Multitrack Backingtracks, Lyrics(Videofile) and pdf Lyrics

Hi there.

I bought the Cantabile V2 years ago, never used it live but it looked very good to me.
I wonder if the new version now has the things I need…?

Multiple wav files as backingtracks/clicktracks:
I want to play multitrack-recordings (8x wav or mp3 files) as backing tracks and click tracks.
I can’t find a way to playback multiple wav files at the moment. (i can load some files but Iam not sure how to trigger them all at the same time? Do I always need to add a trigger input?
My goal is to just hit the space bar, enter button or so to play back the tracks.

I also want to playback a video:
This video should show the lyrics and/or chords to the band members. (to their LCD monitors)
The thing is that this needs to be played on a seperate monitor output.
So cantabile needs to be able to play the video and remember the position and size when playing.
The simple solution would be to just plug in an external monitor and always show this video on this display.
It seems that cantabile can only playback music files but no video? But probably I can playback the video with an exernal player? (windows media player, vlc… or so…?)
(this seems to work when using “ableton” and “propresenter” via a virtual midi over network communication and a seperate computer - but iam curious if this would also work on ONE system with cantabile. So I can use one computer as a backup system.

Show lyrics:
Years ago I used excel to make a setlist and link the setlist items to pdfs. Works good. Nowdays everyone uses ipads. I wonder if there is a new solution with cantabile? I tried to open pdfs which seems to work, but in the cantabile 2 version it only opened up the pdf as long as there is no space between the words of the pdf name. (hold the line.pdf didn’t worked but hold_the_line.pdf worked)

Control the hole light show:
Thats seems to be easily possible with the "enttec dmxis) dmx controller. The light controls are programmed with midi triggers.

So overall I want to have this:
But with cantabile. :wink:

The ultimate goal would be to just bring one macbook with windows to the gig (and one as a spare).
The drummer uses edrums (with steven slate drums for triggers), the guitar player uses guitar rig and a foot pedal, the bass player also got an amp simulation as a plugin.
Not sure if I can also use cantabile at the same time to play my keyboards as I will probably need to load large files, maybe I will use another macbook for this.
I need to trigger the songs externally so that I can playback two independent systems at the same time. (so if one fails, I can just switch to the other unit.
I will check some ipad apps with lyrics/setlists functions… maybe I can send control changes to cantabile and start/trigger the play button.

Any tips/infos for what wanna do? Any experiences?


Since I am still somewhat in the beginner mode with Cantabile, I don’t really know for sure if it can handle everything you are wanting to do. I am very impressed with it so far and there are some really great forum watchers with more experience than myself who will eventually chime in on this. I do know from my research, Ableton does everything you are suggesting, but can be quite complicated,which is why I moved to Cantabile. Check this out also .

Yeah. I also LOVE cantabile. I’d never seen a software which works that stable. Very good!

I think I figured out how to start multiple media files at the same time:
Add every single backing track as a seperate media file.
Right click on mediaplayer track 1, select SyncMode: Master
For all additional tracks choose SyncMode: Slave (realtime)

By the way… where is the cantabile pdf manual? In the old version threre was a pdf manual, but I can’t find it for cantabile 3.

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For the manual, look under the User Guides. There is a download link.

There are several threads about linking tablets and score readers with Cantabile. For display of PDFs, I convert them to JPG or PNG and display them using Cantabile’s Show Notes feature. Works great in combination with Live Mode.

One of the forum members wrote a teleprompter-type system to sync a tablet with Cantabile.


Ok, opening videos when pressing play works. (full screen only works with VLC media player, windows media player doesn’t work in fullscreen when starting the video)
There is a new “state” feature. Cool. I was looking for this for a long time. Very good! This was the last missing thing which stopped me from changing from keyboards to cantabile.
I will try an ipad app for the lyrics… and try to send program changes from the ipad.

How can I automatically send program changes at a specific time/position at a song?
I can change presets manually, but I want to change presets for the keyboards, bass player and guitar player automatically DURING the song.

Are you talking about synchronising State changes (to do Patch Changes, set controls, re-configure, etc) at specific times while playing back videos? If so, there is a recent post here by Brad (the Cantabile developer) asking for opinions about such a thing. I believe it’s either under consideration or in some stage of design/implementation.

Meanwhile, you would have to manually trigger “Next” by stomping on a foot pedal pressing a button, or some other MIDI event.

I just had another idea. Besides your video and or WAV backing tracks, you could spin a MIDI track in sync with the rest, In the MIDI track, you could embed MMC, patch change, controllers, etc.

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Yeah. That should work.
The disadvantage is:

  1. Program Changes can’t be edited quickly.
  2. I have to find a way to send the midi file infos to cantabile.
    At the moment this seems to be impossible as I can only choose MIDI OUTPUTS. (but I need to choose MIDI INPUTS… a kind of Cantabile OMNI mode so that cantabile can receive and react to program changes)

Then I would probably always send a message so that the next song is beeing loaded automatically.
(I don’t think it makes sense that cantabile stops at the end of the song and it does NOT switch to the next song automatically… who in the world would like to play the same song again?) :innocent:

I use this. A lot.

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Ah. Good. Thanks. Very useful.
Big software, compared to cantabile (used harddisk space)… and I would just need it to connect midi out to midi in. :smile:
Hmm… maybe I just have to connect midi out to midi in of my audio/midi interface - even if that sounds stupid.

Here is a post showing how to play MIDI files to control anything you like with a binding:

This is a request I actually made and Brad included it as an item to vote on in Trello for the next development phase. There is a thread on it in this forum.

For me (and others apparently!) this would be extremely useful. I urge you to cast your vote if this is something you would like!

There are lot’s of things that can/should/could happen automatically based on song position and this seems like a no brainer. But, I do understand that there are others with different priorities as well.


Iam trying to figure out how to use 'trello"
Whats the right request for this? “midi feedback support” or “support for loopback devices”?

I used terrybritton’s idea and it seems to work. (at least what I can see… when the green lights are going on when playing a midi file)

And creating program changes in a midi file seems to be more complicated to me then I thought!
I tried “presonus studio one” which is easy to use and “drag and drop” style. But I had to watch several videos to be able to select a program change function. (a special midi device needed to be created until program changes can be selected)

Seems like I have to make 50 program changes first (to choose 50 songs)… so that I can send these from an ipad (with a setlist app) to cantabile to change the songs.
(at the moment it doesn’t seem to be able to send a setlist via email to the bandmembers in cantabile)