Bye bye guys, going to Mac world, thanks to all of you

I did it.
I got a chance to get a music job using a new MacBookPro, so I am testing a completely different environment, I just want to give you some personal opinions.
A friend of mine offered me a job to build an orchestral intro of a famous musical, a new theatre production will be ready next winter, hoping pandemic will be beaten. And it will be with live rock band, not including myself and himself.
He is playing in a successful rock band, I am not a pro and I must work every day, so we will not be on that stage. But he is producing and asked me to help him on orchestra scoring.
It must be done with LogicPro and MainStage (his requirement because owning a studio with this setup), he paid a new MacBookPro with M1 and asked me to fill it with my licenses of Kontakt.
At the end we will produce 5 minutes for that intro, and stop.
Now I am working on that, so I got a wonderful chance to test everything without spending money.
I am so satisfied that I decided after few days: I sold my gaming Windows notebook (i7 10th generation, that gave me so many problems in recent past), and I will go with Mac, this one I am using or a new one, depending on the owner decision.
This means that I will not be able to use C3 if my rock cover band will start to have gigs.
I am terribly sorry, but audio performance on Mac is giving to me so much satisfaction that I decided to cross the river.
Simply said: there’s nothing on Mac world that can be considered equivalent to Cantabile.
MainStage is awful: it tries to load every VST of your setlist in RAM, there is no optimization, also using every trick to save memory (use “alias”), you are forced to be careful on your resources.
Everything that I could do easily with Cantabile is a frustration on MainStage.
So my hint for @brad is: try to schedule a Mac porting.
There is no competition to C3, also there.
Only possible substitute (with limitations) is GigPerformer.
At least you can build a huge set of racks on a setlist and you got immediate switch without issues.
You have no background rack, you have limited event management, but you can drive setlist, song parts, VST, chords display, a good midi routing and a fast graphic environment to build your setup.

On audio performance of Mac, I can say I am truly impressed.
Core audio system is intrinsic to operating system, most of audio boards work immediately without driver, because using this Apple audio library.
This thing is intrinsically multi client: so you can route every audio output to this system, with no issues on glitching, delays, setup.
I connected my NI Kontrol audio 6 and started to produce immediately.
Inside audio programs like LogicPro or GigPerformer you can choose usual I/O buffer size in samples: more samples, longer buffer, more “safety” but longer latency.
Everything is perfectly deterministic: you choose your latency and play.
Until today I never had an issue.
Trying to push LogicPro to the limits (playing 150 tracks of a single loop of Diva, for example) you get an overload error, but it happens at a certain level of complexity and never below that level.
So you can easily manage complexity.
I am able now to produce projects in Reaper and LogicPro that were impossible with my i7 windows notebook. Something like songs with 30 tracks full of plugins, eq and comp on every track and extensive modulation.

Compatibility: with a full system loaded with plugins I had two issues

  • Air Xpand was not compatible with BigSur, but a new versions is out, I should check again.
  • Same as above with MassiveX, I will test again soon with an update just downloaded.

Full list of plugins by NativeInstruments, Arturia, KV331, IK Multimedia, CherryAudio, U-he, run without issues.
Yes: using Rosetta2 translation (plugins are not ARM compiled so you use a layer of translation from intel code), but you don’t see any issue. It works!

Real issues, money: a MacBookPro with 16 giga Ram and 2 tera SSD is 2800 € (!!!)
Truly expensive. But a similar windows notebook, from system builders experts in audio have same price.

So, I want to thank you all. Because you helped me a lot and gave me a lot of experience and know-how. I will check here and discuss until my license expires (September).
But I would be happy to pay another year if there are hopes of a porting.
I hope this is not a farewell: I really hope Brad will be able to complete his porting, I would be available to beta test.

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Little update.
Air published update of Xpand!, I checked and it works in BigSur.
Native instruments stated that MassiveX was designed with special Intel extensions, so an M1 version must be re-designed and it won’t be fast

Buon Viaggio Furio! Hope you enjoy your new work and Apple environment

For me, Cantabile and Windows still do the job. I started out in 1982 on MS-DOS v1.x (or was it DOS 3?) (I still use the black command prompt screens sometimes…). But Cantabile is an important reason to stay.

If your PC works reasonably well with audio, Cantabile is an extremely good reason to stay there.
This is why I really hope Brad will complete a porting to MacOS…

The old girlfriend doesn’t seem so bad the longer you are with the new one.

Same here for the past 7 years with no issues with instability. So switching is irrelevant to me other than to have fun with another platform/program.

I am interested to see how the M1 pans out. That is tempting, for sure! I may take the Mac plunge just for fun and learning/refreshing using Logic Pro. I love Mac multi-client audio and BLE handling. Stellar. I use my iPad for my Cantabile alternative using the app AUM. It works just like C3, but AUv3 instruments are not as abundant, so I end up only using B3-X and NeoSoul Keys 2.0.

ProTools is my favorite for production. I also own and use Cubase Pro 11, Ableton 11, Studio One 4 Pro (I haven’t upgraded yet). I have used Logic since the '90’s, but no use in the past 10 years. I intensely dislike Reaper after using it from 2007 to 2009. If I go back to using methamphetamine, I may go back to tweaking on it all night for hours and hours. I hear that it is much better, now (the meth, that is).

I think branching out is a great thing, just keep the old girlfriend’s number on hand for other dates. Call her once in a while.

We don’t use the girl metaphor in Italy.
We mention horses: keep your boots on two couple of stirrups.
After some weeks I find M1 performance astonishing and LogicPro extremely interesting. Reaper is less equipped but I could do 100% of my requirements.
LogicPro has a huge set of included plugins which are top class (comp, eq, delays).
Mixer routing and GUI are very easy to be used so I am turning every unfinished old project in this DAW because it is for me fun and with good results.
I am already missing Cantabile.
Today GigPerformer 4 was announced and…
They added a “concert level rack”, something that I was missing after 2 years of C3

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The horse metaphor works for me! So you are not seeing any compatibility issues with the M1?

I am not familiar with GigPerformner. I will have to look it up.

It is a much lesser Cantabile. Way much lesser.


I tried GigPerformer out when there was an offer from PluginAlliance last year.
It’s laying around on my studio computer since then.

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I used Gig Performer for almost a year before discovering Cantabile. No comparison and no looking back.

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I confirm what I already wrote.
No compatibility issues with M1 and BigSur. Only MassiveX is currently missing from my huge VST collection.
Rosetta2 works incredibly well. You forget immediately it is there.
Again, Cantabile is currently miles better than GigPerformer.
But since Cantabile is not available on Mac, I made a fast check with Mainstage and Camelot Pro.
GigPerformer is the only Mac tool that I could use to setup a songlist of 60 songs with many presets. It works.
In a different way, of course…