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Topic: Is Giga and Garritan Strings for Me?

  1. #1

    Is Giga and Garritan Strings for Me?

    I am a Christian singer/song writer and have recently began to acquire my own recording equipment to self produce my music.

    My conservative style of music calls for piano, guitar, and orchestral sounds.

    I am new to the midi/sampler world and am trying to wade through all of the info out here on the net so I can make an informed decision before I buy.

    Here\'s what I have pieced together:
    Since I am mac based and working with protools I can use a windows system running gigastudio and connect via midi & light pipe I/O. Using the giga basically as a sampler on steroids running from my midi source with the light pipe returning the audio back to protools.

    My specific questions are:
    1. Where can I find a good price on a Giga system?

    2. Should I build my own giga system? If so, how should it be built?

    3. The Garritan advanced sample set is the best to be found so I would really like to purchase it. However, it sounds as though you have to virtually have a masters degree in music to make it sound great. What I need to know is if I can being a beginner use the samples with out getting into all of the massive programing and editing and it still sound good? In other words, there dedicated samplers on the market that can be had for a few thousand buck that basically interface with my midi device and I assign the voices I want and its done. The problem is that they sound fake!!!! And Garritan\'s sound awesome. So, can I do the same basic thing of assigning instruments and be pleased?

    I am not a big time recording artist, however, I and my listeners have come to expect a high quality sound and Garritan\'s Strings are great.

    Thank you in advance for your help.

    P.S. If the techno lingo gets to heavy you might lose me. I have been a video editor on Avid and Final Cut Pro for years and I am computer and video savy...not music/audio equipment and midi savy!

  2. #2

    Re: Is Giga and Garritan Strings for Me?

    My specific questions are:
    1. Where can I find a good price on a Giga system?

    I\'ve heard mixed reviews about Soundchaser systems but they are a well known \'turnkey\' system maker (ie: just plug in and use.) You will pay a lot more if you go that route but it might be less of a hassle since they provide detailed support specifically tailored to your system.

    2. Should I build my own giga system? If so, how should it be built?

    You can save a lot of money going this route and buying parts online. If you have knowledgeable PC assembling friends this is not too difficult to do, but they won\'t necessarily know about the most appropriate components for a Giga PC which is a very specialized application. There are various hardware review sites that often include assembly primers for beginners; also ProRec.com had some articles on making your own DAW. Do lots of research on the right components and shop around online a bit for a good price before buying things. I think finding the right sound card for your Giga PC and your workflow is the most critical part.

    Search the TASCAM online forums and these forums for system configurations that others have had success with; \"what is the best PC config\" must be the most commonly asked question, followed by \"what sound card should I get\".

    3. The Garritan advanced sample set is the best to be found so I would really like to purchase it.

    No matter how good your libraries are, you still have to take the time to play/perform in the parts, experiment with layering ideas, tweak some MIDI data (in your sequencer) for more realism, and EQ/Effects the raw MIDI output. But I don\'t think you necessarily have to crack open the Giga editor and reprogram new .gig patches, or do any sound file editing to get good results; in that sense the high-end libraries are quite complete \'out of the box.\' The most experienced people of course go further and do a lot of sound file editing and patch reprogramming to try and get exactly what they need.

    Just my 2 cents...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Chandler, Arizona

    Re: Is Giga and Garritan Strings for Me?

    It appears that Soundchaser may be going out of business by a couple recent threads on this forum.

    Garritan also offers a lite version of strings. These use keyswitched gigs that give many articulations at one time. These are much easier to use. When you\'ve mastered these, Gary offers a nice upgrade path to the full version.

    I used the lite versions for an Easter special for my church this year. The music director was quite impressed! I sent the piece to Gary Garritan and he didn\'t even realize I had used the lite versions!

  4. #4

    Re: Is Giga and Garritan Strings for Me?

    Christian Dude,
    I\'m the same way. I don\'t know PCs well, so I got a sound chaser DAW. It works right out of the box.
    I had a similar configuration, via light pipe, into my Pro Tools Mac setup. Sound chaser talked me through it and everything. The guy even knew how to set up sessions in pro tools and my sequencer. I was very impressed with the service.

    Haydn, could you send me your music with the lite version of Garritan strings. I haven\'t heard any demos with only the lite version..

  5. #5

    Re: Is Giga and Garritan Strings for Me?

    Christian, I agreee with what the above responses say. I\'m in the Christian music market as well and have found the Garritan strings worth the purchase, although there is clearly a learning curve to knowing how to work with them. I don\'t think you can get a hardware sampler to sound any better and I don\'t think it\'s any easier to work with unless you get cheap libraries... but then they don\'t sound good. I opted to build my own system and saved a few bucks. If you\'re not able to do that Northern sounds has pre-built systems as does Peter Alexander at www.truespec.com.

    Feel free to write me if you have any questions and I\'m happy to answer for you. jeremy@w3productions.net


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