I've been recording various short films and other bits and bobs quite happily. But this new commission is going to require a Gigastudio setup - as its massively orchestral, but without the budget for me to pre-programme it then take an orchestra into the studio. For equipment upgrades i have in the range of $6/7k and I would like to buy a system to solely run Gigastudio 3 Orchestra, and another machine to run a sequencer. (Possibly Cubase SX with an 01X mixer?)
I know GS with Rewire will happily plug into Cubase SX, is this as easy in practice as it is made out? I was also thinking about buying both systems from Carillon - is that a good idea?
The score for this film (it's a horror) will be contemporary orchestration (electric guitars, drums, synths) backed up by an approximated 90 piece orchestra. From all the reading I've done, the setup I'm thinking of seems sound.
I wanted to respond to your post because your current configuration as well as stated direction are much akin to the type of "upgrade" I performed approx 1 year ago. I too went the Gigastudio Orchestra route, and haven't looked back since. I've been consistently impressed with the quality of libraries and overall performance, HOWEVER, would never recommend anything short of a dedicated machine as you inquiry implies. Not that it can't be done, but the performance is simply not acceptable in my experience. For example, I discarded "rewire" early on because running Giga along side Cubase SX (my configuration) wasn't cutting it. Since dedicating a machine for Giga, all is well. I basically treat the Giga machine as a "hardware sampler" with its own RME 9652 audio interface, etc. The one exception is that it's quite possible (now) to reliably run the MIDI interface over your ethernet cable (MIDI over LAN); I've experimented with the audio counterpart (FX Giga/Teleport), but have experienced better results using a hardware audio interface (back into the Cubase SX machine). Another point is that my DAW/sequencer box is a multi-processor unit; something that is great for Cubase, but N/A for Giga given its lack of multi-process support.
You also brought up Carillon. Oddly enough, I was outfitted with a high-end Core 4 Carillon box BEFORE doing this upgrade I described. I found that for the price of one properly equipped Carillon, I could (and did) purchase 2 separate machines- the multi-processor box for Cubase and a dedicated Giga box. For the Giga box, I focused on harddrive performance and installed 10,000 RPM raptor drives for stream intensive/piano libraries, and a separate block of drives configured in RAID 0 for less intensive libraries - something you'll see numerous posts herein referring to. Great combination. So I think where as processor and memory really help on the DAW side, hard drive speed is the essential factor for Giga (all other things being equal).
There are numerous Tascam certified hardware providers. I used ADK Pro Audio in my case, and haven't experienced any problems. I was also impressed by their service level.