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Topic: Giga vs. ESX ???

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  1. #1

    Giga vs. ESX ???

    Hi Guys,

    I think this may have been talked about previously but it seems like things are changing so here goes:

    What are the relative advantages and disadvantages between GigaStudio, ESX and Kontakt?

    I mean, I realize that ESX is within Logic so it is convenient to be able to do everything on one computer. But what about in terms of features: Keyswitching, disk streaming, polyphony, sequencer integration, etc.

    As far as I know, all of the Giga libraries are available in ESX as well. With the new \'freeze\' function in Logic, I should be able to complete moderately sized scores on one computer. I started thinking about switching to Logic and ESX. Is there any reason why I shouldn\'t?

    PS. I\'m sure things will change with Giga 3.0 but I\'m more curious about the present situation.

    Any comments are welcome, [img]images/icons/confused.gif[/img]
    Ben Ripley

  2. #2

    Re: Giga vs. ESX ???

    ESX is a very cool soft-sample playback option, especially in the Logic environment (obviously). But it doesn\'t fully read the Giga format.... such as velocity switching, key switching, etc. Kontakt is excellent, but until it does disk-streaming and also reads multi-velocity layers.... it\'s useless IMHO. Giga is a very basic program, but that is also what is most popular about it. Many of the clients I work with on Giga prefer that, but obviously there are always those that want to really tweak the stuff and I think Kontakt is that program... we\'ll have to await their latest update which promises disk-streaming and multi-velocity and see how it really performs.

  3. #3

    Re: Giga vs. ESX ???

    Just a followup from someone who makes their living writing music using Logic Audio Mac with EXS-24...

    I have imported several Giga libraries over the last 4 days into EXS24 (including Garritan strings and Dan Dean woodwinds) using it\'s own giga-import function. Contrary to what others have reported, EXS streams from disk, imports .gig files, and keyswitching works very well. In the keyswitching patches I\'ve tried, it\'s imported and worked flawlessly. Multi-layer programs which rely on velocity switching imports flawlessly as well.

    I don\'t think that modulation-controlled cross-fading can be imported though. I\'m assuming this can be programmed easily though--the EXS controller assignment section is both powerful and easy to use, since it\'s right there on the main interface of the app. Obviously, little helper apps like the one used by the GOS library aren\'t available on the mac.

    Since the mk. II upgrade, I haven\'t turned on my Kurz or Emu samplers. I use an older G4 dual 450 with Logic Audio Mac version 5.5, a gb of ram and a dedicated external Western Digital \"caviar\" 7200 rpm firewire drive loaded with all my .gig files.

  4. #4

    Re: Giga vs. ESX ???

    Originally posted by Brad Lyons:
    ESX is a very cool soft-sample playback option, especially in the Logic environment (obviously). But it doesn\'t fully read the Giga format.... such as velocity switching, key switching, etc.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Sorry Brad, but I\'ve got to correct you on that one. I\'ve also converted a few Giga librairies, like Garritan, SAM Horns, Dan Dean Clarinet, Post Accordion, and yes, EXS does velocity (since day one, btw) and keyswitching. It also offers the ability to use release samples, and does disk streaming.

    I\'m still trying to figure out the \'make new hit\' option, though...
    [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

  5. #5

    Re: Giga vs. ESX ???

    OK, take the new QLSO library for example. This is primarily being developed for the NI sampler. I\'m assuming this means that it will be setup for fully functional operation on both platforms (Giga and NI).

    Since this also functions as a standalone program, it could be used on a separate computer and triggered with a sequencer ala GigaStudio?

    Hence you could have multiple Kontakt rigs instead of the Giga rigs everyone is now using. Other than polyphony, what does Giga offer that this solution doesn\'t?

  6. #6

    Re: Giga vs. ESX ???

    Originally posted by Daedalus:
    Hence you could have multiple Kontakt rigs instead of the Giga rigs everyone is now using. Other than polyphony, what does Giga offer that this solution doesn\'t?
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Maybe, maybe not. We\'ll be testing this over at Truespec (www.truespec.com) because the broader implications with Kontakt today are pretty startling.

    As great as the EXS 24 is, it\'s limited to Logic only and doesn\'t operate with VSTi.

    Kontakt, by comparison, is designed to work with DXi, VSTi, MAS, etc., and later with audio units (from what I hear). It\'s close to streaming now from what the major sample developers report to us.

    But with the Macs, you\'re limited by the RAM ceiling just as you\'re limited on P4s with the RAM ceiling on the Motherboard, with these exceptions when using Kontakt with Cubase SX or SL, or Samplitude (now that it has VSTi implemented):

    1. For each instance you load Kontakt you get one instance with 16-midi channels (the equal to 1 port on GS). You load a second instance, and you get another 16 channels, until you run out of RAM.

    2. Cubase SX/SL and Samplitude are optimized for dual Xeon Processors, and depending on the motherboard, the RAM ceiling is 8GB. Of course, this has to be tested with large libraries handling complex scores to make sure this will work on one system (or with X Link from Steinberg), but theoretically, what I\'m implying appears to be do-able.

    We won\'t know this for several months yet until we really test it and see that it works in a real deal scoring scenario. But, using a Cubase SX/Kontakt package on a dual processor PC, you might be talking about rig, singular, depending on your needs.

    Again, we\'re a couple of months away from knowing this, but the possibility is certainly there.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Nigel W's Avatar
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    Re: Giga vs. ESX ???

    Mod wheel crossfades are programmable in EXS24 but I haven\'t found them too good so far. Either there is a jump, or you have to set an very large Xfade range, which defeats the purpose. Also , as far as I can tell, sample select via controller (which is what this Mod Wheel Xfade is) disenables velocity switching. Ideal would be the facility to have velocity-responsive sample switching, which then could be dynamically modulated (the sustained tones) via Controller. Actually, I dont know whether even Giga can do that!?

    Nigel

  8. #8

    Re: Giga vs. ESX ???

    Nope, Giga doesn\'t do that either. The only soft sampler that I know does that is Unity Session. It is amazing to me how incredibly powerful Session is, particularly relating to us orchestral freaks who need as much real time control and switching as humanly possible, and yet it remains in relative obscurity overshadowed by platform proprietary software like EXS and overhyped processor hungry software like Kontakt (at least on the Mac).
    The bugs with Session have been fixed with the latest version, it does things that most other soft samplers can\'t do, I score features, tv shows and commercials every day on my relatively old Dual G4 500.
    Overall Session is not any harder to set up and configure than Giga, I would highly encourage you guys to at least include it in your list of potential choices!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Nigel W's Avatar
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    Re: Giga vs. ESX ???

    Interesting.I just took a quick look at their Web page.

    http://www.bitheadz.com/prod/Session/main.htm

    But I\'m not in a hurry to switch. I\'m still learning what Logic can do -there\'ve been major updates the past year or so. Having an integrated system (Logic/EXS24) makes it possible to overlook some missing features IMHO.

    Nigel

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