Recording your Gig Performer performance with a DAW

Recording your Gig Performer performance with a DAW

Gig Performer is designed to be a very flexible audio plugin host to allow you not only to create your sounds but also to perform, in real time, on stage or in a studio. We’re not talking about playing 8 bars with one sound, stopping to switch sounds, and playing another 8 bars and so on. We’re talking about the ability to perform an entire song, with instant access to all the different sounds you need to play it without stopping.

If you’re a guitarist, you would typically do this using a collection of effects pedals that you could turn on or off on the fly (visit our Gig and Rackspace Files category to see many examples).

Guitar Virtual Pedals in Gig Performer

A typical track-based DAW is not designed to do this kind of thing and so the typical approach is to just record a “clean” guitar and insert all the effects afterwards. But let’s face it — it’s very hard to play with feeling if the sound you’re producing is a basic clean electric guitar when you really should be hearing amazing distorted power chords, or chorus/flanging along with echo as you perform. Even if you’re doing it for fun, you’re not feeling the “experience”, the energy, the excitement.

Our vision therefore is to treat Gig Performer as a very sophisticated replacement for all those pedals and (perhaps) amplifiers that you carry around that will allow you to design all the different sounds you need and then give you the ability to play complete songs, accessing all those different sounds instantly, even in the middle of a bar, without any glitching. With this philosophy, Gig Performer is your core tool to create and play the sounds you want and your DAW takes its rightful place as your recording/mixing/production system.

So what do you do if you want to record your performance into a DAW (for example)? Turns out there are quite a few ways to do this, depending on your needs and your platform. Note: As of Gig Performer 4.5, you can record inputs and outputs in mono or stereo with Gig Performer’s Recorder (watch this video to learn more). 

If you’re on a Mac, one great approach is to use the Blackhole virtual audio driver (free) with no additional latency, to route audio directly from Gig Performer to your DAW. Incidentally, you can do this bidirectionally if you want to use Gig Performer for audio effects processing where you send audio from your DAW into Gig Performer and then Gig Performer sends the processed audio back to your DAW.

If you are on Windows, then you can use Virtual Audio Cable (donation-ware) to do exactly the same thing. One caveat on Windows – if you want to use the same physical interface in both Gig Performer and your DAW, make sure your audio interface drivers allow more than one application to use it simultaneously (see more information in this article).

NB: please note that we cannot provide individual support to users on this topic – the information here is solely for guidance to show how it can be done. We encourage you to visit our support forums to ask specific questions.

For example, there is already an interesting discussion on our community forum on other ways to do this, including the use of patch cables (audio and optical).

By the way, if you are using MIDI to play instruments, you can easily use virtual MIDI ports (built-in on the Mac via IAC and freely available for Windows, e.g. LoopBe1) to drive Gig Performer from your MIDI tracks in your DAW.

Here are the steps for the Mac.

1) Here is Gig Performer with the guitar input coming through a Scarlett audio interface and the processed output going into the first two channels of Blackhole virtual driver

Gig Performer with the guitar input through a Scarlett 18i20 USB audio interface and the processed output going into the first two channels of Blackhole 16ch virtual driver

2) This is Logic Pro X. In the audio preferences, the input device is our virtual driver, BlackHole (red arrow) and the output device is our Scarlett audio interface (green arrow)

Logic Pro X, Preferences, Audio, Devices, Input Device, Output Device, Mac

3) Here is the main view of Logic Pro X. Remember that we sent audio from Gig Performer into the first two channels of the BlackHole virtual driver. So here (red arrow) we will record from the firs two channels of the BlackHole virtual driver.

We also turn on input monitoring (green arrow) so you can hear what you are playing in Gig Performer before you start recording.

Hit record and off you go! Take advantage of Gig Performer’s ability to instantly switch sounds to record what you’re actually playing at different times.

Logic Pro X, record


Related topics:
 – Recording Gig Performer in Reaper via the ReaRoute feature (Community)
 – Recording your guitar or vocals
 – How to record Gig Performer outputs via its record feature on Windows


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.