Solo or performer?

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Hi! I’m Max and I play organ and piano bass in two Doors tribute bands. I’m planning to use two midi controllers (one for each sound) and Cantabile Solo, but I don’t know if Performer will be needed based on my requirements.

I’d like to have one set list for each band and switch among songs using my controllers buttons. Also, in the middle of some songs, I’d like to switch back and forth from organ to piano vst in one midi controller while maintaining the bass vst in the other, using my switch pedal because both of my hands will be occupied playing.

Finally, having as many as 20 songs in one set list has an impact on the CPU performance?

Thank you guys for your help!

Hi Max

Referring to the above, it is always best to use racks for your VSTs, and pre-load your set list. I am at a gig right now, and can’t give you a lot of answers, but I have a set list tonight with 118 songs. Very little load…reusing vsts in racks. When I get thru, I will elaborate more, if no one else answers 1st.



Finished my gig, so I can now give you more info.

To do the things I mentioned above, you will need Performer. It provides linked racks and song states. It also will let you pre-load your songs within a set list. ( a definite way to reduce CPU load).
I have an alphabetical song list, as a set list, for every band I play with. I can then choose the songs from that list to form a set list for particular gigs. Switching back and forth from organ to piano is very easy. I use pedal switches to do most anything. In Performer, you will also have access to song states which will give you the ability to switch parts within a song.
I hope this helps. If you have more questions, you can PM me or ask in this thread to receive input from other members.

Good Luck!



Hello and welcome !

One thing about Cantabile is that there is always more than one way of doing things. I see some folks on this forum who can really work wonders with advanced features like rack states and preloaded setlists. The few times i’ve tried to get deeper into such features i’ve found myself pulled down a rabbit hole of unintended results, so i like to keep things simple. I’ve found that i can do pretty much everything using routes and bindings to set up and control sounds.

And as far as number of songs in the set, that makes no difference in CPU usage - i’ve got a setlist with nearly 100 songs on it. The only downside i encounter with my simple approach is that it may take a few seconds for the next song to load if you’re not using racks.

So the point of all this is that, for what you are doing, i am fairly certain you can do it with Cantabile Solo (though it’s always nice to support Brad by buying whatever level of Cantabile you can afford!)

Just my take,

  • Jimbo

This is what you get with Performer + everything in Solo:

  • Rack and Song States - States are like presets and let you quick reconfigure a song or rack. eg: bypass one plugin, reconnect a MIDI route to a different target, change the gain level on a plugin etc… State switching is generally fast because the song doesn’t need to be reloaded - it’s just tweaking the already loaded objects and settings.
  • Live Mode - a separate set of display settings for live mode verses practice/setup mode. Setup your screen as you need it for performing and easily switch to it.
  • Show Notes - a large on-screen display for lyrics, chord progressions, reminders, images etc…
  • Controller Bar - a large on-screen set of buttons for easy touch screen control
  • Ticker Bar - a large sideways scrolling view of the set list that lets you quickly see what song and song parts are up next.
  • Shared Racks - in Performer racks can be shared across songs so the same plugin instances can be re-used in different songs and don’t need to be reloaded when switching songs.
  • Pre-loaded Set Lists - Cantabile can “preload” your entire set list including all songs, racks and plugins to make song switching super fast.
  • Triggers - configure plugins or external gear when loading a song (eg: send a program change or sysex to an external sound module when a particular song is loaded)
  • MIDI Reflection - reflect settings in Cantabile (or loaded plugins) to external devices. eg: have a motorized fader respond to changing a parameter in a plugin.
  • MIDI Clock Synchronisation - Synchronize Cantabile’s internal timing to an external MIDI clock source, or let Cantabile act as a master time source for other devices.

If you don’t have a need for the above, then stay with Solo. The possibilities in Cantabile are nearly infinite. It can be overly deep (for us nerds), or very simple.

In the beginning, I was on Solo for a few weeks. I soon found I needed more, since I was gigging in 5 Bands, using different setups with hundreds of songs, multiple controllers, and even using one controller as a substitute for the multiple controllers.

Rack, and song state changes simplified my gigging experience. It was also urgent for my bandmates not have to wait for the next song to load. When using one controller, I found it easy to switch instruments, either with a foot pedal switch or controller pad. I also use the show notes to display lyrics and song maps…just as a little reminder when dealing with hundreds of songs.

What I suggest is, stay with Solo, and see what you can do with it 1st. Then, if you find you need more, as I did, it would be time to go with Performer. Solo is extremely powerful on it’s own.



Just the racks make Performer worth every penny. I don’t have anything close to as complicated as many here do, yet I can’t imagine life without those shared racks. If you are in a Doors tribute band, and are using the same vst in every song, having them in a rack will mean instant switching between songs, and reduction of the need to bring Tylenol to a gig for headaches.

  • Paul