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Topic: Giga laptops, turnkey systems?

  1. #1

    Giga laptops, turnkey systems?

    I am looking to make my Giga abilities mobile! I am a solo pianist, in need of nothing but a couple of outputs. Can anyone recommend a laptop system that is reliable, or better yet someone who puts such systems together to save me the frustration & the time? Appreciate any help!

  2. #2

    Re: Giga laptops, turnkey systems?

    Pianojoe-My Dell Inspiron 8200 has been very reliable with the 5400 system drive option a WD 8meg cache 80 gig drive in a Granite Digital case and a RME Multiface. It\'s a 1.7 P4 and I would advise to go bigger, if it\'s available, especially if you plan to use Halion or other VSTi\'s. I got 512megs of ram and expanded it to 768. 1 gig is max at about $200.00 bucks per 512.

    Anyway it has worked perfectly and installing the ram was the only tricky part-you could by a firewire drive already in case from Glyph or Pacific Pro Audio, if you don\'t want to do it yourself. The single firewire out on the Dell is a 4 pin, so you would need a 4 to 6 adapter cord.

    I also bought an Echo Indigo, and it works fine for just playing in stereo as you will probably do.

    You can tweak the XP operating system and remove
    unnecessary programs, but you can\'t do a clean install unless you have your own copy of Windows-Dell only includes a restore version.

    If you don\'t mind a little heft and you\'ve got the bread-buy a \"desktop replacement\" from Alienware or Prostar. They have have full sized(not the mobile version)Pentium 4 chips that go up to over 2.5 ghz.

    Good Luck.....Roger B.

  3. #3

    Re: Giga laptops, turnkey systems?

    Hi Joe, Roger
    I\'m on the same path, looking for a mobile GigaPiano module (now that I finally have a great sounding piano, the Bosendorfer 290 Grandioso from Michiel). But unlike you, Joe, I was considering getting a Shuttle XPC and a cheapo LCD display, but I might rethink this. I felt that the advantage of the XPC was that it would serve a greater use in my studio when I wasn\'t gigging with it. There\'s an XPC including processor and 256 MB RAM for only $299 (you add drives, OS, display, MIDI/soundcard)
    Roger, I take it that you are using the firewire drive for your Giga sample library? The firewire is adequate for this purpose? Are you getting full polyphony, with multiple instruments?


  4. #4

    Re: Giga laptops, turnkey systems?

  5. #5

    Re: Giga laptops, turnkey systems?

    TROND-I only use Giga for recording, and haven\'t really pushed the polyphony, so I can\'t speak to that. Live I use Halion with a converted version
    of Gigapiano light,Xample vibes,Wizzo bass guitar(I play left hand bass) Native Instruments B4,and the Emgic EVP 73. Even with 768megs of ram, I have to be mindfull of memory for Halion.

    I use Cubase SX as a host and utilize it\'s midi filters to do keyboard splits, change sostenuto to mod(to control the B4\'s leslie by foot pedal, transform expression to volume and filter program changes that my master keyboard sends.

    So far in no configuration, will the B4 and Giga play simultaneously without spiking the CPU and causing audible pops and crackles. Too bad-Giga is so much more ram efficient, but Halion has never crashed on a live gig!

    I really want the Post Bose for my next investment, along with Scarbee Rhodes...Roger B.

  6. #6

    Re: Giga laptops, turnkey systems?

    Couldn\'t resist jumping in on your thread, as Roger really seems to know his stuff. I\'m looking to go mobile, and wonder if it would be possible to have Logic (for sequencing only) running on that same mobile platform as Giga? Right now I have two desktop CPU\'s but can\'t take it anywhere. Would love to be able to sit in the Cofee House and write classical music with my Gigastrings.... Is this setup you describe all in one case? Or is the drive external? Thanks for helping out a novice.


  7. #7

    Re: Giga laptops, turnkey systems?

    Eric-I lived in the bay area for a few years,in the city and all over Marin County, but in those days, all I had was a Wurlitzer electric piano and a 2-track reel to reel! Later moved up to an even less portable Yamaha CP 70 electric grand!

    My present rig has a firewire drive and Multiface breakout box in an SKB 19\" rack-not something you\'d want to lug into Starbucks. But with an Echo Indigo(my spare laptop soundcard) you get top notch stereo, output only, for headphones or adapted to amp inputs.

    I\'ve heard of people pulling off a part or two from old giga(Gigasampler on Win 98se)on the same drive as programs, but Gigastudio-I don\'t know.
    Dell laptops have an additional bay which can hold second harddrive, but it would still only be a 5400 rpm with limited access time for streaming samples from giga, but maybe a few?

    Virtual instruments like Emagics Rhodes,Hammond, and Clav are very doable, or with with EX24, Halion, or Kontakt, you can port giga sounds over to them or buy native versions, but you\'re back to needing another drive. Some firewire drives are fairly portable, but the 7200 rpm ones still need external power or the laptop must be fitted with a firewire card that supplies power(sometimes with the addition of a a wall-wart transformer),as most laptops only have a 4 pin, powerless firewire port.

    Search these forums-and those of Tascam-many people report running a sequencer and GS happily on one computer, even laptops, but it has never worked for me, and I always record on a separate
    computer from giga or use Halion.

    Roger B.

  8. #8

    Re: Giga laptops, turnkey systems?

    A good laptop with the Echo Indigo @ 99USD is great for live performance. I have a laptop from Powernotebooks.com, it\'s a PowerPro IV:6, 2.53GHZ P4 Northwood, 5400RPM 40 GB drive, 512 M, SIS 650 chipset, it has USB 2.0 AND Firewire, but for live use I have an Echo Indigo audo card and a MOTH PC Flyer parallel Midi in. No audio recording, but Giga with the Bardstown Bose runs clean and sounds wonderful.


  9. #9

    Re: Giga laptops, turnkey systems?

    Thanks Soundsmith, that\'s exactly the post I\'ve been looking for!

  10. #10

    Re: Giga laptops, turnkey systems?

    Roger -

    The bay area is awesome, isn\'t it? Thanks for the info. I do wonder if maybe I couldn\'t run my old Logic sequencer (not logic audio) together with Giga on that system? Still, without a dedicated drive it doesn\'t look good; I\'m mostly orchestral, and routinely head up towards 140 voices (I get the full 160 out of my custom built old PIII 1Ghz). Ah, well, maybe I\'ll take up that cello after all.



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