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Reviewed By vonnor [read all by] on February 25th, 2016
Version reviewed: 8.1 on Windows.
Last edited by vonnor on 25th February 2016.

I had been looking for a live performance application for a long time, one that would let me control my whole rig from a single place. Cantabile does what I need and is very affordable. I only use hardware synths and MIDI modules, no VST plugins, so I can only talk about the vast MIDI routing, filtering, and control mapping features. I tried both Forte and Cantabile 2.0 and since CanTab had MIDI processing built-in while Forte required an additional purchase, Cantabile was a better choice for what I needed.

A few years ago I toured with a totally automated and self-contained keyboard rig where a foot controller (Lake Butler MIDI Mitigator) held all my songs and associated Program Change (PC) numbers, which on a stomp would change programs on a Digital Music MX-8 MIDI switcher/patchbay/processor. The MX-8 would have in's and out's for all my instruments/modules and allow for splits, transpose, velocity ranges, controller mapping, etc., as well as send program change messages on any or all of it's MIDI out ports when it received a PC from the foot controller. I got spoiled by the versatility of being able to do all the patch changes on all the instruments at the stomp of a footswitch, and then play any sound on any channel of any multi-timbral sound source (keyboard or rack module) from any key range I wanted to on any keyboard for any song.

You get the idea. But the MX-8 only had 2 MIDI processors in it, and one had to be used to receive PC messages from the foot controller.

Cantabile is like my old super versatile setup on steroids. With Cantabile 3.0 and a MOTU 128 MIDI patchbay, I have unlimited processing capability, and a double-tap on a song name on my tablet or hitting a panel button on my keyboard (that I've set up as a MIDI CC# of my choice) instantly sets everything up for the next song or song-section.

No more having to hit bank and program buttons on each keyboard and module between songs, and if I want to use a "volume" pedal to mirror the mod wheel on a song, and a "sustain" pedal to speed up or slow down the "leslie" speaker effect, I can. The possibilities are endless.