Multiple Guitar Rig 4 VST Plugins + Ableton Live + Midi Channel Controllers

Discussion in 'GUITAR RIG' started by tbcurtis, Apr 20, 2010.

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  1. tbcurtis

    tbcurtis New Member

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    I have been playing with Guitar Rig 4 VST in Ableton Live 8. We are in the process of building presets for Intro, Verse, Pre Chorus, Chorus, Solo, Bridge, and Fills for each song. We do not want to utilize a midi foot controller on stage. Instead, we are wanting to use midi note to trigger a preset(0-127). So the guitar player doesn't even have to change via foot pedal, its automated within the song in Ableton. That being known you can only have 18 songs via one midi controller, 0-127. The problem I have ran into is running multiple midi controller presets inside of Guitar Rig. Apparently, it saves these settings in default.shm in Documents\Native Instruments\Guitar Rig 4\Controller Assignments. Is there any way to control which shm file Guitar Rig loads? I could write a script to rename each default.shm for each controller but it requires deleting the Guitar Rig in Ableton and that would become a mess while switching from controller 1 to controller 2 though 8.

    Or is there a different way I should be building this? I have 8 controllers, each one with a independent Guitar Rig in a audio effect rack, along with a midi channel selector channel to select which controller is enabled. I choose this route because it gives me 144 songs or 1024 midi channel presets. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Trent
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2010
  2. darc

    darc NI Product Owner

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    Hi Curtis. There are a lot of points in your post that I don't quite follow, for instance:

    "That being known you can only have 18 songs via one midi controller, 0-127"?

    ... so I don't think I can help get your current Live set working as it stands. But I will recommend an alternative, which is to put a single instance of Guitar Rig on the track where you're presently using that Instrument Rack, and then use a MIDI channel to automate the Guitar Rig present selection as you move from scene to scene in Live. Although Live does minimize CPU usage for Instrument Rack components that are not in use, I still suspect that there is considerable overhead in inserting all of those instances of Guitar Rig, and a high probability of instability. Not to mention the complexity from the user's perspective!

    I'm also not really clear on the specific problems you're trying to overcome by using mulitple controller presets (shm files.) I don't think this should be necessary - controller assignments should be persistent on a per-preset basis in Guitar Rig. Begin by setting up a MIDI channel in Live whose input corresponds with your MIDI pedal, and whose output is routed to Guitar Rig. Then get each Guitar Rig preset functioning to your satisfaction. Then for each scene in Live, record a program change message that selects the correct preset in your single instance of Guitar Rig on the Live audio channel.

    Hope that helps/ hope I'm not missing the point entirely - which is quite possible...
  3. tbcurtis

    tbcurtis New Member

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    darc,

    Your pretty close, except we would like to get away from the pedal all together. I have a midi channel setup that outputs to the Guitar Rig.

    Here is how I in vision it, let me know if I need to think outside the box.
    All of our songs are comprised of 1. Intro, 2. Verse, 3. Pre Chorus, 4. Chorus, 5. Solo, 6. Bridge, and 7. Fills (Fills usually, at random). Each midi channel loads a preset, so gives me the ability to load 128 presents on one guitar rig. With that in mind, we have a set list of 20 songs, all with Intro, Verse, Pre Chorus, Chorus, Solo, Bridge, and Fills; so 7/128=18 songs with one controller, we are 2 songs short. In reality, it would be ideal to run 2 guitar rigs so you could have more than 128 presets. Or if Guitar Rig had sensitivity to the velocity then you could have the ability of 127(Parameters of Velocity)*128(CC Note)=16,256 presets in 1 guitar rig, plenty of overkill.

    I have built a custom racked pc to run everything even with 8 guitar rig vsts, I am only hitting 10% cpu utilization. We are even debating on building a guitar rig to run vocals though as well.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2010
  4. darc

    darc NI Product Owner

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    Hmm... I think I have to concede that I still do not entirely understand. I'd love it someone else would join the discussion to help clear this up.

    I guess the at the heart of it is this: it sounds like you describe a problem, but then indicate that you've already solved it by using multiple instances of Guitar Rig. (You're certainly fortunate to have such a powerful setup!) I think I'm not quite clear on what the difficulty is regarding loading of SHM files.

    In any case, my personal approach would probably be different from yours. I think it's somewhat academic to assume that you need n*20 presets simply because you perform 20 songs. It just seems improbable that every section of every song must, or should, have a distinct preset. Just as one example, in many songs, indeed most songs, the second chorus will have the same guitar part as the first chorus. If not identical, than very likely a variation of the first. Remember that you could, for instance, use the same preset for two sections, but send a CC message to modify a parameter (or several) for the second section. Many guitarists play entire sets using one preset and modifying effect and amp settings throughout to achieve different tones. So you may want to "think outside the box" in terms of the variety of things that MIDI automation channel can do for you, and the number of presets you *really* need.

    If you were running GR3, with snapshots - the topic du jour - this would be very simple. But I think even GR4 can offer considerable variety with fewer presets.

    Curious to hear what others have to say on this. And I'm curious for further clarification re: the SHM file challenge.

    Anyway, good luck!
  5. tbcurtis

    tbcurtis New Member

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    After days of looking at the Guitar Rig 4.dll file. I have finally figured out a work around! I am sure its not supported but it works well for me. In line 28647, right after FixComponents, you have to use Notepad++ or something similar, this is where it points to the default.shm for the controller presets, its very spaced out so you have to look closely. I have just duplicated and renamed the dlls(Guitar Rig 4 - Controller 1.dll, Guitar Rig 4- Controller 2.dll, and so on) then I changed default.shm to ctrlr-1.shm, ctrlr-2.shm, and so on in the dll file. And then just load each one up in Ableton. The only trick is it does not save the presets(shm file) until you close the vst, but either way it works! You can simply delete it and drag it back in Ableton to verify.

    Further clarification on the default.shm, this file is in "My Documents\Native Instruments\Guitar Rig 4\Controller Assignments" folder. It contains the actual controller presets. So I created one with all midi notes, 0-127, mapped and then renamed it to blank.shm and duplicated it to ctrlr-2.shm, ctrlr-3.shm, and so on. So I do not have to remap all of them for each instance of guitar rig. Its a little confusing but nothing like well organized midi channels to make it easy!

    FYI, After more playing around...AbstractEventMap also must be changed or else it will save over the preset file set in the registry...so it writes back to the registry key every time you close the vst. So I renamed them to AbstractEventC01, AbstractEventC02, and now they all work!
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2010
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