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Topic: Best Sequencer to Use with Giga?

  1. #1

    Best Sequencer to Use with Giga?

    HI Folks:

    Right now, I am using Soundfonts (akai converted) with Sonar and FruityLoops and am happy with the latencies and ability to use VSTi and DXi FX realtime.

    But am not too happy with the quality of soundfonts; I\'d like to use the more realistic Giga samples like Garrriatn Strings.

    Can I still get the flexibility of real-time DXi/VST plugin effects/midi automation AND use the great sounds of Giga samples?

    If so, what sequencer configuration would you recommend with Gigastudio?

    I am willing to build a new PC-based hardware platform around the best software configuration to make this happen.

    Here is what I would like to do be able to do with Gigastudio and sequencer setup:

    - use realtime FX (reverb, delay, EQ, etc) when playing/recording giga samples
    - trigger giga samples with midi keyboard at very low latencies
    - provide automation on midi tracks (velocity, fx, panning, etc)
    - bounce/mix midi tracks to audio
    - (optionally) provide some musical notation capabilites for recording/playback
    - be able to do this all one PC if possible

    Your help in this matter appreciated.


  2. #2

    Re: Best Sequencer to Use with Giga?

    First you need a card with GSif driver....

    Also, for realtime effects (those in giga are very bad to say the least, i would not recommend using those), you need a host with fast, i mean really fast drivers. You\'re using Sonar, find a card with WDM driver with latency under 7ms, that will give you around 14ms latency total.

    math: ~ 0.5ms for getting midi signal to giga (negligible)
    7ms from giga gsif driver to your soundcard wdm driver to route back in sonar (to be able to monitor the sound and record some track in audio).
    + 7ms to send the mix back to your card to monitor the final result.

    That\'s why i say, 7ms is the lowest latency acceptable for the gsif+wdm card you\'ll need.

    If you\'re using a dsp card that can mix in hardware, you cut this by half, so 7ms latency setting stay 7ms latency result. Because there is no need to send sound back in sequencer.

    DSP cards available that i know of, with GSIF drivers and that are good :

    - RME card\'s
    - Creamware card\'s (woulnd\'t recommand this card for Sonar thou, creamware have extra fast asio, but bad wdm, if using any asio seq like cubase, logic, fruity, this is the best card imho)

    Any more card i don\'t know of?

    My 0.02cents

  3. #3

    Re: Best Sequencer to Use with Giga?

    Bruce, if you know - I also use a Layla24, and I have the entire setup on one XP Pro machine, it\'s for live performance.

    Giga is the primary sound source, (all audio in D:, progs and OS on C: per usual), so I need a BASIC sequencer that can handle MIDI playback and max of one stereo audio track for background vocals. I don\'t want to have the vocal tracks in Giga, as they can\'t be easily loaded and unloaded, and I\'ll already have GS maxed out (tradeoff with program requirements) for the live performances. (And as we respond to requests, I can\'t set up \'first set, second set\' ops either. It\'s load up one time and go...

    So my question is (finally!) what sequencer has the lowest system impact, is reliable, yet can play 16 channels of MIDI and handle an audio track? I don\'t need sophisticated editing, though it would be nice to be able to edit program changes and CC7. I\'m currently using the Cubasis VST that ships with the Layla, but I don\'t feel sanguine about it as a live performer.

    Thanks for any advice you can offer.


  4. #4
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Dallas, Texas

    Re: Best Sequencer to Use with Giga?

    My advice to you would be to use a second networked machine.

    I say that because it will allow you to use all of the power you\'re now leveraging in the SONAR environment, while having an entire CPU and RAM capacity to dedicate to GigaStudio.

    I have had excellent luck with this type of setup. Since you can render your tracks to audio files directly from Giga, essentially, you can render them as you go, then drag these into SONAR as audio tracks right across the network.

    While there are certainly advantages to the one machine setup, there are also definite advantages to the two machine rig...not the least of which is being able to utilize the second machine for all sorts of other purposes. Many of the inexpensive barebones systems available in electronics stores like Fry\'s or online through outlets such as Aberdeen are perfect for this.

    If you opt for the one-machine methodology, you\'ll need an interface with multiclient drivers, so that you can monitor GS while monitoring SONAR. But I really think the one-machine situation compromises the capability of both applications.

    I have had excellent luck with Echo products...I own a couple of Layla 20s, a Layla 24, and a Gina24, and they have all been dependable and trouble free. I also have a Delta 1010 which has been an excellent interface (although I had an early one with wimpy caps, which had to be replaced. Ultimately the spec on those was upgraded so that problem no longer exists).

  5. #5

    Re: Best Sequencer to Use with Giga?

    I\'m feeling strongly that Sonar is the best choice for Gigastudio, or
    maybe Pro Audio 9 has the lowest demand for system resources.
    I have had myself problems operating Logic with Giga,
    can\'t launch Logic thru Giga, but otherways it somehow works (First Logic
    then Giga). I\'ve tried Sonar Demo with Giga and this combination
    works admirable easy.
    In fact, pissed off by Logic/Emapple, I will probably soon crossgrade
    to Sonar 2!!!

    I think It\'s very subjective to say that Nemesys FX are very bad and lousy,
    All the reviews I have read are praised FX in Giga, I can\'t blame them
    too. I think they are quite CPU effective and good quality too!
    Maybe my ears are waxed, but all reviewers can\'t be totally deaf!

  6. #6

    Re: Best Sequencer to Use with Giga?

    I\'m running Cakewalk9, Gigastudio 160 and Aark 20/20+ , windows 98SE

    On another computer I have:
    Cakewalk 9, Giga 160, Aark 24/96, Windows 98SE (Soundchsaer built running factory configuration)

    As you can see I run both seq.and sampler on the same computer. Here\'s my beef (with both computers):

    1) Cakewalk freezes enough times with \'caused an invalid page fault in kernel blah blah blah\" Have to restart computer.

    2) Cakewalk stops recording audio and says \'The entire recording can\'t be saved. Check to see if your audio disk is full\" (My audio disk isn\'t full!!)

    Now in case No. 1 I can\'t do anything but restart the computer and curse someone (Cakewalk? Aardvark? Windows 98? myself for using PC?)

    In case No.2, The computer doesn\'t freeze but I lose all ability to playback audio until I close cakewalk and open up again.

    Even the Noteworthy, \'Can\'t-go-Wrong\' Soundchaser built DAW does the same crap!!

    When I read bruce\'s response about a 2nd computer, I can only think \'Yeah!\' Only if you\'re stranded on the road with one computer then run both apps, but if you\'re at home get two DAW\'s running.

  7. #7

    Re: Best Sequencer to Use with Giga?

    I am using Logic with giga, and i start logic from giga without any problems?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Chandler, Arizona

    Re: Best Sequencer to Use with Giga?


    I\'ve been using Cakewalk since version 1.0 and have only had a handful of crashes in all these years. Not sure why you\'re having issues.

    As to your 2nd problem with the drive space issue try emptying your recycle bin. I\'ve had upwards of 2 GB in my recycle bin. The system shows this as free space even though it is actually used. Cakewalk sees the actual free space, not what Microsoft reports. I clean out the recycle bin at least once a week before I defragment my drives.

  9. #9

    Re: Best Sequencer to Use with Giga?

    Yeah, even my Recycle bin is empty with gigs of free space on my separate audio-dedictaded SCSI drive but still the dreaded \"Audio disk may be full!\"

    My computers crash at least once a day (even the Soundchaser one...and I\'m using their factory \"tested\" LunchDAW)

    Ben Mullins at Aark seemed to think I was getting a bottleneck effect happening causing the recording to stop, the audio engine to poop out and hence the \'Audio disk may be full\" He recommended using my boot drive to record audio (or try all of my drives and see what happens...and I\'m feeling \"Yeah, that\'s why I bought that dedicated SCSI drive so it can bottleneck and I can just use my boot drive for audio...drives me NUTS!!!!)

    But (really silly) I\'m recording one track of mono audio with maybe 5-10 tracks of giga streaming from a separate SCSI drive and still the same message comes back.

    Cakewalk says to uninstall and reinstall...and I\'ve done that but still...

    I\'ve opened just Cakewalk without giga and have gotten the message recording one track of mono audio (no gigasamples) and still it happens.

    What to say...I 100% believe you and others have had an impeccable experience with your PC but I\'ve had a real mixed bag from the start.

    OF course through all the crashes, I do get my work done...but the crashes and the inabaility to figure out how to solve the problems can be a creativity killer and a frustrating experience.

    Who knows, someday I\'l\' get another computer dedicated to Giga and maybe some othre message will pop up and then...what to do...I guess just reboot...and keep on.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Chandler, Arizona

    Re: Best Sequencer to Use with Giga?


    What other apps are you running? Do you have a virus scanner running? What OS are you running?

    My system is setup as dual boot with Win98 and WinXP. I\'m currently using WinXP with pretty decent results. I do not have Office, Virus Scanners or other software of this sort installed in XP. Internet access is disabled and any other devices I don\'t use for music. At this time using Sonar 2.0 and Giga I can play 20 Giga tracks and stream a couple stereo Sonar tracks with an occasional pop in playback. These pops are not in the recordings and only the Sonar tracks pop. I\'m still adjusting buffer settings for audio since upgrading to Sonar 2.0.

    My system is a P3-733 with 512 MB RAM. I have 2 7200 RPM Maxtor IDE drives both on the same bus at this time.

    When I\'m recording audio tracks in Sonar I set all tracks I\'m not recording to Archive (not just mute). This cuts down on the work Sonar has to do.

    I still used to get better performance with Cakewalk 9 in Win 98 but I\'m starting to get close in Sonar 2.0. It took me some tweaking to get the Win 98 setup to work correctly.

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