Thanks to all who responded to my thread about arranging with GPO. It looks like I got all excited too early without realizing I may not be able to use it all, at least not now. But Iím trying to figure out what my options are and what the best solution would be. I apologize in advance for this long post, but I would really appreciate some help and I thought it would be best if I spelled out the whole situation and my ideas about what my options are.
Iím afraid I donít have a very good head for the right configurations on systems used for sampling and have let others do it for me in the past. I entered into the sampling world a few years ago by investing in a Sound Chaser PC-DAW configured for GigaStudio 96. (How I miss that company right now. I think I could use their help with this.) This is what I currently have to work with.
Processor: AMD Athlon Thunderbird 1.2 GHZ
Memory: 3 256MB PC-133 RAM (768 total)
Boot hard drive: 20 GB
Audio hard drive: 60 GB
Sample hard drive: 60 GB
Soundcard: Frontier Designs Dakota (that I then run through an Alesis ADAT)
I do audio recording and mixing with the ADAT and Cool Edit Pro
I use MidiSoft Studio 4 as my sequencer. Hey, donít laugh ;-) I know itís archaic but it was the sequencer I learned on eons ago and I can write quickly on it so Iíve never been able to part from it, and it has gotten the job done up to now.
My OS is Windows 98SE
Iím sure you all can see what my problem is by now. At the time that I got the system (jeez, has it really been two and a half years?) my system was top of the line and I paid handsomely for it. I stupidly assumed that it would be powerful enough to run GPO so I didnít even think to check system requirements for it. Now that Iíve seen what the system recommendations are, Iíve had a big olí reality check. So here is what I need to accomplish and here is what I see as my options:
What I need to accomplish:
I theatre piece that I wrote the score for has a workshop production coming up this summer. I originally scored it as a piano/vocal but with a strong idea as to how it would be arranged for a production for piano, harp, violin, cello and accordion (I know the accordion is not a terribly popular instrument, but the piece takes place in 1937 France and one of the characters is a street accordion player, but I digress). The idea is to start off in the workshop with a small chamber ensemble and then, if we get the backing, later orchestrate it for a small (15-20 piece) orchestra. Iíd like to use GPO instruments to assist me with the arrangements so I could get a good idea as to what the arrangements will sound like and get them as close to what Iíd like before we start working with musicians. Iíd also soon like to start playing around with how the music will sound with an orchestra and even make demos to entice potential producers to fork out the extra money for a bigger sound.
Now this is what I see as my options:
At the time that I got the GigaStudio DAW, GigaStudio would only run on Windows 98. Iíve never upgraded to XP because I never really felt it was necessary, but also because if I ran into any compatibility problems with my system, I no longer had Sound Chaser to turn to (and as I said before, Iím not very technically proficient when it comes to these sort of things). The very kind woman who answered the phone at Garyís place pointed me toward a part of the Garritan site that describes a workaround for installing on Windows 98 but itís an \"at your own risk\" sort of thing.
Do I take the chance of trying to install GPO on my Windows 98 system and run the risk of it not working and in essence throwing $260 dollars away or...
Do I upgrade to XP and risk throwing the Sound Chaser configurations out of whack with no technical support available?
Both of these ideas scare me because if I get my system out of whack, Iím wonít be able to do much of anything, and this is not a good time to lose my system.
Even if I was successful installing it on my system, would my computerís resources (processor and ram) be enough to run five instruments (using JonFairhurstís suggestion of using reeds playing block chords which sounds like a great suggestion to me) and, if so, would it be enough to support me arranging for 15 to 20 instruments soon down the road? Or...
Do I just stick with Giga sounds and get the Garritan Light string library? I can live with the harp that I have but the violin and cello samples I have Ė well, letís just say they leave a LOT to be desired and are not much help in letting me know what the music would REALLY sound like on those instruments so I really would like to have samples of the Garritan quality. The reason why Iím resisting this idea though is that Iím afraid I would feel frustrated with paying basically the same price and not getting, not only a full orchestra, but also the programming/control features and all the other great stuff that GPO offers that makes me salivate at the whole package. And then what do I do when Iím ready to arrange for an orchestra? Or...
Should I just get a whole new system from Dell that meets the requirements needed for GPO? Could I use the system I have now for Giga and the new system for GPO and configure them so that they work together and can be recorded together? Is it something a not very technically proficient person like me could figure out?
Of course, getting a whole new system would take money, which means time to save up which is something I donít have a lot of right now.
Iím terribly sorry to be blabbering on like this, but I was hoping that if I laid out my whole situation and thought process on the line, one or two of you kind souls could help me figure out the best way for me to handle this.
Thanks so much for you time.
All the best,