Loud audio clips when changing songs


Still evaluating the product.

I have set up my play list and when I change between songs, I get a loud audible clipping sound from the audio interface rather frequently. I am considering using this for live play, so this obviously can;t happen on stage.


Is this a question or a statement?

There are many of us using Cantabile live on a regular basis - some of us in pretty serious and professional contexts, relying solely on Cantabile and VST instruments and effects - so be assured that Cantabile can be used live without frequent audible clipping or other nastiness.

If you would like us to help you get your Cantabile setup to behave nicely, you’ll need to share a bit more information, like:

  • what edition of Cantabile are you using - and which build?
  • what is your PC setup (Windows version, CPU, RAM, …) and audio interface?
  • which plugins are you using in the songs you’re switching between?
  • what is the CPU load / time load in your Cantabile setup?
  • are you using preloaded setlists and plugins encapsulated in racks or do your songs contain the plugins directly?

If you want to use Cantabile live and have fast and mostly seamless switching between songs, you’ll need the Performer edition - it allows you to pre-load your set list to RAM, so there’s no long load times between songs. Also, you get shared racks, which you can re-use across songs to keep your RAM requirements realistic.

See @brad’s excellent videos, especially the one on seamless switching. For using Cantabile live, you really need to understand shared racks and pre-loading and use it to optimize your setup.

Lastly: there are a number of plugins that just don’t play nice when activating and de-activating. You’ll need to find out if there are specific plugins that just don’t behave and find alternatives. I’ve taken the whole Plug&Mix range out of my live setup, because they kept creating nasty effects on song loading and unloading. So this may also be something you’ll want to look at.




Sort of both… I initially created a long winded post, but cut it down significantly.

Right now, I am using my PC with Kontact and Amplitube to play a MIDI keyboard foot controller and bass guitar amp modeling and effects. I am also looking into adding a media player to play pre-recorded content during a live show. I am dealing with several PC tools and I was looking for an all-in-one solution, so I was put onto this product.

I am 99% sure I will be outsourcing the amp modeling and effects to dedicated outboard gear (Line 6 Helix). And if we are going to implement pre-recorded content, I could, in theory, eliminate the need for the foot controller and just playback my pre recorded tracks.

In addition, through MIDI playback, I could implement MIDI program changes during live play to automate certain effects on the instrument and vocal racks which we don’t do now.

I have been evaluating this product as sort of a “last ditch” effort to using the PC, but to be honest, relying on a computer always seems to prove unreliable for live play. I am starting to lean heavily on a media player similar to the Cymatic Audio LP-16 Live Player and just ditch live VST altogether.

  • I just downloaded a week ago, so whatever version that is/was.
  • Win 10, i7, 16GB IK Axe IO
  • Amplitube / Kontact mostly
  • Time load 25%, CPU load 3%
  • I’ve been working with racks and setlists as of late. I wanted to switch from song to song without having to mute, close, then open a new song


I’ve been using a computer to play live gigs since about 2007. I’ve NEVER had a problem completing a gig, but DID have problems with hardware. Before the pandemic, I was very active playing an avg 3-4 gigs a week. Cantabile enabled me to to keep up with setlists, songs, and VST settings for 6 bands, and occasional studio session gigs. I carry a backup computer, just in case of a failure, but never used it in all these years. There are many forum members successfully playing live gigs with VSTs.

No one here insinuated you had a lack of intelligence (as per your other thread), rather, they were trying to help you. Cantabile DOES have a learning curve, and frankly, a week will not do it for most. It took me nearly 3 months to get everything lined out, but I also had over 600 songs to setup.

Cantabile is perfect for this. In many of my bands, it is essential to get to the next song quicky. It works great, especially when preloading your setlist…the change is immediate.

I use Amplitube and Kontakt, as well as many other VSTs. I play keys and guitar. It took a little while to understand amp sims, and how to incorporate a guitar into my rig without using an amp, but I am very comfortable with it now. I have a virtual pedal board I can switch during a song. When switching songs, I may go from a clean Fender amp with a wah and chorus, to a Marshall stack with an octaver and whammy pedal…and it is an immediate change.

If you continue with Cantabile, I suggest you check out some of the training videos and manuals. The forum members are friendly and knowledgeable, and willing to help. We all were noobs at one time, so we know what you are going through.




25% Time load seems not so bad. In my experience, Kontakt isn’t heavy for CPU, while IK’s effect are (I’m struggling with Hammond BX-3 and its Leslie). Did you read Brad’s ebook about PC optimization? Here is: https://www.cantabilesoftware.com/glitchfree/

Good luck.


Hi Paolo

I am bit O/T, but while IK Hammond does have a little load time, so does B5 and many Kontakt Pianos. They are sample based, and does take a little time. According to IK, B-3X is modeled, but I feel there must be some samples, even though I don’t see it in the program files. Preloading helps for sure. I see other people are also loading the GUI, which takes even longer. I have found that if I do not load the GUI, I can instantly play B-3X at 1st load. Since everything is setup in C3, I have no need to view the GUI for anything.


I remember having the clip sound happen in one song a long time ago. It ended up being a particular patch in one of the Arturia plugs (I don’t remember which one as don’t use Arturia as much anymore). I was a particular patch that had a long release time and when I switched to a new song it created the glitch sound. I would suggest experimenting buy trying some alternate patches in your vsts and by process of elimination, see if one of the settings is causing the glitch.


Hi Corky

I’m a bit puzzled watching the progress bar at load. The only reason i can image are samples load. Maybe hidden inside a binary file. The size of the installer is also suspect. Almost half of gigabyte for a modeled instruments???
More off topic (I apologize)…
I clearly remember in mid '90 my Kurzweil K2000 with a huge library, converted from Emulator 3&4 sampler. The best Hammond sounds ever heard, excluding real. Sounds splitted in two layer for slow and fast Leslie. And lots of pain every time I switch, using crossfade :wink:


I agree. I still have my E-Mu samples from many years ago, and they still sound great! The E Pianos and Orchestral samples are also amazing. And, yes…the Hammonds are great. So now, this inspires me to add IK leslie to my E-Mu Hammonds! If I do I will post some audio samples in the organ thread. :grin:


Hold on there cowboy, I never said anything of the sort.


A time load of 25% is not critical - should work without issues. Not sure how you’ve set the buffers of your Axe IO, but if there are buffer under-run issues, these should appear within a song, not on switching.

Glitches / clipping on switching songs can come from plugins de-activating and re-activating on song switch. Cantabile tries to be intelligent about not unloading plugins that are needed again in the next song, but some plugins don’t play nice when they get switched off and on. What helps here is putting your plugins into racks and activating pre-loading for your setlist. This means that all songs, plugins and racks will be loaded into RAM when loading the setlist, and Cantabile will intelligently switch between them, which can be near-instant.

Working with Kontakt in this context needs a bit of planning - can you afford the loading time between songs or do you need to switch very quickly and need to have all sounds loaded initially? If you can afford the time, you simply use a single instance of Kontakt and use the “entire bank” state behavior to store the full configuration of Kontakt with a rack state. When you change the rack state, Kontakt will then switch to a new configuration - and unload the previous sample set and load the new one.

Maybe that helps a bit…

And I couldn’t agree more with @corky’s comment: one week with Cantabile is still very early days - to really make the most of it, you need to spend serious time with Cantabile and learn to make it work for your specific configuration. There are many moving parts involved (PC, audio/midi interface, various plugins, songs, racks, Cantabile configuration options) which introduce a lot of variables. This makes Cantabile very powerful, but also requires a bit of learning and experimentation. Some assembly required :wink:

Personally, I have been playing live with Cantabile in multiple bands, keyboards and guitars (and configuring my external vocal effects from it as well). I use S-Gear, TH-U, and STL Tonality for guitar, combined with stomp pedal plugins from Kuassa and Brainworx - works nicely without any(!) hiccups so far. I use RME and Zoom audio interfaces for minimal latency - I had some issues with MOTU interfaces, so phased those out of my setup.




So what I notice is every time I change songs in my set list the “power” button in the upper right corner turned from green to amber to green. I;m assuming it’s doing some sort of cycling on the IO device. This cycling corresponds with the sound it makes.


This is a cycling of the Cantabile audio engine while the new song is configured. Seems like your audio interface drivers or one of your plugins don’t like that. To narrow it down, can you:

  • test a manual cycling of the audio engine via the “power” button - switching it off and on again - do you get the same clipping sound?
  • check with a different audio interface (if you have one) if the same sounds appear.
  • test switching songs with a different set of plugins (some free ones I use regularly without any issues are Dexed (a free FM synth) or the Dead Duck Software plugin set) to check if it is one of your plugins misbehaving

This may help isolate the source of the issues - is it one of your plugins or the audio interface driver. In case of driver issues, it would be worth capturing a log file and sending it to @brad for analysis (see here on how to do that) - he has been able to resolve a lot of issues directly with hardware and software vendors in the past.




This seems to work OK. In fact, (another issue I am having), is when switching from song to song, sometimes items don’t don’t work and I have to “power cycle” 1 or more times to get them to work.

I only have the one unfortunatley

I’ll try some of these.


Just to clarify: what “items” do you mean? Is it plugins that refuse to work or are there any Cantabile functions that require a power cycle?



I honestly don’t know what is happening.

This is what I want to do:

IO = 2 in (Bass , Vocals) 5 out (Bass, Vocals, Click, Pre-recorded media[stereo])

I have 2 racks. Bass and vocals. They use the same set of VSTs every time with different patches / settings.

Click and pre-recorded media get played through the media player.

When I switch between songs, sometimes (often) There is no sound from 1 or more of the racks, instruments, vocals, media, etc. The end result there is no output from the respected input. It seems to be random and not repeatable with any kind of frequency.

The “fix” seems to be to “power cycle” in the app. Of course I have to have queue the sound guy to mute the board because of the clipping and I have to check the monitoring to make sure everything is working before he un-mutes.

As mentioned in the other train-wreck of a thread, moving forward, the idea of using VSTs for keyboards is 100% scrubbed, and that has nothing to do with Cantabile.

The VST Bass processing is 99% scrubbed as there is outboard gear that is just way more stable and sounds better and nothing do with cantabile. I am auditioning several units this week and I am certain 1 of them will be chosen.

VST vocal processing is a relatively new idea, but we have outboard gear for that. We are just looking for ways to transport less gear.

Media playback is a brand new idea and there is also very stable outboard gear to handle this.

The one outstanding item is sending MIDI program changes for the set list, and I am probably looking at the media playback device to do that.