Forte 2 vs. Mainstage 2

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musiclee

Forte 2 vs. Mainstage 2

Postby musiclee » Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:55 am

i know Forte is PC, Mainstage is MAC
but has anyone used both?

i'm more interested in knowing how these 2 programs handle the loading/changing of sounds
Which can handle more instruments?
Does Mainstage load an instance of plugin for every sound?
and Forte loads 1 instance and just changes sounds...

Basically which makes most sense to allow for LOTS of sounds ready instantly at the click of a button...
Which is less/more CPU hog?

would appreciate anyones feedback on how these 2 work, as i may get Macbook,
and maybe have dual boot to windows/forte,

thanks in advance

musiclee

Re: Forte 2 vs. Mainstage 2

Postby musiclee » Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:33 am

i guess nobody here has any experience with Mainstage and Forte?

Dirk Offringa
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Re: Forte 2 vs. Mainstage 2

Postby Dirk Offringa » Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:51 pm

Not at all, sorry!

Dirk
Life would be much easier if I had the source code.

yamus
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Re: Forte 2 vs. Mainstage 2

Postby yamus » Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:51 pm

Me neither, sorry...

Paparich37

Re: Forte 2 vs. Mainstage 2

Postby Paparich37 » Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:09 pm

Hi there,
Paparich37 here. I am new to using forums but I have some info on Mainstage if you are interested. I currently use a macbook pro, (8 Gigs of Ram) / (Mainstage 2) and a windows PC windows 7 (Cubase) when playing live. The reason why I use both is because neither is sufficient. There is a software package called the Korg Legacy collection which has my favorite keyboard (the Korg M1). I started using it in the PC using the host program Sonar 3 up to Sonar 8. It crashed too much for live performance! After numerous upgrades,tech support and re-installes with no results I decided to try the Mac. Well Mainstage crashed more times with that program than any PC or program I have every used. Again after many re-installs the program kept crashing. The most stable way i found to use the program was not to edit the sounds but to use only one saved M1 Keyboard (has about 2000 sounds! Finally I decided not to use the Korg M1 at all..... Guess what? The program still crashed way too often for live performance. I was using only the AU instruments provided in Logic and I would get pretty stable results until my list of songs got to approximately 100 songs. (Believe it or not I actually have to be ready to play any of about 300 songs because I play with a very old artist who calls songs off the top of his head 10 seconds before the end a song being played.) The most stable performance is 30 or less songs using Mainstage 2. The only way I can get the program to work is to use it only to control external midi devices i.e. control splits, layering and patch changes on external devices. I use only a maximum of about 10 logic instrument plugins and then just use "aliases" of these instruments.

This useful feature in Mainstage 2 is really cool. I suppose it is the same as using "Subsets" in "Cantible" another VST Host for PCs. What you do is you find, lets say a favorite string sound you want to use over and over in many different songs. Create an instance of this instrument in a song or by itself. Then what you do is "copy" it to the "clipboard" and then simply "paste" it into another song as an alias (the program gives you the option in the "edit menu"!!! The cool thing is that the computer does not see it as another instrument. The computer therefore does not need to use memory or processing power for this new instance (alias) of the instrument. This allows me to use the strings in many songs (You can also transpose and change the split position without affecting the original : )) . To explain this you first need to understand that if you are playing live, in order to instantly call-up a song you have to have it pre-loaded or you will be stuck waiting for your patches to load while the drummer is counting a song in. This is why the entire list of songs you plan to perform are preloaded. (we are talking about VST,AU or RTAS instruments) The Mac (Logic/Mainstage 2) uses AU (audio units). Another problem with Mainstage 2 is that when I save a Project and open it up later... The instruments that I had set up in a song such as a string part will load as a piano or other sound!!!!! AAARRRRGGGHHHHH?????!!!!!!!!

I believe that the problem has a lot to do with the transition from 32 bit to 64 bit systems. We have to wait until the software manufactures write code for 64 bit operating systems and are not just running 32 bit programs in X86 modes using wrappers or other software to fool the computer. It is VSTs AUs and RTASs that crash programs. My advise is to wait until they get better at writing programs that can run stably in a live situation. I was on stage with a famous artist and felt great that I could travel to another state with just my Mac and a light weighted controller. Well my system crashed on the first song and it took me till the third song to be able to recover an earlier saved version of the concert. I had to wing it and pray for the entire concert. Now I always travel with hardware keyboards and modules so if the computer crashes I don't look like a Jackass!

Dirk Offringa
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Re: Forte 2 vs. Mainstage 2

Postby Dirk Offringa » Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:21 pm

Life would be much easier if I had the source code.

wilkeys76

Re: Forte 2 vs. Mainstage 2

Postby wilkeys76 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:38 am

Hello,

I've tried using Mainstage as I got a MacBook and it looked promising. Kept crashing all the time and wasn't nearly as flexible as Forte. So I set up a bootcamp partition to boot into Windows to use Forte. This works like a charm but you have to be carefull not to use all Apple Bootcamp drivers for Windows. These cause huge latency issues on the firewire interface (in my case anyway). Don't know about USB as I don't use that for my audio interface. Main culprit is the 'bootcamp.exe' service. If you kill that one in the Task Manager you'll be fine. Or you should just install the drivers you really need for hardware support but I have not yet figured that out.

Also I advice you to use a tool to measure hardware latency so you can avoid audio dropouts. The tool that worked for me was DPC Latency Checker, available at http://www.thesycon.de/deu/latency_check.shtml. This will show you exactly what is going on and when you run the tool and disable a driver or service you can see the result realtime. That's how I found out that the bootcamp service was really messing things up.

Another thing: it seems that the bootcamp drivers delivered with Snow Leopard (and possible Lion, I haven't tested those yet) are better in terms of performance and latency. I still have to kill the bootcamp process but all the other drivers cause no issues as far as I can see.

I have installed both a Windows XP 32-bit and Windows 7 64-bit OS and use them all the time on my gigs as main sound source. Pretty much rock solid so far.

wilkeys76

Re: Forte 2 vs. Mainstage 2

Postby wilkeys76 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:04 am

Adding some more info here. Just installed a new Windows 7 bootcamp on a MacBook pro. This particular MacBook is from mid 2009, so all this may not apply to newer MacBooks....

Bootcamp Windows drivers 3.0 (Snow Leopard) cause serious issues, main culprits bootcamp service itself and nVidia drivers (mainly display). Upgrade to bootcamp driver version 3.2 seemed to solve the bootcamp service issue. nVidia seems to cause issues still. So removed those. Windows 7 recognizes the display anyway so didn't need them really.

Another tip: to find out what drivers cause high latency download the LatencyMon tool from http://www.resplendence.com/latencymon. This helps determining what is going on and is really helpful. Another source for more information can be found at http://www.native-instruments.com/knowl ... processing

Dirk Offringa
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Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 3:44 am
Location: Sainte Anastasie, France
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Re: Forte 2 vs. Mainstage 2

Postby Dirk Offringa » Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:11 pm

Life would be much easier if I had the source code.

ramalama
Posts: 44
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Re: Forte 2 vs. Mainstage 2

Postby ramalama » Sun Sep 23, 2012 2:39 pm



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