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#688448 - 06/08/04 04:59 PM sampler
kyle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/20/04
Posts: 52
Loc: durham,maine
does anyone have or use a digital sampler? Im thinking about getting one to get a bigger variety fo sounds out of my piano? How easy are they to use and can you play directly through one or do you have to record than ehh "loop" seems to be the appropraite term? If you have one what model do you have?


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#688449 - 06/08/04 05:58 PM Re: sampler
JimM Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/04/02
Posts: 200
Loc: Northern California
I have Gigastudio 2.5/160 connected to my Yamaha CVP900. It produces vastly superior piano sounds, and there is a huge library available of just about every high-end piano you can imagine, as well as other instruments. For realism it's a whole different world.

Here are some things to know:

- It takes a fast computer with at least 756MB of memory, two fast hard disks, a good sound card and a midi interface. Unless you are handy with computers I'd advise getting help in configuring something. I would not go with an out-of-the-box Dell or similar consumer machine
- By the time you have the computer, the software and a few libraries you're into 2-3 thousand dollars
- It's best not to run any other software on the computer - streaming from a hard disk takes all of the cycles you can get. If you try to run, say, a sequencer at the same time, you'll risk clicks and pops.
- I've never had a midi latency problem playing live, even with 160 voices
- There are other soft samplers - Kontakt/Kompakt from Native Instruments for example. Each has passionate advocates and detractors. I think the consensus is that Gigastudio has the best streaming for large samples but others are superior in other ways - user interface, effects. etc. This summer should see a new release of GigaStudio 3.0 which sounds like it will set the new standard

Summary - better sounds, more complicated, expensive. A very good source of information and help with this technology is at NorthernSounds:

Many of the sample developers hang out there and have web pages where you can hear their libraries.

Hope that helps, let me know if you have specific questions.
Mason and Hamlin BB, Clavinova CVP900

#688450 - 06/08/04 07:12 PM Re: sampler
kyle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/20/04
Posts: 52
Loc: durham,maine
thanks. I was looking at that particular sampler on ebay. my computer has a 512MB memory and 40 gig hard drive. I think it has a stock sound card(ut of the box dell). Think it comes close to the requirments. That software isalso cheaper than a sampler interface, right?

#688451 - 06/08/04 08:08 PM Re: sampler
JimM Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/04/02
Posts: 200
Loc: Northern California
Check with TASCAM (makers of Gigastudio) or ask a question on Northernsounds about the sound card - not all of them work. You'll need a second hard disk dedicated to the samples - if a drive is fragmented it'll click and pop. I'm not sure what a "sampler interface" is.
Mason and Hamlin BB, Clavinova CVP900

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#688452 - 06/09/04 06:30 PM Re: sampler
jazpianizt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/22/04
Posts: 411
I'm still using an old hardware sampler (an emu ESI-32) with "The Ultimate Piano", a disk of 32-mb piano samples. It's still the best piano sound I have (except for my grand piano, of course) \:D These models are obsolete and you can probably pick them up on ebay for $100 or so - there was an ESI-4000 that replaced the ESI-32 that was basically the same, but had room for more memory; it is also obsolete and can probably be had fairly cheaply.
Of course hardware samplers can get quite expensive if you start looking into bigger, more powerful ones.
As far as the samples, I just use the pre-made samples that you buy on CD - as I said "The Ultimate Piano" is the one I use, but it is a few years old and there may be others out there that are better. So, you just plug your midi cable into the back, run the audio outputs to a mixer or amp, load the samples from disk, and you're ready to jam.
You can always record and loop your own samples, but it is a BIG job, and can be difficult to get a good set, especially if RAM is limited, like it is in a hardware sampler, and if the instrument is complex, like a piano.
I've tried Gigasampler Giga-piano and didn't have much luck with it playing live, because of latency. I have an older computer (700 mhz pentium III). I think if you can spend the $ to have a fast dedicated Gigasampler computer as Jim suggested, that's a whole other ballgame.

#688453 - 06/09/04 08:01 PM Re: sampler
Hanspeter tschupp Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/03/04
Posts: 8
Loc: Clearwater, FL USA
I use GigaStudio160 for more than a year. I have a powerful pentium 4, 3.2GHz with 2GB RAM and a Layla24 Soundcard with 8 audio channels.

I have practically no latency. I tried the GigaPiano, a Boesendorfer and Schimmel. They sound ok. but non of them convinced me. This might be because I prefer to play my 7 foot acoustic Kohler & Campbell.

I tested various organ samples. Non of them was good.

The only samples I had some fun with, were: A Harpsichord, GigaHarp, and Voices of the Apocalypse which is basically a choir sample.

GigaStudio, as probably is a genious technical device, but it's highly dependent on the sample. I'm sorry to say that, but about 70% of existing samples do not match my taste...

#688454 - 06/09/04 08:08 PM Re: sampler
kyle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/20/04
Posts: 52
Loc: durham,maine
i would prefer to have an acoustic piano. I play a kawai es1 right now. Do you think its more important to get a pa ( I dont want to get a combo amp) or a sampler first?

#688455 - 06/09/04 09:29 PM Re: sampler
jazpianizt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/22/04
Posts: 411
If you really want a piano, I'd suggest buying neither and saving for the piano.
Tell us more about your needs and uses - do you gig, record, personal use, student, hobbyist, whatever - and your budget.
Electronic music equipment/software can be a never-ending journey (and a bottomless pit). Best to go slow and only buy what you really need.
You might also want to check out this forum:
It's quite active and all folks that are involved in synths, digital keyboards, etc.

#688456 - 06/10/04 07:35 AM Re: sampler
kyle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/20/04
Posts: 52
Loc: durham,maine
I like to play for fun, but ill also be taking a coarse in high school on solo performances where ill need to play recitals (I dont know if the school supplies the piano), Ill be in the youth worship team at my church, and planning on playing for a wedding next fall. Hopefully ill find a band in high school thats interested too.
Thanks for all the info. I really want to get a PA, but i dont have my eye set on any particular one. IM on a limited budget. Hopefully not much more than $400, but thats not gonna get me anything to spectacular. Thanks.



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