Around the World with Gig Performer
Audio engineer Robert Frazza has been around the world a number of times, with his live sound engineering client list stretching from Average White Band to Warren Zevon. His touring and recording history includes the King Crimson and Peter Gabriel musical families (including Tony Levin, Bill Bruford, and Jerry Marotta).
However, Frazza’s basic approach to live sound started to change when he fit twelve people, gear and lighting into a single tour bus with a trailer for Todd Rundgren’s 2004 Liars tour. The limitations posed a problem for Frazza, a problem for many: finding an easy and dependable way to use plugins live. At first, Frazza used Apple Logic, but his future changed when he was asked by drummer Jerry Marotta to come work with his latest effort, The Security Project.
The band’s keyboardist, David Jameson, a former IBM computer scientist, was co-creator of Gig Performer, and was using it himself with Security Project. David watched what Frazza was trying to do with Logic and said he thought he had a better way. Gig Performer’s intuitive UI and flexible structure was exactly what Frazza needed to make the various complex processing chains he was implementing with extensive remote control. Gig Performer’s 2.0 release added the Audio Input Recorder, allowing him to capture multitrack audio from his interface’s inputs, so Frazza took it out on the Security Project tour.
“It’s pretty intense what David has going on playing keyboards in Security Project,” Frazza reports. “He’s doing all of the keyboard parts from Larry Fast and Peter (Gabriel) together, using Gig Performer for everything. It’s all in one laptop. If you have 20 songs in a show, each song can be configured for tempo and however many plugins you need for voice, drums, or whatever,” Frazza explains. “Each song can be saved as a completely different scene, with triggered changes from an iPad. So a rackmount mixer and a laptop sit on stage, and I’ll be in the middle of the venue triggering changes.”
This setup has transformed Frazza’s experience, as his station was usually relegated to the side of the room or some other less optimal spot but now Frazza hears what the audience does, and can perform complex changes remotely. Arguably even more valuable, the portability and convenience of Gig Performer make touring around the world less stressful. Frazza shared, “Our sound checks are literally three minutes long because everything is fully recallable,”