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Topic: What's Best for Live Gigging

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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    What's Best for Live Gigging

    Hi all. Since this is a Gigastudio forum, I can guess what the slant on this question will be but nonetheless, I am very interested in opinions. I am new to the whole 'music on a PC' thing, although I am very technology competent. I bought a killer PC and Gigastudio 3 Orchestra and a number of very good sample libraries. Due to personal reasons, I have not a lot of time to get going with this new technology. But I have been reading a little lately and I started wondering if the use of virtual instruments might not be better suited to live gigging than sampling software. Anybody want to share opinions or personal experience with live gigging. Thanks ........ Rob

  2. #2

    Re: What's Best for Live Gigging

    IMHO Giga is much better than VIs for live gigging. Here are some of the reasons:

    1) Giga is very efficient in terms of poly and memory use
    2) Giga has a great note stealing algorithm for when you've held the sustain pedal too long.
    3) Once Giga has been properly set up on solid hardware, it's very stable.
    4) A single interface can handle all of your sounds. With VIs you'd be working with a different UI for every group of patches.
    5) Stacking: you can combine various instruments and setup custom keyswitches - even if the sounds are from different developers
    6) Program changes: Giga handles bank and program changes, so you can make major changes from your MIDI controller.

    I've used Giga in casual live performances. My recommendation is to keep things simple, keep things organized and do your homework up front. Given that, Giga is ideal for live use. Working with different UIs, having a DAW host in the loop and not being able to easily combine and switch between the sounds of different developers would be serious disadvantages.

    Maybe there are advantages to using VIs live. I can't think of any.

    -JF

  3. #3

    Re: What's Best for Live Gigging

    Quote Originally Posted by JonFairhurst
    Maybe there are advantages to using VIs live. I can't think of any.
    I can think of many, but why not combine the two worlds...?? By using a decent host application (developed for live work = not your typical DAW app) which hosts various instruments you're able to create a mix of various instruments for every imaginable setting. The benefit over Giga alone is huge as you're able to program set lists, songs, scenes within songs where one scene can contain splits, presets on all synths, effect plugins, reroutings to external hardware and all sorts of elaborate stuff). If you like everything is switchable by a single program change from your controller. What you're able to do solely depends on the host software you use of course. Personally I swear by Brainspawn Forte which I've been using as my sole live rig for three year now all the time since version 1.0. I can still use Giga and the wonderful streaming engine, but Rewired into Forte...

    /Mattias

  4. #4
    Senior Member james vogts's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: What's Best for Live Gigging

    Hey It's about time someone live chimes in. I've been using GS3 Orhestra w/ Scope DSP cards w/o incident for the last year now, and truly love the quality of the DSPs. But I still use my antique hardware sequencers like the MC-500MkII, and the very, very first one from Yamaha the QX-1. The only problem I've ever had was the power cord after 21 years of use needed replacement. But not once has either of these units crashed, even when there was a power failure back in 1988 in Lake Tahoe, all my disc loaded Emulators, and DPX-1's has to be restarted, but the Oberheim DMX my drummer triggered from, and my 360 Systems Midi Bass, plus QX-1 kept chugging along. So you see, I fear change. But I would love to use a host which is not bloated and finnicky about different apps being used. This way I could use my Scope rig by itself, and use GS3 Orchestra w/ a cutdown DAW for vocal tracks and parts I can't cover, plus lighting equipment also. That way when I do have a crash, it would be easy to play my way out of it. Please tell me more about your set-up.

    Strength Through Superior DAWs,

    Jimmy V.

  5. #5

    Re: What's Best for Live Gigging

    Jimmy,

    My current standard setup is:

    Keyboards:
    CME UF8 master keyboard
    Hammond XK3
    An old Roland A30 (I play with a Hammond B3 player from time to time and it feels like overkill to bring the XK3 on those gigs...and the A30 weighs a lot less...)

    Rack:
    Shuttle barebone pc, AMD2500+ 2GB ram
    Echo Layla 3G sound card
    Small Behringer mixer (for the times when I mix my own monitoring)
    Active DI rack and a mic splitter.
    MidiSport USB 2x2

    Software:
    Brainspawn Forte as host
    Various software synths like Scarbee KGB, the NI suite, GigaStudio (mainly White Grand), Trilogy, Albino, some free synths such as SuperWave etc.

    The UF8 doubles as lower keys for the XK3 and the XK3 doubles as second synth keyboard when organ is not needed. This are routings created within Forte which happens automatically on certain scenes.

    So far I haven't had the need to add a sequencer to this rig but there are players playing midi and/or audio that integrate well from what I've read. DMX for lighting...well you could always do DMX triggering from midi via the above mentioned sequencer.

    /Mattias

  6. #6
    Senior Member james vogts's Avatar
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    Talking Re: What's Best for Live Gigging

    I've looked into Brainspawn Forte, it looks like a perfect VST Host. I'm still using hardware synths like the XPander, and SE-1x. Scope/GS3 Orch. has made me quite happy.But I think that with the new Dual core solutions out there VST programmers will start using more horsepower for more convincing synth algos. and 64bit multithreaded apps. So I am waiting for the dust to settle. If I go with adding VSTi's on another rig to my set-up, I will try out Brainspawn Forte. Besides,if I need to do sequencing I will use hardware only. I have the Yamaha QX-1, and MC500MkII still. They do not fail on stage. I had to reload my Emulator and DPXs once in a power failure, but the QX-1 continued to play on till I reloaded. Thats what I call stability.
    Is the UF8 a good controller? I use an Oberheim MC3000, and the M Audio KS 88 Pro. I'm looking to retire the MC 3000 as it is extremely heavy w/ Anvil case, and I'm w/o a road crew for a while. I drag it up the stairs on the stages where I'm working on an air tired dolley, where as the KS 88 I carry under my arm like a saxophone. M Audio is an excellant controller, but the action frustrates me during dynamic piano pieces. If I could find a better action/velocity controllable controller than the Oberheim I'd buy it in a heartbeat. Does it have a velocity curve table w/ presets? I can't seem to find much info on it except from my European brothers.


    Jimmy V.

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