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Topic: How alive is Giga?

  1. #1

    How alive is Giga?

    I\'ve been away (both from the forum and my beloved music-computers) for a long while because I had to write a PhD thesis. Now I\'m back, looking at what has happened during the past 6 months and my impression is that, besides the development of new libraries, not much progress has been made.

    Please understand that I\'m not posting this for the sole purpose of being provocative. I just wonder how brite Gigastudio\'s future is. Granted, my expectation of finding a new, improved version of the Gigastudio software was overly optimistic. But what puzzles me is that I can\'t even find the slightest hint that there\'s something new coming our way anytime soon.
    Gigastudio is a great program, and I was amazed by what can be done with a PC when I first saw it. But just like the early versions of the software, the current version looks kind of ... organic ... to me (both visually, see the Capture to wav thingy and conceptually, see the Editor). A quick port was made to Win XP, but no improved performance or anything. Does this mean the absolute performance limit of the hardware has been reached? At most 160 voices, regardless of the machine specs? How can that be? People seem to be forced to use several machines to fill their needs.
    Again, please don\'t take this post as being negative and counterproductive. I\'m just trying to find out which way this is going. - For instance, producing a big library for Giga is a major commitment. In the case of the Vienna project the commitment is gigantic. Those guys are even saying they count on certain performance limitations being eliminated.
    On the other hand, buying such a library is an enormous commitment, as well. I\'m sure that soon 160 voices will be considered absolutely unacceptable - Gary\'s library consumes a great portion of this polyphony right now. Right now .gig still seems to be the canonical format for new, great libraries. But how long will this be the case with all the other software samplers coming out (which actually allow the use of 3rd party plugins!!)? I think it would be a shame if I was forced to switch to a different platform some day, having to hope that smooth, reliable conversion of all my libraries is possible.

    Maybe someone who has more insight into all this than myself could comment, or give some kind of prediction on what giga\'s future is. I ask this because we all know that in corporations such as TASCAM decisions are made at the conference table, without much regard to the implications for this community (see Emagic Logic). The lack of visible progress in Giga\'s version history makes me wonder.

    I\'m sure there are people here who would know if the software development at TASCAM is doing well. Please tell me that it is!!

  2. #2

    Re: How alive is Giga?

    It Is! [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
    A 3.0 version will come out in 2003. And it will ve worth the wait... [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

  3. #3

    Re: How alive is Giga?

    \"A quick port was made to Win XP, but no improved performance or anything.\"

    The port was never meant to be a new version - simply an aid to those who couldn\'t wait to migrate to XP.

    \"Does this mean the absolute performance limit of the hardware has been reached?\"

    According to those who know, the polyphony bottleneck is in hard disk bandwidth - not in the Giga code. Maybe V3 will take a leaf out of other manufacturers books and allow people to \'fake\' increased polyphony by dedicating large chunks of memory to ram resident samples. A step back for sure, but what can you do?

    \"People seem to be forced to use several machines to fill their needs.\"

    You mean like Steinberg users who have been offered \'VST system link\' to help them gang together several PCs in order to get around the problems of maxing out a PC with SX and a few VSTIs?

    \"But how long will this be the case with all the other software samplers coming out?\"

    Who knows? There are four or five soft samplers on the market which boast hard disk streaming now, or real soon. I am yet see one seriously challenge Giga on its own merits though. Sure, you get VST integration, ram based playback, time stretching and other extras, but the core prerequisits of real time low latency and 160 voices of disk streaming don\'t seem to be met.

    \"The lack of visible progress in Giga\'s version history makes me wonder.\"

    It\'s been said before on this forum and it\'s worth saying again. The easy road for Tascam would be to write a list of great features they\'d like their machine to have, and use that list to stop other manufacturers from selling THEIR product by splashing it all over the music world as the core feature set of their imminent upgrade, while they sit in their offices seeing which features can REALLY be made to work. This is cheap practise and I see Tascam\'s competitors do it monthly.

    Also, if Tascam have blindingly brilliant innovations in development, why tell their competitors in advance? I\'d be keeping it under wraps until it there was no chance that the opposition could catch up in the short term.

    Unless someone comes out with a real Giga killer, I\'m more than happy to keep working with it until V3 is debugged and bedded down.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Melbourne, Australia

    Re: How alive is Giga?

    Hey JoE... Just wondering, what is your PhD dissertation title??? And how\'s that going??? [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

    I am also in the last few months of my PhD and I can\'t believe how much crap I still have to do!!! [img]images/icons/mad.gif[/img] But really looking forward to the day when I hand in my thesis!!! [img]images/icons/rolleyes.gif[/img] My title is \"Application of active noise control technique on free-field axial flow fan noise\" and I am at the School of Mechanical Engineering, University of West Australia...

    Are you also in this sort of engineering field thingy???


  5. #5

    Re: How alive is Giga?

    Hi Chadwick,
    I\'m still not convinced that you can\'t squeeze more performance out of a fast PC with several HDs and a decent bus configuration. But it would be esoteric to argue about that, because it\'s hard to prove that something can be done better (you\'d have to actually do it better). And it\'s next to impossible to prove that something can\'t be done better, even for the people who know.
    In my experience as a computer scientist you should never believe such a statement until you see some quantitative evidence. But I think this would lead too far now.

    Don\'t get me wrong. I\'m not attacking Gigastudio OR Tascam. But some sign of life isn\'t too much to ask, I think. Especially if you consider investing a lot of money into libraries, knowing that you don\'t get as far as you\'d like with just one giga-machine. But SCARBEE has just given me new hope!!

    I\'m at the Department of Computer Science, TU Munich, Germany. My field is efficient algorithms.
    I work on high-performance analysis of DNA microarrays, in other words: computational molecular biology. I\'ve turned in my thesis, but now the real trouble (defense, exam) starts. Good luck with your work!!

  6. #6

    Re: How alive is Giga?


    I\'m sure you\'re right about being able to get more polyphony with the right disk array, (and perhaps some seriously improved PCI bandwidth).
    I tend to think in straight lines rather than laterally, so that hadn\'t occured to me [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    Yeah, Scarbee gives me hope too - but he\'s such a tease. Maybe we should all go \'round to his place together and stand over him \'til he gives up the goods...

    Good luck with your exam.

  7. #7

    Re: How alive is Giga?

    Thanks Chadwick!!
    I hope the developers took a look at that huge wishlist that came up here a while back. For a moment there I was afraid someone, somewhere might have decided to discontinue the Giga development for financial reasons or something... Would\'ve been a shame! But yes, let\'s all bug Scarbee \'til he gives us some details!! [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

  8. #8

    Re: How alive is Giga?

    If you find use for the program and use it everyday then it\'s alive. Ask yourself not what GS can do for you tomorrow, but what it can do for you today! (jeesh that was corny...) [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    But my gut feeling is we\'ll have something new around spring time of next year. I doubt it will be ground breaking, but it will probably worth the upgrade.

  9. #9

    Re: How alive is Giga?

    Hello JoE,

    I hope the developers took a look at that huge wishlist that came up here a while back. For
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Thanks to Rick Chadwick for organizing the \"Wish List\" effort it has become required study for the entire Giga development team. As soon as it was completed, it has been indexed, databased, prioritized, and re-prioritized according to useabiliy, functionality, and compatibility.

    As you can see, no small amount of input was gathered from a wide variety of users with numerous requests for different manners of working. Deciding on what is not practical or possible to keep and therefore toss off the list is by far the most difficult of decisions.

    There is much going on with 3.0 development and it is moving in a very positive and confident direction.

    In the meantime, as Munsie said, it\'s a great program now, so use it and enjoy it now. In fact, if you were to dig into it some more you\'d find that you are probably not utilizing the full power of what\'s avaliable already. Even Hans Zimmer admits to using GigaStudio for a very long time before really exploring and discovering the depths of the program\'s possibilities. He\'s also a contributor to the 3.0 wish list, after all, he\'s just another Giga user, right?

    Hope this helps,


  10. #10

    Re: How alive is Giga?

    From what we have witnessed, (can\'t give details though) Giga is quite alive and well and Tascam is taking it very seriously.
    One little detail that is not secret is the amount of floor space they dedicate to the Giga product line and workstations. Check it out at the NAMM show sometime and you will notice at least half or more of the floor space is all Giga!
    That alone should quell fears of them not investing in the product or neglecting it.

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