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Forum for VST Live Performance

ARP23

New Member
This is a great forum for VST composing. Is there a forum geared for live performance with VSTs?
 

sean8877

Active Member
I would like that also. I use Cantabile to host my VST's for live playing. Would be nice to have a place to discuss the general topic other than the Cantabile forum.
 

fuztec25

New Member
Mainstage 3 on MACs
Cantabile on PCs

not using expensive keyboards from almost 3 years... All virtual here!

Fuz!
 

sean8877

Active Member
Mainstage 3 on MACs
Cantabile on PCs

not using expensive keyboards from almost 3 years... All virtual here!

Fuz!
I'm almost completely virtual now also, I'm only using my Nord Electro 3 for the Hammond sounds, I haven't found a suitable replacement for the sounds and playability (esp. the "drawbars" and waterfall keys)
 

fuztec25

New Member
I'm almost completely virtual now also, I'm only using my Nord Electro 3 for the Hammond sounds, I haven't found a suitable replacement for the sounds and playability (esp. the "drawbars" and waterfall keys)
Hello Sean,
for "waterfall" feeling, i opted for a Nektar LX61: light and easy on the keys so for the glissandos i think it's adequate (not comparable on a real waterfall keybed though: at least doesn't hurt on fingers).

Right now i am just using a single Studiologic SL88|Studio keyboard. Bag with keyboard on my back, a bag on my front with MAC/PC, audio interface and cables, stand on left hand and chair on my right hand. A single trip and i carry all i need :) (Santa's looking included, LOL!) .

Fuz!
 

sean8877

Active Member
Hello Sean,
for "waterfall" feeling, i opted for a Nektar LX61: light and easy on the keys so for the glissandos i think it's adequate (not comparable on a real waterfall keybed though: at least doesn't hurt on fingers).

Right now i am just using a single Studiologic SL88|Studio keyboard. Bag with keyboard on my back, a bag on my front with MAC/PC, audio interface and cables, stand on left hand and chair on my right hand. A single trip and i carry all i need :) (Santa's looking included, LOL!) .

Fuz!
Definitely nice to trim down the gear, sounds like you have an easy haul and setup/breakdown. I have to look into a replacement for my heavy old Roland FP-8 that I'm using as a controller.
 
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ARP23

New Member
Going all software makes sense more and more. Great VST instruments out there, hardware (laptop, hybrid tablet) getting cheaper except for RAM. I use the Studiologic Numa Stage with some built-in sounds just in case I have to reboot the laptop in the middle of performance.
 

starise

Member
Now if they would only make a nice keyboard controller with a laptop cradle built in. I have and use Cantabile. I think there are too many restrictions to the lower versions. I haven't committed to the most expensive version of it yet. I think it hosts backing tracks too. Mainstage is fine for a basic keyboard rack and not a lot of change ups.....and you need a mac. Lots of complex changes though I would pick Cantabile. The GUI isn't totally intuitive to me. I like that the owner designer of the program can be contacted and stays in touch with the users.

I am using Ableton on stage right now because I'm playing a real 88 key piano that sounds amazing. I mainly needed backing tracks.
 

sean8877

Active Member
Now if they would only make a nice keyboard controller with a laptop cradle built in. I have and use Cantabile. I think there are too many restrictions to the lower versions. I haven't committed to the most expensive version of it yet. I think it hosts backing tracks too. Mainstage is fine for a basic keyboard rack and not a lot of change ups.....and you need a mac. Lots of complex changes though I would pick Cantabile. The GUI isn't totally intuitive to me. I like that the owner designer of the program can be contacted and stays in touch with the users.

I am using Ableton on stage right now because I'm playing a real 88 key piano that sounds amazing. I mainly needed backing tracks.
I sometimes use backing tracks with Cantabile, I can start/stop the tracks with a midi pedal so it's pretty useful in that way. I agree the UI is not the most intuitive but it is pretty powerful and the developer Brad is very engaged and helpful
 

fuztec25

New Member
Cantabile is definitely the "go-to" app for live plugin performance on PC now. Sure there are alternatives (GigPerformer, BloXpander, Rack Performer, Bidule) but for its power and features (Brad is always working on the software and very careful of customers' observations), Cantabile is doing great. Sure it comes for a price since the "most requested" features are present only in the "Performer" version.

Right now i am using a MacBook Pro (early 2011): an old machine but more than adequate to host MS3 (which comes for 30 bucks!!!) and a plethora of MAC AU plugins (all major softwares are ready to use). For less than 400 Euros i got the machine already expanded with a 512GB SSD drive and 16 GB of RAM. Consider that Cantabile comes 199$ on its own! Save some pennies and get a MAC, even an old one, fire up MS3 and you don't even need for a pro soundcard: the built-in output is more than adequate!

I'm not against Cantabile: i own and love it! It's a matter of personal choice and "feel". Since I never used a MAC before but had the chance to get one I bought it, and now i find it hard to put it away. A very easy learning curve for MS3 did the rest.

Not to forget that, while with a PC you have to set up some nifty tricks on the live host to change patches live (keeping the sounds play while changing patches), on MS3 it's done by default!!! Even Kontakt5 (which is famous for cut-abrupting sounds when you change those) doesn't cut the sound off while hosted by MS3.

Final consideration:
Already own a laptop PC? Go for Cantabile: you cannot go wrong!
Some pennies to spare? Go for a MBP and get MS3 (don't forget you'll have thousands of very good patches with it).

Fuz!
 

Dewdman42

Senior Member
There is also an interesting app for both Mac/PC called Live Professor: http://audiostrom.com

I have experimented with a few of them, for the moment I am pretty sold on MainStage. each of the programs have some pros and cons. I quite like Cantible on the PC, but ultimately I decided to go mac. MainStage also has a lot of similarities with LogicPro, which I use as my DAW, so I can write Scripter scripts that work in MainStage and/or Logic and you can also create patches in either one and load in the other for instrument stacks and stuff like that. All the same factory plugins in LPX are found in MainStage, including Alchemy, a hammond clone, and everything else.. And its priced very low compared to the competition also. Personally I think if you have a mac, you need a pretty compelling reason to not use MainStage. MainStage also has a pretty cool feature that can convert VST instruments into sample collections that will play back with less CPU, if you you so desire...very handy. I personally think MS3 is a no brainer purchase just to get all the instruments and have it handy.

The Logic Remote iPad app also works with it, so you can potentially put your mac behind you and velcro an iPad to the top of your keyboards for controlling it.

On the PC, I do think Cantabile is quite good with a devoted developer.
 
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ARP23

New Member
I used BloXpander, Forte, and Contabile in the past, but I find Gig Performer not only most intuitive but very powerful and flexible. I have a "weird" MIDI setup. It is so easy to handle the setup with GP, but I don't even know if the other hosts can even handle it. The GUI is so clean and and live performance friendly.
 

chimuelo

Star Of Stage & Screen
Going all software makes sense more and more. Great VST instruments out there, hardware (laptop, hybrid tablet) getting cheaper except for RAM. I use the Studiologic Numa Stage with some built-in sounds just in case I have to reboot the laptop in the middle of performance.
I’m using Bidule, SonicCore DSP Rack, 1U PC and a Physis K4 atm.
Lots of racked hardware and other keyboards too.
Waiting for the Studiologic Compact 2X.

I’d stop using a PC if there were better Horn Sections and Strings.
I don’t have any problems with spending money on gear.
Just paid 7k for a synth.
I’ve tried every ROMpler out there and 40 different Epno or Acoustic isn’t appealing.
Just one of each and horns and strings.
Until then 1U workstations for me.

Since my PC is racked I drag along analog synths too.
But with the Compact 2X and a pair of QSC K8.2s I can do jazz gigs where I don’t have to cover Section sounds.
Hope it sounds good.
I could take the Bus to work.
 

chimuelo

Star Of Stage & Screen
Opted out of the Studiologic Compact 2X and decided to buy a Dexibell SX7 2U Sample/modeler.
This thing sounds great.
SE-02, Code8 OD, Dexibell SX7 and an HX-3 Hammond Module.
A pair of RCF TT08As a Radial Key Largo Mixer, and TC Fireworx.
Physis K4 Controller.

No more expensive DSP Racks or PCs at gigs for me.
Nice portable rig with real synths.

Big jobs I’ll break out the Rackmounted PCs.
But I’m going to be spoiled by this little rig.
 

chimuelo

Star Of Stage & Screen
Laptop guys are going to love this.
I’m building a small rig for local work.
Bought this and the USB Port is great for audio.

I ran a Strymon Timeline w/ a feedback loop into a Strymon Deco and ran it through the AUX Channel. Really nice.

This is a small but high quality mixer.
I also have their Space Heater Tube Summing Mixer, but that’s overkill for these gigs.

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Mike Greene

Senior Member
Moderator
I moved this thread to the Forum Complaints section. (Maybe I should change that to Forum Suggestions and Complaints). I like the idea of a Live Performance subsection, although I'm not sure we'd have enough activity there.

Either way, by having this thread in this section, it will be easier to remember when/if we do a restructuring.
 
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