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Topic: New Giga user (maybe?)

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  1. #1

    New Giga user (maybe?)

    Hi there.

    First things first, let me introduce myself.

    I am a composer and sound engineer living in germany, doing quite a few tv documentaries and have grown my own studio over the last 10 or so years. I am quite familiar with E-Mu and Akai samplers, with Logic Audio and a bunch of other soft- and hardware.

    As i realize that just buying one more E-Mu only will postpone my repeatedly-hitting-the-RAM-wall-problem, i am currently looking into Gigastudio.
    I intend to set this up on a separate PC which will be in the other room, remote controlled from Logic Audio running on a Mac G3.


    The main feature of GS for me would be the sample streaming from disk, obviously, mostly beneficial for todays huge orchestral sample libraries.

    If there\'s reverb and stuff built in, then why not (i know it is), but i couldn\'t care less if the reverb doesn\'t cut it, i got plenty of that in hardware. I want to use this as just
    another (big) module, with as little fiddling on the machine itself as possible. While i realize that there actually *is* quite some fiddling involved to set this all up
    properly, i want it to run as transparently as possible from there on.

    The GS machine should run 4 to 8 real analog outputs with further 4 analog outputs acting as MIDI remotable (and programmable) Aux Sends to be connected to my hardware fx thru my mixing board. I lured the poor guy in the shop today into repatching his demo system to see if the built in audio mixer\'s aux sends can be routed to a physical output. We achieved this quick and dirty by simply setting the reverb unit to Bypass and route its outputs to a physical output.

    1. The guy in the shop told me they are only licensed to ship their PCs with Windows ME. Is this ok or should i take the long road and reinstall everything after downgrading to Win98 ? 2000 ? MS-DOS2.0 (haha only serious ) ?
    I have to admit that i am a bit shy of PCs. While i have run into more or less everything that can happen to you on a Mac, i\'m a bloody newbie with Wintel, so please bear with me.

    2. My sample library consists of lots of AKAI CDs and since those are often not satisfactorily programmed and laid out, i almost always end up loading them into my E6400s, tweaking them, add controller cords and stuff, then resave the whole shebang in EIV format and finally burn CDRs from that which from then on are my
    workhorses while the pristine only-used-once AKAI originals are collecting dust on the shelf.

    You see, readjusting this damn flute velocity curve or that accurate but stupid violin transposition and key range every bloody time makes me cringe up the walls if it happens during the rush of a production. On the other (same, actually) side, i\'m not shy to invest even days to get this just right *before* the **** hits the fan. So the question is, how (if at all) does Translator convert EIV banks, samples, presets, controllers, cords, filter settings, lag processors and all the other esotheric stuff ?

    3. The guy in the shop showed me that there can be 5 external MIDI controllers assigned to specific destinations in a preset. One of them being cc64 Sustain Pedal
    there remain only 4 to do anything else. Is this correct ? I hope not. Does this at all correlate to the E-Mu\'s eight MIDI A-H controllers plus eight further ones Pitch,
    Mod, ChaPress etc. ? How would they think to get away with five controllers ? Or am i missing the boat bigtime ? What\'s up with that Dimensions stuff in this context?

    4. I hoped to be able to reach any single Giga preset on disk remotely with Bank/Program Change commands. I was told that there has to be loaded a preselected
    bunch of presets which then get arbitrary program numbers in order of their loading time. This would definitely complicate things quite a bit. I also understand that Bank/Program numbers *can* be sort of hard coded in the presets\' properties dialog, but this has to be done one by one. What\'s the story here ?

    5. How does a Giga set correlate to E-Mu\'s folder/bank/preset/sample structure ? Where and how is the Audio Mixer / Preset Combination / FX Setup stored ? Do i
    have to resave the whole mess only because i have changed a bloody reverb time, like we all know it is on the E-Mus ?

    6. Is the Audio Mixer Channel\'s physical output setting remotable via MIDI (compare cc79 val 0-3 for the E-Mu\'s outputs). They say *everything* is remotable via MIDI, but we all know the term *everything* to be quite elastic...

    7. Regarding backing up the whole stuff, the salesman recommended adding a CD burner to the system. I get headaches even thinking about fitting a 1.4Gb
    Whatever-Setup onto 650Mb CDRs. Not to mention the other 30Gb i could fill without further effort. Isn\'t it most efficient *and* least expensive in the long run to just get a second hard drive the same size as the main library disk and do a 1:1 copy after each session or day ?

    8. Am i just paranoid trying to figure out all those stepstones and pitfalls other people seem to be happily falling into ?

    I realize this is has become a quite elaborated query, and i certainly appreciate *any* time you want to devote to answering even but one of these questions.

    Many thanks in advance

    Christian


  2. #2

    Re: New Giga user (maybe?)

    I\'ll try to answer the questions I think I know the answer:

    I was actually pleasantly surprised by the reverb & chorus effects in Giga. You could also keep multi-outs digital with a GSIF-ready digital (e.g. ADAT format) card? I\'m not sure of the cost of parts in Germany, but in the US you can build an incredible Giga-ready PC from the \"Roll Your Own Thunderbird\" article at http://www.prorec.com. I put two together and it was about US$1000; which coupled with the software will get you a Korg Triton Rack which is nice but does 1% of what a GigaStudio machine could do.

    You may want to download the Chicken Systems Translator demo for easy conversion of your Akai and probably your EMU samples to Giga format (http://www.chickensys.com). I\'m using it right now to bulk-convert my Akai CD\'s to Giga (the S-Converter with GS is nice but more \"one by one\" conversion than bulk).



  3. #3

    Re: New Giga user (maybe?)

    Hey Christian

    1. As far as OS goes, I get the feeling that you\'ll have the least probs with 98, and that Nemesys prefer it currently (until XP comes out). But I\'ve read posts from users running ME fine.

    2. Try Translator - suck it and see. If you think something\'s amiss in the Translation, just ask Garth at Rubber Chook Systems - he\'s very approachable and always looking to make inprovements, sometimes overnight. Probably doesn\'t sleep...

    3. Currently Gigastudio lets you use a variety of midi controllers depending on what parameter you are dealing with. In some cases you\'re limited to only a few option, in others you have over twenty to choose from (eg Attenuation control when mixing layered instruments).

    There are currently 27 Midi controller sources to use when dealing with dimensions. These range from mod wheel, to velocity, to GPs, to key release.

    I believe there\'s a good chance that far more midi control will be available in V3. Nemesys have already added midi control over envelopes in V2.2

    Check out the feature request survey Nemesys recently set up. It\'s a collection of user requests which you can weight to your personal preferences: www.nemesysmusic.com/support/suryvey.html

    4. I haven\'t installed V2.2, but I believe this update allows you to \'hardwire\' preset and bank numbers to instruments so that they are not renumbered depending on the order in which they are loaded. I quote from the newsletter: Preserve assigned patch numbers in performances.

    5. I don\'t know the EIV, but here\'s a description of the Giga heirarchy.

    a. Your SAMPLE is a bog standard wav file, which can have a forward loop and unity note embedded.

    b. You assign that sample to a \'REGION\' which occupies an area on the keyboard. Regions include \'articulation\' information -ie envelopes, filters, LFOs, response, tuning, loop etc.,. A region can have up to 32 velocity split points and can also contain several sets of layers/dimensions. A layer could be switched in a number of ways - eg mod wheel, assigned notes, pedal etc.,

    c. One or more regions assigned to the keyboard make up an \'INSTRUMENT\'.

    d. Several instruments can exist in the same .GIG file. They don\'t have to use the same samples. They don\'t really have to be related at all. You normally load .gig files from disk, but it\'s also possible to load an individual instrument. If you have a favourite patch but need to make several versions of it with different sample assignment,filter or envelope settings - this is the place to do it, as all the different versions can draw from the common sample pool loaded for the instrument - no wasted disk space.

    e. Gigs or Instruments are loaded into one of the 64 midi channels in the midi mixer. This is also the level at which your FX setup is stored. It\'s called a PERFORMANCE. Only one performance can reside in memory at a time. Performances use virtualy no memory. If you change a reverb setting and want to save it over the top of your old performance, it\'ll save instantly. If you want to save it to a new place in order to preserve the original version, it\'ll usually waste between 40 and and 150k - not a major concern.

    6. I don\'t think you can change hardware routing on the soundcard interface via midi. On the other hand, the level of every channel of the DSP station is controllable by all possible midi controllers (about 128 in all, I think).

    7. I backup with a second drive doing a simple 1:1 every now and then. It\'s the easiets way, and if you use removeable drives it\'s even safer. Consider firewire.

    8. hehe NO! I wish I\'d gotten more response from the forums when I was thinking about jumping the hardware ship.

    Good luck, I think you\'re putting together a viable system, which shouldn\'t give you the headaches suffered by some who try to do it all on one PC.

  4. #4

    Re: New Giga user (maybe?)

    Hi Chadwick

    >2. Try Translator - suck it and see. If you think something\'s amiss in
    >theTranslation, just ask Garth at Rubber Chook Systems - he\'s very
    >approachable and always looking to make inprovements,
    >sometimes overnight. Probably doesn\'t sleep...

    Yes, i\'m already in contact with him, very helpful indeed.

    >I believe there\'s a good chance that far more midi control will be available in V3.

    That\'d be good news.

    >8. hehe NO! I wish I\'d gotten more response from the forums
    >when I was thinking about jumping the hardware ship.

    )

    >Good luck, I think you\'re putting together a viable system,
    >which shouldn\'t give you the headaches suffered by some
    >who try to do it all on one PC.

    Yes, thanks very much for your insight.

    Christian



    [This message has been edited by Christian Obermaier (edited 08-02-2001).]

  5. #5

    Re: New Giga user (maybe?)

    Hi carlgt1

    >You could also keep multi-outs digital with a GSIF-ready
    >digital (e.g. ADAT format) card?

    Nope, all plugged into my analog mixing board.

    >I\'m not sure of the cost of parts in Germany, but in the US you
    >can build an incredible Giga-ready PC from the \"Roll Your Own
    >Thunderbird\" article at <A HREF=\"http://www.prorec.com.\" TARGET=_blank>http://
    >www.prorec.com.</A> I put two together and it was about
    >US$1000;

    While i know this is possible, me myself don\'t know the slightest thing about PCs and thus i\'ll have to bite the bullet and have my dealer build one for me.

    >You may want to download the Chicken Systems Translator
    >demo for easy conversion of your Akai and probably your
    >EMU samples to Giga format (http://www.chickensys.com).

    Yes, i\'m in contact with Garth and we are working on a solution (that\'s the correct term, right ?)

    Thanks for your time.

    Christian

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