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Deskew Technologies

Deskew announces The Gig Rack VST/AU Live Music Performance Audio Plugin Host App (beta available)

Deskew Technologies has launched a beta version of what it describes as its "intuitive, fast and flexible VST/AU live music performance audio plugin host app", The Gig Rack, which is scheduled for release later this year.

The Gig Rack was created to give musicians and singers the same level of control over their sound on stage as they enjoy in the studio. The rack design (called Rack spaces) is designed to make it easy to control multiple instruments, layer sounds, employ authentic effects and combine plug-ins on a Mac or Windows laptop.

Features include:

  • Connect plugins to each other directly - no need for channel strips.
  • Individual front panel views for each Rack space.
  • Instant switching between patches.
  • quick and easy learning of plugin parameters.
  • unlimited number of widgets.
  • Rack space variations.
  • Control plugin parameters from control surfaces.
  • VST/AU - OS X/Windows.
  • Low CPU Usage.

Deskew is currently inviting interested users to participate in public beta testing. To sign up, or for more information on The Gig Rack, its features, or release date, please visit their web site, www.TheGigRack.com, Facebook page, www.facebook.com/TheGigRack, or contact them at info@TheGigRack.com.

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Discussion: Active


9 September 2016 at 5:34ampthelo

Isn't this what Apple's MainStage 3 is about? http://www.apple.com/mainstage/

The ad copy and target audience are even similar:
Gig Rack: "...[G]ive musicians and singers the same level of control over their sound on stage as they enjoy in the studio."
MainStage 3: "Sound as great on the stage as you do in the studio."

Gig Rack's front and back panel views are a step beyond, I suppose, but I wonder how often I'd use it.

Hmmmm... Definitely worthy of more investigation!


10 September 2016 at 5:50pmthegigrack

Actually, I was a very early user of MainStage. Conceptually, I thought it was wonderful, but I had numerous problems with it. One was something many people have experienced with similar apps - high CPU usage. One of the benefits of The Gig Rack is very low CPU usage.

Other problems occurred, particularly when using a more complex keyboard rig. I had to develop my own live environment using MaxMSP, whose functionality has grown to a point where it wouldn't be feasible to replace it with MainStage any more.

For those and numerous other reasons, we decided last year to build an application for live performers that functioned better, and was easier to use than anything else currently available.

The front and back panel views you mentioned are an important part of this - those views offer a fundamentally different approach to building a live performance tool. For example, MainStage plugins have a traditional channelstrip approach... you have to think about your plugin creation in terms of a chain of inserts and sends. However, with The Gig Rack's back panel view, you connect plugins to each other any way you want, in series, parallel or both. You can use multiple fader plugins to distribute a controlled amount of gain from sources to various different targets, giving you the ability to implement both INSERT and SEND at the same time.

Once you've designed your plugin connections, you can create widgets (knobs, buttons, sliders, etc) on the front panel to control desired plugin parameters. Of course those widgets can also be associated with hardware devices but plugins (and widgets in an upcoming beta) can also be addressed directly over OSC. That mechanism essentially allows you to play any plugin over OSC which opens up some interesting possibilities.

Another very important feature of The Gig Rack, which sets it apart, is Variations - multiple groups of settings for a single Rack Space. For example, if you have a Rack Space consisting of an electric piano and some effects (phase, reverb, tremolo) you can switch instantly from fast deep tremolo, to slow mellow tremolo plus reverb... any combination, all while holding notes. In many cases, a single Rack Space with a) a few synths that can be turned on/off, b) some effects that can also be turned on/off or bypassed, and c) some Variations can be enough for an entire show, depending on your needs.

Other features will be introduced later for users who like to customize their functionality.

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