Performing in front of a live audience can be very stimulating but also very stressful. This document gives you many tips to help you optimize your setup to ensure a fluid process. When needed, refer to the help page to learn more about LoopToGo features listed here.
Tip 1 – Optimize CPU performance
- Make sure your computer has enough memory. While 8 GB of RAM can suffice, we highly recommend using a computer with 16 GB of RAM or more.
- Close all other applications including Internet browser
- Disconnect your computer from Internet (Turn on airplane mode)
- Use the Windows Task Manager tool to spot any other processes using too much CPU
Tip 2 – Use a fast drive (SSD)
- All your VST plugins and songs should be saved on Solid-State Drives (SSD) to ensure fast transitions between songs.
Tip 3 – Use IO and Midi mapping
By utilizing IO and MIDI mapping, it becomes significantly easier to implement last-minute changes in your configuration without the need to edit all of your songs. For instance, consider a scenario where you are using a MIDI keyboard named « Maxi MKII 64, » and it malfunctions just before your performance. Fortunately, you have a backup keyboard named « Superkey 3000. » If you hadn’t employed MIDI mapping, you would be required to edit all your songs. Conversely, if you had mapped your « Maxi MKII 64 » keyboard to « Main keyboard, » you would only need to remap the new « Superkey 3000 » to « Main keyboard, » and voilà!
The same principle applies to audio signals. When reconfiguring your inputs or outputs, the process becomes much smoother with name mappings.
It’s important to note that without using name mapping, making changes, such as swapping two audio signals, is still possible but can be more confusing. For example, you might assign « Input0 » to be called « Input1 » and vice versa.
Tip 4 – Use Persistent Chains
- With persistent chains, you can set a default setup configuration used when loading a new song and/or not recording a song. For example, you can set up a Voice chain with no effects to communicate with the audience. You can also set up a clean guitar and/or piano for performing an acoustic song.
- You can use persistent chains to adjust your mixing to the room. Instead of adjusting each song, you can use a Persistent Output bus to adjust all songs together.
- Refer to the help page to learn more about Persistent chains
Tip 4 – Use Virtual Output mapping (advanced)
Virtual Output is a concept that adds flexibility to your setup. It enables you to route your audio and MIDI tracks to various outputs and then determine how to mix them. For instance, in your home studio, you likely want to route all your tracks to the same stereo monitors. However, when performing in front of a large audience with a dedicated audio engineer, you might prefer sending different signals (voice, drums, guitar, etc.) to the main console, allowing the engineer to tailor the mix to the room’s acoustics. To achieve this, you’ll need an audio interface that supports multiple outputs. Perhaps you plan to borrow or purchase one for your upcoming performance, but in your home studio, you only have two outputs. Using Virtual Outputs, you can prepare your setup as if you had as many outputs as needed. Then, when you have access to such an interface, the configuration becomes straightforward; simply employ a different mapping configuration or utilize different persistent chains.
Tip 6 – Use a Playlist
- Use the Playlist concept in LoopToGo to ease the transition between each song
Tip 7 – Make sure all the VST processing is done in time
- After recording a song (while practicing), check if the CPU usage (left bottom corner) went over 100%. This should never happen!
- Use the Plugin CPU Usage Console to check if all processing can be achieve in time. This tool is great to chose the right VSTs. The Max value is a better indicator than the Mean value since it represents the worst-case scenario.
Tip 8 – Use the same plugins
- Enabling the recycling bin option in Preferences/Plugins, LoopToGo will reuse the same plugin whenever possible, ensuring a smooth transition to a new song.
- To benefit from this feature, use the same plugins for consistent effects (e.g., reverb, compressor, etc.) from one song to another.
Tip 9 – Use shortcuts or scripts to customize your setup
- Assign shortcuts to keyboard keys or midi buttons to customize your setup. You can assign more than one shortcuts to the same key or midi button. For example, you might want to save the current song before loading a new one (next song in a playlist).
- Use scripts to customize even more your setup.
Tip 10 – Send the metronome outputs to your headset
- If your audio interface has at least 4 outputs, send your metronome outputs to your headset. Use the « Tap to » feature to monitor the other audio signals.
Tip 11 – Practice with the final setup
- This one goes without saying, but make sure to practice intensively with the final setup before the actual gig. Do not make any last-minute changes to your setup. Although LoopToGo Studio makes every effort to identify and fix all bugs, we cannot guarantee that the software is 100% error-free. Also, keep in mind that Windows is not a real-time OS, so different processes’ interruptions can interfere with LoopToGo.