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Users' Opinion - Gina

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I have plugged this soundcard (PCI) in my PC. As Windows found something in a PCI port when rebooting, I installed the floppy driver. I reboot, and? all is working !!! I have to precise what is installed in my PC:

  • One SCSI card for my CD Burner
  • One SCSI card for my scanner (another one !)
  • One Home Studio 64 soundcard (still working !!!)
  • One Cd-rom player
  • One Steinberg PC Midi 3
  • One GINA

And all this stuff harmoniously works ! I have to say that the system tends to have difficulties when using plug-in effects in Cubase VST, but I have a Pentium 166MHz. I think GINA is really great: no background noise, digital in and out (real ones). So, I am a happy man with a soundcard that works. Pascal.

In the Keyboard Magazine (May 1998), there is a test on the GINA soundcard. Here are the conclusions:

  • PROS
    • High audio quality
    • Full-duplex 4in 10out recording/playback
    • In-level controlled by software
    • Bundled with a recording/editing software + demos of the most famous recording software.

  • CONS
    • No balanced in.

    • Excellent quality/price rate
    • Very low background noise when used with an 16 bit application, no background noise in 32 bits.

The guy who made the test has wanted to know the latency time of the soundcard. So he played a stereo track via an analogical mixer, and re-record it on another stereo track. In the same time, 3 other stereo tracks were playing, in order to charge the CPU. At 44.1kHz, the new stereo track had lost 61 samples in comparison with the original. That is to say 1.5 milliseconds, which seems to be satisfactory.

This soundcard is not the perfect solution for the home studio, but it is a decisive step for every musician who started with a Sound-Blaster type soundcard, and who wishes to get something more serious. Used with the bundled software (Cool Edit), 20 32-bit tracks can be managed. If you need a high quality sound, but no balanced ins or optical ADAT, and if you use the S/PDIF plug to connect your DAT, Gina will perfectly find its place in your home studio. François PAVIOST.

Also, as I have more cards than disposable IRQs, and despite the fact that the Gina and the Adaptec cards work moderately well together, I can use it in a normal way. But, since Gina has been installed, I can?t burn CDs anymore!!! Why, I don?t know, and nobody could answer the question. Some say that one PC is needed for music, and another for the office applications? Mine is almost fully dedicated to music, so I only have the cards that are necessary to me: the Mystique, irq 11, the syncro midi management (mqx32), irq 3, the Adaptec controller, because I use a SCSI for audio (fully necessary), irq 10, the Guillemot Home Studio 64 on the irq 5 and 9, and that?s all. What can I do if two irq 10 are attributed to the Gina and to the controller? I don?t have anymore irqs, what is left is IDE, as I have two IDE HDD, the PS2 mouse irq 12, the USB bus is deactivated in the Bios. What else? The irqs which control the arithmetical coprocessor, etc. No more irqs...

For the moment, I?m looking for a card that could manage SMPTE and the 32 midi outs I absolutely need (and this is a minimum). I use the Gina/Darla driver v.1.06a1 since the new one crash my machine. How did I install the whole? I unplugged the other cards (MQX, Guillemot and controller), then I?ve made the Gina recognized. Then I rebooted, I installed the others and that?s all. According to Guillemot, it seems that the card I have should manage SMPTE and 32 midi tracks, since I already have a daughterboard on the Home Studio card. To be continued...

Conclusion, no background noise, good dynamic, separate analogical outs. One S/PDIF in and out for a DAT for example. Moreover, with the new driver, another one can be put. But be careful with the irqs. PC platforms don?t seem to be fully intended to a musical use. And what about Mac ? Danimusicos.

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