When is it safe to update Gig Performer, plugins or my operating system?

When is it safe to update Gig Performer, plugins or my operating system?

It is safe to update Gig Performer, your plugins or your operating system (macOS or Windows) – unless:

  • you’re about to go on tour,
  • or are in the middle of one,
  • or otherwise expect to use Gig Performer in the very short term for a recording session (for example).

Here’s the thing — Gig Performer updates are tested thoroughly before they are released so problems with new releases of Gig Performer are very rare.

Gig Performer, Update Available, macOS

However, it could be that a plugin that used to work properly with an older version of Gig Performer doesn’t work with a newer version of Gig Performer simply because the plugin itself has a bug that only manifested itself with the newer version. In fact we see this sometimes during development and when we do, we contact the developer of the problematic plugin so that the problem can be resolved.

So as long as you have time to test the new Gig Performer update before you have to perform, you’re fine. If you do run into a problem, you can always revert back to the older version in the short term.

But if you’re about to go on tour, dealing with potential issues like this are not how you want to spend your time. Presumably your touring setup, including your existing version of Gig Performer, is working fine so leave everything alone and wait until your show or tour is over.

Personally, this author doesn’t install a new version of Gig Performer nor try to update any plugins within three weeks of an upcoming show nor update anything else. That way, if a problem is discovered, there’s time to deal with it without stressing out.

I would add that this rule applies to any updatesDon’t update your operating system if you’re close to or on tour. We have seen numerous reports where Gig Performer stopped working and discovered that a recent anti-virus update blocked Gig Performer or an update to a firewall prevented a plugin from “calling home”, thereby disabling it.

Even installing a new product that (you would think) has nothing in common with Gig Performer could cause an issue if it replaces some shared libraries. Device driver updates for hardware don’t always work and if you have a controller that you use with Gig Performer, the last thing you need is for it to stop working just as you leave for your show.

Forgetting to deactivate Gig Performer before an operating system update will sometimes cause you to lose an activation and if you have used three activations already, you will not be able to reactivate Gig Performer after such an operating system update.

Windows Update is famous for breaking stuff that worked fine before the update!

If you’re lucky, uninstalling Gig Performer, rebooting and then reinstalling Gig Performer will work.

This is philosophical on my part, it has nothing to do with Gig Performer itself but rather about simply not wanting to have to deal with any problem when you’re about to go onstage and you know that what’s there now definitely works.


Related topics:
 – Gig Performer licenses and activation policy
 – Control all your update mechanisms on Windows
 – Optimize Windows or macOS for your live performance

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.