Question about changing VST during live performance

Posted by: enzo.sandrolini

Question about changing VST during live performance - 04/07/13 10:15 AM

Hello
I have a DP (casio PX350) which I use for gigging
I sometimes uses it with some virtual pianos (like Pianoteq), but Then I have the problem of switching sound during a song:
For example, I would like to switch easily from PTQ sound to a violin sounds
I have tried some solution using VST hosts: in the same host, I add several instrument including the Pianoteq VST
Then, I can switch from one instrument to another, but by using the mouse...not a good solution during a performance

Is there a solution using pedals ? or others tools
As VST host, I have no experience, so I made my tests only with GarageBand
do I have to use another VST host ?

Thanks for your help

Cheers
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Question about changing VST during live performance - 04/07/13 10:48 AM

Originally Posted By: enzo.sandrolini
I have tried some solution using VST hosts: in the same host, I add several instrument including the Pianoteq VST
Then, I can switch from one instrument to another, but by using the mouse...not a good solution during a performance

This is an example where ideally you choose a piano that is also specifically designed as a MIDI controller. What you would do is create presets on your piano that send the desired specific MIDI Program Change to your other gear, to call up the external sound you want. Casio's forthcoming PX-5 will have this feature (as did its predecessor, the PX-3). Some other boards that do this include Yamaha CP33/CP300/MOX8, Kawai MP6, Kurweil SP4/SP5, Korg Krome, etc., but there are also plenty of boards that don't have this ability.

Originally Posted By: enzo.sandrolini
Is there a solution using pedals ? or others tools

Yes. There are patch selection foot pedals like Rocktron MidiMate, RollsMP128, Behringer FCB1010, for example. If you have an iPad, you can use a program like Set List Maker or Set List Organizer.

Originally Posted By: enzo.sandrolini
Is there a solution using pedals ? or others tools
As VST host, I have no experience, so I made my tests only with GarageBand
do I have to use another VST host ?

I don't know GarageBand, but usually there are ways to switch sounds via MIDI Program Change as discussed. If GarageBand doesn't support it, I'd look at Mainstage.
Posted by: emenelton

Re: Question about changing VST during live performance - 04/07/13 07:47 PM

Did you try setting the vsts' on different midi channels and then change the midi channel of the controller?
Posted by: Bane

Re: Question about changing VST during live performance - 04/08/13 11:29 AM

If you are working in a DAW environment, a cheap MIDI controller pad like Korg's Nanopad would allow you to assign key commands to it. If necessary you could then configure Macros or any routing options ahead of time and make it a breeze during the performance.
Posted by: enzo.sandrolini

Re: Question about changing VST during live performance - 04/08/13 02:25 PM

Thanks for all your answers,
but these lead me to others questions:
If I use a midi pedal control, can you control preset and instrument on the vst host ?
do I have to plug the peadl to the MAC or to the DP (midi in ?)

and yes, I have tried to use different midi channel, but you cannot change it "on the fly" on the PX-350

I am not sure a micro pad controler could do the trick, as you have to use your "hands" to control it...difficult while you are playing..with your hands smile

In any case (micro pad controler or pedal controller) do I have to use a specific program to make macros and use them in the VST host ?

In any case, thanks for the advices, I have downloaded Mainstage and I will try it, in order to know what can be achieved with this VST host
Cheers
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Question about changing VST during live performance - 04/08/13 02:39 PM

Originally Posted By: enzo.sandrolini
If I use a midi pedal control, can you control preset and instrument on the vst host ?

Some of the pedals have more flexibility than others. At a minimum, the pedal will send MIDI Program Change commands, so you can control whatever the host permits you to control by those commands. But if you need to change "banks" (using MSB/LSB to be able to access more than 128 sounds), or send different Program Change commands on different channels, that is beyond the capabilities of the basic pedals. The FCB1010 might be able to handle that, though.

Originally Posted By: enzo.sandrolini
do I have to plug the peadl to the MAC or to the DP (midi in ?)

You want to control the sounds that are in the Mac, so it would plug into the Mac. The MIDI Out of the pedal needs to be merged with the MIDI out of the keyboard. Some of the pedals have that merge functionality built in. Some MIDI interfaces for Mac also may include multiple merged inputs. Worst case, you also need to buy a MIDI Merge box.

Between the expense and the complication, you might also consider selling the PX-350 and picking up the new PX-5 which is built for this kind of application.
Posted by: MVshabeer2

Re: Question about changing VST during live performance - 04/08/13 04:35 PM

This is why hardware synths are still on market.

The VST's only downside

loading time & switching sounds.

It's really a bad idea to use vst's on stage. what if the software/system freeze/crash.

99 times it may not crash but still there 1% chance.
Posted by: Bane

Re: Question about changing VST during live performance - 04/08/13 07:52 PM

Macros can be configured in many DAW's like Cubase. It depends on the host you are using, you will want to search the manual.

And yes, unless your setup is very stable I wouldn't trust VST's in a live situation. Especially sample libraries. Be very wary of new software versions, I believe I made a mistake upgrading Cubase to version 7 so fast. It's still incredibly glitchy, and I wouldn't dare trust in anywhere, especially not a performance!
Posted by: EPW

Re: Question about changing VST during live performance - 04/08/13 08:12 PM

There is also programs made for live situations.
like this one:
http://www.cantabilesoftware.com/
Posted by: loiollin

Re: Question about changing VST during live performance - 04/08/13 09:57 PM

I have tried to use different midi channel.
Posted by: enzo.sandrolini

Re: Question about changing VST during live performance - 04/09/13 04:06 AM

Hello
I have installed MainStage, and indeed, this application gives what I need
Now I have to choose for a controller
Then I would investigate two options:
- IPAD as a Wifi controller : I have seen plenty of applications for that => do you think it is a good idea (OK, I cannot control the IPAD with my feets grin )
- using the highest key notes of the piano for special function => I never use the 5 (or even 10) last keys => what do you think of that ?

Another idea: can I use a second (and even third) piano pedals as "simple" controller ? I mean, only for going forth and back with differents instruments from a list.
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Question about changing VST during live performance - 04/09/13 08:01 AM

Originally Posted By: enzo.sandrolini
Another idea: can I use a second (and even third) piano pedals as "simple" controller ? I mean, only for going forth and back with differents instruments from a list.

You might also check into the MIDI Mouse pedal for that.

http://www.tech21nyc.com/products/effects/midimouse.html