What’s coming….

Happy 2016!

I’ve been busy lately working on some new stuff for Forte 4.  I usually don’t pre-announce features simply because its hard to guarantee when they will be available and how they will finally look.  But I decided to add a few things to Forte 4 (which will be called 4.2) and write a bit about them here.

I’ve gotten more requests recently from people using high DPI (Ultra-HD or 4K) monitors to fix some UI sizing issues.  Forte’s rack user interface is based upon a collection of PNG files while most plugins and other UI is more adaptable to things like text size, etc.  This means that there are some cases where Forte’s rack view looks tiny on a huge 4K screen while the plugins look huge and don’t fit correctly.  So the first big improvement I’m working on for 4.2 is a re-scalable rack view.  You will be able in preferences to re-size the main rack view (either automatically or manually) to taste.  This includes a specific width you wish to set, or a minimum and maximum, as well as something that scales based upon DPI.  Hopefully this will address the size issues without resorting to skin editing (which is negative amounts of fun.)

The other issue has to do with first time experience and audio compatibility.  Forte supports ASIO and WDM-KS audio interfaces, but most modern laptops use “WaveRT” drivers which Forte does not see.  Forte also does not handle the newer WASAPI audio driver model…..until now.  I’ve decided to try to maximize audio compatibility by moving Forte to the open source PortAudio library for the audio interface layer.  For now this will be used to enable WASAPI mode for 1st time startup and enable users to get started quickly with basic laptop sound.  I’m not intending on moving the ASIO and WDM support to PortAudio yet, but probably will eventually.  PortAudio offers the promise of offloading soundcard support issues, while also offering the audio drivers an interface they have probably already tested with.

Both of these features are configurable with a somewhat reorganized preferences dialog.

I have also gotten the kind permission of a VSTi synth vendor to ship a free synth with Forte.  Using this, the Forte installer can contain everything you need to at least get a first instrument up and running.

There will also be some bug fixes.  I don’t know exactly when this will be made available as a beta.  For some reason any new features almost always take longer than you might expect to implement.  Its never the functionality itself.  Instead, its always the supporting functionality like enabling options, altering user interface, deciding on defaults, etc.

I hope you find this to be a useful update to Forte.  I’ll try to get it out soon.

Mike