Live performances using cubase

Newbie here. So been playing forever but mostly in a band situation. My peers have suggested I go out as an individual artist. I have launched that aspect of performing with releasing material and frankly has done well. Helps to have marquis-value folks onboard. That being said I’m performing but solely with live players…i.e…no tracks. The genre I’m in expects a full sound and the wallet says whoa :slight_smile: .

Time for tracks. I have to be able to extend parts for solos at a whim as well as change arrangements on the fly. Very new all this. Seeking input concerning hardware/software required. Links to videos, topics here, whatever you all think will get me on the path.


Welcome Scott

Many good people here to share with. The search engine is a great tool to find out many various setups, equipment. software, and experiences. That is how I became acquainted with many new friends and their individual ways of doing things. I will list a few good threads to get you started.

Always feel free to ask questions. Hope these help you get started. Many more are available for specific needs.

As for using Cubase for Live performance, I would think it would be a bit much on resources. I used Ableton for live several years ago, and it is great for live performance, but again, a powerful, tricked out computer is really needed. This is why I moved to Canabile. I have been 100% virtual instruments for several years. As for improvisation, loops may serve those needs.

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Check out this post, which links to two guides I made, one on how I built my gig rack, and second how I have setup Cantabile for my own use. Should give you plenty of ideas.

And of course, do not forget the excellent resources on the Support Pages of the website


Hey Scott,

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 :wink: . 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
  • etc.

There is a feature request for stuff like this in the Cantabile backlog on Trello, so go and vote for it :wink:

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!



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Here’s another thread about this:

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Great info!! Time to carve out some time and dive in. Thx guys!!