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Nemesys and Firewire


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I am considering using the GigaStudio 160. I have a PC and am also considering using 2 30 gig Glyph Firewire HDs for sample streaming and recording purposes. Nemesys claims they are going to release a Windows 2000 version of Gigastudio to coincide with the Microsoft release of the "Whistler" version of Windows 2000 Pro. I found out today that Microsoft is behind and not going to meet the Summer 2001 release date for "Whistler" (Imagine that!?...yes, this is sarcasm at its worst).

The release is now scheduled for late 2001 if you can rely on Microsoft's promises.


My PC is a 450 MHZ Pentium III with 128 Meg ram. I also use Logic Audio Gold for a sequencer and have a lite version of Samplitude with the Aardvark LX6 as a sound card. I plan to upgrade the processor to at least 800 MGZ and add an additional 128 meg ram and bring up the PC to 256 Meg ram. Additionally I am using a Kurzweil K2000 as a workstation and plan to use the Kurz as a controller for the Gigastudio.


The music genre I pursue is classical/film. The problem I have is the lack of polyphony with the Kurz as it is limited to 24 voices and with the proper setup the Gigastudio products have a much greater polyphic potential.


Question:Is the above a viable plan and has anyone experience with the Firewire drives (I realize that I will need the Firewire host card). Although the Firewire drives are rated at 7200 RPM this is sufficient as far as Nemesys is considered for streaming samples from the hard drives. And from what I have been told and have read that 72000 RPM is fast enough for for 24 bit audio at 48 MHZ


As a matter of fact Glyph claims over 100 minutes of recording this way.


AND...supposedly Windows 98 (I am using the original NOT the 2nd edition) has an internal 128 meg block written into the software. While Nemesys claims double the loadable samples with 256 as opposed to 128. Anyone know if the Nemesys products are able to transcend the 128 boundary.


Windows 2000 Pro (Whistler) will not have the 128 meg block. I am hesitant to do the 2000 upgrade as it requires other driver updates some of which are not free. And Microsoft is not known for releasing GOOD alpha products...more like Betas on steroids.


Would prefer to wait and upgrade to 2000 after a reasonable time the market place and for the large database of fixes at the Microsoft site.


Anyone have any thoughts?

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I don't know about the Firewire.. I'm also not a GigaStudio user, but I know that many giga systems on the web use 800mhz processors and 7200 rpm hard drives. (Even Hans Zimmer's system is an 800Mhz) I have not seen any information from Nemesys or otherwise that says you'll get more polyphony out of faster drives. I think the only real polyphony issues in GS come up when you're run multiple patches that are several Gigabytes. Of the high-end systems I've seen on sites like www.wavedigital.com , only a couple feature 10,000 rpm drives. There is one system on www.audiocomputing.com 's site that has a 15,000 rpm drive but I think that's there just for the novelty of being super powerful.


So your hard drives should definitely be sufficient. Even the processor you have now should be pretty good, except if you want to run lots of effects. But an 800 mhz upgrade should be relatively cheap now. Ooh and RAM is soooo damn cheap right now! 128 megs for 50 bucks! 256 for 90 bucks!



A silly afterthought: you may want to consider just getting a new 800 mhz system and using it for audio only. You could get a good system for under a thousand bucks, and since you have th ehard drives on the side, you could definitely be in business with a reliable system that wouldn't have to do anything but make music.. I don't know if that route sounds good or not...

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I know about FireWire drives http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/smile.gif I was and continue to be involved in product development on one of the more prominant external FireWire drives you see on the shelves out there...


Although FireWire can support a transfer rate of 400 Mbits/sec and someday 800 Mbits/sec perhaps... the bridge board that snaps on to the IDE drive to make it a FireWire drive has been the performance limiter as until recently they would not run UDMA66 mode. So an internal IDE drive would outperform it (and always will). Even with the new UDMA66 bridges coming out there will be a small performance hit. Whether the drive is 5400 or 7200 rpm is really unimportant with the 1st generation bridges. Didn't see much performance difference. Go for the highest capacity per platter (not the same as highest capacity) as this means more sectors per track - more data is obtained before a track-to-track seek has to be performed.

System processor speed and type will affect FireWire performance as well. Most of the new bridges (that are just coming out and UDMA66) can do around 31 megabytes per second sustained transfer rate, as opposed to less than 10 on some older bridges. And don't hold out for 800mbits/sec(S800) as it only makes things more complex. Older (S400) peripherals can't repeat the data (can't handle the speed and wrong connectors). You will have to disable the existing S400 adapter in your system and buy a S800 one to go with S800 anyway. So, if you buy right now, be sure the performance hit you take is worth the advantages of hot plugging etc. Depending on what you do this performance hit may be negligeable - but it sounds like you are looking for max. performance and FireWire is not the way to do that right now - SCSI, and UDMA-100 internal IDE drives outperform it.

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Another thing I forgot to say... You need W98 second edition if you are going to be a FireWire player. And even with SE you need an OS patch from Microsoft to fully support safe dismounting of FireWire peripherals without losing data. It puts a little dismount tray icon so you can manually dismount drive(s) before hotplugging. It still is a little frustrating to use and its a pain to dismount multiple drives - which you must do if you have several in a chain and want to remove one in the middle somewhere... Normal system shut-down doesn't require you to use the icon though. The OS keeps some data in system cache and you'll lose it if you just pull the cable out of the device or system. Wme and W2K work - I don't think you need any special patch for them.
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Wow...asked and answered.


Thank you for taking the time to reply so thoroughly, Synthgod. This is the sort of thing that makes forums like this and the internet in general such cool and valuable tools. I love the modern age...





:keys:==> David Bryce Music • Funky Young Monks <==:rawk:


Professional Affiliations: Royer LabsMusic Player Network

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To: SynthGod:


Thanks for the incredible response. Sweetwater has 30 Gig Firewire drives from Glyph. Glyph optimizes these drives for A/V.


Question #1 Are these the 31 Gig drives you mentioned in your response?



Question #2 Would these drives still be outperformed by the UDMA-100 drives?


Question #3 What UDMA-100 drives would you recommend?


Sounds like the FireWire route is a little too task heavy to be reasonably funtional for my needs. May just go the SCSI route.




This message has been edited by MiDi MiKe on 02-26-2001 at 09:17 PM

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1) I don't know whose drives or which bridge Glyph uses. I haven't

any experience with them. Unless they are of VERY recent design I

doubt their transfer rate numbers for FireWire. (new designs ARE that

fast, but there are SCSI drives that should be faster than what they

state too)


2) I work for a drive manufacturer so I'm biased on which drive to

use! And I don't look at the competition too much unless they

obviously are doing something new. The drive technology continues

to advance (see below).


3) Firewire really depends on a fast system to be tolerable. I test

on slow Pentiums and it does a job on the user interface friendliness

and speed. SCSI doesn't impact the user interface at all and runs

fast on slower systems. FireWire won't work with DOS applications,

SCSI will. FireWire has a nice thin cable, SCSCI has a thick expensive

one. UDMA100 drives are outperforming SCSI drives in some benchmark

tests we've done. They are starting to be designed into server

applications. I think you get more bang for your buck with IDE but

you need to be able to run the faster modes on your machine. The

bridges don't run UDMA100 - only 66 at the moment. But the raw

data rate of the drives right now are the limiting factor - someday

this will improve and you'd be able to really take advantage of the

UDMA100 interface speed capability.



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I work for a drive manufacturer so I'm biased on which drive to



Sg -


I have no problem supporting folks who offer up their time and expertise to assist people on this forum. Feel free to talk about who you work for, or products that your company manufactures if you feel so inclined.


Thanks again,





:keys:==> David Bryce Music • Funky Young Monks <==:rawk:


Professional Affiliations: Royer LabsMusic Player Network

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