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Topic: Help with setting up a gigastudio machine

  1. #1

    Help with setting up a gigastudio machine

    I have to admit that I know very little about gigastudio, but a good amount about recording and music.

    I'm an amateur filmmaker, looking to score some music tracks for my movies, and I THINK gigastudio will do what I need.

    My question really is what hardware, especially the soundcard, do I need.

    I was thinking in investing in the digidesign MBox, and using ReWire with Gigastudio and protools together, although I would rather not spend the money on protools and get involved with too much software for what I need.

    My next question is, can I use gigastudio alone, without using a mix/recording utility like protools? Will gigastudio layer the instruments like one would do in protools to make a complete music peice?

    If that is so, what audio/midi card would you recommend, and what keyboard would you recommend?

    Thanks again,

  2. #2

    Re: Help with setting up a gigastudio machine

    Hi Allen, I can only recommend what I purchased and it's wonderful!
    First, you will need a DAW (digital audio workstation) like Sonar, Nuendo, Pro Tools or better yet, Digital Performer on a separate computer (Mac)
    Dont' be afraid to ask questions here. I am a recording engineer of 30+ years, and just 13 months ago I bought a MAC and Digital Performer and never looked back. In April of 2004, I decided to get into midi, so I bought Garritan Personal Orchestra (GPO) to learn with. I have used it exclusively to make a bunch of different music pieces, including my first attempt to copy by ear a track called Alabaster Box It's all GPO. I am a self taught engineer and have no music training with the exception of three months of piano when I was seven so when you said you wanted to create your own music I knew that you could do it Allen! I give all the credit to God for the different gifts. I just recently purchased Gigastudio Orchestra so that I could use Garritan Orchestral Strings (GOS) and I am just now finishing up a song with GPO and GOS.

    I use an RME HSDP 9652 soundcard for the Gigastudio and GPO PC and it is phenominal sounding, and rock solid reliable. It has three ADAT lightpipe inputs and outputs for a total of 24 digital inputs and outputs. It has S/PDIF (Sony/Philips digital interface) in and out, WORD clock in and out, and two midi inputs and outputs for total of 32 midi channel inputs and 32 outputs.

    Please forgive me for drifting off topic here.


  3. #3

    Re: Help with setting up a gigastudio machine

    The GPO sounds really interesting to me.
    From their website, it looks to me as all I would need is the $280 Package , a soundcard and midi keyboard (assuming the PC is up to date).
    Correct me if I'm wrong.

  4. #4

    Re: Help with setting up a gigastudio machine

    Quote Originally Posted by nualln
    The GPO sounds really interesting to me.
    From their website, it looks to me as all I would need is the $280 Package , a soundcard and midi keyboard (assuming the PC is up to date).
    Correct me if I'm wrong.
    Allen you are correct sir!

    I think that no program alone is the best, but certainly I don't think there is another library that even comes close to GPO. It comes with a notation program and a sequencing program as well. I have no experience with those programs, but GPO itself is incredible!

    Gary Garritan is so service oriented too.
    I can't say enough about him.


  5. #5

    Re: Help with setting up a gigastudio machine

    I think there are three viable paths:

    1) GPO is the least expensive. It's complete, and it's for real. The initial version was best for classical music, rather than for the "Hollywood Sound" (tm). Gary has released an update that is more aggressive, but I haven't played with it much, so I can't review it. At NAMM Gary announced a basic (cheaper) and an advanced (more costly) GPO. We'll soo what those bring.

    2) EWQLSO Gold costs more than GPO, but has a bigger sound, in general. It was recorded in a hall with nice resonance, so it's easy to mix, but more limited in terms of the final sound. Sometimes limits are good. They can keep you focussed on what counts most.

    3) GS3 Orchestra comes with Vienna Giga Symphony (VGS) as well as samples for non-orchestral music. VGS is a bit limited in articulations, but can sound great when run through GigaPulse - and awesome ambience engine. Giga is more of a platform. You add what you want later. For instance, Project Sam has awesome brass. Kirk Hunter has released a very complete string section that's being used on the show Medium. Or you can go with Opus 1 from VSL. It all adds up!.

    For GPO and EWQLSO you can buy the Kontakt sampler and import your samples. Kontakt 2 was just announced at NAMM. That allows you to buy other Kontakt-based libs and mix and match things.

    In each case you will need a sequencer, as mentioned above. GPO includes a basic sequencer, so it's a really great place to start.

    For soundcards the M-Audio Audiophile 2496 is a great budget card. The M-Audio Revolution is another inexpensive option, though I don't know how good its latency is. For higher quality you can get balanced I/O with an Echo MIA or M-Audio Audiophile 192. All these work well and sound great. The only reason to move up would be for more I/O or different connections, like lightpipe.

    All the best...


  6. #6

    Re: Help with setting up a gigastudio machine

    I've narrowed it down to a few options. (tell me if these will even work)

    Pro tools LE w/ Mbox
    M-audio 2496
    GS3 Orchestra


    Steinberg Cubase System 4

    I would personally rather have the first option. However, with the pro tools system, I would have to get the extra card (the Mbox doesnt have midi I/O), AND the GS3 manual said something about there being a problem with Gigastudio and the MBox having MIDI latency problems due to the slowness of the USB interfaces. Can anyone tell me the reason for this, as well as a solution?

    (my budget, not counting a new computer, is about 800 buckaroos. I already have a midi synth, so that takes out some of the cost)

  7. #7

    Re: Help with setting up a gigastudio machine

    A lot of this depends on your skill as a composer. PT is a waste of time if you are musically literate and will be using the MIDI functions a great deal. I think (although I may be wrong) that you're also limited by the number of audio tracks that you can use. There are many sequencers that can do the job better; Cubase, Logic (if on MAC) just to name a couple. Remember if you are working to film, you need to be able to synchronise to picture, either by external hardware or by importing a file into your chosen program, so bear this in mind when choosing hardware.


  8. #8

    Re: Help with setting up a gigastudio machine

    Cubase Sx3 works very well with Giga.

    I worked with Logic and Sonar but IMHO...Cubase is the best.

    I can't tell about DP4...i heard good things about it...but i have no experience in it.

    But these platforms are very subjective. Try to work a bit on all of them and make up your own mind. Logic is very hard to learn.


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