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Can't get enough tracks recording simultaneously...

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Jaike, Nov 4, 2007.

  1. Jaike

    Jaike Active Member

    Hi everyone,

    I've checked through the forums for this, and although I think I know the cause of my prolem, maybe someone can shed a litlle extra light or come up with something i haven't thought of.

    Basically I can't seem to get more than 5 tracks recording simultaneously within Logic 8; after 5 mins of 24bit on 5 mono tracks, I get a message saying, "hard drive not fast enough".

    I'm using a MacBook Pro, 2,2Ghz, 4GB RAM, with the stock 5400 rpm 120GB drive. Oh yeah, and a MOTU 8pre interface.

    OK, 5400rpm is not very fast, and 120GB is not very big, even though i have plenty of space left on it.

    Yet 5 tracks doesn't seem like much...

    I've increasead the I/O buffer size to the max (1024).

    I don't need more than 8 tracks at a time... Surely this should be possible?
    Would it be better to record onto an external Firewire 800/7200rpm drive, or would this be even slower in writing onto the disk?

    Any help would be awesome, thanks in advance,

  2. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    What sample rate are you using? Do you have the same issue with a lower sample rate?
  3. Jaike

    Jaike Active Member

    Hi Zemlin,

    I've been using 44.1, 24bit.

    Just finished giving it another go, recording 6 tracks of mic input hiss for 15min, no problem. Strange.

    I'll test some more, see if the problem's gone away by itself, which wouldn't be too reassuring any way. I don't really see what else I can improve on in terms of performance on the mac, and indulgence within Logic.
  4. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    While I think all the machines I've ever used for audio have had 7200 RPM disks, the first one was only a 750 MHz PIII machine - it really doesn't take much horsepower for recording. I suspect something is whacked in your configuration somewhere. In Windows, having UDMA enabled on the disK controller would be one place to look. I don't know nuthin' 'bout apples.
  5. FlyBass

    FlyBass Active Member

    Sometimes a simple reboot of the computer helps reset things. Also, are you running any other software? Other programs would suck up processor cycles and maybe limit resources available for Logic. Double check your preferences in Logic -- make sure your interface to set up correctly.

    The external drive at 7200 rpm is a good idea, but I don't know of a reason you can't record 8 tracks simultaneously.
  6. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Guest

    NEVER EVER record audio on your system drive!!!

    You will definitely need an external drive.
  7. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    Why not?

    "Never ever" suggests that it will not work, or something will break, something will just go wrong. Me being some guy that records some stuff at home on the system drive(10 years and counting) really has a desire to know why this type of thing is presented.

    I have done it both ways with the same results. I have a hotswap bay for an external, a usb and still am not against recording directly to the system drive.

    So me not having to record 12 channels direct as many of you may I ask:

    Why shouldn't I?
  8. loh90

    loh90 Guest

    i've done 7 tracks simultaneously at 24 bit on my mac book (not pro) with a 5400rpm hd as well. i did it in protools though, which might not run as heavily as logic.
  9. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    5400 is simply not fast enough for most A/V work, period. REcord to an external drive (USB 2.0 or FW 400/800) and be done with it.

    Sure, you can always do a few tracks and maybe get away with 4, 8 or even 12 tracks if all's optimized elsewhere, but you're pushing the system's limits and eventually it crawls to a halt as you've experienced. THere's no mystery here, so you can stop chasing your tail on it.

    Ditto for using your system "C" drive. Regardles of the OS you're using, it's constantly being used for other things - swap files, plug ins, and all kinds of behind the scenes tasks while you're running ANY app (not just audio or video recording.) Yes, it can and does work quite often if you don't have any other recourse, but if you're doing serious stuff and can't risk dropouts, interrupts, corrupted files, etc. then go with an external drive.

    Put your audio on a separate, dedicated USB2 or FW drive running at a minimum of 7200 rpm and you'll be back in biz with no issues. Laptops run mostly on 5400 RPM drives, of course, and they're fine at that speed, just not for audio or video tracking.
  10. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Guest

    Joe pretty much summarized it.
    Some system file can get corrupted, or break.
    I have a dedicated drive for audio record, and another dedicated drive for video playback. I have them as internal drives.
    Even with seperate drives I consider 8 simultaneous record tracks on one drive more than enough.
  11. Jaike

    Jaike Active Member

    OK guys,

    thanks for your replies, pretty much what I expected...

    I'll probably go with a firewire 8OO external 7200; will this really be quicker?
    Surely recording to a USB 2 drive is slower?

    Also, I'm using the MOTU 8pre through the fireface 400 port, partly the reason I'll be getting a firewire 800 external drive, 'cos apart from a USB port that's all i have left. Will these two working simultaneously cause any trouble to each other?

    Thanks again for all your answers!
  12. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    Thanks Joe and TVPostsound.

    It makes sense that if a ram swap happens in the middle of a big(or small) recording session and I have everything "all-in-one" that the hard drives data transfer rate and access time will change dramatically.

    I knew there was an answer just hadn't seen a definitive one:0
  13. FlyBass

    FlyBass Active Member

    Using 2 firewire drives will not cause any problems.
  14. KingSix

    KingSix Active Member

    Sorry but you're wrong. Most of the actual laptop drive have the same spec as the workstation drive. The only thing slower is the seek time. In hard data transfert mode (Ex: recording process), the data are read/write sequentially (these word exist in english?). I think too that it's not the best solution to use system drive to write audio data but it's not because the drive's too slow.

    Sorry for my english and hope that help.
  15. Jaike

    Jaike Active Member

    It seems that the Firewire 400 and 800 sockets on the MacBook Pros run on the same Firewire bus, so using the MOTU 8pre and an external hard drive means these two will be sharing...
  16. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    Why do you say this so "surely"?

    Honestly, I can't say if recording to an external drive would be quicker track for track but I can say that you should encounter fewer problems with a separate audio drive, be it internal or external. Since you are on a porta-puter external is the way to go.

    People record to their system hard drive all the time. But, in many cases they encounter problems...weird ones. Many times, it just easiest to get the second drive.

    Both USB2 and Firewire are plenty fast enough. If you are concerned about chaining your firewire devices use the USB port. It'll handle 5 simultaneous tracks with ease. I have chained devices together on a single port, both USB and Firewire without any real problems.
  17. Jaike

    Jaike Active Member

    Hi again,

    Sorry, this is shifting the topic to somewhat elsewhere, but I've been checking different sources of info re: using both 400 and 800 firewire ports simultaneously given that theyre running on the same bus, and I'm getting conflicting opinions on this matter...

    Both firewire ports on the macbook pro definitely run on the same bus...

    Here's what I'm getting:

    - some folk seem to have no trouble running say a sound card on the 400 and recording audio onto a hard drive running on the 800

    - some folk seem to say this is not a good idea period, although I can't seem to find any specific examples of why it isn't...

    - is the problem running two different firewire 'speeds' on the same bus, as opposed to two identical firewire ports on the same bus? Apparently using a 800 to 400 'converter' cable, so that you have both the sound card and hard drive running at 400 may be a solution to this 'problem'. Oh yeah, that and installing an ExpressCard-thingy into the laptop, which would be kinda annoying given what you pay for a MacBok Pro in the first place...

    Is there a problem? Any experiences in this domain?

  18. Music_Junky

    Music_Junky Active Member

    I have no experience with fw400 vs fw800.

    I use fw 400 or usb2 and often record 16 tracks at the same time with no problems. I onece tried to record to my system drive and got the same problem you are facing right now..

    I think fw400 or usb2 is all you need.
  19. FlyBass

    FlyBass Active Member

    I run a firewire 400 external drive, a firewire 400 audio interface, and a usb2 external drive on my iMac simultaneously and have never had a problem. I can't imagine a firewire 800 device on the same bus as the 400 would cause problems.

    I remember when firewire 800 external drives were new and there was a problem with a certain manufacturer's chipset in some products, but that was a few years ago. I haven't heard of a problem since.
  20. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Sorry but you're wrong. Most of the actual laptop drive have the same spec as the workstation drive. The only thing slower is the seek time. In hard data transfert mode (Ex: recording process), the data are read/write sequentially (these word exist in english?). I think too that it's not the best solution to use system drive to write audio data but it's not because the drive's too slow.

    Oh, ok.....so, thousands of professional audio and video computer users are completely mistaken, and should go back to using 5400 RPM drives instead. And 5400 revolutions per minute works out of the same thing as 7200RPM. Alrighty then.

    Seek time, schmeek time; they are functionally SLOWER in real world usage, and bottleneck the process. If you're playing back lots of tracks of audio or video, that's GOING to become an issue sooner or later.

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