Looking for a MIDI programmable PDF-Viewer

Hey people,

I know that Thorsten developed the liveprompter app. But as I sometimes use a lot sheet-music, visualizing just the text is not sufficient here. Sadly C3 is not able to view PDFs at the moment.

So is there any workaround to automatically view a PDF when loading a song? Maybe with an external script? Or is there an application out there that listens to MIDI commands and switches to the according PDF on program change?


Hi Chris

Use a binding with action “Execute external program” to launch the pdf viewer of your liking.

I used the (free) lightweight Sumatra PDF Reader, which is quite configurable, to display sheet music. An other option would be to use an app that specialices on sheet music display and gives you even more control and supports additional formats. I use MobileSheetsPro (Windows version) on a tablet for that. It is controlled by Cantabile running on a desktop computer. Cantabile sends program changes via WLAN (using Tobias Erichson’s virtual rtpMIDI driver) to select the sheet. Very smooth solution.

I use Bome MIDI Translator to convert MIDI events sent from Cantabile into page up/down keypresses sent to a PDF viewer for page turns. It works well enough, although I haven’t found a good way to jump to a specific page.


Thanks for your reply!
Maybe “Execute external program” will work. I’ll check that out.

I don’t want to integrate any other peripheral… I’d like to keep it as simple as possible. No tablet, no WiFi, etc.

@Neil_Durant: Hm… that may work. But I need the functionality to call a specific PDF on song load…

Take a look at this thread - in response to @Dromeus’ requirements, I built a little tool that listens for program changes and executes an external program with the PC as a parameter. So when you send PC 123 to it, it can e.g. open “Song 123.pdf”



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Hey Neil, have you tried the new Navigation bindings in Cantabile for this? The keystrokes are sent as low level hardware input events so you should be able navigate other apps besides Cantabile.


Interested to hear if that works for your case.

Just create a song on load binding that invokes the PDF reader with the name of the pdf to load.

Yes, I tried that, and it does work, but only if the PDF viewer has focus. Bome MIDI Translator has the ability to send the keypress events directly to my chosen PDF viewer, regardless of focus, which feels a bit safer, albeit done in a more ramshackle way via Bome.


Ah right - of course.

Why not simply use an iPad (or similar) and load the MIDI commands from there? I do it all the time from UnrealBook on the iPad. Unless I have misundestood your needs of course, hahaha!

No. You got me right. But you didn’t read the whole thread. :wink:

yeah, missed that bit re no iPad. shame really as trying to view a PDF and also control elements inside C3 could prove problematical. It ws an issue I looked at vigourously before committing to a laptop and C3 tbh.

You could even use a Nexus 7 if you wanted, or an iPad mini, for a much smaller footprint, but ultimately you have far more control options available by using a separate device for charts jm2c hahaha!