Ok folks, for weeks I've been trying to configure the ideal DAW for Gigastudio for live gigging. Slowl I'm getting closer to deciding what I want to buy. But now another possible major concern has come up and I need advice from current giga users, especially users who use the product out live.
I need to understand what it takes to get from one configuration to another. Someone told me that it could take from 1-2 minutes to load a new configuration. For live playing this is not acceptable. 1-2 minutes is a real long time when you're standing on stage and people are looking at you, wiating for something to happen. My band already doesn't like the time it takes me to pull up configurations on my hardware workstation sequencer (Triton Studio).
So I need to know what people do for live situations to keep the amount of time spent loading stuff to a miminum. Surely the product is used a lot live and so I'm guessing there's way around this so that the time delays are reasonable.
Please send me your opinions because this could be a complete showstopper for me at doing this at all. I want to be clear on how I will use this effectively before dropping $3k or $4k on a real high end DAW for this.
Thanks everyone. The sooner I get opinions on this the better. Everything is kind of in limbo while I figure out how this issue is dealt with in the real world.
I think the safest and fastest way to use Giga live is to set and forget the channels, and to switch between channels to change setups. By doing this, everything is instant, and Giga does no reconfiguration at all.
In the past I've played live (just jam sessions) while using the keyboard to setup splits. Now, you can setup splits and stacks on a Giga channel itself. Note that if you have your MondoPiano (tm) on more than one channel, there is no memory hit, so you can have MondoPiano alone, mixed with a B3, switched with a Rhodes and so on. All you do is change channels from your keyboard, and you have a different setup.
You can also do program changes. With GS3.04 this was a bit riskier. There was a gain problem that I have been told has been fixed - it used to be that each time you would switch to a GSI with GigaPulse that you would gain another 6dB. I haven't tested it, but I heard that it was fixed from a Giganeer at NAB, so I assume that we're good to go.
You can save full stacks as instruments, and bring them in with program changes. This is riskier than doing channel changes, but should work.
The other way to change things would be to change ports. An easy way to do this would be to leave Giga Port 1 empty, and to gang it to one other port as needed. That would give you up to seven different configurations.
So... Let's say you're playing song 1. You could change sounds with a keyswitch. You could alternatively play softly for one sound (acoustic piano?) and play hard to get another sound (electric piano?). You could also play different ranges of the keyboard for different instruments. If you've exhausted the limits of a stack, push a button and change channels for another complex stack.
Let's say you used channels 1-3 for song 1. Now you can go to channel 4 to start song 2. In song 3 you want a small variation from song 1? You could re-use channels 1-3 after a program change on one of the channels.
By song 5 let's say you've exhausted all the options on a single port. If you had done the first set on Port 2 while linking Ports 1 (empty) and Port 2, you can now click with the mouse to gang/link Ports 1 and 3. Now you have another set of 16 channels to work with. If you exhaust all of the ports, then load another performance file, and, yes, it may take a minute or two. You probably need to pee by then anyway.
By working as above, GS3 will be doing minimal reconfiguration, and should be nice and stable for a live gig. But have the Triton sounds at the ready, just in case lightning strikes. Even the best drivers get car insurance!
Thanks for the explanation. Although I must say that since I've not installed or used Giga yet, I don't quite get all of what you've said to me. I would be driving Giga from sequences on the Triton Studio plus playing individual instruments live. So I could theoretically have 16 different instruments (or more if stacking them) used by the sequence and possibly a couple more used by my live playing on two keyboards. So I could be trying to access as many as 18-24 instruments at one time. Each sequence would have it's own set of instruments that are appropriate for that sequence. Surely there would be some level of overlap since some instruments are used in many sequences but there would also be unique combinations of instruments used in many of the sequences. When you talk about changing midi channels to change patches, I'm a little confused because I might be using 12 or 14 midi channels in just one sequence. Can you explain a little better how that might work?
Also, the Triton Studio supports two audio tracks per sequence, used as two separate mono tracks or one stereo track. I was thinking that maybe I could create everything at home and then just dump the completed work as a stereo audio file into the Triton and not trigger any samples live, just do it at home to create the audio tracks. My gear will be good enough to create excellent audio tracks and I could either create them on the DAW or I could just play the competed sequence into the Triton Studio and let it create the audio tracks for me. What do you think of that possible method? If I did that, I wouldn't even bring the DAW to gigs.
I want to be able to use sounds from both the Triton and Giga because both of them have great sounds. Would I be able to create a sequence in Sonar, trigger both Giga sounds and Triton sounds (through midi), feed the Triton audio outputs back into Sonar and then create audio tracks from the aggregate of the Giga sounds and the Triton sounds?
...., it may take a minute or two. You probably need to pee by then anyway.
This gets at the heart of the matter; The all important set break! If you're dropping bux de-lux on a nice machine, presumable it will have the capacity to load tons of stuff. Figure out (let's say you use waaay too many patches for one load, but there's a common core of sounds you use) which patches are needed for EVERY song in the set (of tunes, I mean). Then, add in the others if they'll all fit. If not, the couple of different ones per song may not add up to much time. If you save your core instruments, and add in the other instruments needed in each song, saving each as it's own .gsp, then GIGA won't have to reload the core instruments-just the different ones. Save a different core w/variations for set (of tunes) two, and load it at the beginning of breaktime. So on.
Of course, if you can fit all your patches for the whole show at once, John's suggestions will getcha goin, but I have the feeling you were working on the assumption that not everything can be loaded at once. Hope so-otherwise I'm just talking out of my !@#hole.......
Have a look, dig around here for subjects that you're concerned about (load time/capacity w/different hardware setups etc), and see if you can get your hands on Giga-you need to get a feel for this beast beofre shelling out those kind of clams. Problem is your questions are tough to answer when you haven't even used the thing. Sorry if that sounds negative. Just trying to help.
I already have Giga purchased. It's just that I don't really have anything reasonable to run it on until I get the new machine. I have slow processors, less than 1Gb of memory, slow drives, etc. It's because all I use it for it to keep bank records and use Microsoft Office. You don't need much for that. It'smostly think time. I'll check out your pointer though. Maybe I can figure some stuff out.
Ok, I see. See if a buddy with a nice computer will let you throw it on his/her machine, and spend some time getting familiar.
Or you could look at it like this: If you made the dollar commitment to giga already, you may just as well go get your computer. I think you've heard enough here already to know that there are different alternatives to take.
The truth is that a large bank of sounds can take closer to 10 minutes to load (on my machine w/2 Gb Ram), but these are huge, and one batch of these may be enough for all the tunes in one set, leaving time during breaks to reload for the next set.
Yeah read about routing and such in that manual, and about memory issues and polyphony here in the forum. That'll help.
Thanks for the advice. Though it is true that I've purchased Giga already, it's not that bid an investment. If I truly thought Kontakt 2 was going to be a better alternative for whatever reason, I could just sell GIga on ebay and buy Kontakt. My copy of giga has not been registered or licensed. It's still in the box.
You've got a much more complex live setup than I had expected - it's live, plus sequences.
One possibility is to render your seqeunced tracks to audio, and to play that from the Triton. You lose the ability to do a live mix, but gain simplicity and, hence, reliability.
I'd stick with Giga over K2 for two reasons: Giga's stacking and its ability to do program changes. That will give you much more flexibility and available setups, which seems to be your main requirement.
If you go with sequences, rather than pre-rendered audio, you will probably want to stick with a smaller number of channels, and use program changes. With a program change, you can use a single channel, and call up any instrument or stacked instrument at will.
The bottom line is that you will want to be able to load every instrument that you need in a given set into RAM. As long as you can do that, you can use those instruments on any of the 8 Ports and (8x16=) 128 channels. Every channel can load every instrument or stacked instrument available.
I assume that the Triton has multiple output ports. You could use one or more ports for the sequenced work, and reserve a port, or most of the 16 channels of one port for your live playing. You would then be able to use channel switching (lower risk and instant response) for your live work during most songs.
Giga offers lots of resources and flexibility. As long as you can load everything you need for a given set, you should be fine. Still, it's best to keep it as simple as possible for the stage. The audience will appreciate a streamlined show, but won't be the least aware of how hard you're pushing the equipment.