Skip a plugin from loading in a song file?

Is there any way of skipping the loading of a plugin in a song file while cantabile tries to load it?
Or someway of editing the song file outside of cantabile to remove all reference of the offending plugin?
Something I have worked on for a while refuses to load now and will crash cantabile every time
it loads a particular song. it was fine last night something I added as upset it, I’m fairly sure what it was.


Hi Laura,

If Cantabile has crashed then upon starting up the next time a dialog box with some options will appear and you can check the ones you want. I would try disabling the Cantabile Engine for starters and if the song loads you can remove the offending plug and save the song all with the engine off. I hope this is relevant.


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Thanks for the tip, It didn’t work unfortunately. What I did find is that the song loaded
in C3, however most of the plugins show a failed icon next to it and data being in the wrong format.
I removed the plugins I thought created the issue, saved in C3 opened in C4
and the song crashed in C4 at about the same point of loading but on a different plugin.

I was able to save the song file
I saved it by doing what was suggested above but in C3, deleted what I thought were the offending plugins
saved in C3 and opened in C4.

However …
the rescued file saved in C3 after trying different idea (which was two instances of Kontakt for two instruments rather than two instruments for one instance of kontakt), with a different file name on a different hard drive and still crashed C4 when loading the song file a little later on. So it seems I am not able to use kontakt in C4 anymore until what ever is causing the crash to be found and fixed. So I have to go back to C3 and delete kontakt re-save the file and dont use kontakt.

Additional note:
the file that crashes C4 loaded fine in C3 for a short time, I tried replacing the plugins, replacing VST3 for VST2. it loaded after that, then after I add 1 vst3 to the song (vallhalla supermassive) save file open again it crashes. It seems to me having vst2 and vst3 in the same songs crashes c4. either that or dont use vst3???


i kept the midi file, the cantabile song file(s) have been deleted, i may come back to it
at a later date. No matter what I tried it continues crashing C4 yet it doesn’t with C3.
Unfortunately kontakt 6.61 doesn’t work with c3.
I kept a screen cap of C3 of the routing and what plugins were used other that, there’s
little else that can be done to save it. I tried resetting kontakt database, setting the audio outs etc.
this one is a write-of it seems.

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Can you please send me a copy of the song file and I’ll see if I can figure it out. Also, a copy of your settings.json and plugins.json files from the folder opened when you go Cantabile → Tools → Open Settings Folder.


Thanks, email sent :slight_smile:

To answer your original question about skipping a plugin from loading, you can do this by manually editing the file.

  1. Open the song or rack file in a text editor.

  2. Search for all instances of:

    "runMode": "Running"
  3. Replace with:

    "runMode": "Unloaded"
  4. Save and close the text editor

  5. Re-open the file in Cantabile

All the plugins will appear in the songs, but they’ll be unloaded. You can then manually re-load the plugins one by one by clicking the run mode button on each plugin slot or via the context menu:

Of course you could always just disable the one plugin when editing the file in the text editor, but sometimes finding the correct line can be tricky - especially if the plugin has a lot of saved plugin data and states.


Thanks for the tip :slight_smile:

I found something called notepad++ to do this with, windows notepad couldn’t load the song file.
I’ll keep a print out of this.

You can edit any Cantabile json file in many ways.

  • Temporarily renaming a file to xyz.json.txt (not very elegant, but it works).

  • Use the context menu and select ‘Open with’, then select notepad. If you don’t see it, use ‘another app’ and browse to c:\windows\notepad.exe. Then tick the ‘always use notepad to open json files’ checkbox. Or, in latest Windows, just ‘Always’.

  • Use the SendTo context menu. Same procedure as above.

BTW, notepadd++ is much better than the Windows notepad.

btw: Sublime Text is much better than notepad++

btw: VS Code is much better than Sublime Text.

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You’ll find a nice tutorial on ‘how to add an Edit with Notepad++’ to the context menu. here.
There is also a downloadable .reg to automate the whole thing.
Tested on Windows 10 e 11, but it’ll work on every version, even 95.

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Hey Brad,

I only said notepad++ is better than Windows notepad. :wink:

Personally, I use Sublime Text on Mac, although I don’t think I need VS Code as I’m a microcontroller developer.

Well, not really. Back in the old days (2012) I was writing the same program (a data logger box reader & analyser) for both Windows and Mac. The usual stuff, developed on Visual C# 2010 and Xcode.

Temporarily renaming a file to xyz.json.txt

This is so obvious that I completely forgot this
and I used to write html’s with windows notepad in the days of dial-up :woman_facepalming:

You’ll find a nice tutorial on ‘how to add an Edit with Notepad++’ to the context menu.

Thanks :slight_smile: notepad++ is default editor now.

Yup, but notepad++ is free and Sublime Text costs $99 and needs a paid upgrade every three years…

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Embedded Software Development in Visual Studio Code - C++ Team Blog (

Good point… I’d forgotten about that as I mostly use VSCode now for anything other than C++/C# work.

After much messing about trying to get this issue sorted, it seems the plugins themselves are quite dodgy. Fingers pointed at me for my os, I had to remind them, when these plugins were released windows 10 did not exist. :rofl: It seems the default answer for everything is, “I didn’t do it”

After much trawling of the internet and various other forums it seems I am not alone. others reporting an identical issue with reaper for example and the same two plugins as well.
I’ve sent them a bunch of crash data and screen caps, I’ll wait and see what they say, I dont have much hope.

There are updates available for all their plugins, however in the updates, they removed the option of letting me decide where to put all the sample data. Lets mess up C:\ drive and make hard drive upgrades that little bit more annoying by dumping all the sample data on the boot drive instead, and clog it up :rofl:

With kontakt and spitfire, all the samples are on D drive and there is no issue. Unless they fix this I 'll have to write the plugins off and find something else to replace them. :frowning:

Live and learn :slight_smile:

PS: On further searching, it seems three other DAWs so far, Reaper, Cakewalk and FL studio have the same issue. This issue of crashing also happens on Macs. So, Avoid Big Bang cinematic, and orchestral strings.