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Topic: A detailed review on GS3 Ensemble pleasE?

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  1. #1

    A detailed review on GS3 Ensemble pleasE?

    Anyone care to provide an indepth review of GS3 Ens? How are the libs that come with it? How many formats can you use with it. Hows the pitch stretching/time stretching, does it support program changes? How is the streaming? How long does sample loading time take, for example, for a 100Mb patch? How are the editing features? as good as kontakt 2?

  2. #2

    Re: A detailed review on GS3 Ensemble pleasE?

    Quote Originally Posted by sambasevam
    Anyone care to provide an indepth review of GS3 Ens?
    I have GS3 Orchestra. Here's a very quick run down...

    > "How are the libs that come with it?"

    There are some nice bits and pieces. The Post Bos 290 piano is especially good, as are the Larry Seyer Drums. It would be very light on orchestral instruments though.

    > "How many formats can you use with it?"

    Giga format (GS2 & GS3) and Waves. It also has an Akai converter, and there are 3rd party converters for more formats.

    > "Hows the pitch stretching/time stretching?"

    Excellent, though not perfect - it has to work in real time.

    > "Does it support program changes?"

    Absolutely.

    > "How is the streaming?"

    Excelent. The 24-bit streams are especially efficient. They use a lossless compression.

    > "How long does sample loading time take, for example, for a 100Mb patch?

    It depends more on the number of samples than the size of the lib, but, in general, a matter or seconds. GS3 loads way faster than GS2. In GS2 I was always hunting for that perfect template, so I could load it, enjoy a cup of coffee, and then make music. With GS3, I load as I go. My instrumentation is more creative this way, and I rarely bump into RAM limits. (But I tend to keep my orchestration fairly light - I hate mush!)

    > "How are the editing features? as good as kontakt 2?"The editing features are strong. There are three levels at which you can edit: 1) a full edit, 2) a quick edit with reduced features, and 3) you can add iMIDI features to your instruments and use a variety of stacking features without having to open the files at all.

    GS3 uses a different approach than K2. Tascam has pre-designed a variety of iMIDI rules such as round-robin and legato. K2 allows user scripts, which are more flexible, but require programming. Of course, if you get a free K2 script from a fellow user, you don't need to program it, but the quality might vary.

    One advantage with GS3 is that you can access the wave files if you need to, and you can apply all features to all libs. (One exception would be the full legato mode that requires the "interval" samples. No intervals, no full legato.) I've read that some K2 instruments are programmed by the vendor in a way that disallows some basic editing like ADSR shaping. That's never the case with GS3.

    That said, GS3, K2 and GVI are all great products that composers have used to make great music - as well as income.

  3. #3

    Re: A detailed review on GS3 Ensemble pleasE?

    Thank you very very much!

    Just a few more questions to you, and everyone else :

    1). I cant buy conversoin software because it'll be another 100 bucks or so, so is there a free tool that can convert akai S5000/6000 to giga?

    2). Silly question, but can GS3 sample? I mean, can i let it sample my synths?

    3). Does GS3 allow loading of VSTs for effects?

    4). What is your system spec? Will it run fine on 512 MB Ram, celeron 2.8, 160 gig audio hdd?

    5). What soundcard do you have and what latency fo you get?

  4. #4

    Re: A detailed review on GS3 Ensemble pleasE?

    Last one before placing the order :

    1). You said it supports Program changes, so i take it that means i can load, say, 100 instruments, and scroll through them by using Program Changes? This is the most important feature for me. I know K2 has it but its darn expensive.

  5. #5

    Re: A detailed review on GS3 Ensemble pleasE?

    > "1). I cant buy conversoin software because it'll be another 100 bucks or so, so is there a free tool that can convert akai S5000/6000 to giga?"

    GS3 can import/convert Akai samples without any external tool. I've never tried it though.

    > "2). Silly question, but can GS3 sample? I mean, can i let it sample my synths?"

    That's not so silly a question. You would normally use another program (such as ACID, Sound Forge or Sonar) to record your synth and create the wave files of the notes. You then use the Giga Editor to create the *.gig instrument file. The Giga Editor comes standard with GS3 Ensemble.

    > "3). Does GS3 allow loading of VSTs for effects?"

    Yes. I haven't done this, but I understand that it works for most VST effects. Some VSTs are incompatible though. You simply disable the ones that cause problems. The challenge is the trial and error of figuring out which ones are causing the faults.

    > "4). What is your system spec? Will it run fine on 512 MB Ram, celeron 2.8, 160 gig audio hdd?"

    You can see my system specs and many others here: http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/...ad.php?t=25063

    Your system is on the weak side. You will certainly want more RAM. I use 1 GB, which is fine for small arrangements. Most go for 2 GB. The problem with 512 MB is that Windows already uses so much of it that there's not much left.

    The processor is okay for sample playback, but don't expect to use many instruments that include GigaPulse. GigaPiano will probably play, but be glitchy, unless you use the version that doesn't include GigaPulse.

    > "5). What soundcard do you have and what latency fo you get?"

    I've got the M-Audio Audiophile 192. I've also used the Echo MIA. Both have balanced ins & outs for low noise & hum. Latency is well under 10 ms, but I don't recall the exact number. The budget card of choice is generally the M-Audio Audiophile 2496.

    These are great, clearly worded questions, BTW. It makes it easy to give a detailed response.

  6. #6

    Re: A detailed review on GS3 Ensemble pleasE?

    Quote Originally Posted by sambasevam
    1). You said it supports Program changes, so i take it that means i can load, say, 100 instruments, and scroll through them by using Program Changes? This is the most important feature for me. I know K2 has it but its darn expensive.
    This is no problem. Giga has supported both bank and patch changes for years.

    You can also stack instruments. Say you want to layer the bass guitar for the left hand and piano for the right. Drag both to one channel. Edit the stacking properties to mask the piano in the bass region. Play and enjoy.

    Now, not only can you call up the piano or the bass with a program change, Giga creates a new bank/patch for the stacked instrument, so you can call up the stack with a program change at any time.

    It's really sweet for live use.

  7. #7

    Re: A detailed review on GS3 Ensemble pleasE?

    Jon,
    Cant thank you enough for giving clear responses. Thanks though.

    So, i'm looking at GS3 Ens like this :

    Advantages:
    So, Gigastudio has my favorite and most wanted feature : Program changes.
    It supports VSTs. Thats good in one way, bad in another way.

    Disadvantages:
    Its called a sampler, and it still doesnt sample. i read that Kontakt doesnt sample either. Its quite dissapointing really, because the prime goal here is that I want to work with one single instrument, not open a bunch of programs and make a mess.

    My computer is slightly on the low-spec. Hmm...This christmas,I have one of two options : 1). Get gigastudio, expand more ram. 2). buy Kawai K5000S.

    Hmm...

  8. #8

    Re: A detailed review on GS3 Ensemble pleasE?

    Quote Originally Posted by sambasevam
    My computer is slightly on the low-spec. Hmm...This christmas,I have one of two options : 1). Get gigastudio, expand more ram. 2). buy Kawai K5000S.
    To know the right decision, you need to know your goals. What kind of music do you want to make? Is it for live or Memorex?

    For live synth/keyboard playing, I'd go for the keyboard. You can throw it in the car, take it to the gig, plug it in and play.

    If you're doing the studio thing, probably get GS3. It can really open new possibilities.

    If you want to play realistic sounding sampled instruments, GS3 for sure.

  9. #9

    Re: A detailed review on GS3 Ensemble pleasE?

    Well, for live I have my Fantom S, so it does everything I'd want. I'm looking for the studio. There's no specific genre of music that i make. Electronica, some orchestral, mostly thats it.

  10. #10

    Re: A detailed review on GS3 Ensemble pleasE?

    Actually it does sample. Page 27 of the Quickstart Guide expains how.
    The Guide is available as a download in PDF format at
    http://www.tascamgiga.com/pdf/GS3QuickStartGuide.pdf

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