Hi, I'm thinking about buying GS3, and it'd be great if you
guys can answer a few general questions for me. I tried Emailing
Tascam twice with no reply (not encouraging, hmmmm..) So, I've been
lurking around here for a while trying to absorb as much info on GS3
as I can. I've got some questions of my own -'here goes>
Q. I know GS is well known as a studio tool, but can GS
(stability issues aside for the moment), be used as a multi-
timbral live instrument module ? I'm kind-of looking at it as
being a giant Motif/Triton bread and butter, all-in-one-box
sound module.(I'm hoping to port a lot of sounds over from Emulator X)
To my understanding, you should be able to send
program change messages (0-127), per channel, and pull up a stored presets
from within the GS performance, right? I read that Jon Fairhurst
did some live work with it a while back. Can it be done? Is
it too shakey, or controlling it too cumbersome? Please give
me your thoughts on using GS3 live!
Q2. What are the filters like on Gigastudio3? Are they adequete for
synth type sounds? (i.e 12-24db per oct). I can't find much detailed info
anywhere on the filters, envelopes, LFos ect...
Q3. What is the support like for registered uses? My experience so far as a
prospective buyer has been disappointing.
BTW, I have put together a separate computer perhaps for GS3 (presently for Emu-X):
IntelP4 3.2Ghz(Prescott), Asus P5P800 Mobo, 2GB PC3200 Ram-800FSB,
74MB WD-Raptor SATA drive(for streaming),60GB HD(for OS & apps),
M-audio Delta 410 (5 stereo outs-GSIF)
If any of you guys can touch breifly on these questions it would sure
help me make up my mind, and be greatly appreciated!
Tascam isn't great with answering e-mail. You will likely get more info here. If you really need info from them, phone is best. Once you get through, they are pretty helpful.
Live use, huh? GS3 definitely works. I've found the software to be rock solid, as long as you don't push it past its limits. If you max out the RAM, and eat all the CPU, it can die. It's like an engine. Run it past redline and it blows up. Then again we drive our cars "live", don't we?
The real risk is in using a PC. You don't want to smash your hard drive on the way to the gig. Maybe a PCI card comes loose. Or Windows complains about some odd corruption. This isn't unique to Giga. Who hasn't had a problem with a PC at some time or anothter? Keeping the PC simple, building it rugged, treating it nicely and having a backup are all good ways to ensure success when the curtain goes up.
Program changes work in GS3, with one caveat - it stops any previous sounds from the channel that got the program change.
Ideally, I would play a C chord with strings, hold the chord, change the patch to horns, yet still hear the strings, until I lift the notes. Play the notes again, and horns should sound. What will actually happen is that the strings will go silent when you hit the program change. But only on that channel.
The resonant filter in Giga is okay. It's at least 12 dB/8ve. It's got LFOs, VCF, VCAs and such. There are probably better synth solutions though, like Reaktor. Giga is at its best with piano and other natural sounds. It can do some synth stuff as well, but it's not its forte.
Thanks for your answers Jon. Very helpful.
OK, I guess I'll order GS3 (orchestral) now !
Yes I would have a backup plan for sure, I have a Roland XV5080 module
for that pupose, but it's not the "one box" live solution i am looking for,
the pianos and other natural sounds (with their short loops) sound artificial
and electronic. Perhaps I should use the roland for synthetic textures and
Giga for the more natural sounds, eh? .
I'm looking at ways to rackmount the "giga"-computer components.
I agree the hard drives are the most fragile of all, perhaps a separate shock-mount
'"cage" for the HD's might be the best (if a bit more cumbersome)
solution.I'm thinking the static components should be all right as long as they are secured
properly. Laptops are out for all the reasons you might expect:
expensive, wimpy performance, limited peripherals ect..
Ok, I think I have the broad outline of what i need to do to get a
live Giga machine going. If anyone has any tips or links on this
matter please chime in!
Don't forget about heat issues when you are thinking "rack mount " ....Make sure you have plenty of ventilation since you are really working the computer and things can get warm !!... You don't have to worry much about the noise since you want this for a "live" rig , but if you are going to use it or both live and studio , you want to consider this also .....Like mentioned earlier, backup is essential ...... Good Luck ....Sincerely, Jim
Bruce Richardson has posted a number of times about his live rig(s). He recommends a 4 rack-unit case, rather than anything smaller. You can use more standard parts that way, and will have less of a screaming fan/hot box problem.