I perform live as a one-man-band (OMB) utilizing a fully software based system. This system must be effective, efficient, reliable and affordable to provide outstanding musical entertainment. This system must be competitive with alternatives such as arranger keyboards or other software/hardware based solutions. forte Ensemble does just that in spades and at a very affordable price. Their web site is:

http://www.brainspawn.com/products/forte/

You see my goal over the last year or so has been to put together a viable software based arranger system for live performances. forte was the missing link and in my view it has just arrived!!! forte now differentiates itself from other hosts - Audio In, Powerful midi implementations, Scenes, host DX & VST instruments & effects, etc. Plus it is an elegant single software based system - turn on the computer and start playing in 30 to 60 secs. It is easy to use, i.e., patches, styles, and setups are easy to change during live performances with the powerful Midi and Scene implementation. These changes can be made from your midi controller or computer keyboard (program & control changes, hot keys, etc.). In future, I may even switch to a touch screen to further enhance my control surface. Keep in mind that in an OMB situation, your mouth, arms, fingers and feet are all busy doing something. The demands are considerable compared to studio work or playing a keyboard as one member of a band. There is absolutely no doubt that forte Ensemble is very good musical partner and is up to the task.

My system consists of:

Hardware:

Computer Pentium 4, 1GB RAM, 2GHz
Soundcards VSL2020, Audigy
Roland A37 keyboard, PK5 Midi Bass Pedals

Software:

Hosting it all BrainSpawn\'s forte Ensemble

Auto Accompaniment: Live-Styler, sYnerGiGS Wavetable, LiveSynth Pro
Melody/Lead: Kontakt, B4
Vocal Harmonizer: DecaBuddy
Effects: UlraFunk Sonitus Reverb, Chorus & Equalizer

I use very high quality melody/lead instruments, e.g., Bardstown\'s 2.5GB Bosendorfer Piano, Scarbee Rhodes Piano, VRSound Saxes & Pipe Organ, Dan Dean Woodwinds, Garritan Strings and so on.

Wow is this good for live performances!!!! It just doesn\'t get any better!!!! I am eternally grateful to all the software and sound developers who made building such a system as this possible.

I thought some of you may find this information interesting or useful.

I have no business connections with Brainspawn ----- just a happy Customer!!!

Frank L. Rosenthal
flr@mts.net