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Topic: Do I really need a second card?

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  1. #1

    Do I really need a second card?

    Big dummy here. A few months ago I bought what I hoped would be a Giga-worthy PC: a 600 Mhz Celeron with 256 Mb of RAM, two 10 Gb 7200 HDs, and a SBLive Value card -- but I ran out of money before I could actually buy Giga. Now I\'ve got the money to buy Giga and a second sound card -- but do I really need the second card?

    I\'m not trying to be a cheapskate. I just don\'t want to wind up feeling I spent the money needlessly. If I do buy a second card, I plan to buy a Waveterminal 2496.

    I want Giga primarily to get a better piano sound from my midi keyboard, but I\'m also fascinated in a hobbyist sort of way by the challenge of creating \"digital orchestra\" sounds that are as realistic as possible. Recording live to disk runs a distant third in interest. My house isn\'t quiet enough most of the time. If and when I do record, it would be of myself playing a bit of acoustic guitar around midnight. I have yet to use the audio features of my Cakewalk.

    I know that if I\'m the least bit serious about recording my midnight guitar plonks I ought to be looking to get something better than the 1/8\" analog inputs on the SB -- but because mine\'s a Value I can\'t add a Livedrive, and all the other third-party daughter cards I\'ve read about seem to be for adding digital i/o. Are there any third-party analog i/o daughter cards that work with SB Value, and if not, is that a reason enough to go ahead and get the Waveterminal?

    And if I do buy the Waveterminal, can I (or should I) keep the SB around for midi i/o and soundfont duty? I\'ve gotten attached to a few commercial soundfonts. Have any of y\'all had any success mixing soundfonts with Giga samples -- or is that a blasphemous idea?

    Sorry for the long post.

  2. #2

    Re: Do I really need a second card?

    If you already own the SB Live!, I would suggest just getting GigaStudio and giving it a try before you invest in the WT24/96. In this way you can get a better idea of the polyphony you\'ll achieve without GSIF. I\'m using a SoundBlaster Live! MP3+ card with Gigasampler on a relatively weak Giga system (PIII 500, 128MB, 13GB 5400rpm, and I\'m able to get almost all 64 voices. I do heavy orchestrations with my pieces, so I need something a bit better (planning a Thunderbird 1GHz, 256MB DDR 266MHz RAM, 2 30GB IBM ATA-100 7200RPM HDD\'s, Wave Terminal 24/96 card, GeForce 2 Ultra video card, Windows ME -so far it\'s been more stable than 98 on my system, all for just over $2000), but my first purchase will be GigaStudio so that I can get a measure of my current polyphony.
    As for soundfonts, I have some gigs that I\'ve converted to soundfonts. I actually made a bit of a GM set mixing the better sounds from Giga with some of my best soundfonts. The result is a lot of fun. Of course there are RAM limitations with Soundfonts, but by using Audio Compositor this is easy to work around.

  3. #3

    Re: Do I really need a second card?

    Thanks for your advice. I think I\'ll take it -- although there\'s something to be said for buying a piece of gear while you\'ve got the money for it, even if you don\'t know what you\'re going do with it.

    Are you converting giga samples to SF format so that Audio Compositor can deal with them? Does rendering with Audio Compositor go pretty fast, so that you\'re not reluctant to go back and tweak your midi file as often as you need to? In the little bit of midi orchestration I\'ve attempted so far, I haven\'t really taxed my system -- in fact, I haven\'t even tried capturing a playback to disk -- so I haven\'t really thought about resorting to a rendering scheme in order to avail myself of greater polyphony and larger samples. But don\'t GS and Cakewalk offer midi-to-wave rendering tools?

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