October 08, 2003
Andrew Hunt wrote:

> Tell me about GigaStudio... what version do you have, and how do you
> like it (aprt from the killer Bosendorfer samples :-)

I've got the latest 2.5. Tascam bought out the product from Nemesys Music, which I think was the only product Nemesys made. Tascam has some user forums, there's also some forums at -- IIRC, some have been griping about Tascam buying them out and now the product is going to fail, blah blah. (Adobe bought out Cool Edit Pro and the users there have had similar gripes) -- no idea if they're justified, probably just paranoia.

There's some competition for GigaStudio that I don't know much about -- but most of the sample libs now also support Kontakt, so you should probably check them out as well.

GigaStudio has worked well for me. You do need a special sound card (one that supports GSIF drivers -- a custom driver type used by GigaStudio), but most pro sound cards support this. I use an Echo Audio Mia -- nice card, zero noise (well, close enough for me), and quite affordable.

I did have a problem at first with latency -- like a 1/2 second delay between MIDI keyboard and hearing the sound -- but once I finally called tech support, they directed me to a buffer size configuration that fixed up the problem. I don't know what you've got for MIDI interface -- word is USB MIDI interface is bad for latency, but I got a cheapo USB MIDI interface that works fine (MIDIMAN Uno 1x1). There are PCI MIDI interfaces that are not supposed to have any problems.

Oh, let's see, I've got the GS 96 -- there's a GS 160 which just increases the amount of polyphony. 96 has been fine for me, I've not ever really gotten above 64 -- but of course if I was doing multiple sampler stuff, like a symphonic arrangement, that could be more important.

Out of the box, it comes with some sample library stuff. GS 96 & 160 include the GigaPiano, which is nice, but doesn't match up to most of the now-popular sample libs. BTW, you can check out most of the piano libs here: (I drove myself nuts re-listening to different libs over and over since I could only afford one to start). The other samples that come with GS are pretty simple, not much variety, stuff I don't think I'd ever use.

What else -- they recommend a dedicated hard drive for the GS sample libs to live on -- since it's reading the samples straight of disk during performance (supposedly), sharing the OS drive is liable to introduce latency glitches. Not a big deal these days, though, unless you've got older gear and can't afford to upgrade. IIRC, drive has to be a 7200rpm to be fast enough to spin the samples off in real-time -- dunno if they still sell 5400rpm drives or not anymore -- when I was first researching that, that was an important issue, IIRC.

The software has been a little crashy (running on XP Pro), the GUI seems a little second rate, but I don't spend much time with it.

The other weird thing is recording the output. If you'll be shopping for a sound card, make sure you check this out. My Echo Mia doesn't have a certain built-in connection to logically redirect its output back into its own input in order to record the GigaStudio output into Cool Edit Pro, but some of the more expensive Echo sound cards have this. I should be able to get a small digital loopback cable to do the trick, but GigaStudio does have a built-in feature to dump to .wav file -- so I use that for now. That works for single track recording, but if I wanted to record live into Cool Edit Pro (I mean Adobe Audition :-), I'd have to go the digital in/out cable.

That's all the brain dump is coming up with for now -- but that should be enough of a deluge.



tags: ComputersAndTechnology DigitalAudioWorkstation
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