My live keyboard rig

My live keyboard rig

I (David) have often been asked to describe my live keyboard rig which I use with the three bands in which I play

.

Keyboards

. I have four keyboard controllers:

  • Studio Logic SL88 (88 notes weighted)
  • Roland A800 PRO (61-note light weight, three of)

All four use USB connections and are connected to a back panel of a small 19” rack (see second image below) and through there to one of several USB powered hubs. I use all four keyboards with Security Project and Beyond the Wall and I use the SL88 and one A800 Pro with Reelin’ In The Years

Pedalboard

The MIDI pedal controller is an RJM GT Mastermind into which are plugged in a sustain pedal and an expression pedal. The pedal controller is connected via USB to a powered hub. Gig Performer can send SysEx messages to the Mastermind automatically to change the button text labels as needed for each song part – that happens automatically when Gig Performer switches to specific songs. Other buttons on the pedalboard (and the sustain and expression pedals) control widgets in Gig Performer with the labels changing automatically so I can easily see which button to press for a particular option.

Rack

. The 19” rack contains

  • RME UFX audio interface:  I send 8 channels of audio to FOH, typically 3 stereo channels, a sub channel (for such things as Taurus bass type sounds) and a click track, which is only heard by other band members and only used when a song includes loops that can be turned on and off during the song thereby allowing the musicians to stay synced to the loops.
  • Wifi router: the laptop connects via an ethernet cable and the top two iPads connect to the laptop via wifi. Occasionally I will also have an iPhone connected to trigger various sounds remotely.
  • Eigenharp interface for when I use the Eigenharp, for example here and here.
  • Furman power conditioner

. iPads

The top iPad runs forScore for my sheet music and also selects the appropriate song in Gig Performer by sending a Program Change message to it when I select a song on the iPad. Two of the “drumpad” button on each Roland A800 are used to page the sheet music forward or backwards and one button on the pedalboard is also used to page forward.

The middle iPad is running Lemur with a template I developed specifically for Gig Performer and is used to give me remote bidirectional control of Gig Performer widgets (and therefore plugin parameters) as needed

The bottom iPad is used to let me manage my personal mix.

Laptop
.

  • Apple MacBook Pro (2018, Intel) with 16Gb RAM  (NB, the large monitor is used in my home studio but does not travel to gigs)
  • The laptop is (obviously) running Gig Performer. Among many other features, this gives me instant glitch-free switching, even in the middle of a beat and patch persist. Although rarely needed, I can run Ableton Live alongside using OSC messages to control it from Gig Performer, allowing me to do such things as trigger clips from Gig Performer widgets. Gig Performer also has built-in support for Ableton Link so tempo synchronization between the two programs is trivial. For more on this, see the recent live stream with one of our customers who uses Gig Performer and Live together quite extensively.
  • Many of the features in Gig Performer were driven directly by my experience touring with these bands. Other features come from interactions with other Gig Performer users on our community forums.

Plugins

While I obviously have a lot of plugins for testing purposes, the following are the main ones that I use with my bands

  • Acoustic piano – Pianoteq
  • Rhodes/Wurly – Lounge Lizard
  • Clav – Pianoteq (an optional add-on)
  • Mellotron – MTron-Pro
  • Hammond organ – Blue3
  • Basic subtractive synths – The Legend, Oddity, Repro-1/5
  • Marimba, Mallets, Vibes, etc – Chromaphone
  • Electric and acoustic guitars – various plugins from Musiclab
  • Audio harmonizer – Pitchometry
  • Effects – TH-U (Overloud)
  • EQ – EQuilibrium
  • Strings, choir, Horns etc – Kontakt

I also leverage many of the plugins from the Arturia Modeling Collection and from Native Instruments

The large computer screen does not travel with me!

David Jameson Gig Performer Setup

This is the back of my 19” rack that contains my audio interface, in-ear transmitter, wifi router, etc.

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On tour with The Security Project, May 2022

Reelin falcon 2020 david

Performing with Reelin’ in the Years

. Related topics:

Controlling the RJM GT Mastermind from Gig PerformerWhy we created Gig PerformerMy go-to plugin listDavid Jameson and Gig Performer in Action



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.

 

GP Script Enhancements


GP Script adds new language improvements such as multiple initialization sections, initialization with declarations and enhanced callbacks. The WidgetValueChanged callback now supports multiple widgets. Sysex messages are now built-in with numerous supporting functions. String array handling is much faster. Integer bit manipulation is now built-in. A new global GigScript allows incoming MIDI messages to be modified and redirected on the fly. It also allows you to define keyboard macros for your computer keyboard to control Gig Performer itself. For complete information, please review the GP Script Language Manual available through the Help menu.

 

Scriptlets


Scriptlets make creating custom MIDI processors easy. You don't have to be a programmer to use them - you can just download scriptlets from our ever-growing collection on our website and drop them right into your rackspaces to use them. Use scriptlets for simple operations such as turning your single notes into chords, modifying, duplicating or converting one kind of message into another, automatic chord latching (AutoSustain), threshold detection, sysex manipulation... imagination is the limit.

 

Other Improvements


  • System Actions plugin
  • MIDI Out to OSC converter
  • Comment plugin
  • New GUI dialog to define MIDI events to send on song part change
  • MIDI Out blocks can automatically send multiple MIDI events
  • Open/close a plugin editor from a widget
  • Choose default startup view
  • Quick find for plugin parameters
  • Large collection of startup hints
  • OSC Patchbay mode
  • Plugins now default to stereo I/O
  • Dragging presets into the wiring view will automatically create the required plugin
  • Numerous other minor (but nice) usability and workflow enhancements

Numerous other enhancements and optimizations serve to make Gig Performer 4 a superb platform for performing artists.

 

Songs and Setlists


You can organize your rackspaces into songs and your songs into setlists and then just select the setlist you need for a show. Then simply cycle down through the parts, or use your control surface or a MIDI Guitar pedal controller to select individual parts directly.

 

Predictive Loading


Predictive Loading™ is an advanced feature that reduces your RAM and CPU resources by only loading rackspaces (or songs) as needed.

 

 

The Global Rackspace


The Global Rackspace can receive audio from whatever rackspace is currently active. Instead of inserting effects in every rackspace, simply insert them once in the Global Rackspace and all your local rackspaces will have access to them. The Global Rackspace can also send audio to the currently active rackspace. So you can insert a looper that receives audio directly from your guitar (say) and then send the looped audio to different effects in different rackspaces. If a particular instrument such as a piano or organ is needed everywhere (or almost everywhere), put it in the Global Rackspace.

 

   

Zoomable Wiring View


Gig Performer 4 provides a virtual view allowing you to spread out your blocks and connections to make them easier to see and manage, even if you have a very small screen. You can zoom in or out and you can use the Auto-Fit option to position your blocks to fit in the available space.

 

 

What's new in Gig Performer 4.5


  1. Record what you play, complete with all effects - multiple channels of mono or stereo wave files
  2. The Follow Hardware feature lets widgets update automatically to match your controller values when you switch rackspaces
  3. Plugin blocks can now be easily dragged to insert them between other plugin blocks
  4. Widgets can be hidden when not in edit mode.
  5. Widgets support various CC relative modes
  6. The MIDI Thru option lets widgets respond to messages while allowing them to pass through to plugin blocks
  7. The Global MIDI Monitor now displays outgoing MIDI messages
  8. Audio options can now be exported and reimported to make it easier to support multiple audio configurations
  9. OSC now supports named targets
  10. Song Part OC assignments can now be globally changed and applied
  11. GP Script has a new Timeline callback, a MIDI connect/disconnect callback and many new system functions
  12. New parameters in the System Actions plugin now provides even more global control of Gig Performer

Click here to see the complete list of release notes for Gig Performer 4.5