I have a church group that is considering setting up GigaStudio systems for live performances. Does anyone have experience related to this? The alternative is for them to purchase keyboards (Roland, Kurzweil, etc.), which seem inflexible and with generally inferior sounds (It\'s hard for a 32MB piano to outperform a 1GB one). The reliability of the Giga system, however, may be a problem. Any discussions would be welcome. Thanks.
Thank you Doug. Can you tell me about your setup? What makes it stable and how have you tweaked it? I have been using GigaStudio on Win98SE with a P3 machine for years. It is not extremely stable but fine for studio work. Live work requires the next level of stability. A raw failure in a church service can be serious problem.
A properly tweaked Giga installation should be plenty stable. You should probably preload all the sounds you will need for the service and simply switch between them I\'ve had Giga up and running for a month or more at a time operating as a sound module with no problems at all.
We haven\'t done anything unusual except to follow the audio and performance tweak suggestions that are widely available. I run Giga on a dedicated machine. Primarily, once instruments are loaded I leave them alone. I never touch GigaStudio in live performance and I try to avoid maxing out polyphony, although this doesn\'t seem to be a problem with faster machines. I\'ve never had a crash running things that way. I\'ve used it with pipe organ samples and left it running for days without problems.
The main things for making a GS system stable are: 1. Getting high quality sound card with high quality drivers (RME is the best); 2. Make sure no other programs or unnecessary services are running other than GigaStudio; and 3. (Most important!) make sure your system always runs cool and doesn\'t overheat. Overheating components will cause all sorts of little problems that seem totally unrelated but are frustrating when trying to track down.
In our systems, we strip out everything from the OS -- ACPI, System Restore, Internet Explorer, Windows update, Media Player (and all the codecs), scheduled tasks, database drivers, etc. This makes our systems ultra stable because nothing is running other than GigaStudio. In addition, we go through a long qualifying period for all the system drivers testing for specific instabilities. That might be a little tough if you are building your own system since you don\'t know what to look out for with each system driver, but in general if you have the latest chipset and video drivers, you should be fine.
One thing that I think is really cool about our systems is that we have an automatic hard on/off feature. This allows you to turn on your unit, GigaStudio will boot with its default performance (previously set up by you), then when you\'re done just switch off the unit -- no need to go through a proper shutdown. Shutdown is handled automatically so that you have a normal fast boot when you turn it on again. This way you don\'t even need a separate monitor, mouse, and keyboard. You turn it on like a hardware sampler, it boots with your preselected performance with all the banks loaded, then you turn it off when you\'re done without having to do anything on the screen -- it\'s great for the road and works perfectly for our customers who use it in churches where recovery from a power failure is a concern. Of course, you can always use our remote control software either wired or wirelessly straight from a laptop (Mac or PC) and control GigaStudio normally (without the need for that extra monitor, mouse, or keyboard).
For a computer with Gigastudio as the only app, a tuned 98SE computer is just as stable as an XP one. If you intend to run several apps (plug-ins, sequencer, Gigastudio, etc.), then XP is your only choice since a crash by a rogue app won\'t bring the entire system down.