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Topic: A Gigastudio Journey

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  1. #1

    A Gigastudio Journey

    Well, it seems my foray into GS has gotten off to a bad start. Not only am I over three years late to the party, but consequent to that I also can't get any help at all resolving some issues either from TEAC/TASCAM regarding GS3, or SoniVox regarding their Complete Symphonic Collection for GS3. I suppose that's not surprising, given how much GS is considered very much a dead horse now.

    Despite this, I thought I'd start what I suppose for most here will be a somewhat redundant thread, covering my exploration into the world of Gigastudio. I feel it would be better to keep my ups and downs in one thread, rather than maintaining one for each issue I cover.

    The first is one of Gigastudio 3 Orchestra licenses. It seems these are no longer around at all, so I will have to fall back on what might be available secondhand. Right now I don't have much cash for purchasing such things (such is my life in this screwed up world at the moment) but I have two machines to receive them, one basically ready now, the other still in use doing other work. If anyone knows of any such licenses sitting around doing nothing, please feel free to donate them to a worthy cause as they will allow me to create the fourth and fifth PCs in my 'farm', and allow each PC to handle a different section of the orchestra rather than having to double up.

    On that note, a paragraph explaining my current set up. I have two GS3 machines (XPx86) up and running, and one GS4 one (XPx64) waiting to be freed up from other duties before installing GS4. These are all 'Frankenstein' PCs, cobbled together from older tech as PCs have been upgraded. The two GS3s are Athlon XP 3200+ CPUs with Asus A7N8X-E mobos in them, with 2GB ram each. As GS3 can only use just under 1GB ram max due to the kernel mode used, then using anything newer with GS3 is effectively pointless anyway. The GS4 has a dual core Athlon64x2 5000+ on it, and will have 4GB ram when ready. Hopefully it will be able to do something, rather than get hobbled by GS4's bugs.

    The second issue is my choice of sample set. I bought the Sonic Implants Complete Symphonic Collection about three years ago (for Gigastudio, of course, and just before TASCAM threw in the towel on it!), but have only now had the time and inclination to fully install it and check it out. It appears there are a number of errors in the collection, chief of which is the failure to load the Strings - Basses - Trills. None of the samples will load at all, which leads me to think that the original file on the CD is in some way corrupted. Any help acquiring a working file would be greatly appreciated. I'm not in any way wanting to violate the intellectual property of SoniVox, but if they won't answer my queries and I have to find the file elsewhere then I think it's fair to say they've 'pushed' me to do so. The other errors seem to be in the way the samples are edited. I've only found two such errors so far, but as I've only checked the first few samples, I think it's highly probable there will be more errors elsewhere. Any heads up on where those might be and any solutions to fix them would be more than welcome.

    There are other basic PCs also in the farm, but they are Soundfont-based ones just to add a bit of colour. There's also an old Roland SC88VL synth module, also for adding a bit of colour. All are midi controlled via either direct Midi connections (for two of the Soundfont PCs using MidiOx for routing, and the SC88VL), or MidiOverLan for the GS3/4 PCs and one other Soundfont PC.

    The farm is controlled from an old-ish workstation (W7x64, Quad Core2 Extreme 3.2GHz, X25-M SSD main drive, 8GB memory), using older music software as I can't afford the upgrades currently. That's Sonar 7 Producer for 'normal' midi and sample work, and Sibelius 5 for notation-based composition. I've tested Sonar and despite the infrequent freezing, it seems to be OK for working with the midi. I've yet to test Sibelius. Neither are supported on W7x64, but I hope I can get them to work effectively for me.

    As and when I have something to show for all of this, I will drum up an MP3 file or two to see what people think. But I have to warn that I'm not in any way classically trained, so don't expect great things, and don't expect them soon. It will very much be a case of as and when.

    (Oh, and to the obvious question of 'why don't I just give up on GS and use something more recent?', right now and for the foreseeable future, there simply isn't the money. I am currently 'unemployed', and I don't earn any money doing this, nor do I ever expect too. It's a project I started when I was still working and earning quite well doing desktop programming (back in 2007/2008!) but due to intervening personal issues and the world financial balls-up, hadn't managed to properly get going in).

    Ian

  2. #2

    Re: A Gigastudio Journey

    I thought it's time for a quick update.

    My two main GS3 machines have been reinstalled from scratch as the FCS anti-virus software and IE8 seemed to be causing BSODs. I followed some basic rules for preparing a PC for Gigastudio 3, so haven't allowed IE to be updated on them, and have kept the anti-virus off too. They're on a part of the network away from the internet so there shouldn't be any issues with that, and also they aren't used for anything else at all and only used by me, so no risk of infection from non-internet sources.

    The GS4 machine is more of a problem. I've got GS4 installed and all ready to go, but I can't find an inexpensive GSIF 2.1 soundcard to put in it. It seems only a few cards ever got the 64bit GSIF drivers, mainly the 'expensive' RME cards, Tascam FireWire FW series, and the Frontier Design Dakota. I've emailed Tascam regarding whether they ever got the US-122L to GSIF 2.1, but I've had no reply from them (what a surprise!) I'm beginning to wonder if Tascam/TEAC are black-holing emails from anyone asking about anything to do with Gigastudio now, even if it's not directly related to it.

    Apart from that I'm still trying to find new licences for the two additional machines I have almost ready. I just need to get some SATA 1.5Gbps capable HDDs for them, but with the aftermath of the Taiwanese floods still affecting production, HDD prices are somewhat high. I did wonder about trying SSDs instead, but a test with an SATA 6Gbps SSD didn't work and with no apparent way to force it down to 1.5Gbps that has turned into a dead end. Still, I only need HDD speeds anyway. I only have 24bit / 48Khz original samples and they can stream readily from RAID 0 HDDs.

    Hopefully I'll be able to resolve the GS4 soundcard issue soon.

    Ian

  3. #3

    Re: A Gigastudio Journey

    The new Garritan Aria player supports giga files natively. Should be released soon. Not sure on any authentication/authorization details, but it will likely be dongle-free. Problem simplified?

  4. #4

    Re: A Gigastudio Journey

    Quote Originally Posted by Reegs View Post
    The new Garritan Aria player supports giga files natively. Should be released soon. Not sure on any authentication/authorization details, but it will likely be dongle-free. Problem simplified?
    Probably not, but I have a couple of questions first:

    What are the minimum specs for the PC it would run on?
    Can it run in standalone mode on a remote PC as against running locally in a virtual instrument?

  5. #5

    Re: A Gigastudio Journey

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian J. View Post
    I've emailed Tascam regarding whether they ever got the US-122L to GSIF 2.1, but I've had no reply from them (what a surprise!) I'm beginning to wonder if Tascam/TEAC are black-holing emails from anyone asking about anything to do with Gigastudio now, even if it's not directly related to it.

    [...]

    Hopefully I'll be able to resolve the GS4 soundcard issue soon.

    Ian
    Well, it seems I may have been a bit too hasty. I've just checked my email and a reply from Tascam has come through. Apparently, and I quote from their email:
    The US-122L does have GSIF-2 drivers that should work fine on 64 bit operating systems.
    They didn't specifically say GSIF 2.1 and the statement is a bit 'couched' in it's language, 'should' instead of 'will', but it's something to go on.

    Ian

  6. #6

    Re: A Gigastudio Journey

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian J. View Post
    Probably not, but I have a couple of questions first:

    What are the minimum specs for the PC it would run on?
    Can it run in standalone mode on a remote PC as against running locally in a virtual instrument?
    Minimum specs: WinXP I believe, it's pretty light on CPU so I think you could get away with it on your farm PCs. Not sure if 64-bit mode is restricted to Vista and above, though given your farms don't have much RAM you can probably get away running 32-bit with the 3GB switch without much loss.

    Standalone through remote desktop: Yep.

  7. #7

    Re: A Gigastudio Journey

    Quote Originally Posted by Reegs View Post
    Minimum specs: WinXP I believe, it's pretty light on CPU so I think you could get away with it on your farm PCs. Not sure if 64-bit mode is restricted to Vista and above, though given your farms don't have much RAM you can probably get away running 32-bit with the 3GB switch without much loss.

    Standalone through remote desktop: Yep.
    The additional PCs are 32 bit, so no need for x64 compatibility. It's food for thought but I'm inclined to stay with GS3 if I can get the licences. The existing GS3 machines will stay as GS3, no point in changing them, and if I can get a suitable sound card for the GS4 that'll stay GS4 too. Only the two additional PCs which I plan to put GS3 on would be done differently if the licenses simply can't be sorted.

  8. #8

    Re: A Gigastudio Journey

    Hmmm. I'm not best pleased. I bought a Tascam US-122L (albeit secondhand off eBay), and installed it to my GS4 PC and guess what, GS4 doesn't see it as a GSIF device. It therefore seems the person at Tascam who replied to my enquiry to them was being economical with the truth. I've sent a follow up email asking about that erroneous statement, and also asking what devices they have that are 64 bit GSIF compatible, but knowing that they basically want nothing to do with the whole GS thing, I'm not expecting a reply.

    Seems I'm going to have to source an RME card at considerable expense just to get a single stereo pair output from the machine

  9. #9

    Re: A Gigastudio Journey

    On the other hand, you could just build one powerful PC with lots of RAM, dump GS, and run everying with Aria64 without the need for any slave systems...

  10. #10

    Re: A Gigastudio Journey

    Quote Originally Posted by wcreed View Post
    On the other hand, you could just build one powerful PC with lots of RAM, dump GS, and run everying with Aria64 without the need for any slave systems...
    Not going to happen (as I mentioned in the OP). I simply don't have the money to spend on such a system. It would be considerably over a thousand GBP and right now I don't have any work so I have to work with what I've got and what I can scrape out of meagre unemployment benefits to add to it to get it to work. That's why the 'high' cost of the RME card is a major issue. That's not to mention the amount of money already spent in years past that would in effect be thrown down the proverbial toilet to get to where I am now.

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