Live vocal -> vocoder plugin - possible?

I have an older Cantabile Lite. I have vocoder plugins in it. I can make a synth plugin play the vocoder plugin. The synth sound is thus ‘effected’, but I can’t work our who to get a live mike vocal into the ‘mix’.

What I want to do is:

Connect a microphone, sing into it, ‘play’ what I sing using a midi keyboard and have the vocoder plugin effect my voice in real time

Is this possible, and if so, how? I don’t mind upgrading to the paid version of Cantabilie if that helps.

Thank you for any clues.

Otherwise, I’ll have to buy something like the Novation MiniNova.

Maybe this will help:

Thanks, but I need to know something more basic:

What adjustments do I have to make to Cantabile so I can get:

Live vocal -> microphone -> soundcard 1 input -> cantabile -> organ sound plugin + vocoder plugin -> soundcard 2 output effected-musical-vocoded-voice

It’s the bit in bold I need help with. I’m sure it involves some kind of routing jiggery-pokery.

Hi TigerTom,

Yes, this very do-able with Cantabile 3.

First you must check the default settings in Tools>Options>Audio Ports, the input ports may have automatically been created for you there but if not you can add and alter them by using the add and edit buttons

Second you can check the Tools>Options>MIDI Ports and make sure your keyboard is in the list and checked , if it provided a description of itself to Cantabile it will be in the seetings column next to the virtual Port Name. Usually If you plug a keyboard to your system, start Cantabile up , it will see your Keyboard and make it the ‘Main Keyboard’ in the Ports list an din the main programing pages. If it’s not there then add it using the functions available.

Below is an example of a setup like you described more or less that illustrates the routing inside C3 for this

In the lower Area you can see the Output Ports section where you add vsts and vsti’s. Begin by clicking on ‘Add Object’ you’ll get a menu of the vsts and vsti’s in your vst folder you’ve selected in Tools>Options>Plugin Options. When done it be in a named slot.

Next In the Input Ports section you create the Audio and Midi routes (press Add Route to get a “Name/Source” selected from drop-down list and click on the slot next to the selection you made to set the “Preset/Destination” in the same manner). Since we want to route to the vocoder plugin we select it from the drop box of Destination for both the Audio and MIDI.

For more details you could read the manuals and see the start videos at main website



Ok, thanks very much for taking the trouble to do that. I see I am using a very old version of Cantabile.

I will upgrade and try your suggestion.

Hi TigerTom,

The Free Cantabile Solo version should do all this.


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Ok, I am downloading it now. This could save me a lot of money. I am hoping to get an harmoniser plugin as well; to add +3 and +5 harmonies.

I’ve heard demos of hardware like Boss VE-20 which does this and it sounds great.

Thank you.


Look into TC Helicon. I , and other band members love it. Was well worth the money.

Thank you. The Helicon sounds great in that video.

I bought the Boss VE-20 second-hand as it seems simpler, cheaper and sturdier. I am probably going to buy a Novation Mininova as that contains a vocoder and I can use it as a midi-keyboard as well, and it’s small and portable.

Reason: I think I may have reached the end of my tether with software.

[Recording] Reaper + VST plugins and
[Playing] Cantabile + VST plugins

… are great ways to get pro results, very, very inexpensively.


I got a vocoder plugin working in Cantabile and it sounds great.

Agh! Now I have to decide whether to buy a MiniNova or not, as it would be more portable and less prone to eccentric behaviour, than a laptop, if I play live.

Ha ha, First World problems!


Warmverb has some basic vocoder effects but not playable by keyboard.