Can anyone confirm the following limitations with stacking instruments:
1. There is no way to remotely control the volume of each individual stacked instrument separately. I know you can set the overall level for each from GigaStudio, but is there a way to control this from a sequencer?
2. If I have two samples mapped at the same key, will they always play together? How is the balanced determined?
In the manual there is a mantra "using stacked instruments will be discussed in more detail later". Well, after reaching the end of the manual I am a bit confused. I suppose this will discussed in later versions of the manual.
The basic problem here is the MIDI spec. It really expects you to put different instruments on different midi channels - so it only gives you one volume controller per midi channel.
One way around this would be to make a tiny edit to each instrument that you want to use in a stack.
Gigastudio's editor lets you assign virtually any midi controller to the level of an instrument.
Say you have a midi controller which has 4 faders, and you have Violin, Viola, Cello and Bass all stacked on the one midi channel slot. Load the Violin into the editor and assign fader 1 to control its volume. Load the Viola into the editor and assign fader 2 to control its volume. Load the Cello etc., - you see where I'm going.
In the end you get totally discrete volume control for each instrument.
Just make sure that the fader you use on one stacked instrument isn't used for anything in one of the other stacked instruments (eg don't assign mod wheel to volume on the violin if it's already being used for vibrato on the viola)
This is quick and easy to do. You just have to know what controller numbers your sending device uses. Make copies of the instrument you want to play around with (within the same gig file to save space) so that you can mangle stuff without having to reinstall the original if you go too far.
Assuming you have two different patches stacked and they have key ranges in common, all samples mapped to a key which you play will be triggered. Their volume is determined by the individual per stack layer volume fader in the mixer. My last post mentions a simple workaround for discrete level control form an external midi controller.
I know there are probably some people who think "hey, having inaudible sounds play when you hit a key wastes polyphony", but Gigastudio needs to be able to fade silent sounds up at your command - and the only way to do that with phase locked accuracy is if the sample starts streaming when the other sample start.
What is the difference between stacking two files and combining them in the editor? Or, is this a dumm question? For me, the stacking is convenient and quick to do, but sometimes instruments get stuck and difficult to remove, program changes do not seem to work with stacked instruments. If you are set in what volume level you wish to have two instruments to sound together, combining them to a new instrument would be easier to handle from the sequencer. (?)
Stacking seems to be intended as a 'quicky' way of combining two or more instruments, whereas combining in the editor takes more time. They both have advantages and disadvantages.
It's true that once you have determined your preferred balance between two instruments, combining them using the editor will probably make the combo easier to handle.
Keep in mind that instruments which have been combined in the editor are still individually addressable. Once combined, if you wanted to alter the balance, you'd just pick select the regions which belong to one of the two instruments, and alter their levels.
If you wanted to maintain the ability to balance the sub instruments within the combined instrument in real time, without the editor, you could simply assign separate midi controllers to control the levels of the each of the two sets of regions.