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Topic: Frustrations with upgrading to GPO

  1. #1

    Frustrations with upgrading to GPO

    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,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Orcas Island

    Re: Frustrations with upgrading to GPO



    If you had a computer system that served you well for two and a half years, you are ahead of the game, especially in the audio world.

    For about $500 - $600 MOL you can put together a system that may meet your needs. And perhaps you can use paarts from your old system if you are in a pinch. There are going to be other programs you\'ll probably want to run in the future that will need the extra power. I use an inexpensive Dell as one of my main GPO computers and it works great. Hope this helps.

    Gary Garritan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Kauai, Hawaii, USA

    Re: Frustrations with upgrading to GPO

    Not to give them a plug, but I have bought MANY computer systems via uBid.com -- including my latest SONY RX-951 P-4, 2.66 system (without monitor but with 120 meg hard drive, USB 2, Firewire) for around $600. They seem to always have \"remaindered\" SONY stock (perhaps a deal with SONY to drain the left-over stock) and I have also gotten 18-inch SONY flat-screen monitors (the latest last week for $360). [It seems Cubase and other devices really would be more comfortable running on two monitors, so I bit the bullet on that as well.]

    Stay away from the RS series (it\'s 2 years old) -- the good P-4 models are RX and RZ. And carefully check the features -- SONY makes their desktop computers with a wide variety of things (including a builtin television tuner -- which you definitely don\'t need for music production).

    i hope this helps ... kev [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Chandler, Arizona

    Re: Frustrations with upgrading to GPO

    I\'m not sure how the AMD 1.2 compares to a P3 733 system. I\'ve had no problem getting 64 stereo voices out of my P3 system with GPO using Windows 98. You should be able to load one instance with the basic instruments you need.

    Another option is to use the included Cubasis software and use GPO as a VST plugin. I don\'t know if the sequencer your using supports VST plugins or not. If you run out of processing power, you can then freeze or bounce tracks. Piano and harp have a tendency to use a lot of polyphony and even in Giga each instrument could use all 96 voices. You can limit each instrument to 32 voices so you can hear your whole piece and then bounce each instrument later by itself with a higher voice setting.

    You may want to look at the full blown Kontakt soft sampler which will allow you to import you Giga accordian. You can then load GPO samples and the accordian in one instance of Kontakt.

  5. #5

    Re: Frustrations with upgrading to GPO

    Originally posted by Garritan:
    ...I use an inexpensive Dell as one of my main GPO computers and it works great.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Me too Gary, I just need to upgrade the RAM, now that Tom helped me to load twice what I was before I got a taste of the good life - and want more! [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  6. #6

    Re: Frustrations with upgrading to GPO

    including my latest SONY RX-951 P-4, 2.66
    It\'s one thing to buy a clearly better product, like Toyota. Don\'t buy a freakin\' Japanese computer. Buy yourself a good, reliable Texas Computer-Dell.
    Economic jingoism aside,is a DAW system really better than a good Dell and an awesome soundcard?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Orcas Island

    Re: Frustrations with upgrading to GPO

    Originally posted by rageangel:
    Economic jingoism aside,is a DAW system really better than a good Dell and an awesome soundcard?
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">It depends on who builds the system, the components they use and the warrantee they give. Some DAWs come optimized and teaked for audio and specific applications.

  8. #8

    Re: Frustrations with upgrading to GPO

    WELL I can tell you what I did...

    I originally owned a P3 933 mghz PC that served me VERY well running my Giga and Sonar. It was really tweaked out (by me) for Win 98ME. I rarely had problems or crashing with it. All was well.

    Then I got interested in software synthesisers and samplers and my proc couldn\'t cut it with the large polyphony I required in my music.

    I bought GPO when it came out and tried running it with the 512meg limit of my PC\'s mobo and couldn\'t even load the full piano.

    I quickly realized that I needed more PC horsepower. I set about building a PC, and except for a bad power supply, I got it up and running over the course of a month buying the parts from various online distributers.

    I had previously tried installing Win XP on my P3, and though it upgraded fine, I found it was crashing alot for no apparent reason. And Gigastudio 96 would not run well at all after I upgraded to the 2.52 version.

    I am not having weird Windows XP problems on the new PC.

    My advice to you is NOT to \'upgrade\' to XP from 98! If you must use your old PC, then do a clean install and re-install your old programs. Some of them may not run under XP, some may run BETTER under XP, you just never know. (Win 98SE was VERY stable).

    If you don\'t feel competent to build a PC, then try a \'bare bones\' unit where you only have to take your HDs and CD drives from your old PC. If you can use a screw driver and are a little careful you should be able to do it fine.

    I like DELL PCs a lot, but they lock you in with no real upgrade path. They (like all the big manufacturers) often use non-standard mobos and power supplies and much else. That is the problem I had with my \'high-end\' HP computer. It wasn\'t exactly cheap and though it is built VERY well, it cannot accept a new mobo, so that is why I was forced to build a completely new PC.

    Some companies that sell you parts can also sell you a complete PC built and tested and loaded with whatever OS you desire. Do a \'Froogle\' search and shop around.

    While I think you could make complex orchestral music with your present setup and GPO (the GPO player works just fine under 98) and you have enough RAM already, you will need to do A LOT of bouncing down of parts (tracks). This DOES work (I used to do it all the time on my previous PC) but you may get quite frustrated at times as I did when you get ideas and you have to bounce down before you can move on.

    I hope this helps in your decision. I know it sucks to have to scrap your old PC to do music with soft samplers and synths, but it is a better way.

    And don\'t weep for GIGA...Tascam just simply BLEW IT big time by waiting so long for ver 3.0 and the sample industry has moved on without them! The new Giga is only little better and it CAN NOT do what Kontakt does with GPO!

    So I think it may be time for you to move on as well (like I did!).

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