I’ve been gigging with Cantabile for about 5 years now, and it will definitely do what you’re looking for. One of the bands I’m in uses backing tracks for about 75% of our sets. I used to try to premix the backing tracks down to one track, which is a challenge because once you’re with the actual band there are usually some changes you want to make. but I now run about six tracks per song, and can adjust the volume for each during rehearsal. Of course you can even EQ or add effects to individual tracks too. Once I’m happy with the final mix with the actual band, I then have the option to mix the backing tracks down to one track. My computer is pretty powerful so I don’t really need to do that anymore, I just keep all the tracks separate.
I tried a few other VST hosts, and have worked with several different DAWs, and cantabile is the most powerful and versatile for live work. Plus, this community and the developer, Brad, are extremely responsive and helpful. Where else can you post a question directly to the developer and get a reply and solution to your problem quickly?
I happen to use a behringer FCB 1010 MIDI foot pedal, And I do all the other things you’re looking for with that pedal. You can program things any way you want in Cantabile, but, for example, I have a button for next song, a button for previous song, a button for next song part, another for previous song part. Then I have a double tap button to play the backing tracks (I programmed it to require two taps, so I don’t accidentally start or stop something in the middle of a song). And another double tap to stop the tracks. There’s also a song grid mode which shows all of your loaded songs on one page, so you can use your laptop or touch screen monitor and jump around, if you choose songs on the fly instead of following an established setlist.
It can definitely do the other things you were looking for as well. You may find that as you become more comfortable with cantabile, you’ll switch to amp sims in your PC and leave the Helix at home. But that’s personal preference. Read up in the cantabile guide on Show Notes, I love that feature… Each song part can have its own notes. And when using backing tracks, I sometimes create a cue track instead of show notes… it’s just an audio track of my voice for cues to the whole band… like “standby for guitar lead” or “repeat chorus three times”. Very helpful, especially if you are adding a lot of new songs continually.
There is quite a bit of a learning curve, but that’s true of just about any software of this nature. On the other hand, once you wrap your head around song states and the best way to set up your racks (which is covered somewhat in the guide and more extensively on this forum) you can program a song pretty quickly.
Best of luck, and welcome!