External HDDs for recording

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Joey
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External HDDs for recording

Post by Joey » Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:48 am

Hey guys,

got a few questions about external HD's.

My current recording setup is a black macbook, 2.16 ghz, 80 gig HDD, 2 gigs of ram, running logic 8.

I record straight to the drive on the computer, but I'm running out of space fast, and I'm wondering if recording straight to an external HDD is a better idea.

I currently have three LaCie D2 quadra drives (2x 320gb and 1x 500gb) that I backup everything on (including my logic audio folder).

A friend mentioned that I should record direct to one of my externals to save both CPU power and save my comp from getting too hot.

Now my question is:

Is it a smart idea to record straight to one of the lacies? They are all 7200 RPM, but I'm worried about streaming large amounts of audio at once, as an average logic project of mine has 20+ tracks. I never have more than 2 or 3 tracks recording at once, its really playback I'm worried about.

Does anyone have any experience with this kind of thing?

I've heard that glyph drives are the way to go, and after doing my research I can see that they are pretty rock solid, but I have three external HD's I'd like to use before I worry about dropping more cash on another.

Thanks guys!
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Re: External HDDs for recording

Post by Stab Frenzy » Tue Nov 17, 2009 8:18 am

Yeah the Lacies will be fine, especially if they're Firewire. USB 2.0 isn't ideal for streaming large amounts of audio from, but it'll work. You're always better off recording to an external drive, in fact it's best practice to partition your drive and erase the outer partition to record onto for every project, then when you're done store it on the inner partition so you can erase the outer partition for the next project.

I use a few Macpower Pleiades drives with Seagate 7200rpm drives in them and they've been 100% reliable for the last 4-5 years or so. The body acts as a heatsink which lets them stay cool which prolongs life and reliability. My next drive will be a Macpower SK-3500 for the same reasons as I use the Pleiades, except the SK-3500 stack better which is handy if you have 4+ drives on your desk like I do.

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Re: External HDDs for recording

Post by liquidzen » Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:55 pm

Lacie's are horrible drive. and truth is USB2.0 and Firewire are the same speed. Actually USB2.0 is a hair faster than firewire. BUT... what you REALLY want to look for in an external HD is that is has an OXFORD Chip Set regulating the firewire port. there's variations of Oxford 911. 912, 913, 922 and more... any of which will be fine. Lacie's do not have Oxford. The only three brands that I know of that have these chipsts are
Glyph (way overpriced)
Mercury Elite Pro Drives (found at Macsales.com great prices as well)
and Rokstor Drives.
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Re: External HDDs for recording

Post by piRoN » Sat Dec 05, 2009 12:16 am

and truth is USB2.0 and Firewire are the same speed. Actually USB2.0 is a hair faster than firewire.
Not on sustained transfer speeds, not even close. USB 2 only has a higher peak rate - the protocol isn't really great for streaming large quantities of data. I work in video and film postproduction so I'm used to shoving utterly silly amounts of data down the pipe, and USB 2 is massively slower in such situations.

LaCies... I've heard a lot of naysaying about them, but we've got plenty of them scattered around work which have been working fine for several years of heavy use, so I dunno. I tend to prefer plastic-bodied drives myself, because they bounce when you drop them, unlike metal bodies which just transfer all the shock straight to the disk. Believe it or not, cheap, flimsy external drives have saved our arses a couple of times before!

Now RAID over eSATA, that's the business...
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Re: External HDDs for recording

Post by Esus » Sat Dec 05, 2009 4:39 am

LaCie Rugged. I think they make 320GB & 500GB models, 7200 RPM. FW 400/800 and USB 2. Compact. And they look cool as s**t. ;)

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Re: External HDDs for recording

Post by Ashe37 » Tue Dec 08, 2009 2:17 am

liquidzen wrote:Lacie's are horrible drive. and truth is USB2.0 and Firewire are the same speed. Actually USB2.0 is a hair faster than firewire. BUT... .
There's always a but...

BUT... to get that 480 mbps peak speed, USB2 is going to be eating into your CPU, whereas firewire doesn't do so as much. The more you have going on with your CPU, the more likely you are to start shaving into your USB transfer speeds, especially for things like sequential access and sustained I/O (which is pretty much what recording multiple audio streams consists of).

(This is also predicated on USB 2.0 vs. Firewire 400 (1394a). If its Firewire 800 (1394b) then the game is even more slanted towards Firewire.)

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Re: External HDDs for recording

Post by portland » Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:25 pm

liquidzen wrote:The only three brands that I know of that have these chipsts are
Glyph (way overpriced)
Mercury Elite Pro Drives (found at Macsales.com great prices as well)
and Rokstor Drives.
I got an Oyen Digital portable 7200 RPM hard drive with the Oxford chipset and FW800, eSATA. They looked like kind of an unknown, perhaps sketchy company, but the drive is awesome! If you're in the market for a portable audio drive, I recommend them. The internal disk is a Seagate Momentus, so you can have up to 500GB. I just did a project in Live with about 12 tracks without a hitch.

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Re: External HDDs for recording

Post by Stab Frenzy » Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:53 am

The Macpower drives use Oxford chipsets as well.

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Re: External HDDs for recording

Post by Ghost of Crow » Thu Dec 10, 2009 1:50 am

piRoN wrote:
and truth is USB2.0 and Firewire are the same speed. Actually USB2.0 is a hair faster than firewire.
Not on sustained transfer speeds, not even close. USB 2 only has a higher peak rate - the protocol isn't really great for streaming large quantities of data. I work in video and film postproduction so I'm used to shoving utterly silly amounts of data down the pipe, and USB 2 is massively slower in such situations.

LaCies... I've heard a lot of naysaying about them, but we've got plenty of them scattered around work which have been working fine for several years of heavy use, so I dunno. I tend to prefer plastic-bodied drives myself, because they bounce when you drop them, unlike metal bodies which just transfer all the shock straight to the disk. Believe it or not, cheap, flimsy external drives have saved our arses a couple of times before!

Now RAID over eSATA, that's the business...
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Re: External HDDs for recording

Post by loungedumore » Thu Dec 10, 2009 7:46 am

I've had good luck with seagate hds over the years . If you are so inclined buy a 2 drive external enclosure and pick up a couple Seagates cheap from fry's or somewhere and record away on the cheap .
If your all kinds of vain and anal about your Mac like myself ... you could check out the MiniG

http://www.transintl.com/store/category ... imeOut=500
They got a 500gb for 135.00 .
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Note: They used only Seagate and/or Hitachi when I got my last one from them .
Also they used to do 2 and 4 bay enclosures ( I have a 1 and 2 ) , but can't find them on the site , but there e-mail and phone care have always been speedy and friendly for me .
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