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Topic: GSIF2 128 midi channel combination audio/midi card ?

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  1. #1

    GSIF2 128 midi channel combination audio/midi card ?

    Can you buy an audio/midi card that can a) allow you to access 8 ports or 128 midi channels or 128 different instruments. b)take advantage of GSIF2's lower latency improvements (requires an audio/midi combination card) and c) provide a large # of digital channels of output? Help!

  2. #2
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    Re: GSIF2 128 midi channel combination audio/midi card ?

    Check out http://www.frontierdesign.com/Products and look at their Dakota, Montana, Sierra and Tango24. We are very happy with ours. And soon Frontier Design Group will have an upgrade patch to accommodate 96kHz (at present the limit is 48kHz).

    Aloha,
    --jt
    justin thyme

  3. #3

    Re: GSIF2 128 midi channel combination audio/midi card ?

    Quote Originally Posted by justin thyme
    Check out http://www.frontierdesign.com/Products and look at their Dakota, Montana, Sierra and Tango24. We are very happy with ours. And soon Frontier Design Group will have an upgrade patch to accommodate 96kHz (at present the limit is 48kHz).

    Aloha,
    --jt
    i think there is no card with more than 2 midi ports
    Digital AudionetworX

    ______________________________
    http://www.digital-audionetworx.de
    mac - pc - gigastudio
    berlin - germany

  4. #4

    Re: GSIF2 128 midi channel combination audio/midi card ?

    the Frontier design cards offers 8 midi ins if my memory serves me right..now is it GSIF 2 ?, i couldn't tell but you'll find the infos on their website.
    There's also MidioverLan that can provide you with 128 midi channels but it's not GSIF 2 . To be GSIF 2 compliant , the midi inputs have to reside on the audio card and that audio card needs to be GSIF 2 compliant also.

    best regards

    Yves

  5. #5

    Re: GSIF2 128 midi channel combination audio/midi card ?

    I wanted to add something to my previous posting. This quote is taken directly from Tascam's Giga website:

    [After an extensive list of souncards suitable for Giga]
    "Many of these (sound) cards have been updated to the new GSIF2 standard. This new standard offers even lower latency with added kernel level audio and MIDI input – so you can route your DAW tracks into GigaStudio 3 for VST and NFX (GigaPulse) processing. GSIF2 also includes a low-latency kernel-level MIDI standard, which makes MIDI performance even faster.

    Note: GSIF2 Kernel-Level MIDI can only be used with a combination
    audio/MIDI interface. If your audio interface has a MIDI input and
    output and it is GSIF2 compatible, GSIF2 MIDI is permitted. If you use
    a different audio card than the one with your MIDI I/O as your
    GigaStudio audio interface, then GSIF2 MIDI won't work. For example, if
    you have a GSIF2 audio card as your audio interface, and a PCI-822
    audio/MIDI interface that you want to use for MIDI, you won't be able
    to enable GSIF2 MIDI on the PCI-822. If you set the PCI-822 as your
    audio and MIDI interface, then you'll be able to use GSIF2 MIDI."

    I went to the Frontier website and saw that I could use Tango with Dakota to achieve my goals of GSIF2 lo latency and 8 port access to Giga. Still unanswered for me is the question of whether this constitutes a combination audio/midi card or is this a seperate audio and seperate midi card. If they are seperate, then, according to Tascam, I will not be able to take advantage of GSIF2. Does anybody know about this?

  6. #6
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    Re: GSIF2 128 midi channel combination audio/midi card ?

    Quote Originally Posted by eddiehorst
    . . . . I went to the Frontier website and saw that I could use Tango with Dakota to achieve my goals of GSIF2 lo latency and 8 port access to Giga. Still unanswered for me is the question of whether this constitutes a combination audio/midi card or is this a seperate audio and seperate midi card. If they are seperate, then, according to Tascam, I will not be able to take advantage of GSIF2. Does anybody know about this?
    Eddie, AFAIK the Dakota card in combination with the Tango24 A/D-D/A unit makes full use of GSIF2. The Dakota and Tango24 do not operate as separate audio and MIDI cards, they are fully integrated. The Tango24 is a separate rack-mounted component that attaches to Dakota via optical cable, but the CPU/motherboard does not "see" them as separate components. As far as your computer is concerned, the only thing happening "externally" is the A/D-D/A conversion, which I believe does not utilize kernel-level resources.

    Carillon configured our GigaStudio installation on the specific understanding that GSIF2 needed to be fully-utlilized. They selected the Dakota/Montana/Sierra combination for us. We had to substitute an RME ADI-8 DS A/D-D/A for the Tango because (1) Frontier was temporarily out of stock on the Tango units and (2) we wanted 96kHz capability. But we still enjoy full GSIF2 functionality (at least, that's what Carillon told us).

    We are getting a little inpatient, though, with Frontier's delay in releasing the 96kHz driver update patch for Dakota/Montana. I understand that they have had a beta version that supports 96kHz under testing since February, or maybe even earlier.
    justin thyme

  7. #7

    Re: GSIF2 128 midi channel combination audio/midi card ?

    My search was to locate a card that would 1) use GSIF 2 to achieve lower latency, 2) be a combination audio/midi card that would satisfy Tascam's requirement to take advantage of GSIF 2 and, 3) allow me to use 8 ports or 128 midi channels to play 128 instruments simultaneously.

    I received some excellent replies to my question that led me to contact Frontier. I have included their response that indicates that the answer to my search could be a combination of Dakota and Sierra. This would provide GSIF 2 capability in what Giga would see as a combination audio/midi card. The 8 midi inputs of Sierra would allow 8 ports of Giga access. And if more digital audio outputs are needed, you could get Montana to end up with 32 optical channels.

    Does anyone see a flaw in this solution?


    From: [email]support@frontierdesign
    Subject: RE: Dakota/Tango24
    Date: September 9, 2005 5:20:51 PM EDT

    Hi Eddie,

    Thanks for sending us your question. Dakota has both digital audio and MIDI
    integrated on a single card. Specifically, Dakota has two pairs of optical
    ports (16 channels of ADAT optical in/out), 2 MIDI inputs and 2 MIDI outputs
    (on a breakout cable that connects to Dakota's 8-pin MIDI connector), and
    another breakout cable with RCA/coax in/out (for S/PDIF digital audio) and
    an ADAT 9-pin sync input. And you're correct, the latest Dakota driver
    (v3.02) does include GSIF2 support.

    If you ever want more than 2x2 MIDI, you can connect Dakota's optional
    Sierra expansion box to the 8-pin connector (instead of the 2x2 MIDI
    breakout cable). With Sierra connected to Dakota, you have 8 MIDI inputs and
    8 MIDI outputs (and also dedicated SMPTE in/out). The Dakota control panel
    includes settings for all the Sierra features.

    If you ever want more than 16 channels of ADAT optical in/out, you can also
    connect Dakota's optional Montana expansion card. Montana has two additional
    pairs of optical ports, so with both Dakota and Montana installed, you'd
    have 32 channels of ADAT optical in/out (and you could connect up to four
    Tango24 A/D-D/A converter boxes if you wanted 32 channels of analog in/out).

    In the USA, you can buy any of these products directly from us
    (1-800-928-3236, then press 3 or go to Roseanne at x102). I mention that
    because, when you buy direct, you get a 30-day money-back guarantee which
    gives you time to try our products in your system and verify that they work
    well for you. We also offer bundle pricing when you buy Dakota + Tango24
    and/or Sierra/Montana.

    I hope this information is helpful to you. Feel free to contact us again if
    you have other questions...

    Lanelle
    Frontier Design Group

  8. #8

    Re: GSIF2 128 midi channel combination audio/midi card ?

    I got a response from the amazing Dave Govett about my quest and I thought I'd repeat it here for the benefit of all. Dave is on top of this and he's a nice guy too.


    From: david@davidgovett.com
    Subject: Northern sounds forum
    Date: September 14, 2005 10:50:26 PM EDT
    To: eddie@eddiehorstmusic.com

    GSIF-2 zero latency MIDI pretty much only applies to a combo audio & MIDI
    hardware device that is enabled. This allows your MIDI input to trigger the
    audio right back out of the hardware device extra fast. If the devices are
    separate, then that low latency MIDI triggering will not be doable because
    it would have to run through the PCI bus and back and forth. (MIDI input
    through PCI bus to CPU then back to PCI bus to audio card and out, or
    something like that I can imagine) Having the MIDI and audio on the same
    device I believe is what makes it possible to get lower latency.
    Unfortunately, most of these combo devices don't have more than one or two
    MIDI inputs. Its kind of cool for a machine that is dedicated to Piano for
    example for a pianist that wants the tightest grand piano response. For
    multiple MIDI ports, you will have to settle for a few milliseconds of
    latency as before. Still usable just not quite as fast as GSIF-2 zero
    latency MIDI. You probably won't see a 4 or 8 port zero latency MIDI device
    for a while if ever from what I can tell.

    Also, keep in mind that you may not need all 8 ports on individual machines.
    In most cases, I only use 2 or 3 and 4 max and that is repeating the same
    instrument on several channels. Usually, you run out of RAM before you run
    out of MIDI channels. Each machine does not need 8 ports. Its available
    for future proofing when things open up RAM wise. You would have to load a
    whole bunch of tiny instruments to use too many MIDI channels at once.

    Hope that helps. Feel free to copy & post my response at the northern
    sounds forum.
    Hope all is well.
    Cheers
    Dave
    --
    No virus found in this outgoing message.
    Checked by AVG Anti-Virus.
    Version: 7.0.344 / Virus Database: 267.10.25/102 - Release Date: 9/14/2005

  9. #9

    Re: GSIF2 128 midi channel combination audio/midi card ?

    So that's how the gsif2 low latency midi ports work. The Frontier expansion setup sounds like it constitutes the midi/audio combo Dave talks about since there's no PCI bus between the midi and audio ports. I use a Tascam FW1884 myself (also designed by Frontier) and it has 4 on-board midi ports.

    You know if your midi is coming off a sequencer on the same machine, you could be using the 8 virtual giga midi ports rather than physical ones. In that case, you wouldn't need any physical midi ports for playback and its my understanding that gsif1 virtual ports have just as low latency as gsif2 ones do.

    Howard

  10. #10

    Re: GSIF2 128 midi channel combination audio/midi card ?

    I received a very helpful letter from Frontier that looks like it could be a solution to my quest. I thought it might be of interest to other forumites.

    Hi Eddie,

    The Dakota/Sierra system provides integrated audio/midi that includes 16
    channels of ADAT optical in/out, 8 MIDI inputs and 8 MIDI outputs. The
    Dakota driver currently posted on our web site (v3.02) includes GSIF2
    support for MIDI ports 1 and 2. There is a driver update available now (we
    email it to individuals on request) which expands the GSIF2 support to all 8
    MIDI ports. When that driver update is installed, and you look at the MIDI
    Port Selection list (in Giga's System Settings window), you'll see:

    Dakota 1 (GSIF - low latency)
    Dakota 2 (GSIF - low latency)
    Dakota 3 (GSIF - low latency)
    Dakota 4 (GSIF - low latency)
    Dakota 5 (GSIF - low latency)
    Dakota 6 (GSIF - low latency)
    Dakota 7 (GSIF - low latency)
    Dakota 8 (GSIF - low latency)

    So... yes, with v3.02 and its driver update installed, Dakota/Sierra *is* a
    GSIF2 combination audio/midi system that can deliver 8 cables of midi or 128
    instruments.

    You can download the v3.02 driver for Dakota/Sierra from the Dakota
    Downloads section of our web site:

    www.frontierdesign.com/Products/Dakota/Downloads

    To request the driver update for full (8-port) GSIF2 support, just send
    email to support@frontierdesign.com

    I hope this information is helpful to you. Let us know if you have other
    questions...

    Lanelle
    Frontier Design Group

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