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  1. #1


    Hello, everybody !
    THEN, I\'m aware that my following question is more for the Hardware corner (and there it also is, indeed...) but I think that some of the helpful people able to help me may not go every time in each and every place... So I post it right here too.
    As a Mac user, I know strictly NOTHING about PC hardware… and considering the purchase of GS, I went to the music retailers I know, here in France.
    They sell « all-in-one » bundles (computer+ card + hard disk + GS) in which the intended PC is quite more expensive than the ones with apparently same specs advertised in several mags (such as PIII 1Ghz or 933 Mhz, 256 Mo, 40 Go, etc…)…
    Well, when I ask them « why ? » they answer that « bad PCs won’t work with GS »… Mac users don’t know much about « bad » macs… so I’m puzzled and try to investigate, because saving some 300-400 bucks might help me start my GS sound library, but not if I have to pay it by mal- or non-functions....
    Please help me ! Here are my questions :
    - Am I wrong to say that the most important in a PC is the motherboard ? If so, are there names or models which are prohibited for GS use ? Is there one or two things about them I should absolutely know not to feel quite disapointed after purchase ?
    - Generally speaking, are there brands (Compaq, IBM, whatever)… which always are « safe choices » in GS respect ?
    -Is there any other important things I need to know about PC’s guts before buying it by myself, in order to hope I\'ll have it running with GS troublefree ?
    - Is there anything which might appear as a « plus » offer (graphic card, sound card) BUT that might also reveal itself a cause for GS problems ?
    - Is there anything I do not mention here and may be of first matter when being faced to the machine’s strange behaviour ?
    Anyone willing to help is welcome to say what he (she) thinks by posting his (her) reply ! ! !
    But please let’s try to remain clear and generic, I don’t intend to become a PC expert by digesting exotic subtleties that might occur only once in a century…... (or by learning that GS starts to max out when trying to trigger its 157th polyphony note with a PIII 866,9456 Mhz mounted on an electric shaver... I\'m a humble musician, and never dreamed of arragements involving more than a maximum 64 simultaneous notes, sustains included)
    THANK YOU !!

  2. #2



    To try and take your points one by one:

    - For GS, the *whole* system performance is important. That includes motherboard, CPU, RAM bandwidth and harddrive subsystem.

    Most off-the-shelf PCs for ordinary use are put together in a way which does not provide for optimal GS performance. E.g. most people are interested in how fast a harddrive can transfer files. GS is not interested in the transfer speed but the *access* speed, which requires the computer to be configured differently in terms of how harddrives are connected, for example.

    Then also, the PC world is so homogeneous that it is impossible to say that a certain motherboard is *always* good for GS or *always* bad. Things are not as simple.

    Computer dealers make large lists of equipment that does not work well together. For example, they know that a certain motherboard should not be used with a certain harddrive, or some other keyboard will cause the system to lock and crash.

    Or that if a specific graphics card is used when a specific soundcard is plugged into a machine, a certain harddrive will not function according to its specification.

    And unfortunately, this is not only related to specific products from specific manufacturers, but is also influenced by the *version* of software that each runs (e.g. the BIOS on your motherboard, your graphics card, your CD-RW, etc. etc.) All of these things can interact and influence the stability of your system.

    Of course, the lists the dealer makes is tailored to the type of stuff that the dealer deals with - most computer shops will deal with people who buy computers to wordprocess and play games, so they know what combinations to avoid for these people.

    The knowledge related to setting up a proper DAW is somewhat different (in fact it is true to say that a computer configured as an optimal DAW is not optimal for games and wordprocessing, e.g.), and that is why the cost of a GS Daw from a DAW supplier, is more expensive. It is specially configured, and they buy the parts in smaller quantities than the bulk suppliers. Also, they test various combinations to find what works and what doesn\'t.

    Also you have someone you can talk to if you experience difficulties - no ordinary PC shop is going to be able to help you if your GS can only do 10 voices of polyphony because the harddrives are not properly connected (and it happens.)

    - As to brands, Dell has come up a few times as being a good brand; however, again the computer is not specifically configured for optimal GS performance, and the supplier can really change the configuration at any time. So you are still not guaranteed that you *will* have the best performance right out of the box.


    - There are many things to know about PCs which could affect performance. At times I have had to read the manuals of the chipsets to get some answers - now the only people who ever reads these things, are the people who have to design the motherboards.

    If you do not have the interest in learning about IRQs, PCI, etc., you would be best served to have someone to support you, that *does* know about these things and can learn to apply them to GS. So either you need to have access to someone who will maintain your own system for you, or you need to buy from a retailer who knows and understands GS and is willing to support you.

    - Your next two points about what might affect GS performance; as I said previously, there are many things which can interact in a computer to cause performance degradation. A gamer is not going to worry too much if something makes his game draw at 20 fps rather than the usual 22 fps, but a GS user is sure going to hear those pops and clicks.

    And also, every time the software version of something changes, there can be a whole set of additional interactions.

    So it is really impossible to say that certain things *will* cause you problems, and if you steer clear of it, you *will* be OK. Unfortunately the computer world does not work like that.

    It is a bit like the medical community that from time to time find out things like, if you eat/drink grapefruit while taking anti-histamines, it can lead to heart failure

    I suppose the upshot of this all is that, GS might work fine on absolutely any PC. If it doesn\'t there are some well documented steps that you can follow to try solve the problem. But some people will still have issues that just cannot be figured out. And then it makes sense to have purchased your system from someone who understands GS, or have someone on hand who does and can work on your PC.

    It has to do with the fact that there is a lot of stuff that Microsoft, Intel, etc. have not done a very good job with. Now I do not think that the situation with Apple is much better - if there were a GS for the Apple, it would face pretty similar problems to those on the PC.

    Myself and others in the research community are working quite hard to try and get a system that gives guaranteed, reliable, performance for something like GS, but the requirements for this are quite contrary to the requirements for good business in the \"normal\" computer world.

    In the mean time, GS presents such a major step forward in sampling technology, that it does not make sense to wait to use it, until computers are \"perfect\" - I think anybody using any studio equipment will always battle with software bugs, crashes, performance problems, etc.

    However, all of that said, there are many people using GS with little or no problems. They just don;t frequently post on the forumns since they don\'t need much help!

  3. #3



    Here is a recent advice on the subject from Joe at Nemesys. I cut the quote from the NemesysMusic mailing list:

    \"Subject: Re: Specs for new system


    There are so many right answers to this question.

    Let me give you my thoughts:

    1. Custom system builder:
    Pros: Support before/after the sale. They know how to speak the language,
    both pro audio and computer jargon. Check out www.soundchaser.com

    Cons: Price tends to be a bit higher.

    2. Buy an off the shelve computer:
    Pros: Good price/performance. Don\'t have to mess with configuring harddrives,
    memory, or operating systems.

    Cons: You will still need to purchase an pro-level audio card and install it. You
    need to know a little bit about computers and sound cards.

    3. Build your own system from scratch.
    Pros: Best price/performance.

    Cons: Knowledge of computer components is extremely important. Compatiblity
    is probably the number one gotcha - make sure components work nicely together.

    Personally, we always choose #2. It is just too easy and cost effective. My advice, if you decide #2, is
    choose Dell. Of all the major manufactures, they paid the most attention to quality control.
    A Dell Dimension PIV 1GHz with 256M of memory with a couple of harddrives will easily
    get the maximum polyphony - and you can get it for around $1000. The 1.7GHz machine
    will give you some room to grow, but they are not necessary to hit 160 voices of polyphony.
    As a data point, we purchase a Dell Dimension 866MHz with 256M with the standard
    ATA harddrive right before the winter NAMM show in January. This was our 160 voice
    demo machine. I think we paid $1700 for it, but that was 7 months ago.\"


  4. #4


    Salut Sirbellog,
    Ben tu me sembles être un petit frenchie !!!
    Si tu as des questions sur une config GigaStudio, je peux t\' aider car je viens de changer de PC spécialement pour ce programme et ça marche d\' enfer en plus j\' ai aussi Cubase 5 et c\' était pas gagné d\' avance !!!
    Have a nice day
    Chouine from Paris

  5. #5


    I\'m a long time Mac user who still uses the Mac for sequencing and recording (Pro Tools). I got my Gigastudio 160 yesterday, and I\'m up and running with no problems.

    I do have some operational questions, and I expect to weed most of them out over the next few weeks. But those aren\'t keeping me from getting work done.

    After using the Mac, the PC was a pleasant surprise. No, to me it still isn\'t as elegant a user interface, but as far as understanding it and being able to get around, that took no time.

    Giga is very friendly if you\'re just loading and playing sounds. You can be up and running in no time.

    I got my PC from Soundchaser. To me, it was worth the extra cash to deal with Pete there and get such fantastic support. He\'s answered all my questions and walked me through everything. I can\'t recommend them highly enough.

    I am posting questions up here and everyone has been very helpful. This has been a wonderful addition to my studio, and will be the only sampler I use, having used, and loved, my Rolands forever. But this thing is too cool, too fast, and it\'s wonderful looking at a computer screen instead of an LCD.

    TIp....go to Comp USA and see if you can find a cheap LCD monitor...saves heat, looks great. I bought a NEC for 400 and it looks terrific. Good luck!

  6. #6


    A Chouine :
    Merci pour ta réponse,
    je suis preneur... dès que j\'aurai franchi le pas et acheté GS !
    je te laisse donc ci-dessous mon adresse email, juste pour que tu me communiques la tienne si tu veux bien... merci d\'avance.

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