External Hard Drive

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Member Since: Apr 10, 2006

Correct me if i'm wrong, but Pro Tools suggests you record directly to an external storage device, so that your computer isn't bogged down, right? Well, that sounds fishy to me, but I'm about to buy an external so I want to make sure i'm getting the right kind. Should I be using a USB or Firewire connection if I plan to record straight to an external?

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Since: Apr 10, 2006

Nov 14, 2007 12:25 pm

I found the Pro Tools page I was talking about- "On Pro Tools LE systems, data files can be located on any compatible hard drive connected to your computer's internal or external ATA/IDE, FireWire or SCSI busses. Although Pro Tool siwll let you record to your system drive, this is generally not recommended. You should record to system drives only when necessary- for example if your computer system has just one hard drive, or if your other hard drives are completely out of space."

So USB is out? I need to get an external that connects via FireWire? the one I'm looking at can transfer up to 100MB per second, has a 16 MB cache and 7200rpm (Western Digital My Book Essential)

Prince CZAR-ming
Since: Apr 08, 2004

Nov 14, 2007 12:40 pm

What that means is that writing your tracked signal down to the same drive as your windows drive is asking for trouble.

Windows will (and does) write to it's own drive whenever it feels like it. Therefore, if you're tracking 10 tracks, and windows decides to update it's memory cache (or whatever) then you may have some serious glitches in your written audio.

So if you have only one physical drive in your PC (C: drive) then you may (will) want to get a second drive to accept your music files, both storage and for tracking purposes.

This secondary (or third, fourth, etc) drive can be internal. It can be on the IDE bus, or on a SATA bus, or on a SCSI bus. These all will take multiple drives, and you can just install it internal on your PC. Then you will have a D: drive, or E: drive, etc. SATA drives shouldn't need jumper settings, but the IDE and SCSI drives will need jumpers set correctly, so the bus can see the drive and use it.

Additionally, you could have external drives, hooked up via USB or Firewire, or SCSI as well, should you have the connections for it. The first two are much more common, and easy to work with, though SCSI will usually be greater throughput, but not as much anymore.

USB 2.0 should be as fast as firewire, though I still think I'd go firewire if I could. Both should be able read and write bunches of signals at one time. If you're not doing huge projects (like 50 or 60 tracks, then I wouldn't be worried about USB or FW, just get one you like, and plug it in.

Then tell your software which drive to use as it's landing spot (where the tracks get put) and you should be good to go.

I have 3 drives in my PC, on SATA. I may get a USB drive soon, but I don't have a glaring need for it yet.

Since: Apr 10, 2006

Nov 14, 2007 12:50 pm

oops i should have mentioned i have a mac. same deal? I have an iMac too, so it has to be an internal drive.

Sounds good, I was worried since the manual didn't mention USB that it meant USB wasn't fast enough. I have Pro Tools LE, so I can't really work with more than 30 tracks anyway. I don't know how many signals the drive I'm looking at can write at a time, btu it has a 16MB cache and 7200rpm, whatever THAT means. I'd get FireWire but they're more expensive/

Since: Nov 13, 2007

Nov 14, 2007 01:25 pm

If you can add another internal drive thats the best bet. Will be the fastest data bus. Go with firewire.

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