The keyboards and vocals bands cover popular songs of the last 40 years at weddings, parties, and local clubs. Electric piano, polysynth, organ… all of the classic keyboard sounds are needed, plus sampled instruments and even a few modern synthesizers. But the old days of lugging around a pile of keyboards and taking an hour and a half to setup, cable, and troubleshoot them all are long gone.
Fortunately, all of those sounds are now easily available as virtual instruments and deployable to Gig Performer, a modern audio plugin host for live performance. All a keyboards and vocals duo needs is an easy way to have the sounds available, call each one up when it’s needed, and apply controls like level, pitch bend, and modulation to each in turn.
That, of course, is where Gig Performer comes in. Gig Performer gives the keyboards and vocals musicians a powerful, intuitive platform for hosting all of the amazing AU, VST3 and VST plugins they purchased for their music.
Back in prehistory, people that wanted the sounds of all of the classic keyboards could have them only by hauling around all of the classic keyboards. And setting them up. And connecting a spaghetti of cabling for them. All of which was even more annoying after the gig was done and you were tired.
Contrast that with using Gig Performer: you carry your laptop, a small audio and MIDI interface (or a large one, if that’s what you need), and a keyboard controller. Maybe a foot controller, too, if you’re feeling it. That’s it. Seems a little like cheating, but you’ll find it easy to live with that.
Gig Performer can manage all of the audio plugins that supply the sounds you need in your live performance. The duo can have a vast array of sounds just a button punch away. And that’s not to mention the ability to run the finest in vocal processing: virtual mic preamps, compressors, EQs, effects.
Without a truck. Without a road crew. Without hours of setup and messy miles of cabling.
Every Gig Performer “rackspace” is a world unto itself, containing its own collection of third-party virtual instruments and processors, routed and mixed to exactly fit your songs. Make a different rackspace for every song, or build a library of template rackspaces you can customize as needed. Whatever workflow is best for you.
Make a Setlist in Gig Performer for each performance you do. Each song in the setlist recalls a different rackspace, and every part of each song can recall a different preset variation of that rackspace. From Intro to Verse to Chorus to Bridge, Gig Performer Setlists let you play exactly the selection of instruments you need at any moment, configured specifically for that part of that song.
Just having access to sounds is not enough. You need to be able to play them easily and expressively. Gig Performer makes it fast and easy to set up keyboard splits, layers, velocity switches, and more to give you the ability to cover all the parts played by a half dozen studio musicians all on your own, in live performance.
Effortlessly Switch Controllers From Your Studio to the Gig… Or Even to a Shared Backline
You do most of your programming, setup, and practicing at home, but take a different controller to performances. And sometimes you get to the gig and find you’re expected to use someone else’s keyboard. No problem. In just a few minutes, Gig Performer’s Rig Manager puts all of the carefully programmed controls for your rackspaces under the real-time control of whatever keyboard, pitch bend, mod wheel, or other controller is in front of you. Select a control in Gig Performer, move the physical control you want linked to it, and move on to the next.
It’s always like you never left home.
Hammond B3: Salli
ARP Odyssey: Slugworth at English Wikipedia
Keyboard duo: Samuel Fyfe on Unsplash
Laptop computer: Leon Seibert on Unsplash
Violin section: Larisa Birta on Unsplash
Orchestra: MITO SettembreMusica
thunderstorm: Nikolas Noonan on Unsplash
lightning: Max LaRochelle on Unsplash
bass guitar: Kari Shea on Unsplash
Drums: Gabriel Barletta on Unsplash
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.