[Solved] Sync plugin tags across pc's

Question to all those of you who have multiple PC’s running Cantabile, and sync’ing setups across PC’s. What do you do about the settings folder? I tried to search the forum, but couldn’t find any threads that covers this - I think there might be, I apologize if they were so obvious that I ought to have spotted them.

Back to the question about the settings folder: I am reluctant to share it, as I assume that some of the information is closely tight to the PC, and no matter how much I struggle to keep them in sync there might occasionally be differences. However, the plugin tags are also stored in the settings folder, and that particular file would be nice to share, as I do like the tags, and I don’t feel the need to redo the tagging. I can of course just copy the plugins.user.json file manually, but would like to hear if there are a less clunky method available.

And yes, I have also read Brads blog post.

Torsten, when I started moving things over, I created a duplicate of racks, recording…just everything in the main folder, and put them onto an external drive. All my song settings and other settings transferred over, but I had to install plugins, driver for my interface, and install asio4all. It took awhile but I got it all done. I remember @Torsten talked before about using the cloud, using from there but don’t remember what all he, and others said, but there was a thread about it. I am a rehearsal on my phone, or I would look it up for you.

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I remembered, too, but couldn’t find anything recent, so I got in doubt what people were doing with the settings. I am using (a local) cloud to sync my PCs, and it works quite well, but requires a little handheld adjustments once in a while. And I was afraid that trying to sync the settings would require A LOT of fiddling to get things right. Even if my laptops are supposed to be nearly identical (a Lenove C740 and a Lenovo C940) I am sure there will be differences in hardware and in configuration (yes, done manually, so it is error prone).

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TBH, I’ve never gotten to that level of sophistication - I try to at least keep my installed plugin versions somewhat in sync; my settings are purely local. Part of the reason for that is that my studio PC has far more plugins installed than my live machines, so syncing any configuration files would potentially mess things up royally…

BTW: same applies to local presets of plugins - with all the different mechanisms of plugins storing their local presets, I’ve given up on trying to keep things in sync. I rely on “entire bank” or vst parameter presets within Cantabile to keep things sane and portable.

Mainly, I’ve gotten used to using one specific machine as my “editing” setup, so all local settings and tags that I need are set there. On the other machines, I mostly use the songs and racks created on my editing rig, and maybe make some adjustments, which aren’t problematic. That way, I don’t really need to replicate too much across systems.



He he, I got to “that level of sophistication” after spending the last couple of weeks changing all my plugins away from local presets. I started using the presets because a) I already had done this work on the stand-alone versions before I discovered Cantabile, and b) I only used a single PC.

But I think that the key advice is to declare one of the PC’s the master, and use that for editing. Nice and simple solution. Thanks! Problem solved.

If it can be helpful, I use Beyond Compare to easily keep in sync my (networked) PCs. Either manually or automated via script, it helps me to not overwrite a file with an older version, plus lots of features.

Thanks. I use QSync, which is basically Dropbox but using my local QNAP NAS for storage, works quite well. I have added iDrive as cloud backup.

I’ll consider this, but I think I’ll stick with @Torsten s solution, I like the simplicity of that setup.

I use two computers running in parallel as mentioned in a different thread.
On my studio computer I edit the sounds I need for live playing and copy the preset folders of the instruments/FX I use to the appropriate place of the main live computer (most the time “…user…\Documents” or “…user…\AppData\Roaming”).

On the live computer the instruments are in linked racks and I make rack states with the sounds I need (songs/song states etc.). In addition I put backing track files to “…user…\documents\cantabile\audio” and the lead sheets in a subfolder of “…user…\documents\cantabile”.

For keeping it somehow synced with the backup computer I copy the “…user…\documents\cantabile” folder of the main live computer to a stick.
I do it for the preset folders of the instruments/FX too for the sake of completeness. I think the latter wouldn’t be necessary since I use cantabiles preset system.

On the backup computer I insert the stick and set the “…\cantabile” folder to “sort by date”. Then I copy only newer files to the appropriate folders of “…user…\documents\cantabile”.

Of course I have to make sure that the plugins on both computers are available.

I don’t deal with the settings since for me it is easy to make the Cantabile3-GUI look identical on both systems with a few clicks (and it is a one time procedure).

BTW: if you’re interested, I built a tool to ensure that all plugins are at the same version - not sure if I have shared it here. I don’t announce it a lot, since it is not for the faint of heart :wink: , but with a bit of nerdyness, it can be handled…

Pop me a PM if you want to try it…




Thanks, yes, I am aware that this “secret” tool exists. I currently only use the laptops for playing live and I am only using Cantabile, so it is far simpler than your setup, I just need everything to be identical on both laptops - so I have the VSTs in a sync’ed folder. Gives a few hickups occasionally with activation of licenses, but not a big issue. I always check both laptops before real performances, so - fingers crossed - so far no problems during playing live (the odds are also ridicilously low, we hardly ever get to play :slight_smile: ).

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Yup @Torsten , it’s here.


Hi @Torsten,
Thank you for the plugin version checker!

I just tried it, but I’m noticing something strange:

I’ve pasted just a few of the results (the list is quite long). However, you can see that there are duplicates and that the versions are the same but some have an extra digit (.0). I’m suspecting this may have something to do with me installing both the VST2 and VST3 versions of the plugins and including both folder paths in my C4 settings.

Is there anyway to identify the VST type in the comparison (assuming that is the issue)?

Thank you,

  • David


When selecting a plugin to add to your song, and you have a vst3 and vst2, it will show two versions of the same plug, one with a vst tag in that same area, plus you can also get info about the plug(version, developer, etc.) by highlighting the plug, and looking at the lower left area of the plugin selection window.

Thanks Corky!
Yes, I know Cantabile shows the plugin type. But I was trying to use @Torsten’s tool for plugin version comparison between two different machines. I believe the tool is incorrectly showing version mis-matches and I think it is because it is comparing plugin names, but without checking the “technology” tag.

I just confirmed that this is the issue, by editing copies of the json files, such that they only contain either VST2 or VST3 references. Then the comparison works correctly.

This should probably be a new topic, but are most people using the VST3 versions of plugins if they are available? I’ve been a bit hesitant to use VST3s since finding a couple of bugs (e.g. T-Racks5 Leslie Corky’s VST Organ Tips and Tweaks Page 🎹)

It is being worked on, as we discuss. The developers have been very slow to implement the changes for vst3…IK is one of them. Hopefully, things will be fixed soon with my presets. I use all vst3’s that are available. We will all be fully vst3 soon as Steinberg has dropped support for vst2.

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Hey David,

yes, there sure is - the version of the tool you downloaded was an old one still sitting around on the server; I hadn’t uploaded the current one yet (as I said, I don’t actively promote this tool…). The current version does differentiate between VST2 and VST3 - see my screen shot above with the ‘Technology’ column.

Download the new version here and try again - let me know if this works for you. I’ve also deleted the old one to avoid confusion going forward…




Much better!!
Thank you for creating this tool - very useful!!!

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