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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So i realize that firewire is the "industry standard" when it comes to recording. I recently got a Profire 610, and I would love to get a Western Digital firewire drive or similar... but my iMac only has one Firewire port :mad:. And to complicate things even further, it's a FW800 port :pissed:.

My question is, will getting a USB drive be okay as long it's 7200 rpm? Or is it going to be more prone to random artifacts popping up in my recordings? I would have no problem getting a firewire hub as long it doesn't affect functionality at all, but for whatever reason those things don't seem like they would be that reliable. And they're not dirt cheap like USB hubs.
 

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Firewire. It's really the only way. I'm not sure how to solve the lack of firewire ports problem (something I'll have to figure out some day if/when I switch from a USB interface), but I've got a Firewire 800 -> 400 adapter to plug my external drive in, and I've never had a problem with it. It wasn't unreasonably expensive, either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Firewire. It's really the only way. I'm not sure how to solve the lack of firewire ports problem (something I'll have to figure out some day if/when I switch from a USB interface), but I've got a Firewire 800 -> 400 adapter to plug my external drive in, and I've never had a problem with it. It wasn't unreasonably expensive, either.
Yeah, the adapters aren't that expensive, only the hubs, which take up one of your firewire ports and allow to plug in multiple firewire device via the ports on the hub. I just don't know if the hubs themselves work well enough to use for recording purposes.

Couldn't I just daisy chain the interface and hard drive as well?
 

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Couldn't I just daisy chain the interface and hard drive as well?
Good question, one I've been wondering also, and have yet to try :lol:

At any rate, the main point: would USB external drives work? No. Simply not fast enough data transfer rate. I've seen someone try it. It wasn't pretty. Audio dropouts constantly for about 10 seconds then complete failure. This was when they attempted to double a guitar part with no other accompaniment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Good question, one I've been wondering also, and have yet to try :lol:

At any rate, the main point: would USB external drives work? No. Simply not fast enough data transfer rate. I've seen someone try it. It wasn't pretty. Audio dropouts constantly for about 10 seconds then complete failure. This was when they attempted to double a guitar part with no other accompaniment.
Wow. Well, I think that settles that. Firewire it is. Anything above 5400 will do, right?
 

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Depending upon the FW interface manufacturer, you'll find some recommend using an FW hub, some recommend daisy chaining with the interface first, then the drive, and some recommend the drive first, then the interface. Consult the manufacturer's documentation, and that'll tell you what they think is best.

FW is definitely the way to go, even 400, because the actual throughput is higher, and there's no overhead on the CPU like there is with USB.

That being said, I have successfully recorded to USB2.0 before; it will work for at least two tracks @ 24/96. But beyond that I don't know that I'd want to find out.
 

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well, I've been using a usb 2.0 drive without any problems. 15+ tracks playing at the same time.

Edit: I record my stuff at 48khz, 24 bit. I think you'd have serious probs if you were to record at a higher quality.
 

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First, why do you need an external drive?

Would it be possible to record to your hard drive, and then back up to a second drive? Keep only your current project local, and then when you're working on something else transfer that project to the external drive and then start in on the new project saved locally?
 

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First, why do you need an external drive?

Would it be possible to record to your hard drive, and then back up to a second drive? Keep only your current project local, and then when you're working on something else transfer that project to the external drive and then start in on the new project saved locally?
That's what I'd do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
First, why do you need an external drive?

Would it be possible to record to your hard drive, and then back up to a second drive? Keep only your current project local, and then when you're working on something else transfer that project to the external drive and then start in on the new project saved locally?
I'd like to do this, and i'll try it, but from what one of my AE instructors told me (I just asked him about this), recording to the same drive that you're running your programs from puts more strain on the drive. I guess that trying to write data to the drive thats being read from makes it more prone to audio glitches. He hasn't actually tried it this way, though.

Hopefully it works fine, though. Does anyone here do it this way?
 

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On one hand, yes, it does "put more strain" on the drive.

On the other, it puts a lot LESS strain on the drive than running through a USB connection or a Firewire hub likely would.

Unless you're recording huge projects with 30-50+ tracks at very high sampling rates with tons of plugins during tracking, for professional release, I wouldn't sweat it. The difference in trackcount before you start having audio hiccups won't be THAT huge. My recording output is, ahem, notoriously sparse, but I worked that way for years with no ill effect.
 
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