If you are outraged by the prices software giants demand for their tools, it's time to check out shareware. Small independent developers often provide similar solutions that cost three to five times less AND you get to try them before paying.
John's First Pick - MIDI Maestro
MIDI Maestro is music software designed for use by amateur and professional music directors, conductors, and soloists in live musical theater and similar musical accompaniment situations. Dynamic, intuitive performance control and powerful sequencing and editing capabilities combine to make MIDI Maestro the only music software you will need for your production.
These are the views and the layout used most often during a live performance. It's always easy to see what's coming up: tempos, cues, instrument changes, etc. The current position indicator remains in the center of the display. Tracks may be color-coded.
Most views may be zoomed both horizontally and vertically. You may choose to open and work with individual files, or "sets" of songs as used for a performance. The current beat number is always prominently displayed. The current measure number is also emphasized. A "bouncing ball" metronome may be used to assist you with conducting in slow or tempo-dynamic passages. A "tempo ratio" control allows you to make real-time adjustments to the tempo during performance. All commands critical during a performance may be mapped to your MIDI keyboard. Cues are color-coded and easy to read. Cue icons remain visible at all times in most views, even as views are scrolled or resized.
The staff view organizes music into standard notation. Printing is also supported. There're also lead-sheet, karaoke, piano roll, event list, and controller views.
MIDI Maestro may also be used as a virtual "Karaoke machine" complete with bouncing ball or highlighted text. Waveform audio clips may be combined with your MIDI tracks. MIDI Maestro also includes some very powerful waveform audio editing and visualization features. Other features include high-quality MIDI/Audio synchronization and support for VSTi software synthesizers.
Additional Information: http://www.deprice.com/midimaestromm4.htm
John Deprice owns and operates a large music software archive http://www.deprice.com/audio.htm