Asking for best practices for a guitarist new to Gig Performer

HI all, new here so apologies if this has been asked.

Trying to get my head around how best to approach things. Should a rackspace represent a song? Or a patch? Or a guitar sound, clean/dirty? Etc.

Hypothetical questions really…so what I’m after is some Gig Performer best practices and best approach, if possible.

Many thanks

What are you playing?

I’m playing guitar mainly but hope to mix synths, and vocals at some point, too. Maybe drums unless it’s best just to run a backing track for that.

Reading through the manual has helped in answering a few bits but it’d be good to hear from the community regarding common best practices.

As I am a keyboard player I cannot really tell you best practices.
But you have many options - depends on if you want to switch sounds while playing, fading out effects etc.

I am sure you will get feedback from others :wink:

What plugins do you already have?

@dhj Many, starting with a few amp plugins from Aplitube, Nemrini and Neural etc. And then lots of compressors, channel strips and buckets of effects…delays and reverbs especially.

@pianopaul thank you!

I changed the title of your post to make it clearer – lots of guitarists using GP so hopefully some will have suggestions. I’m also a keyboard player.

1 Like

in my opinion is the point, that you have to tell here first:
In what usecase scenario are you in ? …just to start it.

(edit: sorry, very long post, …in sake of giving a hand)

live musician on stage with a band ?
home-studio rehearsel and production ?
just playing for fun at home, and using GP4 as your VST Host fpr Amps and FX ?..not caring for anything than fun.

and zooming in from there one bit more:
are you plying just one music style or many ?
do you only want ro play ?..could mean, you want as quick as possible a good nice patch, that loads, like some other dude would just power on his real amp.
Or do you like to “experiment around” with what VSTs can do for you ?
which could mean, that you create all the time new “patches”, called Rackspaces in GP, and would enjoy that “patch creation” work ?
(edit: a big point in my opinion…two approaches on that )

and from there: do you want to open GP4 and have a shitload of different “patches/presets”* directly at your disposal ? *again: called “rackspaces” (which is a counterintuitiv term for me, sorry)

dependend, where your own preferences are, respectivly your primary usecase in first place, live-gig orientated vs. home use,…are many different way to organise your self, and your work with GP, possible.
All has advantages and disadvantages in my opinion.

the better you can specifie your form of doing music,
the more to the point answers can happen here.

i personally have different goals, and the way to do and organise my work with GP can have many different faces.
( i also play Bass for example, i do know how diverse just alone the goals can be, to create a VST patch for the bass )

from there the other thing:
how powerful is your computer `? terms of: can you create the patches you like ?
can you create even blown up patches , or are you short on cPU cycles ?
which can tedermine alots up front !
is can open up possiblitys, …or is it, that you allways will feel restricted within what you can do within one rackspace.
Then could it be a workaround, to organise the work from begin on, to work with two or more “parallel running instances of GP”…which can lead to a entire different way of thinking.

playing guitar means also: you much likely want to have small latencys, as your first goal, no?
also: are you on a mac or windows ? …which makes in my opiunion a huge difference ( orhers will disgree)

for me, can a rackspace be as much, as a patch, that i can use for eP and piano playing,a s well as for Bass playing.
A gig can be as much for me, that i have a shitload of diversity given, vs. what the loaded rackspaces would be good for.
edit: or it could mean that one Gig is focussing on some very specific work/patchstyle, and all the differnet rackspaces i would create would be just the evolution of one specific Idea.
even maybe just one aspect of the bigger picture, like focussing on, which amp is the best, respectivly which amp combination.

and for example do i mostly no longer create my rackspaces with inclouding instruments.
so my main rackspaces are mostly meant, taht a signal has to come in from the outside of GP.
This can be from a standalone loaded VST piano/EP, or it can mean i come from the mixer thru my soundcard in.
which means, i have to reset my audio settings in GP bevore playing.

and here plays the loading time a role:
i small nuimber of rackspaces within one Gig, means smaller loading times.
these aplly laos whne resetting the audio settings.

there is all those small things, that play here one into the other.

fact is: you can´t go wrong with whatever you do !
and fact is: you finally have to find your own way, of how you want to work !

but give more infos, and folks can chime in way more to the point !

sorry, long post, …in sake of giving a hand :wink:

1 Like

Hello Jonathan, welcome here :slightly_smiling_face:

As a guitarist I would say: Imagine a big truck full of racks of amps and effects, pedals, multi-effects, loopers, synths and audio players: it’s GP4 :yum: and it does not weigh at all… A dream come true.

A .gig file is composed of several racks called rackspaces.

A rackspace is an individual rack in which you connect your different amps, effects, synths and so on in the order you want in the Wiring window.
Then in the Panels window you insert the elements you will need to control the connected devices: a volume knob for a particular amp, a dry/wet mix knob for a delay, a knob to record a loop into a looper and another to play the loop, etc.

Variations within a single rackspace allow you to switch/unswitch plugins or change their settings. You can’t change devices in it because it’s like a physical rack with specific devices connected in a specific order.

You can create as many other rackspaces as you need in the same way to use different amps, synths and effects and/or connected in a different order, and so on.

As a guitarist, in order to keep both hands free to play, I use a pedalboard consisting of expression pedals and footswitches that are associated with the elements of the Panels window to control all the rackspace changes, variations and settings available. See this post

I can’t tell you about Songs and Setlists because I don’t use them at all.
The music I play is not composed of verses, choruses etc.
I compose and play music to accompany poetic and literary readings. So I make music that is similar to film music and I use the succession of rackspaces and variations to change the sound and musical climates.

Feel free to ask any questions, but do not forget to use the search field with appropriate keywords so you might quickly find answers.


Hi Jonathan

I don’t know about best practise, but I tend towards 1 rackspace per song or generic sound which can be used on a number of songs.

You can do simple: here’s a bass guitar rackspace that covers most of the set

or complex. Here’s the most fussy Chapman Stick patch I ever used at gigs, (the stick is half bass half guitar half piano and half mad) just to show you how GP lets you create solutions for your sound design visions…

There are 2 signal paths one for the bass and one for the ‘guitar side’ Widgets and variations to get the different textures.

The main section of the song has mutron on the bass and no guitar

at the end of the section I play one low note on the bass to sound like a resonant synth (think Tom Sawyer)
Fuzz into Tron with echo and reverb

into Mony Mony. Guitar side is fuzzed, bass is now dry and clean
The nonsense with the mixers and delay and echo in wiring let me have delay and verb trails from the rez note while the Mony section commences

Mony section ends with another Tom Sawyer, with added guitar sustained note

Then back to main section, which carries any trails from the last variation.

and here is the 95 pound monster I used to use to get the same result

This is probably a big lesson in ‘just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD’



… and it’s running on a mid 2012 MBP at 128 samples.
A Sofftstep midi foot controller and the Setlist view mirroring the softstep banks and pedal layout…


@Ali_B and @Hermon thank you so much, that’s incredibly helpful and exactly what I needed.

@Funky40 thank you, I’ll get back to you with my use cases as it’s late here now. But mainly messing about in my studio practicing and noodling with my guitar and effects plugins. Occasionally want to add a soft synth into the mix. In the future, I aim to be able to have a setlist of my songs and be able to run through them seemlessly at the touch of a button.

I also like playing Pink Floyd stuff, so having a dedicated setup for Floyd stuff would be nice. Then a dedicated setup for my metal songs would be nice too.

1 Like

It really will depends on how you play. As a guitarist I personally like to have a custom tone for each song that has the feel of the original song. I also play keyboard and sound effect parts at the same time for many songs so having a rackspace per song works well for me. I know guitarists that pretty much stick to three sounds for everything clean, dirty, and lead so they could easily get by with a couple of generic rackspaces that allow them to cycle through the tones. Some examples, on “Can’t you See” I play guitar but also the flute parts on keys. “Mary Janes Last Dance” same thing I play guitar but also the harmonica parts on keys. But I also have a couple simple rackspaces that I share across several songs when I don’t really need any keyboard sounds or specific guitar tones.

1 Like

Will you want to trigger the soft synth from your guitar? If so, are you aware of Jam Origin’s MIDI Guitar plugin? There’s also a standalone version.

Here’s a video showing how to use it to play soft synths with a guitar.

And another.

1 Like

This works best for me as a second instance of GP. Mostly because my machine is old and I use Diva And Tyrell N6 a lot, which are resource hogs, even when you tweak the Diva settings for efficiency.

This gives the OS the option of assigning a different processor core for the synths avoiding crackles from buffer underrun.

In extreme cases I would run the second instance at 256 samples. GP is quite happy with one instance at 128 and another at 256.

Although GP can work with many different sample sizes, Jam Origin MIDI Guitar is best efficient at powers of 2 like 128 and 256.

1 Like

please take my apologies, i totally overlooked that you are new here:
so, a late “welcome Jonathan” also from me.
Great that other folkks have sorted it all out allready.
maybe i think to complicated :wink:

1 Like

Wow, now thats interesting to hear.

What I typically so is have my sounds separated into different rackapacaes. By sounds - I mean my “clean”, “distorted” … and other sounds that are different, using different amps etc.

Then I have most of my FX in the global rackspace. My reverb, delay, chorus etc… Some FX are in the local rackspace as they may make sense for that particular sound only.

If you separate things this way you get a lot of benefits.

  • You can transition smoothly and between your sounds
  • Your FX are in one place and can be switched on and off for any of your sounds.
  • You can “jam” freely and use your rackspaces as a “palette” of sounds and see what works
  • You can have songs/setlists where you connect each song part to a particular sound and then further tweak it to a “per-song” settings.

This has worked quite well for me and I believe it is the “best practice” for a guitarist, but may also work quite well for everyone else.


Resurrecting this thread…

Out of interest, how do you handle - if you do - changing settings on delays, verbs, etc when they are in the Global Rackspace?

You can link local widgets with widgets in the global rackspace