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I finally switched and upgraded with Cantabile 3 and can say that I'm very happy .
The software is very stable.
Loads and switches very fast.
There's an enormous user community, very helpful, the developer is always there if you have some issues, ..
Everything is MIDI assignable.
Good playlist manager (separate text files you can edit, so crash proof).
Song structure is very well written: You have Playlist > Songs > States (=parts in the song, f.e. verse, chorus, etc.).
Engine is stable and written by a musician, so he knows the problems on stage and has workaround for it. f.e. the audio ports are linkable in the options, this way you can easy change your soundcard without reassigning all the settings. Racks are plugins structures you can link and reuse in songs, loads faster. Also, there's a Background Rack, here you can add your basic settings for the whole show.
Built in Mediaplayer .
Built in Notes viewer.
What more can a musician ask?
Sure, it's not as sexy as Mainstage or other hosts, but it's very powerful once you get past the aesthetics.
Can't wait to go tour with it .
My older Cantabile 2 review.
I finally start to see the power in Cantabile. The software looks very promising and stable to me for live use. I've been using an other software for over a year now and got many troubles live ! Not funny.
I think Cantabile has great features but still needs to improve allot regarding user friendly functions. It's already very versatile and useful, but the GUI is a problem imo in live situations.
Mostly because you need to be able to see in 1 blink what's the status and select quickly some things without removing or opening menus...
I created a wishlist for future versions, I hope the developer takes note of it:
Create a better windows GUI: In my opinion this GUI takes to much space for live use (15" laptop, hi res). Or maybe a live and edit modus? You only need the setlist and the status bar (which brings us to next).
Better status bar : status that shows more info, such as (program) numbers #, Also, smaller topbar, with text aligned next to each other instead of below. Also shows the in and out levels with a bar. You need to see the status as the overview of all, as it would be a VST or machine interface... Maybe a mix between Forte and Intone 1?
Remove the windows frame, to free up space, in w8, this takes a 5 pixels border + topbar.
Maybe a skining option would be great, so people can create their own GUI? I know graphics are slowing down the machine, but setting Cantabile up the way you need it (not like) is a preferred feature to me.
Make all separate windows (keyboard, setlist, status, racks, ...) dockable AND resizable, to set your own working environment. Also the setlist should scroll along with the selection, not put a scrollerbar next to the window.
Choose sets by typing the number on the keypad (also the setlist program change doesn't work out of the box, haven't fixed it yet, ...).
Loading delayed, possible to not load until enter is pressed or other button. It's handy when you're playing live and need to set that next program/preset/song ready, but not loading yet. (maybe Loading On Hold + Assignable Confirm button?).
I'm missing the velocity note range? So you can't choose starting from what velocity a note sounds?
Those are the things coming to my mind now that I start to use it extensively.
I see other Livehosts have better features as these, such as Forte, but still Cantabile seems more promissing. (Maybe someone can help me fix some things?)
Anyway, Cantabile is a very performant livehost. The latency is incredibly low (I compared with Forte and Intone)