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Topic: GS in a Pro Tools Mix environment

  1. #1

    GS in a Pro Tools Mix environment

    Hi all,

    This is my first time to the forum. After hearing the Garritan Orchestral Strings I\'ve decided to pursue adding GS and Garritan to my studio arsenal. I\'m in the process of designing a dedicated GS system and was wondering if there is anyone else out here that is currently using GS in a Digidesign Pro Tools Mix environment?

    Specifically, I’m interested in how you bring the audio into the PT environment (example: via 888/24), if you are using the Digidesign sequencer or another, and which sound card and Midi interface you would suggest for integrating with a Pro Tools studio?

    There are so many soundcard and Midi Interface options to choose from it’s a bit overwhelming determining which ones have proven themselves as being resilient and would meet the needs in a professional PT environment.

    Your feedback is greatly appreciated.


  2. #2

    Re: GS in a Pro Tools Mix environment

    Hello DJ,

    There are a few options for you with moderate to expensive solutions, depending on your budget and audio quality requirements. With the Digi 888/24 on your Pro Tools rig, you\'ll need to interface it directly with AES/EBU or analog.

    If you use the analog I/O on the 888/24, you\'ll need to have an 8 in/8 out analog interface on the Giga machine as well. Here are a few of those that do the job well:

    Midiman Delta 1010
    Echo Layla24
    RME Multiface

    If you want to avoid all that AD/DA by going digital, you\'ll need something like one of the following scenarios:

    1. Use an Digi ADAT bridge on the 888/24 to convert AES/EBU to lightpipe. Then connect to a lightpipe card, such as an RME Hammerfall or Frontier Design WaveCenter PCI or Dakota card on the Giga machine.


    B. Use a device like the ADI8-DD (RME Audio) on the Giga machine to receive AES/EBU directly from the 888/24.

    You\'ll still need to send MIDI to the Giga machine as well. Some of these cards have one or two MIDI ports (x16 channels) you may need a dedicated multi-port MIDI interface in addition to the audio solution that you settle.

    Sorry if this doesn\'t come off as a definitive answer because, frankly, there aren\'t any. Of course the salesmen will tell you otherwise, so bone up on as much information about PC audio/MIDI interfaces as you can.

    There are a good bunch of folks here on this forum that can lend an ear and share their own perspective in this matter.

    Good luck in your quest. Anyone else got some suggestions?


  3. #3

    Re: GS in a Pro Tools Mix environment

    A creamware pulsar2 will have very fast gsif driver, and 2 in / 2out ADAT lightpipe (that\'s 16 channels io for your digidesign), midi port in/out, but still need something for all 4midi ports. Mixer,effects, (500 times better than those in giga btw), synths, all in realtime(for everything that run in pulsar there is no latency at all, sub zero latency, that\'s better than alot of hardware!), gsif latency is 3ms in pulsar2. Everything run in 32bits floating internaly, so that also is better than any motorola dsp (protools someone?) And your Giga will have 32 distinct and fully independent gsif channels. I found that, to date, nothing beats that. period.

    BTW, those cards integrate very well with protools and alike (digi001, etc). Some swear by this integration, protools alone is boring, but with sfp (SFP stands for Scope Fusion Platform, which is the name of the creamware card\'s OS) addition, everything comes to life!

  4. #4

    Re: GS in a Pro Tools Mix environment

    Thanks for the replies. My purpose for having the dedicated GS system in essence is just to have one large sampler module. What I’m after is the high quality samples to pipe out in stereo to the Pro Tools environment where I’ll do all of my recording/editing/mixing. With that being the case, would I really need a high-end card like the RME Multiface, or Creamware Pulsar2? The biggest complaint i hear from folks is \"latency\".

    Sorry I’m so ignorant, but would anyone mind giving me the Giga Studio definition of latency so I have a clear understanding of what I’m up against here?

    Thanks for your help,

  5. #5

    Re: GS in a Pro Tools Mix environment

    Latency is the time it take from when you hit a note, to the moment you hear it. The longer the latency, the more difficult it is to play live or record in overdub, like recording a piano track, then playing it back and trying to record in sync a flute track. The shorter the latency is, the closer you get to a real instrument feel, and easier it is to mix and record many tracks.

    For example, in a Creamware card, latency of GSIF driver go from 3ms to 7ms, which is pretty short. In RME cards, it\'s about the same thing.

    Usually, something under 14ms is considered by many as \'real time\'. Personnaly, i feel a big difference between 14ms and 7ms. Specially with percussive sound like a piano, this can ruin a performance.

  6. #6

    Re: GS in a Pro Tools Mix environment


    I have the buffers on my RME Hammerfall DSP/Multiface set to 1.5ms latency with no clicks and pops. That\'s probably better than most hardware synths/samplers. The latency problem I have is with a crappy USB midi interface, it is high enought for it to be a big issue for me at the moment.

    Now I understand why all these MOTU/Emagic interfaces have time stamping features. My Midiman midisport doesn\'t and the latency is between 15 and 20ms.

    Dave Marsden

  7. #7

    Re: GS in a Pro Tools Mix environment

    Hi Dave,

    I notice you have a Pro Tools Mix setup as well. Are you coming into your Digidesign I/O using the RME Multiface optical, AES/EBU or SPDIF? Also, can a person even hear the difference if they went Analogue over the optical?


  8. #8

    Re: GS in a Pro Tools Mix environment

    Originally posted by DJ:
    Hi Dave,

    I notice you have a Pro Tools Mix setup as well. Are you coming into your Digidesign I/O using the RME Multiface optical, AES/EBU or SPDIF? Also, can a person even hear the difference if they went Analogue over the optical?

    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">We don\'t do music in the Pro Tools studio as it\'\'s always busy doing sound design/audio so we\'ve not actually plugged Giga into any Digi hardware. In the music studio the Giga PCs have RME Mulitfaces that go via analog into a Yamaha 02R. The Multiface will also do ADAT optical but that would mean clocking the two PCs externally which is a major PITA. The Multifaces have +4dB balanced outputs which sound very good, clean and quiet. They would match Digi hardware like an 888 very well.
    I honestly don\'t feel the need to connect digitally in terms of audio quality and would rather live without the clocking hassle.

    Dave Marsden

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