No sound just before performance - Solved!

I had a scenario recently where we were ready to rehearse before a Sunday morning and I was getting no sound from Cantabile. I have never had Cantabile fail on me during or before a performance (I’ve had it occasionally crash from a plugin I had open, but I almost never open plugins during a performance so that reduces the risk of crashing).

I could get computer sound from the audio device and I could see Cantabile showing that MIDI signals were going in and audio was supposed to be going out from the plugins. I tried a number of things, restarting the computer, even doing a quick roll-back to an older version of Cantabile as I had recently updated.

Finally I opened the God Particle mastering plugin that everything was going through and it complained about needing me to re-log on and verify the license. I then realized that in every song I’m now using this mastering plugin to both optimize my output and also provide the sound folks a consistent output level between every song, and that would explain why I had no sound regardless of the song I went to.

Anyway, I hope this helps someone who might be in the same scenario one day, especially if you’re always routing all sound through one plugin across songs.

I also will be tracking how often that plugin wants a logon and will put in a support ticket if it’s too often. I’d assume that whenever I’m online (most of the time, at home, for example), it should refresh its license and not bother me.

Bad experience - for me that is a clear reason to sort out that company without further comments.

I don’t understand your comment. Sort out? What company? No further comments on this thread? I’m confused.

Sorry for inconvenience - I meant plugins from a developer that cause such issues.
I had it in rare occassions and decided not to use their plugins anymore.

Ah, OK. My approach is generally to first contact their support and find out if this is normal behavior. If it is, I ask if they’re looking to fix it/change it and give my scenario as a use case. If they’re not going to change it, I’m less likely to use their plugins in the future.

In the meantime, having purchased this one, as long as I continue to use it I’ll probably just open it the day before any performance while I’m connected to the internet and that should be it.

I always contact the developer first too but sometimes there is no clear solution and this is the time to leave.

I feel your pain, that can be nerve-wracking. That happened to me once several years ago, luckily it was only a rehearsal; it turned out AVG was on (I thought I’d disabled it) and it was trying to install an update. It does take time to defuse all those little things running in the background. This might not have prevented your specific issue, but when I setup a new Gig PC recently I did go through ALL background apps and updaters. I think Brad even covers that in his Optimization guide. So far no issues :hand_with_index_finger_and_thumb_crossed:

FWIW many folks here use Loudmax to normalize volumes, I’ve found it to be quite good. Much simpler than your God Particle, which does look quite interesting, but it does work well and it’s light on the CPU.

Everyone has different needs and styles of workflow, but one thing I found helpful for me is to make my Master Rack behave globally and use routes to A/B or diagnose. I have no states so it’s global, and inside the rack I have Input routes to loudmax and an EQ or whatever, but I also have a straight input route direct to my interface outputs. So i don’t use a plugin’s bypass or other bypass functions, I just turn routes on or off depending on what I need. So if I run into an issue like yours, at a glance inside the rack I can completely bypass any plugins and see if my signal is hitting the outs. Anyway, it works for me.

Best of luck!

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Huh, interesting. Could you post a screenshot or two when you have a chance so I can visualize that setup? It’s hard for me to follow a description of how to go about that.

Sure, I’m away from my gig rack but I should be able to get to that soon.

Hey Lowell, here you go…
Each song has this Master Rack (Linked). On this song I play both guitar and an EWI so you see I have a Master rack for both. I used to send everything out to 1 output but Sound guys prefer separate outs for EQ etc.

BTW I forgot that I do use 1 state but it’s unlocked. So that State is essentially global. And you’ll see my little reminder that if I make a change to the rack I need to save the Rack, or else when I restart Cantabile I’d lose the settings(I called it reboot on the State Name but it’s really a restart) .
Here’s inside the Guitar Master Rack:

So I have several routes. If I had a problem I’d disable all input routes except I’d enable the input route that’s going direct to my interface’s output 7 & 8. So I’d see that if there was a signal there, the problem should be either my interface or the PA mixer. Or a bad cable.

This is just how I do it, everyone has their preference. Note that Loudmax is currently unused, I spent a lot of time normalizing my tones lately so it’s not needed right now… some song states are soft when they need to be, others hot, etc. So it’s essentially pre-mixed from rehearsals and recordings we make at rehearsal. Some sound guys don’t like that, they want to control the dynamics completely, so in those cases I turn on Loudmax and route to the PA only. Or I could turn it on for both PA and my monitor. Also, I started using Wider lately for stereo, it’s pretty decent, and it has a mono switch so if I’m running mono I just switch it. That’s the primary reason I have it. Way better than taking just the L output, or sometimes summing them together results in reverbs getting too hot or other unwanted side effects. Wider seems to avoid that somehow. The only downside is that it’s global, and I like to use a wide spread chorus sometimes in my EFX rack on some songs, so when that hits Wider I get some issues that sound similar to a phaser, because I’m kind of double phasing it. Increasing the Chorus delay usually solves that.

It’s pretty basic, really, and I think some others here have much more refined uses of their Master Racks. But this works for me. Hope that helps!

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Wow, thanks for taking the time to document this. Definitely saving this post and going to have a look at it deeper.