Do you know of any software that runs in the background of the computer and allows me to play tunes with my midi keyboard (keystation 88es)? I have noticed the steps required for me to open a program discourages me from just jamming, so I'm looking for something light that starts on windows startup and just allow me to hear the tones I play.
I use a tool called Cantabile Lite ( http://www.cantabilesoftware.com/lite/ ). This tool starts fast and allows you to prepare a project with a certain set of vst's and inputs. I have several desktop links that launches a 'jam' profiles. I have a 'jam lead guitar', 'jam piano', 'jam clean guitar' and 'jam all' profile. All profiles have a drum vst included to just have a beat to jam on.
Basically it is a simple daw but really easy to use. Before cantabile lite I used Steinberg V-Stack which is somewhat similar in the goals it provides.