Volume Changes between States

Although I have been using Cantabile for a couple of years now, I have come across an issue which I need to deal with, and that is sudden volume changes when moving from one state to another.

Mostly there is no problem when I am moving forwards through a song, but sometimes moving backwards to an earlier state will give a sudden full or high volume blast, especially when the previous state is quieter in volume than the one I am moving from. If I momentarily release all the keys as I move between states, there is no problem. I tried putting a limiter just before the final output, but that made little difference.

The “lifting my fingers” as I move is a work around, but is there something I am not doing when creating a state? Curiously the sound blast doesn’t always happen as described, just in certain songs.

Your help would be appreciated.

Are we talking states which use a different collection of plugins?

Yes we are. I will typically have Symphobia or Albion One for orchestral sounds, sometimes a couple of instances of whichever one I am using, plus on occasion a Woodwind library, maybe even a solo violin, Icon Bass, Cinematic Pads and Wavestate Native. It is tare for them all to be playing at once, so there will be variations going between verse, chorus and bridge sections. The problem usually only occurs when moving from louder to a quieter combination, and more often when I move backwards through the carious states.

Is there a particular culprit?

Not that I have discovered. There are so many with so many combinations that it would take a lot if trial and error to do so. As mentioned, it mostly happens going from a louder soundscape to a quieter one.

Some hypotheses:

  1. look at the levels of the plugins that aren’t active in the changed state - if there are sounds still held and the level of the unused plugin is higher than in the previous state, this can explain some jumps from sounds carrying over.

  2. are you turning the plugins off that aren’t active in the current state (i.e. stopping processing)? This could result in some audio still being in the buffer and being released when the plugin is turned back on. Also, there are other funky effects that can happen when turning plugins on and off during playing. I would always recommend leaving all plugins in the song on (if at all possible CPU-wise) and just turning input routes on and off per state. This also helps sounds fading out across state changes.

Maybe something to look at…

I normally leave all plug-ins up and running, even if not being played in the state I is live at that moment. I have always done this since I became a Cantabilist, actually out of ignorance - I thought that for a plug-in to “fire up” may take a moment or two, so may be silent immediately after a state change. This was clearly wrong, but have continued keep all vsts running!

However towards the end of life of my last laptop it was struggling to keep up with what I was demanding of it, so I modified songs in ant set list that gave such problems by creating an extra state in each songs in that set list which turned everything of before moving on to the next song. Hopefully this reduced the amount of vsts running that I was no longer using, reducing load on the processor. All that dictates which vsts are going to sound when I play are the input routes now

Now I have a better laptop I am slowly restoring all of those songs to leaving everything running. Now

A methodical process of elimination is a great way to locate problems. Right now, it seems to be a struggle for you to tell whether it’s one, two or a whole bunch of plug-ins which are jumping.
My suggestion would be to isolate a plug-in and any other plug-ins associated with its signal path and listen to the transition between states.
Rinse and repeat.

I ma just in the process of creating a new Set List, and noticed an option in the “state” drop down box is “also rest when loading this state”. I had never noticed it, so am not sure what it does, but I wonder if it would “deaden” any hanging sounds when going from state to state, particularly in my case when moving backwards?

See this guide:


has nothing to do with hanging sounds; state reset is a bit complicated to get into, but pretty helpful at times.