Rebuilding a very dense MainStage concert in GigPerformer


I’m working with a band that has been running their keyboard sounds via MainStage for many years, which was fine for a while but over the years has just become less reliable and after reading about GP here it seems like an excellent alternative.

The difficulty though is that the current MS concert is huge. There are currently about 80 patches, because every song has its own patch. Some of the patches have just a couple of channel strips, but some patches are really big with 20 channel strips, and each of those can have multiple plugin inserts… (for whatever it’s worth, I know this setup isn’t ideal or efficient, but it’s just the way the band leader likes it… he definitely has a maximalist approach to his keyboard sounds, so that’s just what we’re left to work with)

There are also some pretty complex pedal assignments that make lots of changes to the channel strips in use during the song.

So I guess my biggest question is - what would be the best practice for recreating something like this? It seems counter-productive to literally recreate every plugin/channel strip, because GP looks like it can handle things better than MS… so maybe setting up the “song parts” in GP will be the best approach for us?

I’m currently reading through the manual and trying to figure out the best workflow for rebuilding our catalog, but to be honest it’s kind of overwhelming and I’m just trying to make sense of the best place to start!

Thanks in advance and thanks for this excellent community! Excited to get started on our GigPerformer journey!

A song part uses a rackspace variation.
So you should first create rackspaces and variations for the sounds you need.
Then you create songs with song parts which use your previous created rackspace variations.

This way you can simply reuse sounds in different songs and song parts.

Hi pianopaul, thanks for your reply!

So just to clarify: as opposed to MainStage where we would create a patch and then add channel strips and then add assignments, in GigPerformer I should first create the individual components and then use those to build up the songs?

Rackspaces for building your sounds with layers and splits.
And in set list mode you create songs with song parts and in the song parts you assign rackspace variations.


A lot of people use a rackspace per song approach but, you might find you can find some effencies by reusing a rackspace for multiple songs or creating two or more variations per rackspace and each variation uses widgets (knobs and buttons) to change the state of a rackspace.

For instance a variation can change widget mapped parameters of a sound such as ADSR, timbre, if overdrive is on or off, delay on/off. It can also change if a VST is bypassed or not, etc…

Ahh thanks Brandon, that’s what I was just looking into.

So the way we have it now, we have many instances of the same plugin (ie a Hammond sound), but from song to song the hammond settings are slightly different, like different drawbar settings. In that case, would I need to use different rackspaces for each of those?

We also have some songs where there are multiple layers of the same sort of sound, like multiple hammonds at once - can I layer rackspaces like that (the MS equivalent being copying and pasting a channel strip to duplicate it).

Is there a limit to how many variations/widgets/rack spaces can be in a GP session?

You can use 1 rackspace with some variations and with widgets you control the drawbar settings and the different values so widgets are stored in the variation.

@jonesy What Paul said.

To create a set of drawbars, drag the drawbar icon to the pannel and hold down the 9 key then release. Now you have 9 mapable drawbars to the VST’s parameters.

Your variations can now be presets of your registrations.

Be mindful that if you adjust a widget while in Rackspace/Panel mode, by default that becomes the recalled state of the widget when you return to that racksapce or variation. There are options though for this behavior.

Also note that by default, variations don’t ‘crossfade’ your playing between each other. Racksapces do. There are some scripted solutions to this but as a rule, if you need this cross fade idea, which is called patch persist, then you need individual rackspaces for those transition points.

Variations will jump from one widget state to another and so will the sound.

You don’t layer rackspaces but you can put as many VSTs in a rackspace as you need, with as many midi in blocks as you need to create the layering of sounds you need.

no, not practically speaking. I know of gig files that have well over 100 rackspaces.

I suggest though that you get comfortable with Gig Performer, understand it’s behavior before you set out and create dozzens of rackspaces.

Decide if you want to use Setlist mode or not.

Set up your Rig Manager!!!

Then have fun.

p.s. i recommend you route all your i/o of audio connections to/from your interface in Global Rackspace and then use the Local to Global plugin blocks to route the audio from the Rackspaces to/from the Global.

Get to know Global Rackspace! Some people put VST’s in there that they use for everything. There are limitations to this so understand it before you commit to this workflow.

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Yeah, @brandon already explained it very well.
My personal advice would be to first get familiar withe the whole concept of rackspaces…
what a local rackspace can do, what a variation can do and what not (and why you should use widgets), how they can interact with the global rackspace and then how all this can be used to build a setlist with songs and songparts.
And of course:

…is something you should do first, because afterwards it might save you a lot of work and worries!
Start at a small scale and don’t try to do everything at once.
Have a closer look at the in-build templates and/or gig-files and rackspaces you will find in the forums.

Maybe this will bring you a bit faster to the point to understand how things work in Gig Performer…