Using GP to Open/Close Songs In A DAW via OSC

Does anyone have any experience using Gig Performer to control a DAW as a backing track player?
Since GP has ‘songs’ and ‘setlists’, and OSC, I am hoping it can function as a remote control for a DAW, so I can run a song with unlimited MIDI and Audio Tracks, rather than just the single audio file within GP itself.

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Does it specifically need to be OSC? You can send midi messages out from GP when selecting song parts which could be enough.

You would need a virtual midi port. Are you on Windows or Mac?

What version of Gig Performer are you using? Or maybe you are on a trial?

I haven’t even downloaded a trial yet, since it’s only 14 days. I’ve watched enough videos and such, but haven’t found anything explaining how GP can make a DAW load/unload a specific song. I think it’s more about the DAW than GP. Many DAWs don’t even support OSC. Ableton is close, but the user has to do a lot of redundant work to put a lot of songs into one project/song, which would fill up the system resources of the computer to have so many songs loaded, and it’s too time consuming. Much better to just load each song as needed. Cakewalks playlist feature was great for this, but it looks like they might be doing away with it.

I’m on Windows 11. Doesn’t have to be OSC. I can’t find a DAW that will accept command line instruction to load or unload a specific song. MIDI messages wouldn’t allow for a string to point to a specific song file for the DAW to load or unload. I guess “Close” would be a simple file menu operation, but Open, needs a string parameter to tell it WHAT to open.
Loading 50 songs into a DAW all at once, just isn’t practical.
I’ve been using Cakewalk with their Playlist feature for many years, but now it looks like they’re doing away with it, so I have to find a different solution for running DAW songs (MIDI Tracks + Automation Lanes + Audio Tracks) in a live situation, having a ‘SET’ pre-planned with easy access to other songs to switch to as needed.

A ‘normal’ way of doing this in GP (not using an external DAW) is loading the wave file in the file player or Streaming Audio File Player. You could create a set list for all songs, each song linked to its own rackspace. Each rackspace then would have a file player (or SAFP) with the appropriate wave file. You can automate the start of the file player.

Unless you need to have the mixing capabilities of the DAW, this might be a solution?

If you really need the DAW, I know Reaper is capable of handling all sorts of things. You can have OSC or MIDI starting a script in Reaper (lua, python, eel) and the script can also open a project.

Thanks for the help. I wish GP supported multiple audio tracks (just need basic level settings), AND MIDI Files with automation lanes. I really just need a ‘DAW Player’. Don’t need to record or edit. It’s all about a live show. I do all the work in a DAW prior to going live.

I will take a look at Reaper. Thanks for the tip.

This is also worth checking out:

Yeah. I watch this. The only thing I can’t understand is:

  1. 100 songs within a single Ableton ‘Song’ seems like it would hog up all the computer memory.
  2. It’s a lot of redundant work, after doing each individual song as its own file.
  3. I’m not sure if it supports automation lanes.

Other than those 3 things, you are correct. This is the closest thing I’ve found so far.

Try it.

If you need only the “player”, then GP is perfect for you + you can use a DAW for editing MIDI files, etc.

Ableton and Gig Performer combo is popular for many other things, such as:

1 Like

Thanks for your willingness to extend the trial. This video was unrelated to my issue.
To be clear, GP is an impressive tool, and most likely not the cause of the problem in my case.

Let’s set GP aside for a moment, and just look at Ableton.
So I do over 100 songs with a band OR solo OR duo.
Because I do so many songs, I obviously need lyrics as a confidence monitor.
I leave ALL tracks ON (unmuted) in the DAW, and simply mute the channels on the mixer when for the band gigs (such as drums, bass, and whatever tracks are being covered live).
I offer this key info so you can understand why a single WAV file won’t do the job.

Some of the audio tracks have Automation Lanes as well, and I’m not comfortable with Abletons’ concept of creating a single ‘Song’ out of 100+ ‘Songs’ and making a mess out of the concept of a single song.
Additionally, I have several MIDI tracks to handle patch changes for my Axe-FX III (Gtr Rig), DMX Lights, Click Track, etc. I use MIDI for the click so it doesn’t take up as much resources as audio.
When I play keys (on a low percentage of my total catalog), I would certainly use GP. Additionally, I play guitar and front the show, so I can’t be buried behind a bunch of screens and such, but I do use small mic stand mounted screens such as Microsoft Surface and/or iPad.

While GP will provide me a great way to do:

  • Setlists
  • Lyrics (Sidenote: GP claims to do “Chordpro” Lyrics, but all I’ve seen so far is a PDF solution, but that’s ok. It’s just not Chordpro.
  • Keys via VSTs
  • A few other nice things like clock display and transport controls
    Unfortunately, it’s not a ‘backing tracks player’ that supports multiple audio and MIDI tracks, therefore I need to control a DAW with GP, just for playback (no need for editing or recording on stage).

So again, the issue seems to be that Ableton would force me to learn yet another DAW, and their funky way of doing access to multiple songs, quite frankly stinks, and won’t work for someone with a real catalog of songs (more than 5 or 10), as far as I can tell. I’ll probably have to do their 30 day demo and invest boot camp hours learning it and stress-testing it, to see if it will hold up, and execute everything correctly, including automation lanes.

Then, if the GP + Ableton combo works for me, maybe I’ll have to give in and go that way.

My original hope was that OSC would afford me actual operating system file operations or something better than SendKeys to open and close individual songs in ANY DAW, such as PreSonus Studio One, which I already have. But of course they (Studio One) don’t even support OSC, or command line arguments, so I would have to send Studio One keyboard shortcuts to ‘Close’ a song (SendKey), but there is still no way to Open a specific song by name and file path.

The OpenSoundControl 1.0 specification (2002) doesn’t appear to offer any file operations for operating systems, because it’s agnostic to operating systems (Windows, Mac, Linux). This makes sense because OSC is talking to an APP, not an operating system.

The OpenSoundControl 1.1 specification (2009) doesn’t appear to do so either, but I’m not a programmer, so I really can’t tell for sure, which is why I originally reached out to see if anyone actually knows. I haven’t found any extensive details on what commands Ableton does or does not accept, and haven’t found too many other DAWS that even support OSC.

So my question is actually pretty high level for either a programmer who knows the OSC spec in great detail, or a user who has figured it out. Short of that, I have to go to my own programmers who work for my company, and get them to read all the technical papers and see if they can build me a component to operate a playlist that won’t force me to combine all songs into one song like Ableton, and get me an actual playlist tool that will work.

All of this stems from a lame old DAW called Cakewalk, that has had this great playlist feature for the last 30+ years. Now that it’s being rewritten by BandLab, it looks like they’re going to drop the playlist feature, which was the only value their program ever had for me to begin with.

While I’m happy to get ‘up-to-date’ with some cool new stuff, I just can’t be goofing around with gear between songs on stage, and I have a lot of really great automation that I hate to give up.
Sometimes, newer isn’t necessarily better. But again, it’s not Gig Performers’ fault, or Abletons’. If anything, I’d point to the OSC standard, but it wasn’t really intended to support file operations either, so it’s just something slipping thru the cracks in ‘progress’ of new technology and the disconnect of communication between the vendor and the customer.
I’ll make one last effort and see how bad the Ableton solution is, but if it forces me to overload the RAM on my computer by having all of 100+ songs loaded at the same time, and costs me mega hours of unnecessary work, then I guess I’m done. I’ll probably just have to rethink my musical life all-together, and just play my acoustic guitar and sing, and forget about the rest.

Thanks for listening just the same.

I am using Ableton Live with over 60 Scenes (you can call it songs) for Playback of Audio Files.
That is working very well.
And with Ableton and Max/MSP and OSC you have a universe of possibilities.

While we can’t get into details about future features of GP, if you have a need for backing tracks where the existing plugins won’t work for you, take a look at an alternate solution I wrote up in a blog article for a way to do this kind of thing using Kontakt plugin.

1 Like

It support Chord Pro. Useful articles:

Yes it is, you can add multiple tracks in lanes. → [blog] Gig Performer and backing track users

Or you can use Kontakt (a go-to plugin for many users) → Using Kontakt to stream multiple backing tracks - Gig Performer®

1 Like

Don’t know what Max/MSP is but I’ll try to look it up.
I found out that Ableton supports MP3, which reduces the strain on the system from WAV, so that’s encouraging. Thanks for the help!

Very Interesting! I have Kontakt, so I will check it out. Thanks!

Wow! Not I only do I stand corrected, but very awesome! Thank you very much!
There is soooo much to learn. :smile:

1 Like