Frequently Asked Questions

What is Gig Performer?

Gig Performer® is an audio plugin host application to allow you to use your Windows PC or Mac along with an audio interface for live music performance. Whether you’re part of a band or a solo artist you can use Gig Performer® to manage all the sounds and/or effects processing you need when you’re on stage.

Is Gig Performer free?

Gig Performer® provides a free 14 day trial. In trial mode, Gig Performer® will be fully functional for 14 days except for occasional deliberate audio drop-outs
during which moments the screen will briefly flash red.
To remove these drop-outs, please purchase the full version. Download Gig Performer here.

On what platforms does Gig Performer run?

Gig Performer® is designed to run on both Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows so the user can work in whichever environment is most familiar and comfortable.

Why we created Gig Performer?

Here is a blog article explaining why and how Gig Performer® came about: Why we created Gig Performer.

What types of audio plugins does Gig Performer support?

Gig Performer® supports VST and VST3 plugins (Windows) and VST, VST3 and AU plugins (Mac).

Does Gig Performer come with any audio plugins?

Gig Performer comes with some internal plugins for managing MIDI Input, MIDI Output, an audio file player and some basic mixing plugins. However, it does not include any synths or effects audio plugins. There are already a tremendous number of high-quality commercial and free audio plugins available, and most users already have audio plugins with which they like to work. We saw no reason to reinvent the wheel and instead we have focused on making Gig Performer be the best live performance audio plugin host possible.

Where can I find audio plugins if I don’t already have my own collection?

A quick internet search will turn up numerous sites on which you can find and download many free VST and AU (Mac only) synth and effect plugins. See this blog article to get started: Top websites for free audio plugins and how to use them in Gig Performer®.

How does licensing work?

As of version 3.6, Gig Performer® can be activated simultaneously on up to three computers with the same operating system. So buying a Mac license lets you run Gig Performer® on three Macs simultaneously and buying a Windows license lets you run Gig Performer® on three Windows PCs simultaneously. This gives you the ability to use Gig Performer on a machine in studio to create your gigs and allows you to carry two laptops with you on tours, one for backup in case of emergencies.

We also offer a bundle consisting of both a Mac and Windows license, which of course lets you run Gig Performer® on up to three Mac and up to three PCs.

If you need to run Gig Performer® on a fourth machine, you can deactivate your license on one of your other machines and then reactivate it on the fourth machine.

Can I use the same gig file on both a Mac and a Windows PC?

Sure – our “gig” files can be opened on either platform and as long as compatible audio plugins exist on both platforms, you will be able to use, edit, save and transfer gigs between the two platforms.

This mechanism also works even if not all audio plugins are present on one of the systems. Gig Performer has a built in “Chameleon” plugin that will “pretend” to be the missing audio plugin, obviously not producing any sound, but will turn into a real audio plugin on a system where the audio plugin does exist. This allows you to edit gig files even when some audio plugins are missing, although of course you cannot edit the missing audio plugins.

What is a Rack Space?

A Rack Space is a container for a collection of audio plugins (in the back) wired together any way you like along with a collection of panels (in the front) to control those audio plugin parameters in real time using widgets (knobs, sliders, buttons and so forth). A single rack space could represent all the elements you need for a song or just parts of a song. You can switch from one rack space to another instantaneously with no interruption in sound, allowing seamless transitions from one part of a song to another, even in the middle of a bar.

What is a Variation?

Variations allow you to instantly change the front panel settings of a rackspace. For example, if you have a single rack containing a collection of audio plugin effects such as phaser, flanger, chorus and echo, then different variations would allow you to instantly change multiple parameters so you can switch from just phaser to phaser+flanger+chorus or change the phaser rate, flanger depth and chorus width in one go, rather than having to press multiple pedals and/or adjust multiple dials. Many songs use the same audio plugins connected together in the same way but with slightly different parameters so variations allow you to reuse the same plugins without needing more memory to hold them.

What is a Panel?

A Panel is a container for “Macros” or “Smart Control” in other products, but a Panel in Gig Performer® is far more flexible. It essentially enables you to bundle a collection of smart controls in individual panels of a rack space.

What about songs and setlists?

You can organize rackspaces and variations into songs suitable for use in a session or show. Each song consists of one or more song parts and each song part refers to a specific rackspace/variation combination. Widgets values in rackspaces can be temporarily overridden by song parts. In this way, you can easily reuse your rackspaces for different songs and/or song parts, each one appropriately tweaked as required.

What is the Rig Manager?

The Rig Manager is used to manage a separation of your hardware (keyboards, MIDI controllers, MIDI pedal boards etc) and your rackspace design. This allows you to quickly replace one physical device with another, for example, when you are on tour and your keyboards are backlined. Instead of having to learn how to program or configure keyboards or controllers with which you are not familiar, you can train Gig Performer very quickly to recognize what MIDI events they generate to allow you to use different “rigs” at different shows.

Read more about the Rig Manager here.

Is the latency better than common DAWs like Reaper and Ableton? Is there a way to measure that?


With apologies, this question, although asked often, is somewhat meaningless.

The latency of any system is a function of the latency of the audio interface plus the latency implied by the sample buffer size divided by the sample rate specified in the application (see table below). So if you set the sample rate of ANY application to 44,100Hz (say) and the buffer size to 128 (say), that application will add 2.90 ms latency.

It doesn’t matter whether one is running a toy computer or the fastest supercomputer in the world!

Perhaps a better question to ask is, “Can I get up on stage, perform in real-time and do a 3 hour show, switching from one set of sounds to another on the fly, turning on/off or adjusting effects instantly and not get stressed out?”

THAT (among MANY other things) is what Gig Performer brings to the table.

Gig Performer does have a tool to let you measure the actual (as opposed to the reported) latency of your audio interface.

I know people are very interested in such things but I worry that focusing on such things just gets in the way of actually playing. Wearing my musician’s hat, my own position is, if I can play and not notice any delay or softness, that’s all that matters.

What is the minimum Windows requirement insofar as the processor speed is concerned?


No definitive answer to that one. Any modern machine running Windows 7 or newer should be fine but certain plugins may have more stringent requirements. If you use a lot of sample-based plugins, it helps to have more RAM but 8Gb would be a reasonable minimum. View this blog article to see how Gig Performer® runs on a very old laptop.

Can I use my tablet or mobile phone to control my audio plugin effects in Gig Performer?


Of course you can! Gig Performer® has a full OSC implementation, so you can use popular Android or iOS applications such as Lemur, TouchOSC or Oscar to control your effects from your tablet or smartphone. You can even control your effects from a Web browser.

Can I use Gig Performer to troubleshoot issues with my audio plugins if I use the other audio plugin host?


Yes you can! Download a free trial of Gig Performer, recreate your audio plugin setup and follow these easy steps from this blog article to find out which audio plugin causes problems.

What well-known musicians use Gig Performer?


There are many well-known musicians that use Gig Performer. See some of them in this blog article.