Design principles

#1

Hey there,
I am a keyboardist looking for a MainStage alternative, primarily for Omnisphere and Kontakt. I downloaded the trial and am learning it now.

Just to try and get a better idea of your design philosophy:

The idea is to set up one or more rackspaces for a song, and switch between them as needed, correct? In one rackspace you’d open all the instances of the instruments you need for that particular song.

If I need a different set of instruments for the next song, I create a new rackspace, correct? Or even if I need a different set of sounds within the same song from the same instruments?

My concern is this: if I need -say- twenty or thirty different rackspaces to get through a gig, and I instantiate Omnisphere and/or Kontakt individually for every rackspace, am I not gonna run out of memory awfully quick? (I have a 2015 13" MBP with 8GB RAM and 512GB SSD)

I have more questions, but they vary depending on the answers to this basic one. Thanks.

#2

Also, since we can use both VST and AudioUnits, which is the more efficient format to use?

#3

Our design philosophy is to make it as easy as possible for users to configure the system in a way that works for them rather than their only being able to do it one way. For example, you could use a combination of rackspaces and variations (same plugin configuration but with different stored settings, for any parameter associated with a widget) depending on your actual needs. Some users will have one rackspace for a song, others might have a single rackspace for many songs (using variations) and others might have multiple rackspaces for a single song. Guitarists using Gig Performer particularly use the last approach but I think it depends on the music. I have one band where I have one rackspace per song and another band where I often use multiple rackspaces for a single song. Features like audio tails and Patch Persist make it easier to do these kinds of things rather than locking everyone into a single approach.

As for “instantiating” plugins multiple times, the answer to that really depends on what the plugin does. For a start, if a plugin itself requires X megabytes to load, it is NOT the case that N plugins of the same type require N.X megabytes. If you’re using a sampler, then the amount of memory required depends on whether the sampler loads the entire sample set or whether it does direct streaming from disk (as Kontakt can do, for example)

I would suggest that you try it yourself and see how it behaves for you. You have a 64-bit address space and an efficient memory manager. You might be surprised how much you can fit.

#4

Thanks for your reply!

I’ve taken the plunge and am trying to recreate combis/performances I have in my keyboards using GigPerformer with Omnisphere and Kontakt.

One thing that would come in really handy would be a MIDI modifier block in addition to the MIDI filter you already have. Some of this functionality is already present in the MIDI In (OMNI), but it would be easier to have a dedicated Modifier Block that you can insert before each instrument.
For example, being able to assign key range, velocity limits, octave up/down, transpose etc. for each individual plugin, would greatly increase flexibility and speed up programming time.

Come to think of it, that functionality could probably just be included in the MIDI filter. It wouldn’t necessarily have to be a separate block.

I hope I’m not being presumptuous. Just thought I’d mention it.

PS: I can’t find a regular push button among the front panel widgets? Closest thing seems to be the LED button, but that latches.

#5

@zephonic
Just create separate MIDI In blocks in front of each instrument then you can configure key range, transpose, velocity, etc for each one individually.

If you associate the LED button with your sustain pedal or a button on your keyboard that is momentary, for example, then the LED button (or any other button) will behave momentarily

Also, I saw on the Music Player forum that you were having some problems with your A70. Could you tell us what’s going on?

#6

Thanks for the tips, Dave. Will try that. It didn’t occur to me you could have more than one instance of the MIDI OMNI IN, somehow I thought that would cause trouble. So far I’m liking GP. Definitely a lot easier to set up than MainStage.

One of my first rackspaces consists of three horn (tp/tb/sx) patches from Kontakt, with pads and an “exotic” lead from Omnisphere, split three-ways across the keyboard. When I play it as I would on a gig, it doesn’t go over 30% CPU usage (64 sample buffer). Pretty good!

Regarding the A-70, I think it is a problem with the keyboard, not Gig Performer, that is why I want to test it with my other keyboards. When I try to assign the inc/dec buttons to send program changes, it inadvertently sends volume controller data which makes everything go silent. It took me a while to figure out what happened there.

I picked it up off ebay for little money and it’s old. I started a thread about it on the Keyboard Corner:
http://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2816831/opening_up_a_Roland_A_70#Post2816831

The keyboard plays fine, but I suspect the sliders and buttons may no longer be reliable. Bummer, as it has a lot of features I like.

Anyway, on a different note, is switching between rackspaces “hardwired” to inc/dec? On pg.40 of the Getting Started Guide there is something cryptic, but that is about OSC, correct?

#7

I use GigPerformer in combination with Ableton Live.
I send a midi program change to Ableton Live.
In Ableton Live a max patch reads this program change and jumps to the corresponding scene.
On a special track in Ableton live I use a clip with notes on it.
A max patch translates that notes into program changes which are sent to gigperformer.
So Ableton Live controls the rackspaces in Gigperformer and I only have to play.

#8

I’m glad that works well for you.

Regarding page 40 of the getting started guide … yes - that stuff is related to OSC exclusively as Gig Performer can be controlled using your phone or tablet or any other OSC capable device/application. It has nothing to do with MIDI.

As far as MIDI goes - it’s simply a Program Change message. Every MIDI controller has one or more ways of sending these out. Your inc/dec buttons may be configured to do something else (they look like they’re used for data entry) so I would look at the manual for your keyboard. If those were set up in such a way that pressing the inc/dec buttons would send a Program Change message with an appropriate value every time - it should work.

There should also be another, simpler way, of sending the Program Change messages from your keyboard though.

Hope this helps

#9

The problem is definitely with the Roland A-70. With the Korg Krome 73 the program changes work just fine. Bummer, I would have liked to utilize the A-70, but I guess twenty-year old tech only lasts so long.

I am encountering other anomalies, but I’m tired now and see if those are repeatable tomorrow.

Also, is there any material difference between using Audio Units or VST? I’ve been using the former, but am wondering?

#10

Oh, and if I use a Gain Control Mono, will stereo instruments connected to it automatically sum to mono?

I’ve noticed most live sound guys do everything in mono, so I’d rather give them that than losing half of my sound.

#11

If you connect any number of channels to one other channel - they will be summed to that one channel. So yes - if you connect two (or more) wires from your stereo output into one mono gain control - they will be summed up.

Typically - a hardware mixer will have a lot of mono inputs for microphones and instruments, but also quite a few stereo inputs should be available. If you can - I would advise that you use a stereo signal. As a keyboard player - it’s important to have that “space” in your sound, but if you can’t - GP will certainly sum up things for you. All you have t do is connect the wires the way you want them.

As far as differences between AU and VSTs go - they should work exactly the same unless developers of the plugin did something different in different versions. Many people use AudioUnits only on Mac, but it’s really up to you - as I mentioned - there should be no difference.

#12

So I threw caution to the wind and took GP to the gig today. Report here: http://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2828338/Re_New_VST_host_Gig_Performer#Post2828338

I think I have a few feature requests:

-Master volume control, one level up from Rackspaces.
-System settings override, display sleep and alert sounds.
-for editing, Mission Control/Exposé. Right now, there is a lot of opening and closing windows. With Exposé, you can just three-finger swipe down and click on the window you need. Would speed up editing significantly, at least for me.

Other than that, I’m really impressed and pleased with how intuitive and flexible GP is. I have 11 days left on my trial, but if the next few gigs go well, this will be a must-have.

#13

About stereo, yes I’d prefer to run in stereo, but the reality is that most FOH’s are in mono anyway. Better to give them a mono signal, rather than the left or right and lose parts of your sound.

#14

Is that really true? I don’t think I’ve ever played at a venue that didn’t have, at the least, stereo. These days, I’m evening seeing pubs that fit 60 people have the Behringer X32 installed for bands!


but the reality is that most FOH’s are in mono anyway?

#15

I don’t know. On most of my gigs, they have two DI’s for me, and I have learned to just work with what is given to me, rather than ask for something else.

That X32 is an amazing piece of kit, but I swear I have seen guys run the line outs in parallel :slight_smile:

#16

P.S. For the front design of Rackspaces, could it be possible to have alignment guides? And on the back, for the MIDI Omni block, maybe a “tick/untick all” box for the MIDI channels? I keep having to untick them all one by one.

#17

Grid alignment is on our list but can’t say when it will happen.
As for the MIDI channel stuff, try holding the SHIFT key down and clicking on one of those boxes :slight_smile:

#18

Btw… as soon as you select more than one widget - you will get a panel at the bottom allowing you to align, distribute and size widgets uniformly.

You can select multiple widgets by using the shift key or dragging your mouse over several widgets.

#19

I did my second gig with GP tonight and it went well, except for one thing: I have a physical knob on my Korg Krome 73 assigned to adjust the final Gain Control (before the audio output) in every rackspace. At some point, there was a disconnect and the virtual knobs in the rackspaces would no longer respond to movement of the physical knob on the keyboard. I use an Audient iD14 audio interface.

Otherwise, it performed very well. I have to say I’m feeling pretty good about this :slight_smile:

#20

Well, glad it went well but we would certainly like to know more about this disconnect issue. Do you have more than one knob on a single rackspace associated with knobs on your Krome? Do you happen to remember whether the MIDI activity light (a little green light on the top right of the GP window) was still flashing when you turned the knobs? It sounds like you were still able to play the keyboard though and MIDI notes continued to arrive.
I assume your GP knobs had learned the MIDI messages from your Krome. If you restarted Gig Performer, did it immediately start working again?