[Solved]First time show woes with GigPerformer

#1

Using GigPerformer 3 here:

I’ve been working for a couple of months to get enough of our setlist converted from my old host to GigPerformer to play a show. I thought I had everything wrapped up and ready to go last night for tonight’s show. Unfortunately, I ran into multiple issues at setup and sound check this morning that I am forced to use my old host tonight and not GigPerformer. I’m very disappointed this is the case given the effort I’ve put in so far. Moving to a host that is reported to be more stable is a prime motivator for me making this effort.

Symptoms:

The first problem I ran into was during our first sound check song. about 40 seconds in, all my virtual instruments stopped responding. I looked at my monitor and the Gig Performer screen had turned a shaded red with the message that the audio interface had become disconnected or stopped responding and that I either needed to plug it back in or go into options and change it. Note that this is a hardware rig that has performed well for 3 years now. I ended up shutting down the PC, unplugging and replugging all USB cables plugged into the host, rebooting and reloading GigPerformer. This ‘solved’ the initial problem, but then came the next issue.

Second issue was my USB/midi connection to my Korg Kronos appeared to stop working. No virtual instruments in the rack responded to key events in any rackspace. Again, a reboot and reload before THAT problem seemed to be solved. I stuck a midi monitor in between my Kronos midi in plugin and synthmaster. There were no note events showing as received. Additionally, I have a sequence that runs on the Fantom X7 that goes through GigMaster to route to the Kronos. Midi note out events were being sent by the Fantom X, and midi monitor showed them making it into the host, but nothing appears to have been coming out of the midi out plugin to the Kronos. Once again, a reboot ‘fixed’ this problem

Third issue was a widget stopped sending midi commands to my audio interface. I have a standard widget setup on almost every rackspace that allows me to turn my audio send from my wireless headset mic on and off to the front of house by muting the output bus it goes through. This is hooked up to a button on my Roland Fantom X7. The widget button responded as if the midi command from the Fantom X was working, but no command was being sent to my XR18 mixer/interface. Again, this is a midi over USB driver involved, and this has consistently worked for the last 3 years with my other host I’m trying to replace. By the time I got to this issue, I simply had to move back to my other host and move forward for tonight’s show.

In all of my testing at home, while programming all of these songs in GigPerformer, I had NONE of these problems. I was really looking forward to an exciting night. It did not look well in front of my band. Luckily for me, I have swappable drive bays for my PC so I was able to simply swap back for my old host for tonight’s show without any real problem, but that is not a long-term plan.

My normal thought-process would lead me to think ‘power issue’, however I’ve plugged into the same place at this club for multiple other gigs with no issues, and the entire signal chain power is protected by a good UPS.

Any thoughts on how to troubleshoot these issues would be appreciated.

thanks,

X

#2

You used exactly the same Hard- and Software as you prepared your rackspaces?

#3

If it worked fine for you at home all the time as you said, then clearly something changed. Figuring out what is going to be the issue.

Also, when you got home, did you try your environment again and did it work? Which version (specifically) of Gig Performer were you using?

(glad you were able to recover though for the evening)

#4

I also use a Korg Kronos X88 as one of my keyboards during performances with GigPerformer on a Mac. I also had the same problem with my USB/midi connection stopping with the Korg Kronos. I contacted Korg because the Kronos would intermittently work for periods of time, and suddenly (usually during performances) stop.

I’m not sure which version of Windows you’re on, but I upgraded to the new USB midi driver version 1.2.5.r2 for Mac released on 02/21/2019. My problems were solved with this update.

Version 1.15 r29e was released on 02/21/2019 for Windows 10 also.

Hope this helps…

#5

So, it seems that your old host and GP share the same hardware environment but a different software environment.
I was wondering why you don’t use GP with the same software environment as your old host ? I am pretty sure that GP would not disturb anything in your previous install which seems to be more stable than the new one. I think it could also be interesting to install your older host on the newer system together with GP.

#6

As others suggested. Something is different and something did change - you just need to find out what that is.

If you switch the system to your old host by actually swapping the entire system with OS updates, drivers etc… you can’t really perform a reliable test.

When you say that everything absolutely worked at home - is this the EXACTLY SAME system as you use on stage? Same computer, drives, audio interfaces, USB hubs …

I found that more often that not - some of the USB connection issues can be traced to a USB hub.
As an example - I have a hub which looks like it works normally, but if I plug one specific interface into it - I get occasional breaks in audio. Never happens with any other hub or when plugged in directly.

Make sure you use good, powered USB hubs and triple check your device drivers.
Also makes sure that anything that’s not used in a live situation is not running including networking, update services, system sounds CPU throttling etc…

#7

First, I now remove any blame from GigPerformer for my issues yestersday. Second, thanks to everyone who has replied.

So, it turned out to be some type of perfect storm apparently that had nothing to do with GigPerformer per se’. After roughly three years of reliable service with this particular PC host, UPS, audio interface combination, even my old host lost audio last night. In fact, it was so bad that I couldn’t get through a single song without losing audio from my virtual rack all night long. I would have to fully reboot and reload when that would happen. I ended up having to call audibles on the set list and while playing one song, figure out how I could work around my virtual host issues with alternatives from my two physical keyboards. it was a very stressful night.

At this point, I’m pretty sure it was a combination of glitchy power at the club combined with the age of my UPS and its batteries. A rack stress test on my old host has performed flawlessly back at my house this afternoon. My next step is to look at replacing the UPS and also to try to get everything on to my personal laptop as a backup should I run into this type of issue again.

As a software development manager, I should know that sometimes a perfect storm occurs where you start using a new application, or an updated version and when things go haywire, the application gets the blame out of the gate. This would be one of those cases. I remove the blame entirely from GigPerformer and now state there is a hardware issue going on.

Once again though, nothing changed from a hardware perspective between my house and the club. The only difference was the power source I was plugged into.

Does GigPerformer have some type of ‘stress rack’ feature that would allow me to run it through a series of tests unattended to make sure it isn’t glitching out after I get done with all of this?

thanks,

X

#8

Thanks for the info on the Korg drivers. I’ll get my updated while going through the process of setting everything up on my laptop as a backup.

X

#9

The primary reason not to use Gig Performer on the old OS/drive is part of the reason for moving to Gig Performer is to move off of Windows 7 and on to Windows 10 before Windows 7 reaches EOL. Not a bad suggestion, but I don’t think it makes sense for me (yet) given what I’ve figured out so far.

#10

Not internally, we generally do things like that by driving Gig Performer from Max over OSC. But it’s not a bad idea for a future feature.

#11

Do you have any recommendations WRT setting up a second machine with the same rigs/rackspaces, etc…?

thanks,

X

#12

Be very careful to use a UPS that produces cleaner sine wave rather than a square wave shaped AC power

#13

I do use a CyberPower or500lcdrm1u which has AVR (automated voltage regulation) which as per the literature provides a simulated sine wave.

#14

Not on Windows. I just did exactly this last week but on a new Mac. In that situation I just restored to the new machine from a Time Machine backup. I’ve never found an equivalent for this for Windows.

For ongoing stuff, assuming you already have a second machine with GP and all plugins, installed, the other thing I do as a matter of course is use git to keep a history of all my changes. I push changes to a repo on a Linux server and then pull them onto my secondary (backup) laptop

#15

Simulated sine wave = modified sine wave = [in essence] square wave…N.G. AT ALL. This is based on personal first-hand experience.

I replaced one of those Staples 1000VA units with an APC BackUPS 1000, which outputs a pure sine wave. I tested the unit by turning on all my lights, followed by my air conditioner, which caused the lights to dim/flicker momentarily…but neither the UPS, the computer + screen, nor any of my equipment plugged into the unit were affected. I then pulled the UPS’ plug from the wall socket; same result…computer and equipment completely unaffected.

The pure sine wave allows the power transfer from A.C. to battery virtually instantaneously (about 1 ms). Units that output a square wave are hit-and-miss: If transfer does not occur at the “exact proper” time, the computer and equipment can actually lose power. This happened to me on more than one occasion; in fact, the computer screen always glitched momentarily whenever an A.C. power drop occurred (e.g., when turning on the air conditioner).

Hope this helps,

Mike

#16

Yeah, the APC units are very good

#17

I’ve had good luck with APC, Tripp Lite and CyberPower over several years, however I did not fully understand the difference between pure sine and not pure sine. I have ordered a new pure sine unit today that should be at my house by tomorrow. I was already looking at a new PC build sometime in the next month, but I’m going to buy the power supply now and swap it out for the one in my current rack mount. It wouldn’t surprise me if the current one has taken some damage…

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. I know I’ll get this straightened out. In the meantime, I’m working fast and furious to get my laptop setup as a backup to the rackmount as well. I need a glitch free gig this weekend as we’re going to be shooting photos. I need to NOT be distracted by rig issues.

X

#18

Wish me luck everyone: I got my UPS replaced with one that produces pure sine (on AC or battery) and for good measure went ahead and replaced my computer power supply as well. I’ve played and programmed several hours this last week with no glitches. Tomorrow night should be the actual debut of using GigPerformer as my live virtual rack. - I’ll let y’all know how it goes.

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#19

Best of luck! surfing those pure sine :wink:
GP will deliver…

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#20

I don’t want to see any more complaints :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Break a leg!

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