Gig Performer as an OSC controller

Gig Performer as an OSC controller

Gig Performer is an audio plugin host for live performance and session musicians, but you don’t have to use Gig Performer just for music!

Although Gig Performer’s primary purpose is as a plugin host (AU, VST3, VST host) for live performing musicians, due to its sophisticated OSC implementation and proprietary programming language, GPScript, Gig Performer can also be used as an OSC controller.

Widgets and OSC

Every widget (knobs, sliders, buttons, etc) can both respond to incoming OSC messages as well as send them out. For example, if I create a knob with the caption MyKnob and an OSC handle knob1, then turning that knob will send out OSC messages with the name of the knob and its current value.

Gig Performer Widget Sends OSC messages

Similarly, if an OSC message (e.g., /knob1/SetValue 0.5) is sent into Gig Performer, the widget will respond by setting its position at 5 on the dial (OSC values go from 0.0 to 1.0 with 0.5 representing a position half way)

But that’s only a small piece of the story.

Introducing GPScript

GPScript (don’t let the name fool you) is actually a proprietary compiler whose language is modeled after Pascal (to some extent) recognizing that that language was designed to make it easier for beginners to learn some programming skills.

GPScript comes with a lot of functionality to support Gig Performer but for now we will concentrate on its OSC features.

Sending out OSC messages

GPScript has a collection of functions for constructing arbitrary OSC messages and it’s easy to wrap these inside functions to facilitate their use.

Here is an example that just sends out a value.

GPScript musician programming language send OSC message

We have already seen an example where you can send a widget’s intrinsic value (between 0.0 and 1.0) as an OSC message but suppose your external system needs values between 0 and 100.

This is easily handled by GPScript by having it respond to widget values, scaling those values and then sending the results out as OSC messages. Let’s see an example.

Gig Performer Script Editor Send OSC message

There are several interesting aspects to this example

  1. We declare a variable with the same name as the OSC handle we defined earlier (first green arrow)
  2. We can now refer to that variable directly without the need to do any low level binding operations (second green arrow)
  3. We declare a callback (red arrow) that will be called automatically when the widget is moved.

It should be clear from the above that it is very easy to send out any kind of OSC message from Gig Performer. Incidentally, there is an extended version of the underlying OSC send mechanism that allows you to specify explicit IP addresses and ports if you don’t want to use the defaults defined by Gig Performer.

Responding to OSC messages

GPScript makes it easy to respond to incoming OSC messages as well. Consider the following:

GPScript responding to OSC messages

Here, instead of a callback that responds to a widget, we have a callback that responds when a message is received whose address matches /MultiplyByTwo followed by a floating point value. When such a message is received, using a new OSC address, we send back the value multiple by 2

Although you would normally be using a third party application, I used a command line program called oscchief to generate a suitable message.

Application OSChief generates OSC messages

Here, we are sending the value 12.5 as a floating point message into Gig Performer. The callback responds and sends the answer back.



This was a very simple example but it is sufficient to demonstrate how GPScript along with widgets could be used to build a very sophisticated OSC control application inside Gig Performer.


Related topics:
OSC Broadcast Mode
OSC messages in Gig Performer User Manual
How to control your guitar or keyboard effects from a Web browser
Use your mobile phone to control your guitar or keyboard effects

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.


Favorites and Presets

Create a sound by placing and interconnecting your desired plugins, such as a synth, some effects and perhaps a mixer. Select them all and then save the selection as a named favorite. The favorite will subsequently show up in all plugin insert menus, making it easy for you to recreate that configuration whenever you need it again. This feature is also very powerful for creating your needed sounds on your studio computer and then transferring them to your touring laptop.


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.


More Widgets

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.