Tascam has chosen to cease development and support of its popular GigaStudio sampler and product line, including GigaPulse, GigaViolin, and Giga VI, breaking a widely-used product and various other products based on it. I had actually heard this was coming some time ago, but unfortunately couldn’t verify on-record sources in a way that would allow me to share. Now, it’s official.
MusicRadar has the story: Tascam axes GigaStudio
and Film Music Magazine’s Peter Alexander broke the news first:
Tascam has made no official statement, but the report has been confirmed in a message thread by Tascam’s Marketing Manager, and the product has been removed to the discontinued section.
All I can say is, shame on Tascam. It seems this decision was made some time ago, but not announced — all while sales continued. Furthermore, based on the information I’ve been able to find, there seems to be no information whatsoever on the long-term state of availability or support for the product beyond December 31. A company with the size, reputation, and pro relationships that Tascam has ought to be able to present some sort of legacy support plan. Abandoning users in this way risks the trust the Tascam brand has with customers. Gibson Guitar has become practically an adjective because they discontinued Opcode’s Studio Vision Pro following an acquisition. People are still sore about that even a decade later, and they’re a guitar company, not a pro audio company like Tascam. GigaStudio has a similarly loyal following, particularly in fields like film scoring, and — whether Tascam’s business decision was justified or not — you can bet you’ll be hearing about this for some time to come.
So what’s life after Giga? Given that Giga’s audience was fond of massively huge sample libraries, and the tool was Windows-based, I could believe that 64-bit-native sampler applications could be next. (Clarification: GS4 was native 64-bit, but that doesn’t do you a whole lot of good now, of course.) With 64-bit memory addressing, it’s possible to go an order of magnitude beyond 4 GB (or less) memory limits, which would appeal to Giga’s hard-core sampling audience. Cakewalk supports 64-bit Windows for both their host (SONAR) and instruments, but it’d be nice to see, say, Native Instruments Kontakt in a 64-bit version for Vista 64-bit, too. I’d run Kontakt and SONAR together in a second. (Yes, Mac fans, Mac OS theoretically can support 64-bit memory addressing, but no music app on Windows does, either, at present. So, 64-bit Logic and EXS24, perhaps?)
At the very least, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Cakewalk, Native Instruments, MOTU, and others offer crossgrade offers. They all offer very fine sampling products, though I’m not sure that’ll come as much comfort to disgruntled Tascam customers.
It’s also possible that a third party could take up support of the GigaStudio product and continue it for its user base. No one appears to have stepped up to the plate yet, though. Stay tuned.
And, Earth to Tascam: please make some kind of statement to your customers, even if it means a series of messages if the situation is evolving. Your website is an official outlet, so moving an active product to the discontinued section of your site can be considered an official statement. Word in audio circles gets around fast even without the Web, and your customers deserve to hear more from you officially. (If we get additional information, we’ll run it on CDM.)