I\'ve been lurking and learning on this forum for several months now and wanted to give something back to novices like myself who are considering Giga.
I\'m just a rank amateur and hobbyist. I don\'t compose, orchestrate or in any way make a living at music. My main interest in Giga was to improve the quality of piano sounds for my home digital piano (Roland KR). Right now I don\'t even record, just play in real time.
What I was hoping for was a \"black box\" that accepted midi input and put out good sound. After reading the threads on this board I had about decided that Giga wasn\'t going to be this box - it\'s clearly cutting edge technology with all of the attendant arrows in the back. Most of my computer experience has been with Macs, and some of the \"this is how you fix that click and pop problem\" discussions were written in a language I did not recognize as communication between English-speaking people.
What changed my mind was meeting another person with a similar background who had been successful with Giga. His advice was to buy a completely-configured system from somebody who knew what they were doing and who would ship it \"ready to go out of the box.\" I followed his advice and bought a system from Soundchaser, although I\'m sure there are other suppliers with equally good credentials, probably including the nice people at Northernsounds who host this board.
I figure I paid about $600 more than I would have if I\'d tried to put it together from parts, and have easily made that back in avoided frustration. (Plus I get a discount on samples.) The support from Soundchaser during the configuration discussions and afterwards has been excellent. They even included a CD disk image they had burned after assembling the system and testing it. Now, if I screw something up, I can at least go back to a configuration that was known to work when the machine was new.
One \"special feature\" I wanted was a VERY quiet computer, since it has to live right next to the piano. I gave Soundchaser a small budget to see what they could do. The result was the quietest PC I have ever not heard - from three feet away you can\'t hear it at all. They quieted it with a combination of exotic cooling for the CPU, a quieter internal fan, and some sound-deadening material. If you like quiet PCs, ask them about \"my\" configuration.
I hope this reassures anybody who is nervous about this technology. So far (with Win98SE) it has been extremely stable in my \"set it and forget it\" mode of operation. And if it gets flaky as I get into using more features, I have a single place to call for help.