Sound design on the Gig

Hi all. I’ve been lurking here for a long time, but finally posting.

I have been keeping a very close eye on this software, since DHJ and I were both working on hosting solutions in Max/Msp. But he is obviously far more of a programmer than I.

I would really like to move to GP, as it’s clear that it is unrivaled for stability for live use. I’ve been using Usine Hollyhock, which is extremely powerful, but it has not been stable for me, unfortunately, which I believe is what motivated DHJ to leave MAX in the first place…

The thing I most want to be able to do, that I haven’t been able to figure out whether I can do in GP, is have control over my sound arsenal from a single screen.

The way I have Hollyhock set up, I have the ability to quickly access banks of sounds, call them up and layer and effect them in real time from a touchscreen. I have a (sorry, rather dry) video walkthrough here:

To summarize it, my existing setup gives me 15 channels of VSTs, any of which can load an effect (audio input) or an instrument (midi input). I can quickly switch which of my midi controllers is affecting which sound. I can get to many hundreds of patches for each vst from a multi-page touch button panel. I can raise or lower the octave of any of the instruments. I can send any channel to any single effect via a fader, and since each channel can be sent to only one effect channel, I have made that fader go from 100% dry to 100% wet, so it can act like an insert as well. I have a set of MIDI effects available for each channel also. There’s a ton more, but that’s the basic functionality.

Although I do do a lot of gigs where having a specific sound setup for each song would be useful, I also do a lot of studio work. In this situation, it’s really valuable to have this one-screen sound finding, effecting and layering tool at my disposal. I’ve put a ton of work into writing and organizing these sounds, and I love being able to call them up from my touchscreen with a couple of button presses, without a mouse or qwerty keyboard. I have about a thousand Kontakt patches, hundreds of Reaktor patches, Synthmaster, Keyscape, etc. All custom to some degree, even if it’s just removing reverb and delay, so I can add the effects live. And even on gigs where I play the same songs every show, I enjoy just being able to try different versions of sounds every night. They are all there on the screen ready to access…

When I’m rehearsing for a new project, I use the exact same techniques for creating presets for songs. There is no sense of ‘setting up’ a preset. It’s the same process I use when performing, and it can all be done from my touchscreen. The idea is that all the ‘behind the scenes’ work has been done before I show up for even a rehearsal. It’s essentially one huge patch that has billions of possible permutations, and is all on one page of my touchscreen.

I also play in the band gogoLab, which does 100% improvised dance music. In that situation, having a ‘song preset’ becomes slightly ridiculous. Although having a preset starting point is helpful, I have to be ready to go where the band goes sound-wise, and do it all with one hand on a touchscreen, while still playing.

So yeah, for me sound-designing and playing go hand in hand. I’m always doing both. And I’m wondering whether creating something like this in GP is at all possible. I know there are new Global capabilities, and the scripting engine looks pretty powerful… those of you who know this program well-- let me know what you think!


Hi @woodslanding, welcome to the family.

When I understand correctly, you are switching sounds on demand when you search for sounds.
This all can surely be done in Gig Performer.
But you have to load a bunch of Plugins.

But when playing live I would build rackspaces where the sound are fixed and the plugins to be loaded is reduced.

For your gogoLab Band this is not working as you have to switch sounds depending on what the band is playing, right?

For this kind of switching sounds, Gig Performer has some functions to achieve that.

Hi @woodslanding, welcome to the GP familly :wink: First if all Hollyhock is not GP and it would probably be a mistake to try to transpose exactly what you have done with Hollyhock to GP. You won’t have another option than going deep into GP to see how it could fulfill your needs and for sure there is a way it will.

Some users use GP a bit like you with a single Rackspace, perhaps it could be a source of inspiration for you.

The only Rackspace I made, which could come close to your needs is the following one, in which plugin presets cannot be changed, but this could be feasible with an additional GPScript.