Is there a way to create a comprehensive "settings" (config) backup file?


Last night, when I switched on my laptop and fired up Cantabile (just 5 minutes before final rehearsal and 90 minutes before the actual event), Cantabile refused to start. Each time I would try to fire it up, I got that screen that said there had been a failure and it asked me which service I wanted to bypass in order to start the program. One after another, I checked one additional box, then restarted again. Each time, it failed, until finally I got to the last box which said, “Use this only as a last resort. All your settings will be lost.” Fortunately, Cantabile started that time. Unfortunately, rumors of lost settings were true. I lost hours and hours of set up work, learning to switch on and switch off lights on my midi-controller, custom-controlling the way sliders work in curves, and much more. I still love Cantabile. Notwithstanding the fact that in four previous years with Ableton Live, I hadn’t experienced one single failure at start-up, I lived in CONSTANT Ableton Live failure, every time I heard digital crackle when I tried too many voices or too complex of a setup. But still, I’m left with a question: Is there any way to create a backup configuration file, so if I experience catastrophic failure like this again someday, I can simply “open configure file” or “restore all settings?” If so, please tell me how. I’ll back it up every day! Sometimes multiple times in the same day!

I managed, in 15 minutes or so, to create enough to get me by. But my midi-controller was absolute darkness. I was functioning by memory through most of the night. I made it through - but I don’t want to live like that. Please help with some kind of config file? Please.


Hey Doug,

Cantabile does the backup of your configuration file each shut down and keeps a previous configuration file in the same system folder. Open the Settings folder from the Tools>Options>Diagnostics>Logging section

and then quit Cantabile while leaving the settings folder open …

You will see the “settings.json” file and a file called “settings.lastgood.json”. You just rename the the “settings.json” file to some close like ‘settingsbad.json’ or similar and then rename the file called “settings.lastgood.json” file to “settings.json” and it will then replace the previous one when you start up Cantabile the next time. That usually gets you you back where you want to go but if not we need to go further in and get more assistance. If it helps I would advise saving the settings file that you know works for your setup to another folder to back it up away from the Cantabile setting folder in case.




This is exactly what I was looking for. If I’d only known this last night. Now, I bet I’ve overwritten things several times. [checking… drum roll] Yup. Sure enough. The “last good” is not so good. But hopefully, once I spend the hours rebuilding all my settings, I should be able to back up this json file and NEXT time, I’ll hopefully have this documented and be ready to copy in a config file so I’ll be right back at work. Thank you!!!

Could KICK myself for not knowing this in advance. This will take me HOURS of extra work rebuilding all these settings and commands to light up all those lights. Sigh.

Oh well. At least I’m done with digital crackle for good.


Hi Doug,

Glad it helped, the other settings files you see in my folder are automatically created each time one upgrades Cantabile and are marked with version numbers added. One of them may be a faster way back if you have updated recently. You would just name it as described above to make it the active boot settings.




I saw those in your folder and figured as much. Unfortunately, there are no such files in my folder. I guess either I’m so new - nothing like that has had a chance to generate – or else I just didn’t ctrl-save a settings file. But it’s true I’m new… probably around a month enjoying Cantabile - and crackle-free events. : )


Hi Doug,

Maybe for the paranoid or OCD of us, but a file replication program can also help by keeping a catalog of your old settings.json and settings.lastgood.json files. A number of programs let you setup an automatic file copy either locally or to the cloud.

But, be mindful of two-way replication. You don’t want to accidentally land an old file set on your performance machine–you want it to be on purpose and only because the default first “layer of protection” didn’t work. This is your “backup reserve parachute”. I use GoodSync to one-way replicate to a local folder that is in my iDrive (or Dropbox, G-Drive, etc.) folder.

And, be sure you are replicating the right Cantabile directory (if you make use of multiple configurations).

I’ve worked on highly-available, always on NonStop systems for about 40 years, so I think like this. It’s not necessarily a talent it’s defiantly paranoia–and “paranoia strikes deep” :slight_smile:



Great input, Richard! I’ll learn from this.