Reuse the same vst in several songs



I’m starting to use Cantabile and I have a rookie doubt.
If I have 10 songs in my setlist and in all of them I use the same vst plugin (Nexus) but in each song I use a different preset.

Is it necessary to insert the vst plugin (Nexus) in each song or can it be inserted only once and used in 10 o’clock?

I say this because I don’t know how the program works and if every time you change the song you will have to load the plugin again, affecting performance, RAM, processor, etc … when it is really the same plugin for all songs.

Thank you very much


Welcome to the forum!!

Well, one way you can do it, is to put Nexus in a rack, put the rack in every song. Change the preset for the next song, and SAVE it. And so on through your 10 song list. When you pull the song up, the preset will be loaded.

Or, you could just load Nexus in a song, load the preset, and save the song. Basically the same thing, but without racks. I don’t use Nexus, so I can’t attest to it’s behavior in Cantabile. Most plugins will work in the manner I described.




Hi there,

I’d definitely recommend to put Nexus in a rack (requires Cantabile Performer) and create different rack states within that rack for your specific presets. Then you can use that rack within all your songs; changing rack states will then change Nexus presets automatically.

The advantage of using racks is memory efficiency, especially in case of pre-loaded setlists (something you’ll need when you want to switch songs quicky - essentially for live use). If you put Nexus into your songs directly, it will be loaded 10 times when loading a setlist of 10 songs; when the setlist is 20 songs long, it will be loaded 20 times, … There’s a limit to that, especially once you start using more than one plugin / VSTi. When you put a plugin into a rack, this rack will then stay in memory and be re-used across songs, so you can have a much larger number of songs in your setlist before you run into issues.

BUT: using a sample-based plugin in a rack means that it will need to load new samples whenever you switch presets - which will take time. Nexus is a bit of a mixed bag on this - it is a synth, but heavily based on multisamples, so you’ll have to try if the loading times are an issue. It may actually be better to have multiple instances of Nexus pre-loaded and simply switch between them, either as separate racks or directly within songs. Doing this at the song level doesn’t make a lot of sense, though, when you use the same sample set in multiple songs - it will be loaded multiple times when pre-loading…

I keep multiple instances of Kontakt in different racks, one for brass, one for piano; same with UVI workstation. For each, the actual sample set never changes - it gets loaded initially and stays as it is. The only difference between rack states may be EQ and effects settings. That way, I avoid loading times and still get to re-use across songs (I don’t want to load the same piano multiple times).

I’d recommend really digging through the user guides on linked racks and pre-loaded setlists - that will give you a good understanding of the memory and loading implications.




Interesting answer. Thx


I use Linked Racks for every VST instrument. That way you always have access to all your stored presets in every song in which you use that Rack.

The only restriction is that a Linked Rack can only be loaded once in any Song, but there’s a way around that if you ever come to it.


Hi @Torsten

Nexus is not that demanding, so I use a single Rack with Nexus presets. It even reads from my slower HDD pretty ok, also live

Omnisphere and Keyscape (which read from the startupdrive-SSD in my case) still go well, in time to change presets between songs, with a single rack and preset-states, though they might be candidates for multiple racks indeed as you suggest, for some of the bigger samples

Have some Acoustic Samples and Ample Sound instruments which are definitely better on separate single preset racks, as you suggest, even if they read from my startupdrive-SSD


Thank you all for your comments.
It is clear that it is best to use Racks to avoid unnecessary consumption of processor, ram …

Greetings and thank you


Hi @The_Elf

I am trying to do what you say but I run into a problem.

I have a song 1, in which I create a “New Linked Rack”.
In this rack I insert a vst (Nexus) that has as preset (Piano).

So far everything perfect.

Now I create a song 2, and insert an “Existing Linked Rack” choosing the rack previously created in song 1.

I choose a new preset (Pad) for this song 2.
What is my surprise when I go to song 1 that I have changed the preset (piano) and now I have the preset of song 2 (pad).
Is this correct?

If this is the case, it doesn’t work for me, since if I use “Existing Linked Rack” I want to be able to have a different preset in each song without modifying the other songs.
Can be done?

Thank you


You need to save States for each preset you intend to have available. This is the step you’re missing.


Hi @The_Elf !

I have already managed to create states and be able to have different presets for the same plugin (nexus) in each song.

Now another question comes to me …

In a song I use two identical vst plugins (Nexus). If I insert the first “Existing Linked Rack” there is no problem and everything is perfect!
But … when I insert the second “Existing Linked Rack” and select the same plugin it tells me this error: You can’t add the same rack twice.

As you said there is a way to “cheat the program”. How can it be done?

Thank you


You can create a “hard link” to your rack file in Windows, which looks like a new file, but really is a reference to your original rack, so it will always have the same content as your original rack.

But this is an advanced method that needs to be handled carefully - what happens when you make changes to one of the instances in your song? Cantabile can’t know that your two racks are actually the same, so changes you make to the first rack will not be reflected in the second until you re-load the song. Also: what happens when you make one change to the first rack and then another to the second and then save them (the answer: whatever you save later will overwrite the earlier change…)? So, use at your own risk!

I personally don’t work that way - I tend to create “real” copies of racks and use them as “separate instruments”. So I have, for example, one “M1-Pads” Rack, one “M1-Solo”, another “M1-General”. Each of them have the M1 plugin in them, but different rack states (“presets”), according to their main use. Then I combine these different “M1s” in a song to create my specific configuration of splits, layers etc. Makes it easier for my to keep things clear and avoid nasty side-effects. And memory-wise there’s no difference to the “hard link” method - in a “hard link” scenario, Cantabile will still load two copies of the plugin in parallel.




The trick is to use Symbolic Links, e.g.
mklink “Kontakt 02.cantabileRack” “Kontakt 01.cantabileRack”
mklink “Kontakt 03.cantabileRack” “Kontakt 01.cantabileRack”

Works perfectly for me and solved all the problems I ever had with one-use Linked Racks.


Thank you so much @Torsten and @The_Elf