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Accessing giga dimensions from other samplers

Dan South

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In Giga, dimensions is a catch-all term. In all you have 32 dimensions available. If you set up an instrument using stereo samples, that uses a dimension. Velocity splits take up dimensions. Obviously all of the major soft samplers allow stereo and velocity splits. I think, though, you are referring to key/controller switching, which also uses dimensions. With key switching you essentially have multiple sampled instruments (usually variations of the same instrument) loaded and you can instantly switch between them by pressing a key or moving a controller.


I don't know EXS24 much at all. I don't see mention of it at the emagic site. Both Halion and Kontakt support key and controller switching. Halion's is the most sophisticated of the two allowing you to setup fairly complex arrangements of this controller and that key, this controller or that controller, etc. Kontakt's is more basic, either a key switch range or controller. Now whether the Giga import feature of these program will properly import key switching is another question. I've done more conversion into Kontakt and in general it has worked quite well. I also use CDxtract for conversions.


In general, Halion is a better direct replacement for Giga and should, in theory, do the best job of converting and playing back complex Giga files. Like Giga, Halion allows you to do some serious manipulation of filter and envelope settings at the sample level. It seems to be architected similar to Giga in this regard. In Kontakt, filters and envelope settings are done at the instrument and/or group level. While you could setup a group for each zone (sample) and then apply a filter and envelope to each, this would be extremely messy to program and I think CPU intensive.


Additionally, like Giga, Halion supports MIDI program change so you can pull in a bunch of instruments and quickly switch between them.


On the negative side for Halion, I find that it takes quite a bit more RAM even when set to minimum 1 sec preload for streaming instruments. Kontakt can load the same instrument in about 50-60% of the RAM. Playback of streaming instruments works well with both samplers.



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Thanks for sharing your Weather Report review. Mysterious Traveler is one of my favorites; I'll have to check out the re-issue.


Two corrections. The keyboardist's name is spelled "Zawinul", not "Zawinal", and he used Arps (2600's), not Moogs.

The Black Knight always triumphs!


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The short answer is yes. I do programming in all the major sample formats and actually Halion, Kontakt and EXS have passed Giga by leaps and bounds. First you are not limited by the number of keyswitches of dimensions that you want to have which is very nice especially when you are doing things that require as many velocity splits as drums. Throw in stability and it's hands down for me which I like to program in.....



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