Show Notes suggestions

For some of the songs I play with my band, I have music score images in Cantabile’s Show Notes, which I export from Sibelius as PNG, which I then need to scale using an image editor such as Gimp. Since score pages vary in height, this is not a trivially repeatable operation. The results are always average at best; sometimes depending on the scaling, the resulting score is fuzzy. So my first suggestion is for SVG support in Show Notes, so I can export SVG from Sibelius and have Cantabile render it optimally at whatever scale the Show Notes pane happens to be.

Often I stitch two pages together side by side using an image editor like Gimp, which is really laborious. So my second suggestion is for Show Notes to be able to support notes side by side. Perhaps just 1 or 2 notes horizontally would be enough, perhaps done by inserting a note and “splitting” it, or perhaps by an option on notes to say “The next note flows horizontally after this one”. I’m sure this would also be useful for other scenarios too, e.g. having a lyrics pane next to some other performance notes.

And my third suggestion, which is maybe a bit involved/ambitious, but may make the previous two suggestions redundant, is for Show Notes to embed a PDF, and for the note to have a state behaviour that selects which page of the PDF to show. This would mean you could export a full score from Sibelius or other notation software, reference the single file directly from Cantabile, and just dial up the appropriate page numbers for each song state. Even better, being able to show two adjacent pages. I don’t even know if this is possible, but it would certainly be wickedly useful for those of us who use score!!



HI Neil,

My big concern with SVG/PDF is finding a decent engine to render them correctly. I’ve looked a couple of times but never found everything that ticked all the boxes.

I’ll have another look at some point, in the meantime logged it to keep track of it.


Hi Neil and Brad, I would join in this post too posting an email written directly to the brad’s email few months ago:

Hi Brad, i never found a windows pdf autoscroll reader with a minimum customization ability about syncronization with a midi speed or other.

Can you integrate a pdf reader in the “Show note” section where i can show pdf music files (scores) exported from other software like sybelius/finale etc… and where i can customize and set how to scroll between pages?

1° way to go from a page to another: simply with an event like a controller event to show “next pdf page” or “prev pdf page”. A good idea could be show every pdf page like a note alone so i could chose what pdf pages i need of all pdf files (with indexed pages, #1, #2, ecc…).

2° way is to scroll with continuous vertical visualization of pdf pages linking the value of auto scrolling with the midi metronome. ie: if an event change midi metronome from initial ‘x’ bpm to ‘y’ the autoscroll changes proportionally.
Otherwise autoscrolling with a slider so i could choose the speed of autoscrolling, value storable in states. In this way i could save different values of speed between states and songs.

I think it would be a perfect integrated instrument for all musicians like me :wink: that need to follow score during performance.

I tried searching for years a tool of this type but without lucky. Cantabile would be the perfect box!

Thank you.

Bye all! :wink:

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Good ideas @KimeraBubble. This has made me realise that being able to trigger next/previous PDF page from a binding (eg from foot pedal), independently of song state could be really useful (particularly for song entirely on one sound, where the use of song states just for page turning might be overkill).


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I convert my PDFs to PRG and re-write them until they fit my Song State patching scheme. I try to get everything to one page. Failing that, sometimes the workaround is to have a different page 2 with the same routes/patches in a different song state. I keep meaning to check out unRealBook on iPad as it sends patch changes that Cantabile could swallow.

I was reading last week about Billy Joel’s music director (in Keyboard mag) using 2 iPads with unRealBook and Apple Mainstage for his rig. One iPad has current sets in order and the other has the entire book of Billy Joel songs in alphabetic order. Mr. Joel is known to change up the set order or call songs not in the current show. A click from either iPad sets his Korg/Kurzweil keyboards and both (redundant) MainStage servers. People have suggested iPads are a better solution than enhanced Show Mode, but I’m not so sure yet. So far, Cantabile for one-click management seems to work for me.

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I realized tonight I have a couple places where having notation on-screen would be nice. I realized I could do graphic images but decided I’d do a search and see if there had ever been talk of PDF support. Would be cool if that was ever implemented but I guess for now I’m doing a JPEG… :wink:

PNG might look crisper for music score stuff - it certainly does on mine :slight_smile:


Well, a graphics file… I didn’t necessarily mean literally a jpg lol


I would also like it if Show Notes could be arranged in columns rather than rows.
This way, I could have song notes on the left and lyrics on the right without having to scroll down.