Is there any need for outboard gear when using Giga? Coming from a semi-traditional recording background, I have all sorts of compressors, preamps, AD converters, etc .. Will I need any of this stuff once I convert to Giga?
It depends. What do you want to accomplish? Will you mix live sounds with samples? Since the CPU can only do so much, the offboard effects may be useful - but that depends upon how much I/O you have on your soundcard.
There are lots of ways to approach this. It all depends on how you want to work, what sounds you like, and, of course, how much money ya gots.
I've been recording on Digi001 for a while. I've got a few compressors and pres and an Apogee Rosetta A/D trying to make my stuff sound as good as I can. Digi001 is 24 tracks max without doing the little tricks and the Digi001 isn't exactly known for being the best sounding setup in the world.
I'm just wondering whether I'll even need this stuff after getting Giga. If I didn't intend on using Digi after getting Giga, would I have any reason (that I may not know of) to want to transfer the stuff I do in Giga to Pro Tools to mix it? Would I just be better suited doing everything inside of Giga?
It's hard to say. You may find that you miss some of the sounds that you can get from your hardware. And you may find that it takes too many passes to do everything in Giga. Also, Giga isn't a VST, so its effects only work on its samples. There's a workaround. You put your recordings into a distributed wave and make a gig from it, then play those. It's a poor workflow, but it allows you to put your live recordings through GPulse, which you may want to do to match the space of your live & sampled sounds.
Don't get rid of your equipment until you've established a new Giga-centric workflow. After you've forgotten about the boxes and they're covered with dust, then auction them on ebay. They may actually gain in value with time!