Live setup suggestions

Hello all,

Just downloaded the demo and working my way through the setup and looking for some suggestions to see if C3 will be the program for me. What I have are wav files of MIDI mixes I’ve done, all background music and vox have been added. I have left out one of the keyboard parts, typically piano, that I want to play live. There will also be times when I will need B3, strings, horns or any other patch on my external Roland JV2080 or VST synths.

i want to be able to load the wav files into a set list, have the JV2080 and VST synths ready to go, and have C3 do all program changes to my VST’s and JV. I’ll need to be able to do program changes during the song as well, not just when loading up the song ( or set list ). Is this something C3 can do easily, and if someone can refer to a document or video explaining the easiest way to do this, that would be great.


Tom W.

Hey Tom,

yes, Cantabile should be able to all that (and more), but there’s quite a bit of a learning curve involved.

First thing: look at @brad’s excellent video introductions; that should get you going on the basics. Then there’s the great “guides” section on the website that you’ll need to study.

Unfortunately, all I can tell you now to do what you want will not really be of use to you until you’ve learned your way around Cantabile - it’s like learning an instrument somehow.

So what you’ll want to learn about:

  • Song files and set lists: you’ll want to create a separate Cantabile song file for each of your songs. Then you can connect songs in set lists - and even pre-load set lists in memory to avoid loading times

  • Song states and bindings: song states are used for different configurations during a song; you can step through them to have different configurations for e.g. chorus and verse. This can also be used to do program changes on your JV2080. You’ll need to learn about bindings to send different MIDI program changes to your synth on song state changes

  • You’ll also have to learn about racks - thes allow you to load a plugin only once in a set list and “re-use” it across songs without clogging up your memory with 20 instances of the same plugin when pre-loading a setlist.

  • Media players are used in Cantabile to play your wave files. You’ll have one in every song file to play your playback. Again, bindings can help you to trigger playback with your MIDI controller - learn about the “background rack” to avoid having to create the same bindings over and over in every song file.

  • First and foremost, you’ll have to learn about routes (MIDI and audio) - this is what strings everything together. Routes carry MIDI notes from your controller keyboard to either VST plugins or to a MIDI output; they also carry audio signals from your vst synths to your audio interface.

  • Getting more sophisticated, you can even route the audio from your JV2080 into Cantabile and process it with VST plugins before routing it to your output. This will require a fast (low-latency) interface with a sufficient number of input ports.

  • Sooner or later you’ll want to learn about encapsulating your JV2080 in a rack so you can select sounds using Cantabile presets and take care of all the MIDI and audio routing - but that’s an advanced topic…

This may be a bit overwhelming at first, but start with simple setups - maybe just one media player with your background music and one VST instrument and get your feet wet. Then advance step by step.

Cantabile is super-powerful - unfortunately, this means that you’ll have to understand and handle its complexity - a bit like a modular synth :wink:

Last: for what you want to do, you’ll probably need Cantabile Performer; the “smaller” versions don’t have song states, racks, pre-loaded set lists and a number of other features. If you’re serious about playing live, you’ll need Performer.




Bookmarking @Torsten 's answer for future reference!


I’d just add that binding keyboard faders to the master output gain, instrument gain(s), and media player gain can help to adjust the mix on the fly.

1 Like