Imagine a sampler with almost unlimited memory that doesn't cost a fortune, and runs on a PC using a standard soundcard. Martin Walker installs Gigasampler, and prepares to be amazed.
Anyone who has ever tried to replace real instruments with sampled versions will know just how much memory they tend to use. Many professional musicians find themselves filling the entire 32Mb (or more) of a hardware-based sampler with a single acoustic piano, and often find themselves using two or three samplers running simultaneously. The problem is that many acoustic instruments sound odd if transposed by more than a few notes, which means that lots of samples are needed to reproduce the full range of the instrument. This in turn means that each sample has to be shorter to fit in a certain size of RAM. Continuous sounds have to end up with shorter loops (giving a bland sound), and long one-shot sounds have to have their end portions looped to achieve realistic decay times.
Nemesys Music have designed Gigasampler to avoid these memory restrictions altogether, by directly streaming audio from hard disk as required -- so the only restriction on sample length is the size of your hard drive (up to 18Gb apparently!) Another advantage of this technique is that loading times are greatly reduced, since rather than having to load sounds completely into RAM, they are always available, and RAM is only used for the buffers needed when running the software.
As long as you have enough space available on your hard drive, Gigasampler looks like a very attractive solution to a real problem, especially since it outputs audio via the PC soundcard, so no extra hardware is needed. All of the advanced functions of a typical hardware sampler are available, including 64-voice polyphony, 16-channel multitimbral MIDI operation, resonant filters, envelopes, LFOs, and looping.
Pentium 166MHz MMX processor.
2Gb hard drive space using any drive with <10mS access time (full performance only achieved with 9.5mS or faster, and a 512K cache).
Soundcard with DirectSound drivers (or Giga-compatible drivers).
Windows 95 or 98.
Pentium II 266MHz processor.
6Gb hard drive space on Ultra DMA, Ultra ATA, or Ultra/UltraWide SCSI drive.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2015, 06:55:46 AM by chrisNova777 »