Hi folks. I'm still a recent newbie with Giga so please be gentle :-)
ok, so I have Gigstudio 3 and Sonar 4 PE. I actually plan on using Giga for live playing and when I do that I was not planning on using Sonar for anything.
Now I see that there are some really interesting virtual instruments out there. I think I know that Giga doesn't support them. So my question is: what is the best way for me to use virtual instruments along with Giga on the same machine for live playing? Is it to run the virtual instruments stand alone when possible? Should I have Sonar up and running to support the virtual instuments? Is there another stand alone product that would be perfect for what I'm describing?
If your setup is simple (ie you don't need to change programs, splits, layers and settings live) then Steinberg V-Stack would do the job.
A very powerful VST host with rewire support (for GS) is Brainspawn Forte Ensemble (www.brainspawn.com) - you can have a series of "scenes", all with their own MIDI and audio routing, and VSTi settings.
Edit: be a bit careful though, GS doesn't like playing with other toys very much... it can be done, but is not the most stable setup. I would use Kontakt live over GS, although I prefer GS as a sampler...
Thanks for the response. I would be real interested in other people's opinions of a few things. I know that this is a real mixed bag of questions but I didn't think it would be better to start 4 or 5 different threads. If you disagree, let me know.
1. Do you think Gigastudio 3 or Kontakt 2 would be better specifically for live gigging?
2. What midi keyboard controller do you use?
3. Do you know any really good MONO piano samples? For that matter, MONO samples in general? My band uses a mono PA configuration and most stereo samples sound like crap in mono - at least that's been my experience. I'm having trouble convincing them to switch to stereo because we run a 4-way crossover system and that's a lot of additional crossover hardware and power amp capability. Or ....... is there a good method to convert stereo samples to decent sounding mono samples?
4. I want to play with those registry values that many people seem to be tweaking to get more samples to load, especially since I can't get TBO to load successfully and someone said it might be a memory problem. I have read up and tried a few settings with no real results. It seems like there must be a million possible combinations. Is there any rationale to know what combinations you should try in order to limit the possibilities?
5. When I look at 'System Information' in XP, there are two fields related to physical memory. On my system, it shows 2Gb of installed memory but the next field shows 2.67Gb of available memory. I know it's all there because at bootup time I can see that the BIOS sees all 3GB that I have. Does XP say 2GB because that's all it can recognize? If so, why does it show 2.67Gb of phycical memory available?
I am still really new to all of this. I have even only spent about 4 or 5 hours with my new DAW. So I am trying to get out of the starting gate and get going but more questions keep coming up in doing so. I would really appreciate opinions from some of you really experienced users of this stuff so I can clear up my questions and issues with all this and start using the product instead of tweaking and debugging the system.
If it matters, here is my system configuration:
AMD Athlon64 FX-55 2.6GHz
ASUS A8V Deluxe MOBO
3GB DDR400 (2 x 512MB + 2 x 1GB)
ATI Radeon 9550 256MB Dual VGA
Plextor 16x Dual Layer DVD +/-RW
80GB SATA (Primary Drive)
600GB RAID 0 - (2 x 300GB Maxtor SATA 16MB cache on Promise SATAII RAID card) (Samples)
300GB Maxtor SATA 16MB cache (Audio)
Windows XP Professional (SP2)
Hammerfall DSP 9632
MOTU Micro Express USB
Thank you in advance for helping me sort through all of this. I am getting really frustrated quickly and starting to think I made a big mistake getting involved in all of this. Currently I gig with a Korg T2 and a Kor Triton Studio. They're both great boards but I thought with something like a PC based system with sampling software and VTI instruments, I could take my stuff to the next level. So far it doesn't feel like it. But I am not giving up, I just need help.
1) see my original post. That's just my opinion though. I have on occasion used GS live, and I know people who use it successfully on a regular basis.
2) CME UF-7 or Kurzweil K2600
3) There was (years ago - not sure if there still is) a 256MB Akai grand piano free somewhere on the net which I converted to mono (128MB) and used in my K2600 which was great. Never converted it to GS or K though. I think the holy grail piano has mono programs (would have to check). I like the holy grail piano for live use because it sounds ok and is samll-ish compared to a lot of giga pianos. You could always convert a stereo patch to a mono one - it would require editing but would probably sound better than doing a mono sum of a stereo piano... of course the ideal (imho) is to have stereo PA if at all possible.
4) I don't know sorry - my GS knowledge is still limited. I'm a Kurzweil programmer mainly...
5) Again, sorry can't help
Using PCs live can be (and normally is) frustrating. I use a hybrid PC and hardware setup for most of my live work. It does have its benefits though. However, I prefer to use computers for soft synths rather than soft samplers. I don't want to teach a chicken to suck eggs but ALWAYS have a backup in case the PC goes wrong - even if it's just a piano sound on a hardware synth that will "get you through" the gig if necessary...
Is your system "tweaked" for music? There are some good tweaks on www.tascamgiga.com and a link to another very good site I think (can't remember the name off the top of my head - xpmusic.com or musicxp or something like that I think!)
It depends (a lot on the mic method that was used to record the original samples) - you will have to experiment.
Generally, you could use a wave editor (Sound Forge, Audition - formerly Cool Edit Pro, Wavelab etc) to create a mono sum, or (and this is the method I prefer, although results can vary dramatically) you can just use the left or right portion of each sample - again you may need to use an editor, or you *may* be able to do it in GS Editor - I'm not too familiar with that yet
Another way would be just to route either the left or the right output of Giga to your VST host - although if you actually edit the samples themselves you will halve the file size which can help with memory.
Although I hate to say it (it goes against my personal ethos as a perfectionist) - with live music, punters probably wouldn't notice slight problems with a mono sum etc. It only really becomes an issue in the studio (when hopefully PA problems disappear and you track everything you need to in stereo!). It's the same kind of thing when people start worrying about 24/96 resolution for live work - who's really going to notice the difference compared to 16/44.1 unless you are in an acoustically perfect listening/control room??
I'll say again (before the flames start coming in ) that is my PERSONAL OPINION regarding live music. If it's a pub or club gig, I honestly don't think people will notice through the PA, even if you do through good monitors... I program for musical theatre, and used to spend hours and hours making minor tweaks to samples which, when played back over massive PA and in a mix, were not even remotely noticable to the audience. I wouldn't get too worked up about it...
Thanks, What I'm doing now for both stereo samples and stereo effects is just running both sides to my kayboard mixing console, panning both sides left, and then just running the left output of the board to the main mixing console. But the results of doing it this way have been really horrible, especially for pianos. I've got some great piano samples for the Triton Studio. They sound fabulous with headphones on. But as soon as I apply the process I just described, they sound agsolutely atrocious. I definitely need a better way. The problem with getting the band to go stereo is that the imaging will never be right. We play all sorts of different shaped rooms. There is not always one focal spot for the music, which in mono, allows you more flexibility to cover the room by pointing stacks at different focal points. I think for concers where everyone is sitting more or less in the sweet spot and you can aim both sides carefully, it would be great. But even if my band sprung for the money, I'm still not sure the stereo imaging would ever sound good.
Thanks for discussing this with me. I really appreciate it. I need all the opinions I can get because even though I've been doing live gigging for over 35 years, all this stuff is pretty new.
No problem. You're probably getting phasing problems with both channels (the mono sum I was talking about) - try just using 1 channel and muting the other (or not even plugging it in!). Conventionally, left is the "mono" output channel, but I don't think it really matters.
IMO there is no point in stereo FX on a mono setup - that could introduce a busload of problems on its own.
OT: I'm lucky with the work I've been doing recently that the producer just spent £250k (~$450k USD) on a completely new sound rig, including keyboards and our own 16 channel monitor mixers, a yamaha digital desk, and all sorts of gadgets. What we could do was basically unlimited, but it's good to get back to reality. The show I'm on over Xmas has a TOTAL budget (including actors, costumes, set and all salaries) of about £20k and I'm using a 16 channel mixer for the whole band
Other opinions on this thread would be welcome too! Maybe someone could tell me if I've been speaking out of my a**!
I don't use them to play live, but from personal experience you had might as well use Sonar since you already have it - depending on how you work with your different 'instruments', you could simply stay in the sonar window and switch between them all (including giga) from there.
Otherwise things like Forte, as Firmament recommended, or Chainer will work quite nicely.
Haven't come across Chainer myself, but a quick google found it and it looks pretty good. also DSound RT player is another VST host. I would still recommend Forte though if you need to have "chains" of setups to go between very quickly. The scene management is also very good.
I have never tried using a sequencer as a live host before, although as jc5 said it is certainly possible. It would also mean you could use what you currently have and wouldn't need to fork out for more software...
http://www.musicxp.net is the website (see the "tweaks" thread on this forum - sorry couldn't remember it myself