[Sticky] Let's talk about Unify Live!
Lots of people have expressed interest in using Unify in live performance settings. This is something we'd like very much to support, but we understand that it will need new features to make this work well. I decided to create a separate forum for discussing live-related aspects.
Every aspect of live performance and real-time remote control of Unify is welcome for discussion here, including (but not limited to):
- Performance rigs and other hardware issues
- MIDI control
- OSC (Open Sound Control)
- iPad/iPhone remote control
It may be some time before Unify can become the center of anyone's dream performance rig, but we won't get there at all unless we hear what you need and want, so please feel free to tell us about how you approach live performance, what features you use in existing hardware/software that might usefully translate over to Unify, and of course, what wild ideas you have for future Live Unify Nirvana!
The best way to use this Forum is to create a new "Topic" for each subject of discussion, rather than just tacking onto an existing post. Here's how:
- Click this link to get to the top-level page for this forum: https://forums.pluginguru.com/unify-live/
- Click the blue Add topic button. This opens a new page where you can type what you want to ask.
- Enter a suitable topic title, e.g. "Ideas for MIDI control" into the Topic Title box
- Put your question in the main edit area below the title box.
- When finished, click the blue Add topic button. Your new topic will be added, and others add comments to it.
Please note I've created a new topic specifically for discussion of established OSC/MIDI apps such as TouchOSC here: https://forums.pluginguru.com/unify-live/touchosc-lemur-etc/
Did another live show last night and had another issue with the Ghostbusters BPM SPLIT midi files weren't assigned again for some of the layers. However, some of the layers were fine. Not sure what the difference is?!?! I wanted to try it one more time to see if it would work this time since I copied them from a thumb drive instead of over my network. Still trying to figure out if it's related to lack of internet at the location I'm at!? So I assigned them back offline. I'm going to do extensive testing back and forth, offline, online etc., copy them different ways etc. But most of the problems are when I transfer what I've created on my PC to my Mac. I always rebuild them (Midi Files) when I get all the files transferred and make sure everything is set up identically to the PC version.
I'm sorry to hear you had trouble at your show.
Dumb question: did you check everything before the show? Going on-stage without verifying all your tech works is... living adventurously 🤣
yeah, I tested everything just prior to packing up to leave, which is why I’m so confused. I feel like I’ve already tried every way to protect against having issues. However, this is only my second time playing live with unify so I guess I’ll figure it out eventually. 😊
This is very important, and I appreciate your patience hugely! If Unify is not being 100% consistent, we need to track it down.
What exactly do you mean by "midi files weren't assigned"?
BTW are you using v1.2.2? It has a pretty important fix for MIDIBox. However I suspect your problems are related to file paths.
You might want to have a look at something I just added to the Unify manual about how MIDIBox and a few other built-in effects handle file paths: https://pluginguru.net/unify/manual/doku.php?id=audio-file-player#about_file_paths.
When transferring files and patches from Mac to PC, it's critical to use only library-relative or Unify-relative paths. Where that manual page mentions folders called "Audio Files", substitute "MIDI Files" in reference to MIDIBox.
@getdunne Shane - 1.2.2? Did I miss something? Was there an update without an announcement?
The latest version of Unify is 1.2.2, which is a small update from 1.2.1: https://pluginguru.net/unify/change-log.html. You can download the updater direct from Ilio.com at https://www.ilio.com/unify-updates. If you already installed v1.2.0, including the .guru file that came with it, you won't need to use the .guru file again; it has not changed.
The main issue with 1.2.1 was that I (in a sleep-deprived state) forgot to include any .guru files in the published "install" and "update" zip files. By the time John noticed, and I had to rebuild them, I had a fix for MIDIBox skipping notes in certain MIDI files which included both note and CC data, so we chose to bump the version number one notch.
I am still working on a number of other issues which still remain in v1.2.2, so I don't consider this the final "1.2" update.
I'll talk to John about making a formal announcement of v1.2.2. I announced on KVR, Gearslutz, and VI-Control, but not here.
No worries, just wanting to be up to date - I know how hard you're working to make sure Unify is as close to perfect and stable as it can be, and it's appreciated.
I assume some sort of built in "Check for updates" functionality isn't happening in the foreseeable future?
There's a "check for updates" item on the main Help menu (question mark icon) already, but all it does is open a web page ( https://pluginguru.net/latest-versions/) which I have to remember to keep updated. Something more automated is on the to-do list, but right now, with a new build out and bug reports pouring in, it's not a high priority.
Yeah didn't know there was a 1.2.2. But as far as the unassigned midi files, when I open Midibox the name of the midi file is In red or just completely blank. I'm very careful about placing the files relative to their library. Back in the beginning when you shared that patch with me I moved all the midi files to set locations and created an identical file path for my mac. The last time this happened actual midi files completely disappeared from their folders after I left my network I guess the mac was aliasing the file. But this time the files were there but where no longer associated with it's layer midibox.
The change to MIDIBox in v1.2.2 won't affect its ability its ability to find MIDI files.
When a file name shows red in MIDIBox, click on the name, and you should get a pop-up with the FULL file path. Check the path and you may be able to figure out why it's not working. Post here if necessary; I may be able to help.
Just started looking into Unify as Live VST host - so far loving the way it's easy to put together complex splits and sounds so easily - it's a great effort.
For live use the minimum for me would be some way of being able to select the current patch being played, via a midi Program change ideally. I guess there would need to some kind of mapping screen which maps midi PC to patches
Next step up from that would be to add a setlist, where you can create a list of songs and associate a unify patch with each song. Each setlist could have up to 256 songs, so you could select the song in that setlist via midi PC
It seems to me there are two sections the Sequencing aspect and the patch storage and the live manipulation. Because most people can't dream everything up from scratch, and sequencers seem to be short on rhythms that come so you are forced to find vendors for those things. But although you can find drum grooves. I bought Groove Monkee's Mega pack and finally understand the way that they should be practiced to develop more flexibility You have to invent the other instruments for yourself. and in the past I have copied drum patterns across to each of my instruments and moved keeping the same lengths of the notes in the rhythms making pitch changes to keep a rhythm pure and understanding the way that beats should work. to create a mood.
I'm very new to Unify but have been using Cantabile for years. There is some overlap between the two products but what I'm very excited about is that I can put together splits and layers in Unify and then open them in Reaper where I record my physical instruments along with midi synths, drums and percussion. Then if I want to use the same sound live in Cantabile I just load the Unify plugin. Cantabile can memorize the current settings in a plugin and easily recall them.
Thank you for your comments. The ability to create and save combinations in Unify, for re-use both live and in the DAW, is one of its core strengths.
Cantabile is indeed an excellent live host, but I'm curious to know if you eventually find yourself using the Unify stand-alone app instead, or, if you prefer to stick with Cantabile + the Unify plug-in, is this because
- Cantabile offers some additional feature(s) which Unify lacks, or
- You just want to stick with Cantabile because you're familiar with it.
I have nothing against Cantabile; I ask only in search of better understanding. Please feel free to post again as you gain experience.
Thanks for your response, it's interesting that it mirrors a few advanced Cantabile forum members who earnestly ask the same question in reverse 😀
I've been using Cantabile on a laptop mounted to an m-audio Axiom 61. I started by labeling the 8 pads on the keyboard with Synth, Hammond, E-Piano, Piano, Horns, Strings, Combo and Bass. I could close the laptop lid and just hit those to switch instruments. After playing that way and finding Cantabile reliable I branched out into Cantabile setlists, songs and song-states (can move through those to change instruments, splits, transpositions and much more). The software is so rock solid that I stopped using a keyboard with onboard sounds. This is for rock cover band keyboard parts.
In the 90's I bought a used Korg M1 and had fun finding interesting patch libraries for it (John probably created many of those sounds). I've always liked keyboard-based bands going back to Kraftwerk and lately have been discovering there was much more than the synth pop bands of the 80's. My primary motivator for my buying Unify was for sound exploration and you guys hit it out the park on that front.
for me one of the most important things for using any kind of software for live performance is that it has to be very simple to use on stage, in fact I don't want to have to touch the UI at all if possible, I want to hit program change messages on my midi controller and maybe see a simple view on some screen somewhere with some basic stuff, and basically switch patches from my midi keyboard controller without having to touch the computer. I want to never touch the computer for the whole set if possible.
This means set lists and simplified dummy proof performance views of some kind.
Mainstage does this very very well so if you want to enhance Unify for live performance, then get to know Mainstage. In fact Mainstage is a lot like Unify but it doesn't run as a plugin. But if I started gigging again i would probably use Mainstage and perhaps host unify inside Mainstage, but it's not really necessary because you can build up big complicated patches directly in mainstage already.