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#549194 08/13/19 07:17 AM
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For years, I've been switching off between musescore and sibelius because they were the notation softwares that I had heard of. I'm starting to look into other options. I found one called Forte (https://www.fortenotation.com/en/) and plan on installing the free trial. Has anyone used this, and do you have recommendations? Or have any suggestions on other notation software?

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I've tried it. I think John Ford has also.

The only way you can know is to try the demo as you suggest. Everyone has preferences for how the software fits your workflow, and how intuitive it seems to you.


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Forte is okay,but don't use it much. I generally migrate back to Noteworthy Composer, as it fits best for my workflow, is familiar (I've used it since the 1990's), and for its speed of entry using a mix of keyboard/mouse input. Doesn't support plugins or instrument libraries, but once you learn the shortcuts, you can do quite a lot with it. I also like how it handles lyrics. And it's not too expensive. It had friendly user forum as well. And the programmer often responds directly to user requests. It even supports a programmable language that lets you automate tasks that it doesn't perform natively.


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jford #549314 08/14/19 01:23 AM
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Originally Posted By: jford
I generally migrate back to Noteworthy Composer, as it fits best for my workflow, is familiar (I've used it since the 1990's), and for its speed of entry using a mix of keyboard/mouse input.


Back in the day, this was one of my favorites ...


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Update: Forte is currently running a promo where you can get the full version for free. I tried the demo, but didn't play around with it much so I guess I'll use this as my way to try it out without worrying about money

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Originally Posted By: pianowillbebach
Update: Forte is currently running a promo where you can get the full version for free. I tried the demo, but didn't play around with it much so I guess I'll use this as my way to try it out without worrying about money


pianowillbebach, Please give more information. Which (Basic, Home or Premium) full version is free? What web site is advertising the sale and how long does the sales last?


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This?

FORTE FREE is a special gift from FORTE Notation just for you!
The free edition will give you limited access to the features of FORTE.
Try the FORTE FREE edition to see just how easy this notation program is!
For more software features, check out FORTE Basic or FORTE Home.
Click here to compare all four editions of FORTE.

FORTE Free is completely for free!

Download it now! https://www.fortenotation.com/en/products/writing-scores/forte-free/


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Whatever that was, the link does not work.


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DrDan #552037 08/30/19 04:08 PM
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I don't think he means the demo.

In pianowillbebach's first post he stated,
Quote:
I found one called Forte and plan on installing the free trial.
In a follow up post he stated,
Quote:
Forte is currently running a promo where you can get the full version for free. I tried the demo, but didn't play around with it much


That's why I was asking for more details. I don't read notation so it's a moot issue for me but I know many forum users do read and write notation so I thought answers might benefit some one.


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There are several levels of Forte, and to my knowledge none has ever been free. They did apparently offer a basic version for free in that link but that promo appears to be over?

EDIT: It’s back - see below.

Last edited by Matt Finley; 08/31/19 02:16 PM.

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The free offer is for Forte BASIC. I just saw it in my Facebook feed.

https://www.fortenotation.com/en/giveaway/


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Yes, I see it too. It's Forte 10 Basic for free, and it runs until September 8.

https://www.fortenotation.com/en/giveaway/


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I just noticed this thread. Wish I would have seen it before the expiry on Forte 10 Basic.

I've got a long history with this product. It used to be known as MidiSoft Studio. I bought a copy of it back in 2000 -- for about $60, as I recall. It was my first introduction into a notation-based sequencer, and to me it was the equivalent of discovering a word processor after writing longhand all my life. I took to it with a passion. I was running Studio on Win98 back in those days and it was kinda buggy. Between the inherent instability of Win98 and Studio's bugs, I learned to save my work early and often. This was the product I used to get my thoughts down into the computer for my first two albums. I used Cakewalk's Pro Audio 8 and later 9 to complete the projects. Back in those days, I had BiaB, and I used it for rhythm sections on a few tracks, but that was about the extent of its use.

I really liked Studio a lot, despite its bugs. But then MidiSoft went out of business, so there were no more bug fixes. Something like a couple years pass, and I notice Studio 6 is on the market, released by a new outfit that had bought the rights to it. Studio 6 was basically a bug fix of the earlier Studio, which was also v6, so sorta confusing. It worked pretty well, but by then I was running Win XP. XP broke Cakewalk's Pro Audio and Cakewalk never offered a fix. Instead they wanted everyone to upgrade to Sonar -- at a pretty steep price, as I recall. So I balked and it was years before I finally upgraded to Sonar. During this time, I was busy with a number of other projects and my musical output was just about nil, so Studio didn't get used much.

But this new outfit that had re-released Studio didn't last and the I'm seeing ads for Forte, and it sure looked like Studio to me. It was, in fact. The early version of Forte was scarcely different. Except this new German outfit was asking a lot for their product, so once again I balked. Even back then you could d/l a copy of Forte. But it was crippled. You couldn't save your work. I don't like this sort of crippling because you can't really get anything done. So I've always said "no thanks" to Forte, cuz I just didn't want to pay their inflated price. And then Forte started coming out with premium versions of Forte and these premium version were getting really expensive. So I've remained on the sideline, frustrated.

Why frustrated? Well, by Win7 or so, I found that I couldn't get Studio to run anymore. It would crash almost as soon as it would load. This was frustrating because I had dozens of files in Midisoft's *.mmm format, and I wasn't able to access any of them. And I couldn't do anything with them with Forte because it was crippled.

Until now. Forte Premium is being offered as the full program for a 14-day try out period. I doubt seriously I'm gonna buy it because it's too expensive, but I checked, and Forte still supports the old MidiSoft *.mmm format. I just d/l'd and installed it a little while ago, and I'm converting every single MidiSoft format file I can find to MIDI. So, I'm gonna get some mileage out of this product before it turns into a pumpkin.

Forte's interface is still very similar to Studio's. In a lot of ways, I feel like I've come home after a very long absence. Some of the menus and the general look of the console and staff views are all straight Studio -- but this version has a lot of additions. I've just touched the surface as to all it will do. It's definitely more full-featured than Studio, but you know -- I was able to get a lot done with that old product, so I'm wondering just how useful all this additional stuff is. I'll be sure to check it out pretty well before it expires, though.

So, here's my recommendation -- if you're into using musical notation to score out your music, this product is definitely worth considering. It's full-featured and easy to use. But the downside is the more full-featured versions are expensive, although those folks are starting to wise up. Forte Home is available for a reasonable $109. These days, I've been using Muse, which is free to download. I bought a copy of Notion a few years ago, and really didn't like it. But there are other products out there, like Sibelius (very expensive unless you're a student or educator), and Finale, which is a solid good product that's been around probably the longest. It can be picked up for as little as $99. I think a bit of test driving is in order. Each of these products has its own way of getting things done. Some may appeal to you and some may not. Me, I've always liked Studio -- well, Forte's interface, but a couple of the others are pretty good, too. Except Notion. Yuck.

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Michael, I think that's really a very low price comparatively, and the upper versions can cost many hundreds.

When you convert to MIDI you will have all the notes but you will lose markings, text, and chord symbols. Still, it's better than starting over.

If your trial version supports export to Music XML, try saving to that format as well. You are more likely to get more of your full score transferred into other notation software.


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Hey, Matt. Actually, I didn't use any of that stuff when I was writing the originals, so conversion to MIDI was all I needed, otherwise I would have converted to XML. I'm just so happy to finally have a way to get back my old files without having to pay through the nose to get them. These days I'm happy with Muse otherwise I'd seriously think about getting a copy of Forte Home. It's a comfortable interface for me.

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Very good. I assume you mean MuseScore. It's an amazing product given that it's free.


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Interestingly, Forte Premium (not sure about the other editions) includes Bandora, which gives you BIAB like MIDI accompaniment generation features. When I first launched it, I was surprised to find that it was actually the old Jammer Pro program (which hadn't been updated in what, over a decade or so) bolted on to Forte to create accompaniment parts in your notation program.

I've unfortunately been busy with so many other things that I haven't had a chance to see if the old Jammer Pro styles I had would work with Bandora. One of these days I'll test it, since I actually still have Jammer installed on my computer, but don't really use it (more just to play with it).


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It includes Bandora and one other add-on, whose name escapes me at the moment. Both are free and available separately, according to one review I read.

Yes, Matt, I meant MuseScore.

Last edited by cooltouch; 09/25/19 07:09 PM.
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The other program is the integrated ScanScore (ScanScore Pro is available as a separate purchase, although I think you get a better price on it if you have Forte Pro).


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Thought I'd add another thought.

I see that Bandora is now available as a stand-alone version (not just as the Forte Notation Premium integrated version).

There are three versions, Bandora Arranger ($39), Bandora Creator ($89), and Bandora Producer ($169). Producer isn't available yet. I did confirm with Forte Notation support (Forte and Bandora are the same company, but use two different web sites), that if you currently own Forte Premium, it comes with the integrated Bandora Creator, so there is an upgrade price to Producer when it ultimately comes out that will be the difference in price between Creator and Producer ($80).

I also confirmed from Forte that Bandora is in fact based on the old Jammer Pro. They don't guarantee that old Jammer Pro styles will work with it, but suggested that I give it a try (which I will do after setting up a sandbox environment to do so).

I do find that the Forte user interface is somewhat non-intuitive, but I admit I haven't spent a lot of time with it. I'll have to figure out some shortcuts and go deeper into the help system, and then re-assess. Noteworthy Composer and Notion are still my go-to's for notation, but I do have Finale 26. I have an older version of Sibelius 7, but never upgraded when they went to a subscription model. They claim version 7 is not fully compatible with Windows 10, although I have installed and loaded it and it seemed to work, so it just may be some esoteric features that don't work. I use Finale mainly to work with Finale files I receive from other people. I certainly could just use Music XML files, but when I can I find that native format generally works better.

I certainly don't need all those notation programs, but once bought, the upgrades are cheap enough, so I keep them up to date.


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