From Create Digital Music

Should sounds be part of a closed format that may not last? What happens if the format and platform that once were trusted by musicians and sound designers ceased to be? That’s the hard lesson learned by users of a popular sampling “standard” – but for once, the news is good.

GigaSampler has been a huge part of the sampling landscape since its introduction a decade ago, and users have massive investments in Giga sound libraries. As I noted over the summer, however, Tascam ceased development on the aging Giga platform, leaving users without an important tool – and some powerful technologies without a home.
Today, news has leaked out that Garritan, developer of some popular sample libraries and (with Plogue) the sophisticated, cross-platform ARIA Engine, has purchased all of the technology assets related to Giga from Tascam (TEAC). That includes GigaStudio, Gigasampler, GVI, Gigapulse, and everything that goes with it.

This is huge news for compatibility, interoperability, and the future evolution of sampling. I spoke with Garritan chief Gary Garritan himself to chat about some of the possibilities.

The most obvious potential benefit is native file compatibility with Giga sample libraries, so that that sound content isn’t stranded in an abandoned, closed format. Gary says native file reading and writing is high on the priority list – which should also be a big coup, I think, for his ARIA platform.

There are some technologies worth saving in Giga, too, though, not just the sample format. Some of the jewels in Giga include the DEF high-quality filtering algorithms, spectral morphing, and convolution capabilities.

“There’s a treasure trove of great technology and we want to make it available to as many musicians as possible,” says Garritan. “We just have our work cut out for us.”

The process of assimilating Giga’s technology is likely to take time, Garritan says.

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