trying to address your specific question on using backing tracks flexibly here.
What you are asking for is actually the most difficult way of using backing tracks. Usually, people simply run stereo tracks with whatever backing they need - and hold on for dear life . No flexibility, just stick to the backing track. Maybe - if you’re a band - have a separate click track, often on a separate audio output, to keep everyone aligned with the backing track. But the track is still fixed and unflexible.
This kind of playing with backing is actually pretty easy with Cantabile: you use media players to run your backing tracks, and you have VST instruments in the same song file for your live playing. All very neat and convenient.
But when it comes to being able to e.g. extend a solo, you’ll need the ability to jump around the backing track, but in a controlled way. To do this, @brad would need to add some capabilities to Cantabile; stuff like:
- turn looping on / off for the current section in the timeline - and keep playing beyond the section limit once looping is turned off
- jump to section X after the current section is done playing
- jump to section X on the next bar
There is a feature request for stuff like this in the Cantabile backlog on Trello, so go and vote for it
Meanwhile, the most established tool for flexible backing tracks on stage is probably Ableton Live. There is a guy called Tim Buell who has a lot of good advice on how to use Ableton Live for backing tracks - some of this advice comes for free, some you’ll need to pay for. Look here
Hope this helps!