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Gigastudio 3 warning...


Don't buy this product until you have at least tried the cheapest version (solo). I, unfortuneately didn't do enough research (goggle Gigastudio BSOD) before I spent good dollars on ensemble, only to find out that it crashes my system (new hp notebook XP sp2) upon loading either the license manager or the main program. It immediately does a BSOD (no help with error other than to tell me it has written a crash-dump which tells me it has written a crash-dump).
My sales-engineer Delvin Wolf, tells me sorry...
"Unfortunately the GS3Ens is non-returnable because of it being software. Lets get with my tech support at ext.6400 and get it up and running. If for some reason we can't help you get it going my tech guys will call Tascam and see if they will get us a return auth. We have to first go through the steps though. Sorry."
I have pretty much disabled everything on my system and totally optimized it for GS3, it and the license manager always fail (BSOD) immediately after loading. I have not had time to follow his advice and call Sweetwater tech support, I will do so on Tuesday.
While I respect his and Sweetwater's postition, I have done some additional research on BSOD and Gigastudio and find that there is a large number of people that have a similar problem (Sweetwater should either warn their customers or remove the product). I personally don't want to be a beta-tester for Tascam and I am sure there are a few others with the same idea. My advice is to choose a different synth.
September 2, 2006 @06:40pm

I turned our tech support guys on to your issue. From our perspective this problem hasn't been wide spread at all, and we've sold quite a few of them. It's something we're going to look into harder. Until customers come to us we don't always know there are issues -- so thanks for coming to us, but it's not like we had any way or reason to "warn" you about it. They've been fine from our perspective. We'll get to the bottom of it, and if we can't make it work for you we'll certainly take it back no problem.
September 5, 2006 @05:18pm

On that note, the two most probable causes are XP Media Center and an outdated Giga version. Media Center is probably the most common edition of XP right now, but it is fully incompatible with almost every pro audio application. more details can be found here: http://www.sweetwater.com/sweetcare/ts/detail.php?Index=30163&keyword=media%20center
Also, make absolutely sure you are running Gigastudio 3.12. All previous versions are extremely unstable and buggy. You can get the update here: http://www.tascamgiga.com/downloads.html
September 5, 2006 @06:04pm

I have finally received a crash analysis from Microsoft that says it is a thread that is getting hung in the display driver (http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=293078). I have updated my video driver and even tried the work-around (which according to MS should have done something), all without success. I am trying to run Gigastudio 3.12.
If you really want to see a better representation of the issues surrounding Gigastudio, search for 'gigastudio blue screen' as BSOD isn't used by most.
I am sorry that I have put this message in this general forum (please don't nuke it) but everyone needs to know that Sweetwater is not obliged to and will not readily stand behind faulty software (Buyer Beware) which is your right. Also that GigaStudio (as I now know) is doing something very stupid in their graphics interface for both the "License Manager" and "Gigastudio" itself (the other GS apps seem to work fine). AND also Tascam's 3-line trouble-shooting support section is woefully unimpressive.
I am using a main-stream, hi-end ATI FireGL V5000 chipset with the latest drivers available, on a fairly hi-end HP NW8240 workstation notebook running XP Pro Sp2 (with all of the updates). I have done a lot of research since this problem first occurred. I see no one else having issues with this graphics chip-set. I am also running many very sophisticated programs and IDEs all without issue
My real paying job is being a software developer for > 20 years and I am very accustomed to debugging drivers and faulty installations. This is why I think it is important to WARN the unwashed masses. I have now decided to suck it up, take this as a learning experience, and start researching Steinberg and Reason.
Edited by JeffBarnett: Corrected URL formatting so the Microsoft link works now.
September 5, 2006 @07:47pm

I am sorry that I have put this message in this general forum (please don't nuke it) but everyone needs to know that Sweetwater is not obliged to and will not readily stand behind faulty software (Buyer Beware) which is your right.

We won't nuke it, but this statement is not exactly accurate. In fact, we have a tech support department dedicated to standing behind it and getting it to work. We'll spend as much time as needed working with you and the manufacturer to make it work.
And in the end, if it just can't be done, according to Delvin's message above, he's actually willing to make an exception to the otherwise-universal rule that software is not returnable to get a return authorization from the manufacturer. Software being non-returnable isn't something that is unique to Sweetwater. It's pretty much the rule with any piece of software purchased anywhere. Once you break the seal, it's yours.
I don't know of any other retailer that:
1) even has a tech support staff to solve problems like this, and
2) is willing to go to bat for you with a manufacturer to get a return authorization for a non-returnable item.
September 5, 2006 @08:50pm

Something interesting I learned about Giga recently. It runs in Kernel mode, not User mode. So it has direct access to most of your system resources at the same level your OS does. This is one of the reasons it's so powerful when it's working correctly. It doesn't have to negotiate for resources the way other programs do.
The upside is when it's tuned and running well, it's amazingly powerful and fast.
The downside, when it has a problem or conflict, it can destabilize the system the same way your OS can. Basically, if it crashes...it's like a part of the OS crashed. Usually this just means you have to restart the system, but it can be annoying when it's caused by a hardware conflict or something that causes repeated problems.
It looks like our tech support team is digging into this. Hopefully they'll have some more info for you soon. I know we have some very capable Giga users on the support team.
September 5, 2006 @09:20pm

I finally have had success. I have just installed the latest RME FF400 firmware and drivers and everything is good again. At this point I will say that all of the problems were probably due to faulty RME FF400 software. My FF400 was always VERY fast and stable with my other DAW software; RME may have just had problems with GSIF or some other aspect of a new product but all is resolved now. Gigastudio came up and let me register and it sounds GREAT.
I do not know why Microsoft was saying that the problem was in the video drivers - whatever, I kept digging and problem solved. I am a happy camper again!
GS3 is nice (a little debugging assistance would have also been nice), BUY THIS PRODUCT!
September 13, 2006 @05:17am