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Where to go ?

In view of Mike's announcement - what will you guys try out? For me it 'll be Gig Performer I guess - anybody got experience from the migration?

Yeah, I was looking at that too, and Cantabile.  Don't know which I'll try first, or which is closest to forte. Cantabile is offering a crossgrade discount for forte users. I signed up for the discount, but haven't bought the software yet.

do any of them have the sceneview feature? i use it for lyrics and my finale charts, and don't know that any other host has that.

Not sure David, but I think both may have demos available.  I know Gig Performer does for sure.

I know Cantabile does not have a scene view because I asked about this a year or so ago. Also, at the time of Mike's announcement of Forte's development closure, I asked on the Catabile forum about importing Forte files into Cantabile. The developer was going to look at the possibility within the week but was making no promises. 

I'm still having crashes with Forte almost every time I use it, mostly the "Forte has stopped working" crash. I've tried all the 4.5 versions and have now gone back to the last 4.2 version, but it too is crashing. So it might be timely for me to switch programs, although it will be a massive task to re-program nearly 300 scenes featuring 15 instruments. I do wish there was an easier way:) 

I've looked at Cantabile but it seems quite complicated compared to Forte and doesn't seem to have Forte's simplicity. Is Gig Performer as easy to use as Forte?  

Well, as forte's stable for me I don't plan on switching to anything anytime soon.
But if I were to switch it would probable plogue bidule for it's flexibility even beyond live applications.

I've been looking at Gig Performer as well. But I can't really figure out how it handles the whole scenes concept. It seems more tailored toward people using song1=hammond, song2=piano, song3=ep kind of setups.
Whereas I mostly use the same 15 plugins for every song, but using wildly different routings and sounds/presets in each.

Anyone tried it and can shed some light on this?
I’m playing around with the Gig Performer demo. I use the same plugins for every song, namely a mix of 12 acoustic and electric guitars. You need to add the modules manually because you start with an almost blank canvas. Jamming 12 guitars, reverb, delay, 16 ch mixer and 8 ch mixer onto a 12.7” Surface Pro screen is quite a task. Then you have to make the patch connections manually and end up with all these coloured lines on the screen connecting the modules together. I spent most of yesterday tying to set up the default so that I can copy it 299 more times with appropriate mutes and pans for my repertoire. It’s going to be quite a task. I’m only doing this because Forte almost every time I use it gives me the “Forte has stopped working” message. If Forte was stable for me, I wouldn’t bother trying to change to another program.

I spent more time with Gig Performer today. I put together the default rack space in a couple of hours. The trick that made it easier on the Surface pro was to lower the screen resolution so things fitted on the screen more easily. I've attached a SS of the plugin setup. I am rather impressed so far. Being used to 3 - 4 seconds scene changes with Forte, song changes with GP are instant. I did have the odd lock up and a crash, but the program was stable for a couple of hours or so. I have been offered a $50.00 discount which brings the price down to $100. There is a problem with the mixer plugin, in that it isn't remembering mutes. I'll get an email off to the programmer mentioning this.  I also managed to get program change working as well

I did hear back from the Cantabile developer and he would be interested in working on Forte scene import if enough people expressed interest. Not sure how likely this will turn out to be. GP does not feature a scene view as per Forte, but does have its own front end which can be loaded with widgets ie knobs, sliders, switches etc for real time control.

At this stage, if the mixer mute non saving can be fixed, I'm quite likely to buy Gig Performer.

Gig Screen.PNG
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I’m getting a clearer idea of how Gig Performer works. What I’ve done is set up a default rack space containing every plugin needed for my guitar songlist. A ‘rack space’ corresponds to a Forte scene. At present, I’m working just on my guitar setlist, but will eventually construct a second GP setlist for my Alexis Vortex keytar. Once you have the default rack space set up, you then copy it making all necessary changes including mutes, pans volumes etc, then save it with a new name. In my case, it is the name of the song. Changing songs with midi program change is almost instant - about 1/2 second. Forte used to take 4 to 5 seconds to do this for me. I made a mistake earlier on in that I was trying to use variations within a rack space for individual songs. Now I see that one rackspace per song is the correct way to work. I’ll eventually end up with nearly 300 rack spaces each representing a song. This is a lot, but if I understand things correctly, the plugins are only loaded initially at the start, which explains the very quick song changes. Forte did this differently for me, actually loading instruments per song, which is why it took as long as it did to load. The only major drawback for me is not having Forte’ s performance mode. In Forte, I called up a picture of the artist for each song I sang. I know others called up lyrics. Although I will miss this, I can live without it due to the very quick song changes that GP exhibits. Finally, GP already seems more stable for me than Forte. This is a huge plus as Forte regularly gave me the “Forte has stopped working” message whenever it felt like it seems. So I’m happy to put in the time and make the transition from Forte to GP over the next few weeks. Btw - although I own Cantabile, I haven’t spent any time with it so cannot give a comparison between it and Gig Performer.

Thanks for keeping us updated on your transition experience Alan!

You are welcome Mike. There will be more to come as I’m now registered on the Gig Performer forum site and have been asking questions about rack spaces and variations within rack spaces. As I get answers, I may have to modify statements already made here. My biggest thrill of the day was when the programmer said that 1/2 second rack space program change was slow and the change should be instantaneous! Big difference from Forte’s (for me), 5 second changes. If you are interested in GF, it might be worth following the forum over there.

Has anyone had any experience with BloXpander? I haven't heard anything about it recently, but is another option. My initial opinion of Gig performer's GUI is klunky, but i probably just need to spend more time with it. I may even go back to hardware synths as i am dreading rebuilding my 500+ scenes. 

I hear you David.  I only have about 250 or so scenes, but about 42 Modules plus plugins... so, not looking forward to it.  But, I would think I can save the Fxbs for each instrument, and use them in a different host, and that's the most time consuming thing... getting the sounds. So it won't be nearly as many hours as developing the original rack.

@ Alan Minnear. Can i ask you the specs of your Surface pro? I'm deciding between hardware and software, and my laptop is getting old. a lot of comparison needs to be done. I went to gtr center and looked at the kronos and montage today, and i just like my software rig better.

Hi David. I’ve got the i5 with 8 gig ram. It has always run Forte ok and is now handling Gig Performer alright as well. I got this model because: 1 Battery life 2 It was quite a bit cheaper than the i7. 3 Small foot print. In reality, I run it from the mains anyway while gigging. I had thought I might busk with it on battery power but haven’t yet. Mine is a Pro 4 released January 2016. Later models may have better battery life if that is a concern. You should be able to pick up a Pro 4 i7 with 16gig ram they are two years old now.
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