Is Gig Performer + vst's really a viable live solution compared to new synth?

Would love to hear some thoughts from experienced users re this whole world of computer based - live music with Gig Performer vs traditional synths.

I have an old Roland Xp 80…that still serves me well.
I have a bunch of great vst’s…such as Omnisphere…Pianoteq
and am now looking to play keys a lot more in a live settting as opposed to just playing around at home with Reaper and Headphones…

I have to say I have a degree of nervousness about using a Computer as the primary sound source live…and have been researching new synths like the Korg Kronos, Nords, Yamaha Mod X…

but the fact is I already have much of the gear I would need to go the full computer path…(with the faithful internal XP 80 sounds as a ‘get out of jail card’ if it all goes pear shaped.)

I came across Gig Performer…and it seemed like purchasing this + my existing gear could effectively give me much of the features of a big expensive new synth.

Have others found this to be true?

My Xp80 has things like after touch on organs etc. which adds a cool dynamic…

Do you miss out on things like this when you go full midi?

Is Computer + Vst + GIg Performer really comparable to a straight Korg Kronos type experience?

Thanks so much for any thoughts!


Wow an xp80 i had one of those in the late 90s, great keyboard.
To answer your question from my perspective is yes computers and gig performer is very reliable as long as you set your live rig up right with enough cpu power, ramm, good plugins and a good audio interface.
As for sound i have used in the pass roland xp 80s, yamaha motifs, a few different stage pianos and currently use a kurzweil pc3k8 as a controller. Overall i prefer the sounds from my vsts and could never go back.

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I don’t see why you couldn’t add aftertouch effects to a software organ (as long as you’re controller supports it, of course).


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Probably not exactly, but it seems that the only missing piece of software for you to get an idea of it is Gig Performer. So why wouldn’t you take the time to download it for an evaluation?

What I like in Gig Performer is that you can of course use your plugins live, but you can also control any MIDI hardware synth or even include easily a vintage electric piano in your rig, control its volume and add plugin effects to it. :+1:

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Thanks for these comments. Will definitely give the trial a go…I’m just curious from those of you who have used the big fancy new machines + also tried the straight vst’s what the differences are like…

Frankly the idea of just using my beloved Xp80 and not needing to spend a couple of thousand on a new machine is very appealing!

If you’re already getting decent sounding results at home with Reaper, VSTs, and your XP 80 then you should expect similar performance and reliability live with GP and the same.

GP is just a lot easier to use for live performance than playing through Reaper, but from a sound and performance standpoint (latency, crackling, audio quality of your interface) it’ll be about identical.

Personally, I can’t envision buying another hardware digital piano or synth again. I’m using a Roland A90ex as a master controller and I don’t think I’ve had the line outs connected in at least a decade.

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This is very encouraging to hear!

I noticed when I was playing direct on my Xp80 with a built in organ I could do this cool ‘after touch’ press and would add a nice emphasis to the sound…I wasn’t sure if this was something that was even possible when using the vst method…is that a function of the vst or Gig Performer…or something else?

I like the idea of being able to even extend my current Xp80 physical controllers with something like a X-Touch or Nano …I assume that is possible too…

My bank balance likes the sound of this very much;)

I asked about this a few weeks ago. Search for ‘aftertouch’ in the forum and you should find the info. Basically, you can assign any control in a rack to be altered by aftertouch. I was looking to control tremolo, but you could use it with anything.


So with the initial disclaimer that I could be perceived as biased (I’m one of the GP developers), I’ll give you my own experience.

For years, I toured with a Korg Oasys (and a Nord C2D, a Moog Voyager and a Prophet 12) and then up until about 2 or 3 years ago I was still using an 88 note Kronos for touring. However, that was my own “real” synth and both the Kronos and three Roland A800 61-note controllers were working in conjunction with Gig Performer and a growing collection of plugins. In fact the output of the Kronos went into Gig Performer so I could do extra Kronos processing using plugins.

However, for the last few years, I have been touring with just an 88 note weighted controller (an SL88), the three Rolands, a laptop running Gig Performer and a couple of iPads for remote control (I don’t actually touch the laptop during a show, it sits off to one side). There were a few sounds in the Kronos that I didn’t want to live without so I sampled those into Kontakt so I could still use them.

In those 2-3 years, I have not experienced a single crash on stage. My backup is another laptop as my worry is not that GP will fail, but rather that the laptop itself might fail (corrupt drive, maybe it gets dropped, etc)

Are there compromises? Sure…you can’t really beat the physical twisting of knobs on a Moog or pulling on those drawbars while palming across the waterfall keyboard of a hammond. But when you’re touring, and you’ve got to setup/teardown every night, it’s a hell of a lot easier with just a few keyboards and a laptop!

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Exactly as @dhj said.

I don’t trust a computer solution entirely when I’m on stage. I don’t have a backup laptop but I always have at least one keyboard which is a stage piano or a workstation or any other keyboard with included sounds. I didn’t need it so far but I need the safety of being aware that if something happened I could finish the song or even the whole gig with some basic rhodes/piano/organ sounds.

For me it’s perfect. Nothing ever happened during a gig. And even if something happened it turned out that it wasn’t GigPerformer’s or the plugins’ fault but my own because I forgot to do some controller filtering and then turned down the volumes because one of my devices sent expression and/or volume CC data when I recalled certain presets.

That’s indeed one thing that (I think!) does not happen that easily if you’re working with a single workstation because it’s a closed system. A software like GigPerformer can help in such cases by offering some functions for “bugtracking” in a rehearsal or gig situation. But it’s definitely important to know your gear and your instruments and what to do if something goes wrong…

I myself was extremely skeptical about a laptop on stage solution. But my experiences with GP are entirely great so far so I don’t have to worry about that anymore.

No, I didn’t say that — I totally trust a computer solution on stage — I just bring a backup computer in case the computer itself (not GP) fails. But I don’t feel any need to carry separate synths or keyboards with built-in sounds. With the possible exception of my Steely Dan tribute band, a standalone keyboard really wouldn’t help, I’d be better off with backing tracks that just covered my live parts.

Ironically, when I was on tour with Security Project in Norway a few months ago, it was one of the keyboards that they gave me that failed and the show got delayed an hour until someone could find a replacement keyboard.

Sorry :wink: I meant I agree with your whole posting but I had to add some (personal) aspects.

I also trust GP more than the rest of my system - but in the end it doesn’t matter (for me) if the hardware, the OS, GP or the USB cables failed. The consequence is that I need something to finish the gig so I need some kind of backup for this case. In my case and for my projects (jazz, pop, funk/fusion) it made more sense to buy a keyboard that I can use anyway than to buy a second laptop (which would be only for backup cases).

I had a similar situation with a Korg Kronos. It was a showcase for Warner Music and some guys from Korg were also at the gig - that was pretty funny.

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Thanks all… This is really encouraging and very helpful information. I’m very new to how people do this live side of things… And hadn’t even realised a lot of people do just use the computer based method…

I’m thinking it really makes sense for me to give this whole computer based world a go with Gig Performer as the central software connection piece.

My context is just low key pub gigs or modern church bands.

I already have a:
Keyboard that would do the job fine for backup if everything else failed
A computer I can dedicate to the task. (My old Sager video editing laptop… Size of a tank… But powerful)
A bunch of quality vsts like Omnisphere.

Some basic questions I’m trying to figure out…

Does GP3 let me do keyboard splits where I could play a bass in bottom octaves and piano/pads in right hand? Or do I need a second synth… Trying to keep setup simple… Given I also play Bass in the band.

If I want to include a backing track with some of the pre recorded parts or even drums…or a midi file …Do you do that with GP3… Or a daw like Reaper…or some other solution?

Sounds like after touch is also possible…I imported a Omnisphere Hammond organ into the GP trial but by default the aftertouch vibrato style effect wasn’t working. So I assume I have to try and program it somehow (unless the xp 80 doesn’t broadcast the correct data)

Thanks so much everyone… Very informative for those of us new to GP and live performance in general.

Of course! All this is possible and very easy to setup. For backing tracks an Audio Player is available which is quite flexible (if you don’t need to jump around between different sections). MIDI playback is possible too but you currently need a plugin for that.

See this blog article

I have often thought about what i would do if my rack mounted pc crashed on stage at a big event, and have now decided to go back to a workstation as a controller (kurzweil pc3k8) and have all my sounds programed into that as a backup and have my outputs of the kurz on a a/b switch that i can instantly change to if something goes wrong with gp or pc.
The only downside to this is the controllers weigh a bit more, but its nice to play on and have good sliders etc to map.

Thanks all…as I watch tutorials…and play with the demo…

the more I’m beginning to think this is not just comparable to something like a Korg Kronos… it is actually better!!

The old XP 80 only has around 5 customisable faders…but really with the rack system in Gig Performer…and the other programmable buttons on the synth I can tweak, colour code and turbo charge my dear faithful friend from the 90’s and turn her into a modern powerhouse!

I’m just researching how After touch works…because that is the only piece of the puzzle to solve now. Thanks!

Polyphony will no longer be a problem also.

Wow…this software is amazing…thank you Eza…I found the link…followed these clear steps from ‘PianoPaul’ below…learned I needed to allow automation in Omnisphere…and away I go…a working Tremolo aftertouch …on my good old Xp80…feel like I’ve just discovered a whole new world!!

Thanks everyone…the mighty Roland Xp 80 now sings and dances like never before;)

I’ve done this in a second instance of GP and in a DAW. I currently find it works best for me with Ableton running drums and the occasional backing track, but I think it’s highly dependent on exactly what you’re doing.

Note that on Windows this requires your audio interface drivers to support multi-client ASIO. Most seem to, with Focusrite being a notable exception among the big brands.

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