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Topic: How does EXS compare to Gigastudio

  1. #1

    How does EXS compare to Gigastudio

    I\'m very curious if anyone out there is using EXS and achieving similiar performance to a dedicated gigastudio pc. I have a Soundchaser system. I can typically load about 60 larger instruments totalling about 20 gigs in size. Of course polyphony is a factor and I\'m constantly bouncing to audio.

    Does EXS support streaming from disk effectively? If so, if you load a setup similiar to the one above, will you have any computer resources left to run your sequencer? It sure would be great to have all this integrated on a fast mac vs. several pcs.

    Primarily I\'m curious how EXS handles the larger orchestral type libraries, GOS, VOTA, DDBE etc. (I noticed the Vienna Library is going to support EXS). How does EXS handle crossfades, release samples etc. Also how does it handle polyphony? Is there anything that Giga does that it cannot do?? Vice versa??


  2. #2

    Re: How does EXS compare to Gigastudio

    I\'d vote for Giga. It\'s more cost effective. But I really do like using the EXS for a lot of stuff. I use it for all drums and rhythm based stuff because the timing is so much better. I still can\'t figure out giga\'s latency (maybe someone can help). But for large orch stuff, Giga\'s the best for now. As much as anything because of keyswitching. I think the next 5 years will really evolve sampling to a point where Giga (as we know it) will be blown away, but at the time it\'s all we have (or as mixerman from Pro Rec calls protools... \"Alsihad\".....

  3. #3

    Re: How does EXS compare to Gigastudio

    EXS is great, but I think as a compliment to Giga, not a replacement. It\'s great when you need to load just one or two instruments, or for drum loop stuff (especially groove control). Even though it streams, I don\'t think it comes close to Giga. Big difference for me, is that Giga can have 64 patches loaded at once. To this on EXS, you need to load 64 EXS samplers - if not an impossibility, it\'s definitely a drag. I like having a MAC for Logic/EXS, dedicated Giga. However, EXS comes in very handy on the road on my Ibook. I\'ll use CDXTRACT and convert some essential Giga patches to EXS to have the sounds available and it works great. For orchestral stuff (needing to have 40-50 sounds at once) GIGA is tops. For song oriented stuff, loops, less instruments EXS is so convenient and works great.

  4. #4

    Re: How does EXS compare to Gigastudio

    This wouldn\'t be a great option cost wise, but hypothetically, if you had a mac and dedicated it only to running EXS (and Logic to house EXS), but nothing else - just as many of us do with our gigasystems, could EXS equal the performance and power of a standalone giga system??

    Does EXS have trouble handling the large orchestral instruments, or does it not equal the performance of a gigastudio because of the other things the cpu is tasked with if you are sequencing in Logic?


  5. #5

    Re: How does EXS compare to Gigastudio

    I just updated a four year old version of Logic and am having lots of fun with EXS. It won\'t be replacing my two Giga PCs though, even though it doesn\'t give me Conexant Wavestream errors!!!!!

    Like Donimon, I\'ll be using for loops and also drums, percussion, and REX files. I have 1.5Gb of RAM in my Mac so I don\'t intend to stream if I can help it. In effect, I\'m using it to free up the Giga PCs for the big orchestra libraries.

    One big disadvantage of the EXS as far as I can see is that you can\'t have different synth parameter settings (filters, LFOs, envelopes etc) on differrent regions/key zones. You can only have a global settings for the whole instrument. Hope I\'m wrong on this but I can\'t see a way to do it. No keyswitching as well as J Whaley pointed out.

    I was just looking on the Native instrument site and Kontact for the Mac is released this month. It supports .gig files and looks a more comprehensive sampler than the EXS in many ways. There\'s also an interesting cross grade offer. It might be worth looking at.

    Dave Marsden

    Dave Marsden

  6. #6

    Re: How does EXS compare to Gigastudio

    Logic version 5.2 and up does support key switching and also release samples, and does these things exceptionally well. There is even a \"decay release\" feature, which triggers the release samples before you let up on the key in order to have appropriate release responses on instruments with sustained notes that have a natural decay, such as pianos and plucked stringed instruments, such as guitars. You can also adjust the settings on the decay release as well, so you do not have release samples that \"bark\" at you when you let up on the keys.

    You can find these features in the EXS24 editor... \"trigger on\" and \"select by\" options.

    These features are currently only available in Logic Platinum 5.2 and up, but will probably be available next week for Logic Gold as well.

    Bardstown Audio

  7. #7
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Dallas, Texas

    Re: How does EXS compare to Gigastudio

    Hi Kip,

    Interesting stuff. I recall you telling me that the releases had gotten attention, but we didn\'t discuss the details.

    Could you comment on polyphony handling, i.e., how EXS is actually doing on streaming difficult passages, what the limitation is before you hear gapping/dropped notes/artifacts, etc.? Your instrument would be a good test for this, since it would force the sampler out of RAM mode and into streaming.

    For what it\'s worth, I had a discussion with Joe last week about the importance of seriously upgrading the release sample handling, although my idea was a lot different (and I think more sophisticated [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] ) than the one you\'re describing from EXS. Of course, I have no idea if it will be added, or if so, will be added in the way I proposed. But, at least they got the feedback and a solid proposal for improvement. The \"barking\" releases, and just the overall lack of control and programming difficulty of release samples in the current editor don\'t make them very easy or cost effective to program from a development standpoint. Anyone who slogs through it deserves to be commended!


  8. #8

    Re: How does EXS compare to Gigastudio

    For those of you considering Kontakt I\'d like to point out that:

    A. Kontakt doesn\'t do disk streaming and...

    B. From the Kontak message boards...it looks like Gigasampler import still have ways to go.

    I\'m sure that NI will update the software and those issues will be resolved....but the fact that Kontakt for the Mac is still not out makes me wonder when they will actually tend to those things!

  9. #9

    Re: How does EXS compare to Gigastudio

    Hi Bruce,

    Regarding the programming of release samples in EXS24 and Giga as well, good release samples begin with good editing of the release samples before you ever begin to construct an instrument in the editor of either of these programs. I experimented extensively with the release samples on the \"Vintage Jazz Guitars and Tenor Banjos\" for quiet some time before I released this collection in Giga format. I knew exactly the way I wanted these Guitars and Banjos to sound and behave with the release samples, thus accurately capturing the sound of the finger coming off of the finger board, which really enhances the sound of any sampled plucked stringed instruments. For different types of music you want varying degrees of the sound of the release samples, so I programmed them with the mod wheel in order to have everything from a \"full release\" sound to no release sound at all, and with varying settings in between based on the position of the mod wheel controller.

    With the Bosendorfer Imperial, the release samples serve a different function than the release samples on the jazz archtop guitars and tenor banjos. The release samples provide the ambient sound of the performance hall in which this Bosendorfer Imperial was sample recorded. Careful attention needed to be given to the editing of the Bosendorfer release samples in order to respond properly and give just the right amount of ambient performance hall effect.

    Even the most advanced programming features, in any sampler for release samples, will only go so far in order to sound effective and appropriate if the release samples have not been recorded and edited properly. It is just like trying to take a bad mix from a music session with bad front end tracking and mic\'ing techniques and trying to \"polish it up\" with professional mixing and effects processing. Even the very best effects processors and mixing techniques cannot polish a poorly recorded session very effectively.

    Regarding EXS24, you have 64 notes of polyphony on each instance of EXS24 on an audio instrument track in Logic, and of course the total number of audio instrument track instances that you can get with EXS24 in Logic with 64 notes of polyphony depends on the processing speed of your computer.

    EXS24 performs disk streaming beautifully, so there is no reason not to use disk streaming unless you are wanting to conserve processing power for other things in Logic, such as more audio tracks and effects processing. The disk streaming feature in Logic is activated by downloading the VSM (virtual sample memory) manager from the Emagic web site for either Macintosh or PC, and placing it in the system folder, which is in the Windows folder on a PC, or in the extensions folder on a Macintosh, which is inside of the system folder. Once this is done, you activate the VSM manager in EXS24 by going to \"options\" in the EXS24 instrument panel and then putting a check in the check box, and then click apply and ok.

    Regarding filtering effects in EXS24, you do not need to program them into the sampled instrument, such as you do in Giga. The user can tweak the filter knobs and sliders on the main front panel of EXS24 in order to suit their ears. I have not personally experimented much with the filter controls in EXS24 considering I prefer sampled instruments without filtering, if you have high quality recorded samples to begin with... why ruin a good thing filters. [img]images/icons/rolleyes.gif[/img] However, I have heard from several people who have experimented with the EXS24 filters, and they say that they are excellent.

    In order to take advantage of these enhanced features in EXS24 for release samples and key switching, you need Logic version 5.2 or later, and also Logic Platinum. Logic Gold will probably be updated next week to version 5.3, which is the most current version of Logic Platinum, so Logic Gold will have the same programming features as Platinum.

    I have found EXS24 to be extremely stable on both Macintosh and PC.

    Bardstown Audio

  10. #10

    Re: How does EXS compare to Gigastudio

    Wow....it\'s really (EXS) beginning to sound like a compelling alternative!

    So to recap:

    Logic has the backing and huge manpower of Apple.

    It streams like a charm.

    It supports keyswitching, release samples as well as the basics.

    It works in OS X.

    It can handle large demands on polyphony.

    It\'s well integrated within the Logic environment.

    It imports Giga (and I\'m assuming the Akai format).

    It\'s in a continuous state of evolution with new updates appearing on a monthly basis.

    Developers have already started supporting the format with the Vienna Symphonic slated for it!!!

    Am I missing something? Sounds like a charm. Pair it up with one of the new Dual 1ghz G4 with a fast dedicated hard drive and it sounds like a winner.

    I think it\'s probably a good idea to monitor this baby pretty closely in the upcoming months!

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