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Tascam GIGASTUDIO 3 Version Sampler, Ensemble

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GigaStudio 3 is the much anticpated new version of the best and most powerful sampler. Available in three versions, ORCHESTRA, ENSEMBLE, and SOLO, GigaStudio 3 offers up to unlimited polyphony, 96kHz/24-bit sample support, ReWire support, VST hosting, realtime convolution modeling and a new look and feel for improved usability and workflow.

Naturally, it retains the features that made GigaStudio the professional choice for sampling, such as disk streaming, the lowest latency of any sampler and the best sound libraries in the world.

Click What's New in GigaStudio 3.0 for a list of some of the features added since GigaStudio 2.5. Click Compatible Software Tools to see some of the optional utilities you can use with GigaStudio 3.0.

GigaStudio can load sample files up to 512 gigabytes in length. The first few milliseconds of each sample are loaded into RAM for instant playback, then the rest of the sample streams off of the hard drive. This gives you access to big, dynamic samples without needing tons of RAM into your computer.

Since a piano sounds different depending on how hard you strike the key, GigaPiano II samples each key sixteen times at different velocities. A typical synth piano will only have one to three "crosswitches" per key, so you can usually hear the transition from the soft sample to the loud sample. Some piano sounds on synths don't have any crossswitches, filtering and attenuating one sample to cover the entire dynamic spectrum. More crossswitches gives you a more accurate sound, and it's also a lot more satisfying to play.

GigaPiano II has enough memory to record the entire decay of a piano note, even though the low bass notes may decay for 20 seconds or more. A synthesizer can't possibly do this with just a few megabytes, so they loop the sample after only a second or so. This artificially looped sound is then attenuated using a synth filter and DCA to approximate the natural decay of a piano key, which is something GigaStudio can handle by just playing the actual recording.

Many GigaStudio libraries include different mic techniques to choose from. For example, the VintAudio Yamaha C3 library has close mic, distant mic and player's perspective mic locations. You can load all of these samples at once and balance between them when mixing, or even output different mics to multiple outputs for a 5.1 surround mix. Obviously, this is something that's impossible to do in a synthesizer.

Finally, samples are sometimes converted to a lower sampling rate to save on ROM space on synthesizers. Since they only have 50-100 megabytes of total sound ROM for all of the instruments they want to include, they might cut corners by sample rate converting to save space. For example, they may decide that a bass guitar or kick drum doesn't have a lot of high end, so resampling it at 22kHz is acceptable. GigaStudio is going the complete opposite direction, with version 3 now offering up to 96kHz sampling.

Hardware samplers might be able to load a bigger sample than hardware synthesizer, maybe up to 128MB or more, but simply nothing compares to GigaStudio. We don't mean to pick on your favorite synth, but if you haven't played a 3GB piano library you just don't know what you're missing.

Included for the first time in version 3.0 is Rewire support for routing GigaStudio into your sequencing program. This allows GigaStudio instruments to appear in your workstation software, right beside plug-in instruments and audio tracks.

GigaStudio 3.0 comes in three sizes, the Orchestra version offering unlimited polyphony for full arrangements. GigaStudio 3.0 Solo has 96-voice polyphony, and GigaStudio 3.0 Ensemble plays up to 160 voices. More voices gives you the ability to layer instruments, add parts to your arrangement and approximate huge symphonic orchestras. And the efficient kernel-level processing and RAM usage in GigaStudio results in more polyphony than any other software sampler. Up to 8 banks of 16 MIDI channels can be played back for 128-part multitimbral sequencing.

You may be wondering how to take advantage of GigaStudio in a Mac-based studio. Most composers use a dedicated computer to run GigaStudio, dedicating all of the power of one system to running their sampling workstation. With the constantly-falling prices of PCs, you can put together a screaming system for less than the price of many rack-mount synth modules. If you look at price vs. performance, your GigaStudio computer workstation will give you much more realistic sounds than any synth module, not to mention more multitimbral parts, higher polyphony and better effects.

GigaPulse TM is an exciting new component of GigaStudio 3. GigaPulse employs convolution to create incredibly realistic reverb, mic modeling and instrument resonance simulation. Convolution uses an actual recording as the basis for signal processing, essentially sampling the sound of a room. For example, the sound of a concert hall is recorded with a set of unique tones. This "impulse" recording can then be imported into GigaPulse Pro (the encoding processor included with GS3 Orchestra) where our concert hall impulse can be included/encoded into a sampled instrument or .gig file. When this instrument is loaded into GS3, now embedded with convolution, GigaPulse SP (the convolution player included with all version of GS3) reveals itself. Your instrument loads with the GigaPulse SP effect automatically inserted. The result sounds like you're playing in that hall.

GigaPulse Pro can also be used as a stand-alone NFX plug-in on your own sample libraries. Use the new piano resonance model included with GigaPiano II on your favorite piano library, or use GigaPulse's surround reverb on your GigaStudio instruments.

GigaStudio 3.0 now includes a new kernel-level MIDI processing system, which means that latency is even lower than in previous versions. And since the previous version of GigaStudio had less latency than any other sampler on the market, you can imagine that sample playback in GigaStudio is just about instantaneous.

More than just changing MIDI features under the hood, GigaStudio 3.0 now offers Intelligent MIDI Processing modes. For example, the Alternation mode is great for recording string parts, where you can have notes alternate between up-bow and down-bow samples for more realism. A Legato mode triggers different samples depending how a part is played. For example, the initial attack of a flute note could have a "chiff", but legato notes played after it wouldn't have this sharp attack. And the Random mode is perfect for livening up sampled performances. Instead of triggering the same samples for repeated 16th notes, GigaStudio can select from a bank of alternate samples so the performance doesn't feel so synthetic.

GigaPulseTM SP and GigaPulseTM Pro: Use the breakthrough GigaPulse Pro NFX plug-in to add surround convolution reverb, instrument resonance and microphone modeling to your favorite libraries. Up to seven channels of convolution is supported for surround applications. Resonant body modeling, added to mic modeling and reverb convolution takes sampled instruments to new heights of realism and represents the next major step in sampled instruments like GigaPiano II. Sample developers now have the ability to encode their instruments using GigaPulse Pro, included with GigaStudio 3 Orchestra. These encoded instruments can be played back in any level of GigaStudio using GigaPulse SP.

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