Stop focusing on trying to optimize everything and focus on what you need for each song.
For example, if you need a piano, some strings (over two octaves, say) and a moog in one song, then go ahead and create that and stop thinking about crap like “I don’t want to have to load and unload samples” all the time.
Then move to the next song and decide what you need there and then go ahead and create that in a new rackspace (say)
When doing a song with quick changes, this is a great approach for working within a single rackspace using variations. When doing something completely different, like a new song or very different part of the same song, build a new local rackspace. And stuff that is always (or nearly always) used, like a vocal chain, mixer, favorite piano, master volume, or limiter, can go in the global rackspace.
In my experience with new tools and programming languages, it requires three attempts. In attempt one, we try it out without much organization. In attempt two, we try to architect the system, but make mistakes. By attempt three, we have enough context to make a good foundation. Now, we can build and refine without needing to start from scratch. Even though Gig Performer aligns well with how I think, I still needed three attempts to really get going. Once the approach is worked out, the fun begins.
Please, persevere with GP. I was like you three years ago. When Mike announced that he was ending support for Forte, I was devastated. I read the announcement on the Forte forum and went through the various postings. Someone mentioned what host to switch to, and Gig Performer was suggested. I’d never heard of it. I went straight to the GP site and downloaded the demo (V2 at that time). When I opened the GP wiring window for the first time, I was totally shell shocked! I did not know what to do! Then I found a YT video (can’t remember what it was called sorry), and in an instant, while I was watching and before the video had ended, I “got it.” GP is amazing, intuitive and so easy to use. When you “get it” too, you may even think as I did - gosh Forte was so hard to use! Truely!!
For your info, here is how I use GP. I am a solo performer using guitar software and a guitar hero controller, along with drums and auto bass vst’s. I sing using a harmonizer. I perform at rest homes, Farmer’s Markets and (now and then), private home functions. All my music is based around one hour sets comprising 19 songs in a set. I use a Surface Pro 6 with 16gig ram and an i7 processor. When editing at home, I turn predictive on set to three. When gigging, I turn predictive off. The differences for me are as follows (based on 19 songs per set):
Predictive on = set loads in 20 seconds, but song switching takes three to six seconds (ideal for
editing at home when you have plenty of time)
Predictive off = Set loads in 4 minutes or so, but song switching is instant i.e. a split second
(perfect for live performance when people want the next song RIGHT NOW!)
Keep with it mate. This forum is fantastic. All the people posting here are amazing with great understanding of GP. I am a real dodo (really), but the patience and understanding that folk here have with newbies is superlative. Be encouraged and keep it up. All the best!
Thank you @bigalminal …very kind of you to write out such a passionate and courteous response!
I did “get it”…earlier than I expected actually. I just didn’t want to accept that certain things that previously I looked at as “wrong” would now be considered “right.”
I think that you will likely agree that there are 1 or 2 things that Forte handled better, but overall, GP is a superior design. I look forward to further learning and experimenting before actually going “live” with it. Probably 2 or 3 months. It will take that long to re-program everything (at least) and no doubt I will be revising as I learn more.
Not really. I found it particularly difficult in Forte to get midi out working to drive strings and organs etc. The only thing I miss with Forte was the performance page where I used pictures that filled the screen making it more attractive to look at.
It will take you a while to recreate your GP files. I was months I seem to remember. Now I’m well on the way to 500 songs. Being retired, I spend most mornings creating new songs or fixing up ones that I mucked up. Fils in my days very pleasantly. I reserve the afternoons for gigging.
A “Scene view” with really large fonts for the present and the next upcomming song. With options what items of the view to show, and what not. The setlist view of GP is cluttered with many small details.
“Hardware profiles” with Midi AND audio bindings.
Anything else is much better in GP than in Forte. Let alone the much smaller latency and jitter of GP compared to Forte at same buffer settings of the audio driver:
I’ve been a hardcore Forte fan, user, active forum member and beta tester for over 16 years. This eventually brought me in contact with Mark Kelly from Marillion, a former Forte user, too, finally meeting him with a backstage pass for some expert talk on Forte during his sound check, before a Marillion gig in Munich, Germany back in 2009:
But this all is history. Forte is dead. It still works on my backup laptop. But the future is GP, as for many former Forte users here in the forum.
It took me a while and a steep learning curve, to adopt to the GP work flow. Some trial and error testing and messing around with features, some RTFM, and much help from the forum.
Because my GP is midi driven from an iPad Pro using a BT pedal, I have no use for the set list view at all. All my songs remain in the panel view with the song title (font set at 100) expanded to fill across the screen. To improve the look marginally, I have coloured the backgrounds whilst leaving the font white. It is quite boring and I really do miss Forte’s performance page.
As an example, for a song called “Highwayman” in Forte, I found a jpg showing a 17th century highway man galloping along a country road brandishing a pistol. I imported that picture and it filled the entire screen. And because the screen faced the audience, they had something cool to look at.
However, I am probably just one of very few people using GP like this. I am guessing that most users require hands on control of widgets synched to their controller keyboards, whereas, I stand out the front with my guitar hero controller and work every thing from my pedal board there.
I prefer the MIDI mapping, which may be less flexible than GP, but (to me) flows easier.
For instance, with Forte, you have an instrument that you want to map to multiple keyboards in multiple regions. Everything is in one window pane…you select the controller(s), you select the range(s) of notes, MIDI channel, everything is in 1 spot.
In GP, you have to create a separate MIDI input for each controller and range you want. At least that’s how I understand it. It’s backwards from Forte. In Forte, it’s the instrument first. In GP, it’s the controller. The cumbersome part of that (for me) is that if I need 3 controller points for an instrument I need to create 3 instances to start. In Forte, you start with one instance and branch out.
What do you do in Forte when, after you’ve set those up, you now want to map two other instruments (by “instrument”, I assume you mean software synth) to those exact same ranges? And what do you do, if you want to be able to change those ranges on the fly, as you switch to different parts of your song, for example?
First of all, what an incredible band!!! I just listened to your “Close to the Edge”, my all time favorite piece of music and you nail it beautifully. Congratulations.
By “on the fly”, I was not referring to any kind of improv situation, in fact such things are intended for use with very precision oriented music.
Suppose for example you are playing a (transposed) acoustic piano with your left hand (on two octaves, say) and an electric piano with your right hand. Further, the acoustic piano has a string layer as well.
However, when you hit a chorus, you might want those same strings to also be layered with your electric piano for a more orchestral sound in the chorus. There are several ways to do this….one is to have another MIDI in block for that range, connected to the same string synth and just unbypass it for the chorus (via a variation). But another way to do it is to just change the split range of the existing block when you switch to the appropriate variation.
Or you might want a synth solo to range over most of the keyboard until you play a chord low down at which point the synth range might be automatically restricted to a small area at the top.
The point is that the GP design gets you a lot of flexibility that might not be available in other systems (which of course is one of the reasons we decided to roll our own in the first place)
Well, first and foremost thank you for your compliments! It’s always nice to be appreciated by other musicians, and your comments are most welcomed
As I alluded to in a few posts above, I am not by any means comparing the flexibility factor between the two systems…or overall performance level. Clearly GP has taken considerable strides over its competitors, and I am looking at my conversion with more enthusiasm each day! Of course, there are some features I will likely NEVER use. I am sure that most users out there don’t use EVERY feature. But, I am looking forward to taking advantage of some things that were either impossible to do with Forte, or were extremely cumbersome (like muting all CCs coming into a synth, yet remapping the hardware knobs afterwards through widgets…that will be awesome).
For the examples you describe above (in Forte), for the electric piano / string scenario (which I do currently do) I would simply disable the elec. piano expression pedal and enable it on the strings to bring them in when I needed them. Forte will allow up to 4 Key Ranges per route…so that is easy to get the octave I would need. Losing the expression pedal might be a concession for some, but not for our band…we premix everything so there is a constant from venue to venue, but that scenario is a whole other topic!
Your 2nd example (the synth solo one) is intriguing and would likely be advantageous to some…but I don’t see it for this music. And, no…no way in Hell Forte could do that!
I am enjoying myself thus far. I have a long (and I mean…a loooonnnnggg) way to go in rebuilding almost 4 hours of Yes music patches. But, baby steps. I look forward to the new opportunities.