The Magic of the Shift key

The Magic of the Shift key

In this article we will learn about various features in Gig Performer that are available using the Shift key.

In many places, when you hold down the Shift key while performing some action, Gig Performer will behave slightly differently in response to that action. That is the reason why we titled this article – The Magic of the Shift key.

Improve your workflow using the Shift key in Gig Performer

We have compiled many tips and tricks that may improve your workflow and efficiency with Gig Performer.

Let’s get started!

Temporary Startup Options

The first tip is related to Gig Performer’s startup. Namely, if you hold the Shift key down while starting Gig Performer and keep it down until you see Gig Performer start up, you will invoke the Temporary Startup Options dialog:

Temporary Startup Options in Gig Performer 4

Learn more about the features in this dialog in this dedicated blog article.

The Shift key in the Wiring view

First off, you can add individual plugin blocks to the current selection by holding down the Shift key while clicking on the desired block. Similarly, clicking on an already selected block will deselect it.

Probably the most mentioned workflow tip using the Shift key on our YouTube channel (subscribe if you haven’t already! 🙂 ) is creating a stereo connection quickly. To make a quick stereo connection, you can either hold the Shift key down and drag a wire from an output port of one plugin to the input port of another plugin or hold the Shift key down while dragging a plugin until its output pins touch the input pins of another plugin, then release (unclick) the mouse. If there is already a connection, this operation will cause it to be removed instead (additionally, see this YouTube video).

As of Gig Performer 4.5, plugin blocks can simply be inserted into or removed from an Audio/MIDI path automatically by holding down the Shift key while dragging the block over the connection wires.

Insert a block into the existing path in Gig Performer

Simply hold down Shift, click on the desired plugin block (A), then drag it onto connection wires until they light up (B), and then release the click (C). You can see that the block is inserted into the path.

You can extract a block from between two other blocks by holding down Shift and then dragging the block away.

Another workflow tip that will be particularly appreciated by FoH engineers is duplicating a plugin with inputs. If you right click on a plugin while holding the Shift key in the Wiring view, you’ll notice the Duplicate with inputs menu item. Clicking on this menu item will preserve the original input connections in the new duplicate. For example, if you duplicate with inputs the Gain and Balance plugin block in (A), then the duplicate will preserve the connections, as indicated with (B):

Duplicate a plugin (VST, VST3, AudioUnit) with inputs in Gig Performer, audio plugin host

You can then add different effects after each gain control, thereby efficiently creating a multi-effect Send layout.

Normally, clicking on a rackspace activates that rackspace. However, if you just want to reposition that rackspace, holding the Shift key while dragging rackspaces prevents the dragged rackspace/song from being activated. This can be particularly useful for adjusting your rackspace order when the Predictive Loading feature is enabled.

The Shift key in plugins

In the MIDI In plugin editors, if you hold the Shift key down while enabling or disabling individual MIDI channels by clicking on their respective check boxes, the other check boxes will be set to their opposite states. This is a convenient way to quickly enable a single channel while blocking all others.

In the MIDI Out plugin editors, you can use Shift and a note on the virtual keyboard to create a keyboard split; hold down the Shift key and click on the desired key on the virtual keyboard to set a low note. Afterwards, hold the Alt key (Option key on Mac) and click on the desired key on the virtual keyboard to set an upper note.

If you double-click an entry in the MIDI Monitor plugin editor, that entry will be copied it to the clipboard, but if you hold down the Shift key while double-clicking, all entries will be copied to the clipboard (this applies to the Global MIDI Monitor window, as well).

If you want to see the underlying script behind a Scriptlet block, you usually click on the Edit Script button in the Scriptlet plugin editor. To speed up that process a bit, hold the Shift key while double-clicking the scriptlet block and both the scriptlet’s plugin editor and the script editor will open automatically.

The Shift key in the Panels view

We start with a tip that is new to Gig Performer 4.5: if you click on a widget while holding the Shift key in the Panels view (i.e., not in Edit mode), the Widget actions menu will appear:

Widget actions menu in Panels View in Gig Performer

This menu allows you to quickly adjust some frequently used actions described in the Widgets Properties Inspector window.

Just like selecting plugin blocks, you can select multiple widgets (in Edit mode) by holding the Shift key and clicking on each individual widget (clicking on an already selected widget will deselect it).

When you move a widget with up/down/left/right arrows on your keyboard (in Edit mode), it moves in small steps. Hold the Shift key while moving a widget (or widgets) to move in bigger steps.

As in the Wiring view, rackspaces can easily be reordered by dragging them up and down using your mouse or trackpad in the Panels view (non-Edit mode), as well; hold down the Shift key while doing so to drag a rackspace without its being activated. This is more efficient as you don’t need to wait for each rackspace to activate.

You can already copy widgets from the Global rackspace and then paste them into a local rackspace using the Copy and Paste menu options. However, if a global widget is mapped to a parameter in the plugin in the Global rackspace, then if you hold down the Shift key while performing the paste into a local rackspace, (e.g. right mouse click on a panel → Paste or click on the Edit menu → Paste), the pasted widget will be automatically mapped to the actual parameter value of the widget in the Global rackspace (learn more here). NB: If it doesn’t already exist, this action will automatically insert the To Global Rackspace plugin into the local rackspace.

Widget Properties Inspector and the Shift key

If you hold the Shift key down while clicking on the scaling curve (besides widgets, this applies to the Probabilistic Sound Designer, or velocity curves in MIDI In blocks, as well), the curve settings will be copied to the clipboard:

How to copy a widget's curve in Gig Performer

If you then hold down Shift+Ctrl and click on another curve, the previously copied settings will replace settings of that curve:

How to copy and paste the widget's curve

If you hold the Shift key when you click on the “Reset to linear shape” button, the Step Function Generator window will appear (A):

Step function generator in Live Performance host in Gig Performer

Enter the number of steps and click OK to create a step function (B). If you’re wondering why we did this, see a real use case scenario in this thread, and read a little bit of history here, how “Necessity is the mother of invention“.

Finally, holding the Shift key while moving Min or Max sliders allows you to move both of sliders at the same time.

The Shift key in the Setlist view

Clicking the padlock icon blocks changes to rackspace assignments in a selected song. This protects the selected song from accidental modification.

Lock rackspace selection for a song in Setlist view in Live Performance Host Gig Performer

Hold the Shift key and click on this icon to apply the lock to all songs.

Holding the Shift key while dragging songs prevents the dragged song from being activated. This can be very useful for adjusting your setlist order when Predictive Loading is enabled.

Shift Key in Gig Performer Options

New in Gig Performer 4.5: holding the Shift key down while clicking on an input or output checkbox in Audio Options will set all of them to the inverse of the one you selected.

Double-clicking a MIDI assignment in Global MIDI Options or Setlist Options while holding the Shift key opens the Edit MIDI message dialog where you can manually select the desired device and the desired MIDI message. Holding the Shift key down while clicking on the Learn MIDI for selected item button also clears the currently selected MIDI assignment.

Other tips and tricks using the Shift key

You can easily set values in various fields by clicking on the field and moving the mouse up or down:

How to change values using the drag with the Shift key

If you also hold the Shift key, values are increased or decreased by 0.1. Note that the dragging speed is also taken into account; moving your mouse faster will make greater changes in values.

By default, clicking on the field opens a mini pad for entering values:

How to change values using the drag with the Shift key and the mini pad

Click on up/down arrows to change value by 1; hold the Shift key to change value by 0.1 (or simply type in the desired value).

Hold the Shift key and click on the Randomize button in the Probabilistic Sound Designer to quickly randomize all parameters in the plugin editor window.

Hold down the Shift key and then click on the Metronome icon to open the General Options window.

Keyboard shortcuts

Finally, you can review keyboard shortcuts in our user manual (many of them are using the Shift key with other keys) and get things done faster. For example, Shift+I zooms in the Wiring view surface, Shift+O zooms out the Wiring view surface, and Shift+F zooms plugin blocks to fit.

Share this article it to support Gig Performer and spread the word! 🙂

Own The Stage® with Gig Performer®

Nemanja Pudar

Related topics:
Important workflow tools and tips (User Manual)
Tips and Tricks (Community)

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.