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Topic: Giga's on my PC...can Kontakt be there, too?

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  1. #1

    Giga's on my PC...can Kontakt be there, too?

    Hi, everyone. This is my first post. I've read a LOT here in the last few days, but I'm still a little confused...

    I have a MAC (G4 1.33 GHz, 1GB Ram) where I'll be running the new ProTools LE 003 (I know, my MAC is slow... I'm working on it...). I'm assembling a PC that I intend to be smoking fast (Pentium IV 3GHz and 2GB Ram) and I'm going to put Gigastudio 3 on it. But I also want a few East West libraries. I keep reading in this forum about how the East West Samples won't play in Giga 3 and vice/versa. And I've DEFINITELY read plenty of comparisons here between the various libraries. My questions are these:

    #1. Do I have to choose between the two? If I want to get both the Gigastudio 3 and some of the East/West libraries, can I put the EW as a standalone on the PC with GS3? Or will that choke it down even at 3GHz and 2GB Ram?

    #2. Is it actually true that the GS3 and EW libraries are truly proprietary, and I won't be able to run either in their non-native counterpart?

    #3. I assume that Kontakt is what I'll be using to run things like Symphonic Choirs (which is one of the big reasons I'm even asking these questions). If that's the case, is there anyone out there who mixes and masters on their MAC but runs Kontakt and Gigastudio 3 simultaneously on a second PC, and if so, how goes it?

    I guess that's the main issue I have. The East West folks said that the new PC is definitely where their stuff should live, given how slow my MAC is by sequencer standards (G4 1.33, 1GB Ram). But the GS3 folks say the same thing. I am TOTALLY new to all of this and don't want to spend a ton of money on stuff that won't play nice together. I can't put the GS3 or the EW on my MAC, so that leaves only my new PC for both.

    Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Allen Simpson

    PS - And I'm not 100% sold on any of this either if you have opinions about better options...

  2. #2

    Re: Giga's on my PC...can Kontakt be there, too?

    My first suggestion would be to rethink your PC components. A P4 3ghz chip is almost 5 years old. While it would be faster than a G4 1.33 I suggest you get at least a Core 2 duo if not a Core 2 quad.

    I just put together a Core 2 quad machine with 4 gb ram (expandable to 8 with a 64 bit OS).

    The Q6600 chip will drop in price to $266 on July 22nd and will be the best bang for the buck for awhile.

    I run Cubase and use EastWest Colossus, RA, Gold, Garritan JABB, Art Vista Virtual Grand Piano and lots of VSTi's.

    The main thing you will need is lots of ram to load and play many tracks at once. Then a powerful CPU power comes into play to give you lots of headroom to process it all.

    I don't have Giga installed yet on my new PC but did have 2.5 installed along with all the other stuff mentioned above on my old P4 2.53Ghz machine. The old machine only had 1 gig of memory which was the most limiting factor.

    However I could play and record tracks using Gigastudio and have them play back inside Cubase along with EW instruments.

    I may get Kontakt instead of upgrading Gigastudio.

    All of the EW sample libs come with the Native instrument Kompakt player which is being discontinued. EW has recently developed their own player called , uh, PLAY. All their earlier libraries will also be upgraded to run on this new player.

    Also there is a Gigastudio VST now that will run in Cubase that will run Gigastudio sample libraries.

    Unless you really need Gigastudio you should probably just look into getting a new quad or 8 core Mac as they are able to use more memory currently than a PC can. Well a PC can use more memory if you run 64 bit XP or Vista but there are a lot of drivers missing and too many growing pains to try 64 bit Vista right now.

  3. #3

    Re: Giga's on my PC...can Kontakt be there, too?

    Quote Originally Posted by js33
    My first suggestion would be to rethink your PC components. A P4 3ghz chip is almost 5 years old. While it would be faster than a G4 1.33 I suggest you get at least a Core 2 duo if not a Core 2 quad.

    I just put together a Core 2 quad machine with 4 gb ram (expandable to 8 with a 64 bit OS).

    The Q6600 chip will drop in price to $266 on July 22nd and will be the best bang for the buck for awhile.
    I would do a bit more searching before taking this advice. The Giga engine used to have issues with dual processors. The latest update was supposed to have overcome the problems, but I'm not sure it was ever conclusive that it had. And we're not just talking about not being able to make use of the dual processor - we're talking about falling over because of it. I have a dedicated giga machine with a PIV 3Ghz and I still have to turn off hyperthreading to avoid crashes.

  4. #4

    Re: Giga's on my PC...can Kontakt be there, too?

    So Giga won't work with dual-core or quad-core processor? If thats the case it's another reason to just get Kontakt instead and let Giga pass into history.
    Seems like the GVI (Gigastudio VST) wouldn't complain because I don't believe it relies on kernel processing like the full blown gigastudio does.

  5. #5

    Re: Giga's on my PC...can Kontakt be there, too?

    Quote Originally Posted by js33
    So Giga won't work with dual-core or quad-core processor?
    It appears GigaStudio3 CAN run on a dual-core. I see that VisionDAW sells a "turnkey" Tascam Certified GigaStudio 3 machine that uses an Intel Core 2 Duo:
    http://www.visiondaw.com/gs3_turnkey.asp


    My approach would be to find a setup (computer & audio interface) that can run GS3 -- any system can also run Kontakt 2.

  6. #6

    Re: Giga's on my PC...can Kontakt be there, too?

    Thank you all for your help.

    I feel like I am at my wit's end. My head is spinning and I can't concentrate for more than a minute or so on this stuff before I start to get anxious and frustrated. I've been dealing with all of these choices for like two weeks now, and I feel like I'm no closer to figuring out what I should do than when I started.

    All I want is a better setup than what I have now. I have some money to spend, and I just want to know that I'm getting something decent that won't be obsolete in four months and that I'm not getting ripped off.

    So, here's a new question:

    If you had it all to do over, and had about $5,000 to spend... what would you do to get started? Including computers, sample libraries, and VIs. Some people have recommended Giga, others haven't. Some have recommended EW, others haven't.

    I already have Pro Tools 003 (just got it), and here's what I thought I wanted to add:

    Giga 3 Orchestra (comes with Vienna Symphonic, etc.)
    SI Strings
    Project Sam Horns
    EW - Symphonic Choirs

    Some of you guys seem to feel like Giga is on the way out. Is Giga becoming the "old way?" Those of you think that Giga is still alive, what do you say to the people who disagree? I really want to know. I know this debate has raged elsewhere on the forum, but it seems like most people are defending their own purchases as opposed to actually describing why one VI or system is superior to another. Where should I spend my money?

  7. #7

    Re: Giga's on my PC...can Kontakt be there, too?

    And I also meant to ask... I've read a lot in other threads about the comparisons between VSL and EWQL. Most of the threads are about the samples themselves, and I think I have a good range of opinions on that... but what about the actual nuts and bolts of the software? How would you guys compare using Gigastudio with VSL to using Kontakt2 (or PLAY) with EWQL in terms of the actual ease of use?

  8. #8

    Re: Giga's on my PC...can Kontakt be there, too?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen McMahan
    The players aren't going to be offering you enough difference to make a decision solely (or even partially) based on them.
    Thanks, Stephen. I've read a bunch of your posts, and I've gotten a lot out of them. You always seem to be so reasonable.

    It's funny, but I started out so excited about Giga 3, but now I'm having trouble finding anyone who can tell me what I'd be missing if I went with EWQL and Kontakt 2 instead of Giga. Especially considering how proprietary Giga seems to be.

  9. #9

    Re: Giga's on my PC...can Kontakt be there, too?

    Giga has a better UI and some nice powerful built in iMidi filters like the DEF and PRF. It also has a very high polyphony, though it's not the greatest at RAM usage. Giga 3 doesn't always play well on the same box as other stuff, but GVI does.

    Kontakt2 has scripting and so it's more customizable than Giga.

    EastWest is moving towards using their own proprietary "PLAY" sampler for everything rather than using Kontakt2.. It is probably better to wait for the library you want to be released in PLAY format rather than investing in Kontakt2, if the only reason you are investing in it is for EastWest libraries.

    If you already own Giga3 you can upgrade to GVI for cheap and then you can use GVI as your sample player and still use the Giga3 editor if you need to edit stuff, or run Giga3 on a dedicated box and run GVI on your main DAW (which is what I do)..

  10. #10

    Re: Giga's on my PC...can Kontakt be there, too?

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Simpson
    Thanks, Stephen. I've read a bunch of your posts, and I've gotten a lot out of them. You always seem to be so reasonable.

    It's funny, but I started out so excited about Giga 3, but now I'm having trouble finding anyone who can tell me what I'd be missing if I went with EWQL and Kontakt 2 instead of Giga. Especially considering how proprietary Giga seems to be.
    GigaStudio 3 libraries aren't proprietary at all, which is the primary driver behind its fading position in the marketplace.

    Perhaps a little history is in order. Originally there was GigaSampler, which was the first large sample streaming from disk sampler product. Completely blew away the market, and everyone created sample libraries for it. GigaStudio was released and was still the preeminent sampler because of all of the content available.

    The big problem with GigaStudio (and with AKAI sample library products before it) was the library content is/was not copy protected. Library producers (such as East West, Spectrasonics, etc.) believed they were losing big money because people were sharing the products with their friends ("casual copying").

    At this point, sample library developers primarily had three options:
    1) Develop their own sample playback engines and tie (lock) the samples to that engine. Spectrasonics did this with their Atmosphere and Trilogy products by contracting a company to build an engine for them (with Stylus RMX they have gone further and built their own engine in-house)
    2) License a sample playback engine from Native Instruments, which is based on their Kontakt sampler product. This is what East West, Garritan, Best Service, and Zero-G have done. The sample libraries are encrypted
    3) Continue offering unprotected libraries. This is what VSL did with their original VSL First Edition and VSL Pro Edition (the pro edition is still available for sale in Giga or EXS24 formats). SoniVox (formerly called Sonic Implants) released their major product "Symphonic Orchestra" first in GigaStudio format, then later in Kontakt 2 format.

    Development and popularity of samplers appears to be primarily driven by content. The vast majority of buyers want someone else to do the recording and programming.

    What is interesting now (especially for you) is East West's decision to end their relationship with Native Instruments and build their own proprietary sample playback engine (offered in their new "PLAY" instruments). There are still products being released which license Native instruments Kontakt Player 2 engine (like Chris Hein Guitars and Vir2 Acoustic Legends HD), but Kontakt 2 may dry up as a sampler due to East West's new direction.

    Tascam recently finally is trying to address developers concerns about unprotected libraries with its GVI product (Giga Virtual Instrument), which runs as a Windows Plugin (and supposedly a Mac plugin version is due out this year). Tascam is licensing a GVI playback engine to developers, but so far the only protected library released this way is Sonivox Muse.

    With regards to your situation, both GigaStudio 3 and Kontakt 2 are great samplers. Your decision should primarily be driven by current and potential future content. Libraries always work best in their native format. If you have a number of existing products you want to buy that are sold in GigaStudio format then you should buy Giga (the VSL content in GS3 is not a complete orchestra). Likewise if you have a number of products that use the Kontakt 2 format (like "not the newest" East West products) you should purchase Kontakt 2. The content that comes with these samplers is nice, but I would never recommend buying the sampler just for the content. The majority of the content is what I would consider "teaser content" i.e. content that encourages you to buy the sound library developers full products.

    Another alternative would be to not buy either sampler and simply purchase and use products that come with their own playback engine. This could include the newest East West products that use the PLAY engine, or VSL Vienna Instruments (which use a proprietary playback engine), or even some Kompakt/Kontakt based products (like East West, Garritan, etc.).

    I guess my overall suggestion is to decide content first, then decide on a sampler (if you even need one at all).

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