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Author Topic: VST Instrument Question(s)  (Read 2939 times)

Keyplayer

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VST Instrument Question(s)
« on: May 03, 2004, 12:38:39 pm »

Up till now, I've only used Live Instruments and Synths for my musical performances. But I'm interested in some of these software instruments and as such, I have a couple of questions.

1.) If I'm reading the ads correctly on this,  these instruments sound better than the hardware synth versions because of greater sample lengths that captured the sound, yes? So does, say "Trilogy" really sound that much better than the bass patches I'd find on an XV5080 or Korg Triton?

2.) Since these instruments are such CPU hogs, I'm assuming they should be on their own PC. So I'm planning on putting them on the designated GigaStudio GS3 (when it's released) PC. GS3 will be the "Host." So how many instruments can I REALISTICALLY RUN on a P4/2.8GB/XP Pro with 2GB of RAM?

3.) Should I get the Giga interface card or will my RME 9652 (lightpipe) card work just as well or better?

4.) I don't know ANYTHING about using GigaStudio or these instruments, other than what I've read. So if there are any other considerations I should make BEFORE I BUY this stuff, your advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Jim Frazier

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Re: VST Instrument Question(s)
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2004, 05:05:19 pm »

keyplayer,

I don't own or use giga studio, but there are a few things I can answer for you.

As to your first question, yes and no. Take Trilogy for example. There are about 3 gigs worth of samples in that thing. A 5080 or Triton has, I'm guessing about 128MB's, maybe 256 MB's. And that's for ALL their sounds, not just the basses. Trilogy also gives you performance oriented samples such as slides, X-notes, thumps, etc... which when programmed well, helps create a much more realistic sounding bass track than was ever possible using "Picked Bass 1" from the ROMplers you mentioned.

Trilogy is a VSTi. It has it's own interface, and though you can edit the programs somewhat from the interface, you cannot edit the samples themselves. You cannot add or delete from it's "core" library. As far as I'm aware, you need to have a DAW platform to run this type of VSTi. This plug-in won't run on giga studio. Someone please correct me if I'm mistaken.

Giga Studio is a software sampler, and is a stand alone program. You can import your own wave or aiff files, and create your own instruments from scratch if you wish. A more common approach is to purchase sample libraries already formatted for giga studio. There are hundreds and hundreds of excellent libraries already in existence. Software samplers like giga studio, Kontact, EXS, Mach 5, etc... have become popular because they stream samples from the disk drive. Looping notes so that they sustain properly is no longer a necessity. There are piano libraries in existence right now that have all 88 notes of the piano sampled until the sound of each note decays naturally. Each note in some cases was sampled at 8 to 16 velocity levels, with and without the sustain pedal down! Obviously, without the limitations that were common place with hardware samplers, developers are taking advantage of this, and creating stunning libraries with gigabytes and gigabytes of samples that include practically every note and articulation available on any given instrument.

As for the separate PC to run these things, that's fairly common. I myself use a Mac, a dual 2gig G5, and I run everything in Logic. I typically can get roughly 20 to 25 EXS's (that's Logic's soft sampler), 2 Stylus VSTi's, Trliogy, and 5 or 6 other VSTi's before my computer flips me the finger!

If you had separate dedicated machines, I'm sure you'd get more milage than that.

Hope that helps...
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MarkKnutson

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Re: VST Instrument Question(s)
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2004, 08:50:04 pm »

This is a subject that is near and dear to my heart.  Giga is one sampler product.  Since it does not currently support any virtual instrument standards, they feature this limitation by suggesting you put it on its own PC.  Their 3 version is purported to support the rewire standard which would allow it to work with many sequencers--how well remains to be seen.  Giga does have a very nice piano and lots of other good stuff.

What I have seen is a trend toward the sample set being the thing you are buying with the sampler bundled with it in a proprietary way so it is harder to pirate the samples.  There are many good PC samplers, so its hard to say that one or the other is a big improvement, so you may want to look very closely at the libraries that come with it and make that the major selection criteria.

I got NI kompakt, and for my little world, that is a pretty nice sample library--nice orchestra and the usual B3, acoustic bass, e-piano, drums and so forth--for not much money.  I used to own reason, and they have a good library as well.

I can't say how many instruments you can run at a time, but probably not too many.  The samplers are mostly just playing some files and maybe adding some effects, so I think lots of channels of sampler can be done without a lot of hassle.

Something like reaktor is going to really dog your system down.

I really like fm7. The sounds it comes with are uninspired, and I have heard that their add on sounds are no better, but there is a 500+ fm7 instrument definition file available on a number of sites and if you take the time to go trough them, there are some real gems.  This guy takes a little bit of horsepower.

The native instruments B4 is also a monster of a B3 sound, though many samplers have this instrument as well.

The applied acoustics electric piano sounds very nice as well.  I am not much for subtractive synth sounds, but there are tons of those laying around, free or otherwise.

The fruity loops guys just put out their own fm vsti, I only have the demo version, but it may have as much potential as the fm7.

Bottom line is that you should be able to run one or two if you want really tight latency like I do.  If you do more, I would imagine you would want to record the output to a file so that you can free up some cpu for other instruments if you are layering.

I will mention that Native Instruments products have "phone home" authorization which is a hassle, and I consider that a big minus-- I really look at that aspect before I buy anything anymore.

You may want to try a few free ones or some demos just to get an idea of the kind of latency and number of gadgets you can run before snap, crackle, and pop show up and spoil the fun.
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Dan-O

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Re: VST Instrument Question(s)
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2004, 08:15:27 am »

Jim Frazier wrote on Mon, 03 May 2004 17:05

keyplayer,

As far as I'm aware, you need to have a DAW platform to run this type of VSTi.


This is interesting. Anyone had a chance to test it?

http://www.museresearch.com/receptor_overview.php
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Dan-O
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Keyplayer

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Re: VST Instrument Question(s)
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2004, 08:17:14 am »

So now I'll need another Sampler Program to run the virtual instruments? I thought I'd be able to run everything from the GigaStudio PC. But I'm reading several posts that imply that I'll have to buy Samplers that go with particular Samples. How many platforms are there?
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Jim Frazier

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Re: VST Instrument Question(s)
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2004, 05:52:17 pm »

"So now I'll need another Sampler Program to run the virtual instruments?"

No, the virtual instruments will run in any DAW platform like Logic, Digital Performer, Pro Tools, Cuebase, Sonar, etc... I think it's generally "assumed" nowadays that anybody who would have even the remotest interest in VSTi's already owns one of the above mentioned applications.

However, that link that Dan-o pointed to looks interesting, especially for live use.

Also, Giga Studio 3.0 may incorporate VSTi's, so look into that before you take my word for it. I hadn't heard of that happening however.

"How many platforms are there?"

Many. However the ones that seem to be the platforms most developers are developing for are Giga, EXS, and Kontact. Keep in mind that samplers like EXS, Mach 5, etc... will read other formats (to some degree), and there are translator programs like CDXtract and Chicken Systems that will convert almost any format to any other format, and quite well I might add.
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Keyplayer

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Re: VST Instrument Question(s)
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2004, 08:42:12 am »

[quote title=Jim Frazier wrote on Tue, 04 May 2004 17:52]"
No, the virtual instruments will run in any DAW platform like Logic, Digital Performer, Pro Tools, Cuebase, Sonar, etc... I think it's generally "assumed" nowadays that anybody who would have even the remotest interest in VSTi's already owns one of the above mentioned applications.
quote]

Keyplayer: I have Nuendo. But I was given to believe that you couldn't realize the full potential of these instruments from just the DAW's control set. People told me I had to have SampleTank or Giga or Something to run this stuff full out.

Since GigaStudio seem to be the default "Bomb" plus my need for serious orchestral emulation, I figured that was the platform to run with. I should've known there'd be some kind of proprietary B.S. to screw up my objective.

Are there any equivilants to Trilogy and B4 on the Giga platform?
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Jim Frazier

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Re: VST Instrument Question(s)
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2004, 12:27:53 pm »

"But I was given to believe that you couldn't realize the full potential of these instruments from just the DAW's control set. "

Absolutely false! Trilogy, B4, FM7, etc... are made to run from within a DAW application(like Nuendo). You can run them as standalone applications, but you'll quickly see the advantages of running them as plug-ins, once you get started.

My recommendation would be to get giga studio, and run it on a separate PC, as if it were a hardware sampler. That's the way most everyone I know uses it. Giga on one machine, and Nuendo on another for digital audio and VSTi's would be a killer system, in my opinion.
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Keyplayer

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Re: VST Instrument Question(s)
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2004, 01:21:43 pm »

Cool! While I'm waiting for the GS3 release, can you suggest any VST Orchestral Titles? I'm looking for the most realistic String Ensembles (Trio, Quartet, Chamber, & Orchestra) and Woodinds that I can find. My Korg & Roland Synths just are'nt getting me close enough.
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Jim Frazier

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Re: VST Instrument Question(s)
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2004, 02:53:14 pm »

"While I'm waiting for the GS3 release, can you suggest any VST Orchestral Titles?"

This is where you'll definitely want to use the giga sampler. And just to get the terminology straight, these won't be "VST Orchestral Titles", but instead are "Sample Libraries."

If you want the most realistic, be ready to spend some dough.

For Orchestral Strings, as well as the whole frickin' orchestra:

http://www.vsl.co.at/english/pages/products_%26_shop/pro_edi tion/pro_edition.htm

http://www.gigastrings.com/features.html#advanced

http://www.soundsonline.com/sophtml/details.phtml?sku=EW-155



For solo strings:

http://www.kirkhunterstudios.com/solostrings.html

http://www.vsl.co.at/english/pages/products_%26_shop/horizon _series/intro.htm

All these are available in the giga format, or in the case of EWQLO, as a dedicated VSTi that would run in Nuendo. Believe me when I tell you, this is just the tip of the iceberg... The ones I listed are considered "state of the art" ( at least for this year!)







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Keyplayer

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Re: VST Instrument Question(s)
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2004, 09:13:26 pm »

What does EWQLO mean?

I looked at the Kirk Hunter Site. The solo strings library seemed reasonably priced. There was an announcement that it was now available in Halion's format. But I didn't see anything that stated it was a VST Instrument. Are we just supposed to know that?
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Jim Frazier

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Re: VST Instrument Question(s)
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2004, 09:36:42 pm »

keyplayer,

Kirks' solo strings aren't a VST instrument. They're samples, which will load into giga, and now Halion by what you've said.

EWQLO stands for East West Quantum Leap Orchestra, which was the third link down that I gave you. It is the only one out of the sample libraries I pointed you towards that is a VST instrument. Meaning it is a self contained instrument. No sampler required, just a host application like Nuendo.

The others links are to sample libraries, that would require giga or Halion, etc... to be used.
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Keyplayer

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Re: VST Instrument Question(s)
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2004, 10:53:17 pm »

Okay, I've got it now. Thank you very much for all of your help.
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