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Topic: Totally New to soft samplers

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  1. #1
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    Totally New to soft samplers

    Hi folks. I am far from new to playing music but I'm new to soft samplers. First I was battling trying to figure out whether to invest in a DAW for Gigastudio 3 or for Kontakt. I will be buying a very high end DAW (around $3k). I couldn't find any kind of demo for Gigastudio 3 but I ran across the demo for Kontakt 2 so I downloaded it and installed it on my regular household PC. It's not set up for music stuff. It's only 933Mhz, only has 512Mb of DDR ram, and doesn't have an ASIO compatible sound card. But I figured I could still play around and see what I think of the product. I am going to connect one of my old Korg T2's to the PC but in the interim, I tried using the internal virtual piano which seems supported. Here's the problem. I can't get any sounds to sound correct. All I get are garbled out of space sounding stuff every time I try to use a sound. I have tried everything in the demo multisound and I haven't been able to get one real sound out. Can someone tell me what I might be doing wrong. I get sound, it's just not like anything it's supposed to be. Doesn't give me much chance to see how it works. All help will be greatly appreciated.

    Also, any comments that might help me resolve the Gigastudio 3 vs Kontakt 2 dilemma would also be greatly appreciated. I have read lots of forums about both and as I would have expected, it seems some people won't use anything but Gigastudio and some people think it stinks compared to Kontakt. One of the reasons I was leaning towards Kontakt was because it says it can import lots of different sample formats. Giga file would be one I would be very interested in. But from reading things on this forum, it looks like maybe Kontakt 2 doesn't live up to it's claims about being so good importing other formats.

    Anyway, you can see that with regards to soft samplers, I am at the ultimate newbie stage. I am a computer systems engineer and I've been in music for 40 years but even so, when something is brand new, it can be very confusing. I feel like it will be a victory when I can get a real sound of the product. I know it's not the product's fault. I'm just frustrated because I'm excited to try it and I can't get anything useful out.

    Thanks to all who are willing to respond to this somewhat embarassing thread.

    Rob

  2. #2

    Re: Totally New to soft samplers

    I would say that from reading the comments on many forums (fora?) that you would be better off with Kontakt. I think that GS might be overkill and for some people it doesn't like being on the same machine as the DAW. There is hot debate ATM about which sampler can load more instruments but the main reason to use GS is the advanced features which may or may not be of interest to you, depending on which library you use. Of course if you are aiming for VSL then you have no option, you must get GS.

    Regarding translations from one sampler to the other, both ways are possible, but the more detailed the original programming, the less successful the translation. FWIW many people say that the Chicken Translator is better than Kontakt's own file importer.

    D

  3. #3
    Senior Member newmewzikboy's Avatar
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    Re: Totally New to soft samplers

    It really depends on how you want to use your machine and whether you are performing professional or semi professional work.

    I have been using gigastudio for quite a while now, and recently moved to supplementing my gigastudio server with GPO, Kontack, and VSTi instruments on my DAW and other machines. I have a number of useages
    With my higher end samples, which I use for performing final recordings, I utilize a Giga server and record on my DAW/sequencer client. For performing reference recordings, and when I am using free composition techniques using a keyboard, I utilize VSTi versions on my DAW with some supplementation from my Giga server. Recently, with my purchase of GPO, I am able to use VSTi samples on my humble laptop, which allows me to do most of my upfront precomposition and score composition with Finale, and not be chained to my DAW/Giga combination. I can go anywhere, write my work, then import the midi files to DAW and perform final mockups or recordings there. I really hate being tied to one room and a bunch of machines all the time.

    With the remote technologies (products like FX-max.com, and MidiOverLan), VSTi soft samplers can be integrated via Ethernet into your DAW. So for instance, my GPO and other VSTi instruments I am using on my laptop can be remotely integrated and run from my DAW/giga combination, so that allows me an additional server for performing recording.

    My suggestion to you would be to build a good DAW using something like Sonar, Cubase, Platinum sequencer, and start off small - looking into GPO or East West Quantum Leap Symphony Orchestra for example. Both these products utilize reasonable resources and can be run from the same machine. They both are based on Kontack.

    If you want to spend lots of money to get higher end samples, or add additional support servers in the future, you can. However, I doubt you will need to, as these libraries may suffice your needs, and they don't need a Cray to run. They are good.

    I guess the point of all this is to:
    1) Decide how much you can afford and what you want in samples for the work you perform.
    2) Look at the libraries out there and the software/hardware recommendations, and listen very closely to the demos. Other products to consider is Vienna Symphonic library, or Sonic Implants.
    3) Then decide whether they justify the need for additional hardware (giga).

    Giga stability for me has always been an issue, and I had horrible support from Tascam/Nemesys, so moving to Kontact has some blessing in terms of usability and mobility. They are easy to load and configure, build sections, and enhance to suit whatever platform I am writing from.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Big Bob's Avatar
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    Post Re: Totally New to soft samplers

    Here's the problem. I can't get any sounds to sound correct. All I get are garbled out of space sounding stuff every time I try to use a sound. I have tried everything in the demo multisound and I haven't been able to get one real sound out. Can someone tell me what I might be doing wrong. I get sound, it's just not like anything it's supposed to be. Doesn't give me much chance to see how it works. All help will be greatly appreciated.
    Since no one seems to be addressing this part of your question, I'll make a suggestion. Since you say you don't have an ASIO capatible sound card, I would put the most heat there! I haven't tried to run K2 with other than an ASIO card so I can't give you any specifics but, why don't you contact NI sales about your specific sound card to see if it can even be made to work? Alternatively, why don't you tell us what your sound card is and maybe someone on this forum can comment on its useability.
    Big Bob (aka Wonderful Bob)

  5. #5
    Senior Member newmewzikboy's Avatar
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    Re: Totally New to soft samplers

    Well, with respect to the ASIO issue, you might look into installing ASIO4ALL to work around any asio problems...

  6. #6
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    Re: Totally New to soft samplers

    Thanks everyone for responding to me and thanks for trying to address the actual technical issue I'm having trying to experiment with the demo. I have a Soundblaster Live Platinum 5.1 sound card, When you pull up the screen for audio and midi options, you are allowed to configure for standard multimedia sound. It seems like it indicates it should work. But what do I know, I've had the product on my machine for all of 2 days. As to what do I want to do with the stuff I get, here's what it is:


    1. My guitar player creates sequences on Cakewalk ProAudio 8.0.
    2. He then passes the work files to me (I'm the keyboard player).
    3. I do additional work on the sequence and then right now, transfer the sequence to my Triton Studio, and use the Triton's patches.

    The purpose of me looking at this new stuff is multifold:

    1. I think I may want to keep the sequencing on the DAW rather than using the Triton's sequencer

    2. I want better samples. I am especially desiring real world, acoustic sounds like piano, horn sections (trumpet, trombone, tenor sax, baritone sax), etc.

    In spite of everything I just described, I don't know how many more years I will be out gigging and when I stop, I want to build a home studio. I would like whatever I buy to be a good foundation for that project. That's why I'm going high-end with what I buy. I'm not rich or anything but as I said, I'm a computer system engineer and as long as I'm not doing it all the time, I can pretty much spend anything I want on this (but I only want to buy one new computer). Keeping in mind that this all has to be portable so I can take it to gigs every week.

    One more totally unrelated question: At the present time, my band uses a 4-way crossover MONO sound system. I am trying to convince the person who owns and runs the system (our guitar player). But there are two problems. The first is that there are some technical problems because with two independent sound sources, we would need to duplicate some of the equipment like crossovers, etc, etc. That we can work out. He says that the other problem is that for some of our larger gigs, we don't really point the sound system to focus on a particular spot, meaning that if we're playing say an outdoor show and the audience is spread out across a large area, we will point one stack out to the right to cover those people and one more to the left to cover those people. Not too great for stereo imaging but as any of you know, making everything into a mono signal does a lot to destroy the quality f the samples you're using, not to mention the effects. I heard about something in Kontakt called mono mode? This interests me. Is it something that might be of value to me considering my situation?

    Keep the advice coming, it really helps :-) And thanks.

    Rob

  7. #7
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    Re: Totally New to soft samplers

    I use Cakewalk Sonar 4.0 and Kontakt 2 plus many other VSTi's. They work quite well on one machine. GigaStudio 3 doesn't always work well with other apps on the same machine. It pretty much needs its own machine.

    Nice thing about Kontakt is that is can be used in a host sequencer program which will remember all the sounds loaded and their settings when you save the song. This makes loading up a song and getting back to work a breeze. GigaStudio doesn't have this kind of easy integration.

    Another thing to look into are some of the libraries that come with players such as the Garritan Personal Orchestra, East West libraries, etc. These don't even require owning a soft sampler as they come with their own players. Also available are many VSTi soft synth emulation such as the Arturia Mini Moog.

  8. #8

    Re: Totally New to soft samplers

    You can get ASIO compatibility, if not max performance, out of your SB Live! with a freebie driver: http://www.asio4all.com/

    It works with my SB Live! and GPO samples, though it's a marginal component in a system with a couple other apparently marginal components (Celeron CPU, Windows 2000) so I may have to replace the whole bloody system to get the sounds to work at tempi above largo.

  9. #9
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    Re: Totally New to soft samplers

    No one cared to respond to me about my 'mono mode' question? Surely someone knows all about it.


    Thanks....Rob

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