Deskew Technologies has updated Gig Performer to v1.5, adding more features that aim to make "getting through a live set as stressless as when working with hardware instruments".
Headlining these new features is predictive loading. If loading all the plug-ins for an entire set of music might ask too much of your computer's CPU and/or RAM, you can now pre-load only the plug-ins that will be needed by the next few Rackspaces in your Gig. These load in the background, so they're ready the instant you need to play the next song. Jumping randomly to Rackspaces beyond those that are preloaded might incur a slight delay (for example, if a new plug-in needs to load a large sample library), but with just a little bit of planning, transitions are seamless.
Patch Persist is another addition. If you switch Rackspaces, notes you've been holding down—either via a sustain pedal or your fingers on a keyboard—will not be cut off by the "patch change." Instead, they'll ring out through their natural envelope release until you lift off the keys or pedal, and new notes struck will play sounds from the new Rackspace. You can even control how long the audio "tail" from the previous Rackspace will persist.
New Widget groups empower you to command multiple parameters with a single movement of your mouse or hardware MIDI controller. This works like the "macro" knobs on many software synths, but with the advantage of letting you see how all relevant parameters are being changed at once, right from Gig Performer's panel view. You have complete control over the scaling (parameter sweep range) of any parameter, which makes it easy to implement useful musical moves such as cross-fades.
With tap tempo support, plug-ins using time-based functions such as tap delay or looping will now march to the beat you conduct via a pedal, MIDI controller, or Open Sound Control (OSC) message. Tempos specific to your current Rackspace can also co-exist alongside a "global" tempo for the entire Gig file.
Significant enhancements to OSC support include an updated template for the Lemur touch-control app on iPad — even Gig Performer's built-in guitar tuner can now show up on the Lemur display. Sticky notes lend "latch" behavior to a MIDI note-on message, with the note-off not being sent until you strike the note again; this is great for triggering and then silencing loops. An internal MIDI filter plug-in can block unwanted MIDI data from destinations you'd prefer not receive it, and the related MIDI monitor can display all MIDI messages coming into Gig Performer globally, or just those messages going from a specific MIDI-in Block to a specific destination.
Further additions include velocity layers, which can make selected MIDI-in Blocks trigger only those notes within a certain velocity range. As on a hardware synth workstation, you could trigger one sound (say, a piano, string section, or synth) playing normally, then an accent sound (say, a cymbal, orchestra hit, or EDM pitch-rise) if you dig in and play hard. Likewise, you can scale layers to output notes at specific velocities.
Main panel I/O faders are now grouped in sets of 16, which makes it easier to manage large numbers of channels you've mapped to inputs and outputs on your audio interface hardware. Changes in Widget values can be excluded from Rackspace variations, so that (for example) you don't need to worry about an abrupt jump in the volume of this or that plug-in.
Last but not least, Gig Performer 1.5 supports copy-pasting of Widgets—which saves time if you want to create multiple Widget sets for frequently-used controls such as organ drawbars or synth envelopes—and "hardens" plug-in validation so as not to crash if a problematic plug-in is encountered.
Gig Performer has an MSRP of US $249.00. Special pricing is currently available for $124.00. For more information about Gig Performer and to download a 14-day trial, please visit www.gigperformer.com