A couple of points come to mind right off the bat:
1. Halion only works within Cubase and Nuendo. This is a big difference for me. Not everyone uses one of these applications, so to make the use of the product dependant upon running one of these programs is a bit of a bummer.
2. No multiple MIDI ports. Being limited to 16 MIDI channels is tough as well. No elaborate orchestrations being done here, I suppose.
3. No Quicksound technology. This is a huge difference. I can search my 120 GB Medea drive (87 GB full!) with Quicksound for every piano I have installed, and have them all at my finger tips ready to audition in seconds.
4. Latency. Giga exists and functions at the \"kernel\" level of a computer. This means that essentially Giga is communicating directly with the hardware (sound card in this situation). The engineers call this \"coding close to the metal\", because it is the cleanest and most efficient coding that can be done with an application on a PC. Other soft synths and samplers must work in what is called the \"user\" level. Your OS and all of your other applications live here. In a nutshell, everything that resides here has to communicate with the sound card through the OS. This is why these types of applications are consistently plagued by latency issues.
I know of people getting latency measurements of less than 5 milliseconds total latency.
The thing to keep in mind when other companies throw around their latency specs, is that most of the time they are only factoring the audio latency, and not the front end MIDI latency as well. The Giga latency numbers are measured from the time the key is struck, until you hear the sound.
5. As far as Halion being able to import and play Giga instruments. I suppose that this is a logical evolution. Giga is the undisputed king of sample libraries, and I can\'t fault anyone for wanting to get in on the action.
I think the important thing to keep in mind here, is that these instruments were created for Giga, and like anything that is \"converted\" from it\'s original format, you are more than likely going to lose some of the cool features of the instrument. These instruments have been created using the virtually limitless file size platform, and features and functions unique to Giga. Giga created the disk streaming technology, and with it came an incredibly raised ceiling on what could be done.
I suppose I could put a Ferrari engine in my Ford Probe...and call it a Ferrari. (Hey! A project for this weekend! )
6. The way that Halion buffers the first segment of each sample is less efficient than Giga. I could import my Giga Piano into Halion, and it would need roughly 200 MB to load within Halion (Halion loads between 2-4 seconds of each sample into installed RAM).
The same piano loaded into Giga will only use 61 MB. Giga only needs the first 64K of each sample.
7. I don\'t think pros like Hans Zimmer have 26 Halion systems in their studio.
I could go on, but I think you get the point.
[This message has been edited by Dave Casey (edited 10-04-2001).]
I\'ve come to the same conclusions myself. I\'ve tried loading huge gigasamples into HALion, and it simply chokes my whole system. In order to achieve the same response and low latency of GStudio, I have to set the sample preload so high that all my memory is used for this alone.
GigaStudio feels a lot better, because it\'s not a VSTi, and the way it accesses huge samples. I guess it depends on what kind of music you\'re making also. If you need acoustic instrument sounds nicely emulated you need huge samples, and HALion doesn\'t seem to handle this very well, at least not the GigaSamples I\'ve tried.