How to change programs in Gig Performer if you can only send Note messages

How to change programs in Gig Performer if you can only send Note messages

We recently got a question from a user who wanted to be able to switch rackspaces and variations using a Novation Launchpad. However, that product only produces MIDI Note Events but Gig Performer expects Program Change MIDI events so what do you do?

Important note: Gig Performer 4 includes the System Actions block which makes switching rackspace variations or song parts with Note messages very easy. Make sure to check out this article (especially the Bonus section) for an example.  The following text applies to older versions of Gig Performer.

While such things can be accomplished by using Gig Performer’s programming language, GPScript, there are several free third-party applications that make this kind of thing really easy.

Examples of such programs are MidiPipe for the Mac (free but donations accepted) and the well-known MIDI-OX for Windows (free but donations accepted). These applications can receive MIDI events from external devices, transform them in various ways and then send out the transformed events.

So using MidiPipe, let’s give an example of how to receive NoteOn messages from the Novation LaunchPad and convert them into Program Change messages that will be received by Gig Performer.

Open MidiPipe – you’ll see a list of tools on the left and an empty pipe on the right.

SubtleSoft MidiPipe, MIDI Note Events vs Program Change MIDI, Gig Performer

Double-click on the Midi In tool – an instance of that tool will appear as the first item in the pipe

SubtleSoft MidiPipe, MIDI Note Events vs Program Change MIDI, Gig Performer, IAC driver

With the Midi In tool selected on the right, click on the MIDI Input dropdown to select the actual MIDI device from which events will be sent. I don’t have a LaunchPad so I just selected a different controller.

SubtleSoft MidiPipe, MIDI Note Events vs Program Change MIDI, Gig Performer, MIDI controller

Now, double-click on the Message Converter Tool and it will appear on the right directly underneath the Midi In tool

SubtleSoft MidiPipe, MIDI Note Events vs Program Change MIDI, Gig Performer, Message Converter

At this point, the Pipe on the right means that we are receiving all MIDI events from the specified controller and feeding those events into a Message Converter. To change Note On events into Program Change events, click the Note On button on the In panel and click the Program Change button on the Out panel

SubtleSoft MidiPipe, MIDI Note Events vs Program Change MIDI, Gig Performer, Note On, Program Change

(Unfortunately, the color of selected buttons is only slightly different from other buttons so it’s a little hard to see what’s selected)

Next, double click on a Midi Out tool to insert it into the pipe.

SubtleSoft MidiPipe, MIDI Note Events vs Program Change MIDI, Gig Performer, Insert MIDI out to pipe

You’re done!  Incoming NoteOn messages will be converted to Program Change messages (the actual note number WILL be the actual program change number) and assuming you’ve assigned program change numbers to your rackspace variations, you’re good to go.

Note: if you want to use an actual IAC port but you don’t see any virtual MIDI ports, you can quickly create one by opening Audio MIDI Setup on your Mac, press CMD-2 to show the MIDI studio, double-click on the IAC Driver icon and add an new virtual MIDI port.

MacOS, create IAC Driver


Related topics:
Basic Terminology in Gig Performer (User Manual)
CC and Note to PC (Community)
The most flexible MIDI processing (Blog)
Rackspaces vs Program Changes

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.