here: https://blog.cantabilesoftware.com/moving-cantabiles-settings-folder-7d06d1d6c726

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Getting back on track, i use a folder with the plugins i use for live, so i don’t have 100s to load every time for a scan or so.
It works the way i setup c3, but i would love to see a function like in reaper, when you install you can tick the portable box. So everything is put into 1 place.
It’s little work to copy everything from the program folder on any update, but still, it’s a risk for me of overwriting wrong stuff.
I think the procedure could be easier.
Is there some problem with user rights?

You could always NOT nominate plug in folders and do manual search for your live plugins. Only those will appear.

Anyone wanting to back-up/sync/mirror a number of folders from a single action, try SyncBack (a free version is available). I’ve used it for years and found it effective and reliable.


My backup app also atm :slight_smile:

I just set up a backup laptop, the advice above in this thread made the Cantabile portion of my setup a snap - thanks to everyone in the thread! I decided to go with Dropbox.

I also decided to make a slight modification to my plugins organization. I was C:\VST32 and C:\VST64. I moved those under C:\MUSIC\PLUGINS. I did end up reinstalling some of my plugins but I wanted to get everything under one parent folder (C:\MUSIC) to simplify backup.