I\'m planning to purchase the new GigaStudio instead of the EMU 6400 Ultra I\'ve thought about.
However, I\'ve got some questions before I spend the bucks...
I\'ve been using my Creative AWE64 Gold for all my musical work. Now, I\'m wondering if it would be possible to use both the AWE64 soundfonts and Giga at the same time? For example, 8 channels using soundfonts off the AWE card and the other 8 using Giga?
Also, I\'m not sure how well Giga would work with my AWE64 and Dual-PII 266 with 128MB of memory (and 34GB of HD space). Would there be a noticeable playback delay when playing on the keyboard?
I don\'t know about running the synth part of the AWE64 at the same time as the Giga but:
Don\'t forget the Gigastudio will actually respond to 4 lots of 16 midi channels - that\'s 64 midi channels all up.
I deally you\'d run the Giga on its own PC and access it from an external sequencer via a four port midi interface, but I\'m running Logic on the same machine as Giga (barely) and Giga show up as four separate multi channel midi instruments from within Logic.
Also, Gigastudio will convert your Soundfonts to .gigs if you can\'t run the AWE card.
A P2 266 is low man on the totem pole as far as running Giga. People who are getting good performance are running PIII800s. You seem to get less polyphony with less CPU.
The 34 gig of HD is good, but two things are important:
1. Drive access time and transfer rate affect pops and crackles. Good drive access time is under 9ms. Good transfer rate is via UATA66 standard, but some people are using 33 well.
2. Try and keep your programmes on a separate drive to you sounds, and give the sounds drive high priority for bus access.
I tried a guys Gigasampler on a P500 once and didn\'t notice any inordinate delay when I played the gigapiano across the rest of his sequenced arrangement playing in Gigastudio. I don\'t really no how this performance rates against a P2 266 though.
Also, get at least another 128mb of ram if you can.
The big advantage of the Ultra 6400 is its hardware design. You push the power button and it starts up - you\'ll probably never see an error message in the machine\'s lifetime.
When you compare software based operation against hardware, that\'s very significant. A quick browse through these posts will show you that Windows offers all kinds of options for screwing your musical day.
On the other hand, if you\'re slow to reach maximum stress levels and can bear the occasional visit to tweak city, everything else is a win on the Gigastudio\'s side.
Load single files which are larger than the total memory of the 6400.
Load them faster.
Load more channels.
View a more friendly front panel.
Access a more intuitive database for all your sounds.
Assuming you use the PC for other stuff, you really split your investment quite a bit. Not as much guilt about putting so much money into one box.
Next year when your current PC processor looks like a snail, upgrade the engine for your sampler for a few hundred dollars.
Try asking eEmu to send you a faster processor in two years. The polite reply will be something like \'why not pick up our new E64000XST, and sell your \'old\' machine on eBay?\'
The main caveat I\'d offer is to
Find a store which will help you set your PC up for Gigastudio, and then see if you get what you want out of it. If you don\'t, you\'ll feel much better about shelling out for the e6400. If you do - you win all round.