Converting PDF files for use with Gig Performer ChordPro

Converting PDF files for use with Gig Performer ChordPro


The ChordPro/Lyric window in Gig Performer does not yet have built-in support for viewing PDF files. However, since it does support images, a workaround is to convert PDF files into image pages that can be used by our viewer. However, it is time consuming to manage manual conversion of a PDF file into image files as well as creating the ChordPro directives needed to make them usable.


There are several free (and indeed open source) command line utilities that can be used to convert PDF files into collections of image files. We decided to create a wrapper around one of these utilities to automate the creation of the required image files and to automatically create the ChordPro directive to insert into your ChordPro viewer. It is called PDFToGPChordPro.

We do have to note that PDFToGPChordPro comes with absolutely no warranties. It probably will not delete all your files nor damage anything on your computer but if you manage to mess something up, we cannot provide any support or accept any responsibility. Use it solely at your own risk.

Steps – Part 1 – Download and install the PDFToGPChordPro utility from the Gig Performer Website

Download PDFToGPChordPro Mac version or PDFToGPChordPro Windows as desired.

2. Open the compressed zip file and put the application anywhere you like. By convention, Mac user may prefer to put it in their Applications folder while Windows users may prefer to put it in their C:\Program Files\ directory.

3. Double-click (or otherwise open) the application. You should see a window that looks like this (obviously, the title bar will look slightly different if you are running on Windows):

Screenshot 5215

Now you’re ready to start converting your PDF files.

Steps – Part 2 – Creating your image files from your PDF

1. Drag a PDF into the application window.

2. Wait a while!

3. Eventually you’ll see the following message:

Screenshot 5217

4. Now open the Song Lyrics/Chords… window in Gig Performer:

Screenshot 4938

5. Click on the Edit tab:

Screenshot 4943

6. Now just paste the contents of the clipboard directly into this window (Cmd+V on Mac, Ctrl+V on Windows). Your Window will look like this (obviously, with different file names):

Screenshot 4949

7. Click on the View tab to see your sheet music:

Screenshot 4950

8. Remember to save the newly created ChordPro as usual.

Steps – Part 3 – Tweaking the results (optional)

If you look closely at the ChordPro directives that were generated, you’ll notice that before each image directive, there is a songpartname directive, with increasing numbers. The songpartname is new in Gig Performer 4 (another reason to upgrade, see what’s new!) and when you are switching from one song part to another, the lyrics view will scroll automatically so you see the sheet music associated with the particular song part. Unless you want to name your song parts 1,2,3… you will want to change the entries for each songpartname directive in the ChordPro text file to match whatever song part names you have used in your song.

You can of course add or insert other ChordPro directives as needed.


PDFToGPChordPro is a useful helper tool that will expedite your creation of ChordPro files if you are starting from PDFs.
As mentioned earlier, this tool is not officially supported but you are welcome to discuss it on our community forums.

Appendix- the XpdfReader

If you are interested, you can download the underlying PDF to Image conversion tool from the Xpdf website.


Related topics:
How to use ChordPro files in Gig Performer?

Scaling Curves

Scaling curves allow you to control the shape of the output of a widget or convert an incoming note velocity to a new velocity. Various predefined curves are available and they can be tweaked as necessary. You can also just draw your own curve as well to achieve the effect you require.


MIDI File Player Plugin

You can load up to 128 MIDI song files in a single plugin instance. Switch from one song to another, mute tracks and/or change their channel numbers. Tempo can be controlled by individual songs or you can use the global tempo and tap tempo to control the BPM interactively.


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Probabilistic Sound Designer

Parameters you select in an open plugin are captured into the Probabilistic Sound Designer dialog window. When you click Randomize, you're only adjusting those selected parameters. Each entry in the PSD dialog has a curve but unlike widgets where the curve controls scaling, in the PSD the curves are used to define the probability of particular values being selected. Make sure the filter cutoff never gets too slow so as to block all sound. Perhaps adjust the max range of the VCA attack parameter so that the sound doesn't have too much delay. Constrain the octave ranges of the oscillators, perhaps ensuring that 1/3rd of the time we select 8' and 2/3rds of the time we select 4'. The possibilities are endless.


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Numerous new widgets are included in Gig Performer - a new sustain pedal, plastic knobs, drum pads and more colored sliders. Shapes can be colored with different borders and fill colors and morphed from rectangular to circular. Your creativity is now the limit to creating fabulous front panels in Gig Performer.


MIDI Message Helper

Select MIDI devices by name. Choose the MIDI message type and adjust the appropriate parameters for the specific type



Layout management

Gig Performer supports arbitrary resizing. Layout your widgets the way you want - resize the main window and the widgets will grow or shrink as necessary to maintain the same interrelationships. No matter what size screen you have, your front panels will still be neat and usable.


Undo Support

If you move your widgets around and/or resize them, or even delete them by mistake, the Undo facility will correct your mistake. Minor moves to a widget by mistake will no longer spoil your design


Plugin Channel Count

Some plugins support a large number of outputs and they depend on the traditional channel strip to control how many ports should be available.   When you only need a stereo pair, it is convenient not to have a large horizontal block. In Gig Performer, the number of available ports  is controlled by the channel count override, which can be applied to individual plugins and will be remembered when the gigfile is reloaded or if the plugin is saved as a favorite.


Input muting and output fading

Rather than a single audio length tail, Gig Performer 4 gives you the ability to control input muting and output fading separately. Input muting controls how much time it takes for audio input to be silenced when you leave the rackspace. Output fading controls how much time will be taken for audio to fade out when you leave the rackspace.


Faster Plugin Finder

Instead of searching through menus of perhaps hundreds of plugins (you know who you are!), the Quick Plugin Finder makes it easy to find the plugin you need by simply typing partial strings. For example, as shown here, to find the Modartt Pianoteq 7 plugins, it's enough to type pia mod 7 (in any order, by the way)  to restrict the list of available plugins to those matching your query. The Quick Plugin Finder also knows about manufacturers, presets and favorites.



Touch Friendly Input

Any entry field can be changed by either dragging your mouse (or finger) up or down, or by using the large popup touchpad where you can just tap on the squares to enter a value. The large popup keypad also does validation so you can't enter an invalid value. You can also just tap the BPM field to pop up a larger view where you can quickly change tempo, tranpose, trigger Tap Tempo and enable Ableton Link, the last allowing you to synchronize Gig Performer with any other application that also supports Ableton Link.


New Tuner Display

The tuner view makes it easy for guitarists to quickly check and adjust their tuning. You can toggle into the tuner view from any other view and toggle right back as soon as you're done. All output will be silenced automatically while you're in tuning mode. You can adjust the concert reference pitch from its default of 440 Hz to suit your own needs. The tuner view fills the entire screen so you can easily see it from a distance.