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Topic: PC to Mac Dilemma

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  1. #1

    PC to Mac Dilemma

    I have been struggling for several days trying to get Gigastudio to work with Logic 7.1 on my Mac G5 dual running OS X 10.4.5

    I have a PC with an M-Audio Audiophile 192 sound card installed and am sending MIDI from Logic into it. I am sending audio back to the Mac via an digital S/PDIF connection through an Edirol UA-25 connected to the Mac.

    I finally got everything working except for the digital Out from Gigastudio 3.1. The hardware settings panel lists all of the outputs (1-2, 3-4) as analog only, no digital choices. To make a very long story somewhat shorter, M-Audio says its a Gigastudio problem, and Tascam says its an M-Audio problem. So here I sit. Stymied.

    I've just about given up on the M-Audio Audiophile 192. The latest driver doesn't work on my Win XP system in any case, so it's a bit pointless to try to troubleshoot this any further.

    Now I'm looking to get another sound card, this time one with 4 MIDI IN channels so that I can take full advantage of Gigastudio. And I'm looking around. Tascam makes their own box, the FW 1804, but I believe it has only 2 MIDI Ins. Someone I know is using the M-Audio Midisport which has 8 Midi Ins. There are a lot of high end cards with features I don't need, so I'm really puzzled.

    I want to get a setup that will definitely work with Gigastudio 3.1 and will accommodate 4 MIDI Ins. I do all of my production work on the Mac, so the Giga PC is really just a slave sampler, but I want it to work.

    Having spent days struggling with this, I really am more concerned with getting the best system rather than cutting corners. I can't afford to waste much more time fighting with hardware.

    Any suggestions would be very welcome.

    Bill

  2. #2

    Re: PC to Mac Dilemma

    I use this combination with flawless results, with buffers set at 64 samples. Tons of polyphony, no latency.

    http://www.frontierdesign.com/Products/Dakota
    http://www.frontierdesign.com/Products/Sierra

    This is the ONLY product combination that supports GSIF-2 low-latency Midi with 8 midi in and out. I've read so much about M-Audio suffering with Gigastudio on a variety of forums and it mystifies my why I never see the Frontier products talked about.

    I pipe it in via ADAT optical into a MOTU 2408MKIII and use DP for midi. This Giga rig effectively replaced a rack of Emu E6400's.

    You said you don't want to cut corners - dump the M-Audio gear. It's incredibly cheap on cost and you most certainly get what you pay for.

  3. #3

    Re: PC to Mac Dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by JFB
    I use this combination with flawless results, with buffers set at 64 samples. Tons of polyphony, no latency.

    http://www.frontierdesign.com/Products/Dakota
    http://www.frontierdesign.com/Products/Sierra

    This is the ONLY product combination that supports GSIF-2 low-latency Midi with 8 midi in and out. I've read so much about M-Audio suffering with Gigastudio on a variety of forums and it mystifies my why I never see the Frontier products talked about.

    I pipe it in via ADAT optical into a MOTU 2408MKIII and use DP for midi. This Giga rig effectively replaced a rack of Emu E6400's.

    You said you don't want to cut corners - dump the M-Audio gear. It's incredibly cheap on cost and you most certainly get what you pay for.
    I can't really disagree with any of this and would certainly not consider Midisport; too many people have problems with them.

    D

  4. #4

    Re: PC to Mac Dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by JFB
    I use this combination with flawless results, with buffers set at 64 samples. Tons of polyphony, no latency.

    http://www.frontierdesign.com/Products/Dakota
    http://www.frontierdesign.com/Products/Sierra

    This is the ONLY product combination that supports GSIF-2 low-latency Midi with 8 midi in and out. I've read so much about M-Audio suffering with Gigastudio on a variety of forums and it mystifies my why I never see the Frontier products talked about.

    I pipe it in via ADAT optical into a MOTU 2408MKIII and use DP for midi. This Giga rig effectively replaced a rack of Emu E6400's.

    You said you don't want to cut corners - dump the M-Audio gear. It's incredibly cheap on cost and you most certainly get what you pay for.
    Thanks for this information. I did go to the Frontier website and read all about these two products. I also learned a lot about the importance of sync when using more than one machine. I have always worked inside of my lone G5 dual until now. It is certainly a brave new world out there.
    I learned a lot about sync here:
    http://www.tweakheadz.com/sync_mmc_mtc_smpte.htm

    I've had a bad track record with M-Audio products in the past. I once had a firewire box of theirs that created complete havoc with my system and I took it back to the dealer.

    Just one question. If you use the Dakota and the Sierra for MIDI input and optical output, what role does the MOTU 2408MKIII play in your setup? I also looked at the MOTU site and I'm not sure that I would need this one since I am a composer doing everything inside my computer and not recording live audio or working in a studio setting. It looks like the combo of the Dakota and the Sierra would be adequate for my Gigastudio 3 needs. Or am I missing something here?

    Thanks again,

    Bill

  5. #5

    Re: PC to Mac Dilemma

    Thanks for this information. I did go to the Frontier website and read all about these two products. I also learned a lot about the importance of sync when using more than one machine. I have always worked inside of my lone G5 dual until now. It is certainly a brave new world out there.
    I learned a lot about sync here:
    http://www.tweakheadz.com/sync_mmc_mtc_smpte.htm
    Your multi-machine sync issue is regarding "digital sync", not "timebase sync" (mmc, mtc, smpte,etc.). Unless you are talking about running another sequencer in "time" with another, you don't need to worry about these timebase formats. Digital sync is about maintaining sample rate lock in a system where you have more than one digital device. Since you are running Gigastudio on second PC, it needs to receive it's digital clock from a master device, in your case the Edirol UA-25. Just connect the s/pdif out of the UA-25 to s/pdif in on your Gigastudio interface and set that interface to receive sync from its s/pdif input. Make sure the Giga interface is set to the same sample rate as the one the UA-25 is set to. Multiple digital devices in a system must be sample-rate locked from one master source or you get nasty pops, clicks and incorrect pitch (when devices are mistakenly set to different sample rates).

    Just one question. If you use the Dakota and the Sierra for MIDI input and optical output, what role does the MOTU 2408MKIII play in your setup? I also looked at the MOTU site and I'm not sure that I would need this one since I am a composer doing everything inside my computer and not recording live audio or working in a studio setting. It looks like the combo of the Dakota and the Sierra would be adequate for my Gigastudio 3 needs. Or am I missing something here?
    You might be missing something...or it's just my own bias. I'm also a composer working entirely in the computer. The 2408MKIII provides 24 channels of analog and/or ADAT optical in/out. I also have the MOTU 308 digital-only interface (discontinued). These are connected to the PCI424 card and the system is controlled by the MOTU Cuemix software. Cuemix is basically a 96x96 channel zero-latency monitor matrix (depending on how many motu interfaces you have connected to the PCI424). The Dakota card is connected to one 2408MKIII ADAT bank of 8 in/out and receives it's digital sync from its ADAT input. I have two TC Electronic hardware reverbs, the Reverb4000 and M3000 digitally connected into the 308. In Gigastudio DSP Station, the dry instrument mix goes out of Dakota ADAT 1&2 into 2408MKIII ADAT 1&2. I assign two DSP Station aux buss outputs to two Dakota ADAT outs which gets routed in cuemix to the two reverbs. Then I use the individual channel aux sends in Gigastudio to feed the Reverbs which are returned in cuemix. I also have a Roland XV5080 connected via a DIF/AT interface. This setup is infinitely flexible. I've only given you a slice of how I'm using this system (because I don't have time to do it all in one post...and it's all become intuitive and automatic for me so I don't know if I've done a very good job at describing it).

    It may be more than you need, but if you want zero-latency, highly versitile monitoring and signal routing, this is the way to go. I think RME makes a similar product, but I'm not sure.

  6. #6

    Re: PC to Mac Dilemma

    I too am running Dakota (and Montana) on my Giga PC. I use the Dakota as the digital master. I utilize the 4 ADAT outs on the Dakota/Montana to send audio to my 2408 and the 828 connected to my MAC. MIDI is sent from my Express 128 over to Sierra. This system has been rock solid. I love having the four ADATs too - that way I can devide my audio into major sections of the orchestra.

    RME indeed does have a product similar to Frontier's == RME Hammerfal 96. Pretty much the same card.

    Question for JFB: Isn't the cue mix console redundant if I am running DP?

    -MK

  7. #7

    Re: PC to Mac Dilemma

    RME indeed does have a product similar to Frontier's == RME Hammerfal 96. Pretty much the same card.
    What I meant was RME has a product similar to the MOTU PCI 424 for zero lateny monitoring - the Hammerfall DSP series (just looked it up). But the RME cards don't have nearly the Midi port availablility as does Sierra. To get the GSIF-2 low-latency midi with 8 ports in and out, only the Dakota/Sierra combination offers this due to Tascam's requirement that the MIDI and Audio must be on the same card for GSIF-2 Midi.

    Question for JFB: Isn't the cue mix console redundant if I am running DP?
    Only if you are monitoring through DP Aux or Audio tracks, in which case you negate all the real-time low-latency performance of Gigastudio. I have a dual 2.5 G5 w/8 gig of ram and even with that, the real-time audio thru-put of DP is abyssmal. If I bring the buffers down to 64 samples in DP to equal the thru-put of Cuemix, my processor useage goes through the roof when I enable inputs in DP for monitoring (and that's without ANY plugins - and forget about virtual instruments).

    Use the faders in cue mix to control the levels from Gigastudio to your main outputs. When you want to print audio in DP, just create an audio bundle input that corresponds to the Dakota output from which you want to record. In the tracks window, assign that input to an empty audio track - just make sure audio patch-thru is disabled. You don't need to monitor the recording track's output from DP because it will sound exactly as you hear it monitored through cuemix. This is an easy way to print stereo stems in one pass.

    I know that was way more info than what you asked for, but the tangent seemed relevant.

  8. #8

    Re: PC to Mac Dilemma_Now Up and Running

    Thanks to all of you who gave me pointers about setting up GigaStudio. I'm now up and running.

    I ended up returning the M-Audio Audiophile card and got a full refund on it, so I didn't lose any money.

    I got an RME 96/8 PST Pro card, which I heard about here. It was a bit pricey, twice what the audiophile cost, but it works, which is more than I can say for the Audiophile. Then I hooked up the MIDI with three Edirol UM-3ex MIDI interface boxes piggy-backed together. So now all the MIDI ports on the Gigasampler are available. This RME card has a coaxial out and I am running digital audio into Logic via an optical cable connected to my Edirol UA-25 box. I can always tweak this system later. I was mainly interested in getting Giga running as soon as possible (after struggling for almost a week with the setup).

    I was also able to configure Logic to handle all the Giga ports and now I am receiving on all four GigaSampler ports, all 64 channels. I'm still tinkering with the Gigasampler side of things and still don't understand why there are 8 ports appearing in the Gigasampler interface instead of just 4. But those are secondary questions. All the software and hardware is working. Hurray!

    Thanks for your help. I certainly learned a lot in the process. ADAT and Lightpipe, and a few other items were new terms to me (not to mention the difference between Toslink and other forms of S/PDIF). Ironically, of course, making music is the easy part. Now I can get back to that, which is after all the purpose of having all this hardware and software.

    Bill

  9. #9

    Re: PC to Mac Dilemma

    You might want to consider Midi Over LAN CP which can help get rid of the midi cables going from Apple to XP machine. It uses LAN to transfer midi data.
    Steve Hanlon, guitarist/composer
    Logic 7, PowerMac DP 2.0 (8- RAM slot model), 4GB RAM, OS 10.4.11
    UAD-1 Ultra Pak
    Lots of V.I. and sound effects
    Apogee Rosetta 200
    Great River ME-1NV
    Blue Sky Monitors

  10. #10

    Re: PC to Mac Dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveHanlon
    You might want to consider Midi Over LAN CP which can help get rid of the midi cables going from Apple to XP machine. It uses LAN to transfer midi data.
    Thanks for the tip, Steve. I never thought about that. All my computers are already hooked up to a LAN. I gather requires some special software for routing things back and forth. There seem to be several available. Would you mind telling me which one you're using.

    Thanks,

    Bill

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