Best Way to Migrate from Forte To Cantabile

Hi There,
I’m using Brainspawn forte for years and would like to migrate my forte Rack with 30 plugins to Cantabile.
I’ve read threads, but not sure how to do this in the best way.
My Hardware Setup:

  • ThinkPad W530
  • Two Keyboards
  • RME Babyface

I’m a litte confused, because there are so much options like Racks, Embedded Racks, Routings, Background Racksm Bindings…
For what does it make sense to use racks? I’m able to use all my 30 Plugins and mediaplayers with out racks!?

Best regards

I made this migration over the last year. Getting the workflow differences from Forte to Can3 was a difficult concept. The thing that makes it hard is they use the same words to mean different things. A Forte Rack is like a Can3 Song. A Can3 Rack is like an Instrument in Forte. The Racks in Can3 are completely contained instruments or groups of instruments that produce a certain sound. Here’s the way I’ve chosen to work with Can3:

I’ve got 6 main racks, 1.Pianos, 2.Pads, 3.Strings/Orchestra(organic instruments–mostly Kontakt sample-based), 4.Organs (mostly B4), 5.Synths, a 6) Final Mix/Effects. I went through and created the major sounds I use in each rack as Rack States. Every song starts with each of the 6 Racks.

I built a set of templates with these racks and generic routes. I have 12 standard generic routes in each template. I assume there will be a keyboard split at MIDI note 75, so the routes look like this:

Piano Low (0-75)
Piano Hi (76-127)
Pad Low (0-75)
Pad Hi (76-127)

Synth Low (0-75)
Synth Hi (76-127)

When I go to set up a song, I use Song States and go by sections of the song (verse/chorus, etc.). First, I select the rack sounds I need using Rack States. You don’t have to edit the Racks, just select the sounds from the pull down menu to select the Rack State. Then, I turn off the routes I don’t need. (Eventually, I delete them out of the song, but for starters I just turn them off). Then I set up Triggers for volume settings (again by Song State) and add the song to the Song List. For example, a basic Piano/Organ split I turn off everything by Piano Low and Organ Hi. For Organ/Synth, I turn off everything but Organ Low and Synth Hi. Sometimes with Organ Low, I set it to transpose up 1 8va. For something more complex, for example Piano w/Pad/Organ w/Synth I leave on Piano Low and Pad Low; then leave on Organ High and Synth Hi. Everything else is off. If I have just piano, I turn off everything but Piano Low and Piano Hi. Within one song each Song State will have variations of the same. For example, Verse will will have Piano only with Piano Low and Piano Hi; Verse 2 will add Strings Low; Verse 3 will have Piano-String Low and Synth Hi for a solo. Then back to Piano Low Piano Hi only for the outro.

The final max rack doesn’t get changed a lot. It has EQ, compressor, and some output routing for PA, monitor, and subs. It’s more dependent on the venue than the song.

This is simplified, but it is an outline of the workflow. There are usually controls/bindings to deal with, but it’s the basics. Sometimes I have to stop and create a new sound by editing a rack; it becomes a new Rack State. Additionally, I have a couple of racks that aren’t in every song. For example, some SampleTank sound or sound group like a horn section. That rack may not be in every song, but Can3 will pre-load it (if you have pre-load set list turned on in the Tools Menu) so everything doesn’t stop while samples load.

This is a starting place. If you can figure out what I’ve said, you are well on the way!


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Hi Richard,
thank you! :slightly_smiling:
How can i make split zones from a MidiIn ch. 1 to ch 1…16 like in brainspawn forte?

Just saw your message Wurlitzer. Did you figure this out? In C3, you can use Routes to assign different zones and channels. You can also setup custom ports with filters and channels built-in.

With Forte, I used Bome MT for splits/layers. I had a rather complicated (but working) set of routines to let me change splits and layers in real time. I’m trying to decide whether to re-implement this in Cantabile. Right now, I’m not using MT with Cantabile; it has much richer routing abilities than Forte. Only neither has user variables which I would require for the real time management of splits and layers. The biggest thing I lack is a simple way to go from a single keyboard setup for practice to a dual KB setup for live. I’m still considering options for that. I’m sure MT would do the job (and I already own it), but I want to avoid overly-complex setups. It may work with C3 to use differently configured Background rack and ports.

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Can’t you use the Alias function to swap, in one hit, all the routes which are coming from ONE source into a setup which has TWO sources?

I’ve never used Alias for anything like this. You may be over thinking this. If you want to layer, you just create multiple routes in a Song:

Main Keyboard -> Omni -> Piano Rack
Main Keyboard -> Omni -> String Rack
Main Keyboard -> Omni -> Synth Pads

Within each of the above routes, you can filter by channel. Instead of Omni, you can say From Ch 1 to Ch 3 (for example).

I’m away from my setup or I could send you screen shots. With each route, you can filter by keyboard maps, channel, velocity, etc.

I have my racks set up like this: **Piano (**Kontact New York listening on CH 1, and on channel 2 a Kontakt bank of various Uprights, Rhodes, Wurlitzer, Clav, Harp, etc). Also in the Piano rack, I have Lounge Lizard for other E.Piano sounds. There are Rack States that use Routes and filters within the rack to send to combinations of Kontakt sounds and LL sounds. For example, there are Rack States named Piano+Rhodes, Wurlitzer, Clav, Upright, etc.–maybe 10 or 12 Rack States. Then (for example) I have a Pads Rack with FM8, another instance of Knotakt with a bank of classic synth pads, and Korg M1. The Rack states for this rack are AiryPad, Accordion, SynthBrass, etc. Then I have Orchestra rack, Organ rack, etc. Each has 10 to 12 sounds that I use a lot. When I converted from Forte, I didn’t try to be exhaustive, i.e. I didn’t try to create every possible known sound. As I need a new sound, I will create it.

Once all of these racks were created, each with 10 so sounds, I created 5 “Template” songs. They were: Piano/Organ Split, Piano/Strings layer, Horn Section, Full Orchestra, etc. I made routes that were splits and/or layers as required for the 5 templates.

Next I used the 5 templates to create a number of songs. I probably had to go back and create a few more templates once I had a song that required something I hadn’t created (e.g. Pipe Organ/Orchestra Layer).Creating the song involved adding the racks I needed then creating routes that implemented the splits or layers as needed. After that, there are a few fiddly things that are required to get the volume and patches as required. For the most part, SONG States take care of remembering those settings. Every song I create has at least one Song state. For example, for my Church gig, almost every hymn has 4 sections. Typically 1 is Piano or Piano/Rhodes layer only; 2 keeps Piano and adds strings; 3 builds on strings and maybe adds brass; 4 is the big finish and I add B4 or Pipe Organ. So each time we reach the end of a section, I press the “Next Song State” button (implemented with a Cantabile BINDING) and Cantabile changes all the patches and volumes–just like Forte sub-sections.

Once a had a few templates and songs assembled, it was fairly simple to take one of the templates and modify it for a new song. Once I got the hang of the workflow, it’s much faster than Forte. But like Forte, once a song is done, I can go right back to it. As long as I haven’t changed the rack states the song uses, it is identical.

Hope this helps. If not maybe I can do a better job when I can get some screen shots for you to see.


Yes, that looks like a sensible approach -but I was wondering how you deal with the rehearsal situation which, I’m guessing, requires you to plumb your one keyboard into destinations which would normally be addressed by two keyboards.
So, that means you’re sending your rehearsal keyboard to places which you’ll need to unroute when playing live.
That requires intervention.
Am I missing something here?
Is the purpose of the rehearsal setup to audition all the components of your live setup via just one keyboard?

So far, my migration from Forte to Cantabile has been one-for-one functionality. For the church gig, even with Forte I used a Kurzweil the church owned and plugged my rig in via MIDI. I’ve been able to work with that one keyboard and splits. I always envisioned that, if I needed 2 keyboards, I would use Bome with Forte. The band in Austin I just joined will, in all likelihood, will require 2 keyboards. For one, I want to have one of my Kurzweils for computer backup during a live show. If I need to reboot (haven’t had that problem at all with Cantabile–have several times with Forte) at least I have basic sounds.

I have 2 ideas I’ve been turning over in my mind to implement 2 keyboards for live and 1 for practice/small gigs. One would be back to Bome MT outside of Cantabile. But Cantabile has such rich routing features, I probably don’t need it. The one thing MT would bring is the ability to move splits and layers around during live playing. (Cool, but don’t know if I really need it.) I have a number of MT scripts that implement that.

The other idea is to have two input ports at all times using Cantabile’s Options -> MIDI ports. For example, with a single keyboard the device would be routed to both Main-Keyboard and Main-Keyboard-2 ports. The incoming single keyboard device port would be routed via Options->MIDI ports to both Main-Keyboard and Main-Keyboard-2. Main-Keyboard would be filtered to MIDI notes 0 through ~75 and Main-Keyboard-2 would be 76 and up. I would use these Cantabile routes in songs to implement splits. (Don’t know if I would want to implement the filters at the port level, the song level, or a specialized routing rack–still thinking about it.)

Main-Keyboard -> Omni -> Piano Rack
Main-Keyboard-2 -> Omni -> Organ Rack

So the lower part of the single keyboard would have Piano/Rhodes/Wurlitzer and the top would have B4 or one of the Korg patches.

If no split is required (for example, full piano keyboard):
Main-Keyboard -> Omni -> Piano Rack
Main-Keyboard-2 -> Omni -> Piano Rack

For two keyboards, one would be routed to Main-Keyboard (MIDI notes 0-127) and the second to Main-Keyboard-2 (all MIDI notes). Without changing the routing in each song, one keyboard is Piano, the other is Organ.

Make sense? If you have other ideas, I’d love to discuss.