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Old 10-20-2010, 01:55 PM
NotationUser NotationUser is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Germany
Posts: 101
Lightbulb Notation Software, "Cantabile" VST host and more.


I always found it difficult to make GM based midi music sound really well.

I think I'll let you know what I'm currently using to make sound with Composer. Because I want to play instruments in realtime too, I needed a "low latency" solution, based on VST / ASIO technology. Here are the bits and pieces:

1) "SGM-180"
There are so many soundfonts and soundfontbanks... . For a while I use "SGM180" which is a compilation of some of the largest sf2 samples available. I wouldn't say it's too great but much better than Microsoft's built in wavetable synthesizer - and you have not to dig and compile your own soundbank. Just google for download links, there are many.

If you know about any better sounding GM compilation than SGM-180 - let me know

2) Cakewalk sfz+ pro
I use this as soundfont player as I have no soundcard that can load soundfonts. This is a VSTi (virtual instrument) you can use in VST host programs based on ASIO realtime audio. You can download the unrestricted version for free for a while now. Just follow the "holiday deals and gifts ideas" link on this site: scroll down and download. I think it has some issues but basically it works fine.

3) "Cantabile"
This is a great VST live host made by "Topten Software".
You can get started with the free "Cantabile Lite" version. Imho it's one of the most convenient free VST live hosts around. It works with a free routable rack concept and may present a familiar logic to keyboarders. Don't miss it, download "Lite" for free here and try it:
There are two commercial versions as well, called "Solo" and "Performer". I admit I am addicted to "Performer" for a while. What I like about Cantabile is again the mix of functionality it provides. It's not only a VST host but an easy to use audio recorder, a midi and audio player (with unlimited number of players) and a nice performance environment too. It's a live tool and no DAW.
Read more about Topten Software and "Cantabile" here:

4) Asio4All
This is probably well known and a free universal ASIO driver to provide ASIO low latency audio on any built in pc soundcard. You can download that for free here:

5) Virtual midi cable
I already postet about this, see:
If you just need one cable probably LoopBe1 is the easiest to use and fully 64bit compatible too.

Finally put all together and you get my actual first setup I use with Composer.

Basically all I quote here is free of charge. Try it and have fun!
Attached Images
File Type: png CantabileMain7_450.png (95.2 KB, 37 views)
...and keep on jamming... :p

Last edited by NotationUser; 10-21-2010 at 02:02 PM. Reason: typo correction / image added
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