Some work on Scaler synch, multi-channel MIDI and divisi approaches

@jamieh mentioned recently that I had been working with Cantabile ( ) on managing multi-channel issues and approaches to divisi set-ups, as an alternative to Element, Blue Cat and other tools when using Scaler with Ableton Live (which doesn’t recognise channels internally)

I’ve made a lot of progress with this, and have discovered that it has much wider capabilities than I initially thought (opening up more adventurous set ups) and I have found it very easy to use.

So although I don’t post here any more, I thought it may be useful to post some information about my findings for anyone who might find it useful. I’m not promoting it per se, but leave it to anyone to maybe explore and follow if they want to.

So I plan to do two posts which are both in the form of slides with diagrams (to make it easier to understand the setup) and (if I can finally get to grips with OBS and Openshot) I’ll post a couple of videos.

By way of a teaser, I’ll just summarise the first of three structures I’ll subsequently describe in detail.

Cantabile is rather like Gig Performer, but it can also act as a multiple VST host and MIDI management tool.

So I started three instances of Scaler, S1, S2 and S3 in it. S1 and S2 were set up with scaler sync, loaded with the Scaler song ‘touching’ from the Cinematic set. S1 plays the chords , and S2 the ‘Chordal 2’ performance. For S3, I ‘un-followed’ this from the other 2, so that I could set up simpler triads to add a bassline without the ‘follow’ sync altering S1 and S2. So far straight forward.

Then I set ‘DAW sync’ on all of them, and this is now sync’d all three to Cantabile as host. Pressing ‘play’ in Cantabile starts all three simultaneously. Again, sort of vanilla.
I have the benefit of S1 and S2 following each other, an independent S3 and a button to start them off.

I could have done all of this in Live, and hence in parallel worked on independent elements in Live tracks But what if I wanted to (say) Orchestrate the song chords with a divisi set up to route to (say) different players in BBS SO in Live ? To do this Scaler has to be hosted externally, which is where Cantabile (Blue Cat etc) has come in.

So I can now use some of Cantabile’s many rules to graphically route the S1 backing to multiple channels or ports (or both) and hence then to different instances of BBC SO (or , say Omnisphere , acting multi-timbrally) in Live tracks.

The bit which I was unsure about, but I find works perfectly, is then I set up an input port in Cantabile, and used MIDI clock from a Live output port to sync Cantabile and Live.

So now I could develop elements separately in Cantabile and Ableton with S1 and S2 locally sync’d, S1/2/3 sync’d locally to Cantabile as host, and then synced with clock to Live. I just hit ‘start’ in Live and it all fires up.

Oh, and it took me less time to do than it has taken my to type this…

I’ve no idea if any of this is of interest, but I’ll post the first chunk soon


Well done! Food for thought for Windows/Live users. (Which I am not). I appreciate the thought in this.

tried just now but no MMO at all…
I’ll wait for the rest of tips about BBCSO, but I am ready to give out entirely to the feature

aha, now I understand
well next time I’ll try again