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How to connect external drive - laptop - firewire interface

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by vdrummer, May 25, 2007.

  1. vdrummer

    vdrummer Active Member

    I just made the plunge into firewire recording, just ordered a 16 channel firewire mixer. I am really nervous about the latency issue, I had a standalone unit which does not have that problem. How do I go about connecting a external firewire hard drive and the interface together on a laptop? Most recommend an external drive for recording. Do you connect the drive to the second port on the firewire interface, or do you need two ports on the computer? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Appleseed

    Appleseed Guest

    I always just went into my card on my system. What kind of mixer do you have?
  3. cfaalm

    cfaalm Active Member

    I recently used a MacBook (which has only 1 FW port) and chained an external FW HDD, Yamaha 01v96 with MY16mLAN card and Yamaha i88x (an mLAN expansion unit).

    Schematically it was like this:
    MacBook <-> ext HDD <-> 01v96 <-> i88x

    This worked fine. If it is all plain FW (instead of mLAN) I would expect it to perform just as well. So just chain the pieces you have. FW works that way. The only thing to consider is whether you'd like to uplug one of those in the proces. That one should be at the end of your chain.

    Do you have two FW ports on your laptop? If these are actually separate buses it might be a good idea to hook up the drive to the other port.

    As far as the recommendation goes, I agree completely. The internal drive of a laptop is not suited for multitracking. Maybe you can get away with a track or 4. A stereo recording is certainly possible. Anything more than that is taking a risk.
  4. vdrummer

    vdrummer Active Member

    I ordered a Phonic Helix 24, I couldn't resist the deal for 16 channels. I just have a home hobby studio I like to write songs and I play the guitar, drums, and do the vocals. I wanted at least 10- channels for my TD-20 edrum module which has 10 outputs and when I get fellow musicians in the studio we could try recording everyone at once. I realize it may not be the best quality for it sure looked like the best bang for the buck. Also I could use the mixer to keep all my instruments dedicated to individual channels and use it for practice and wouldn't have to be changing things to juggle recording different instruments with a 8 channel dedicated interface, I thought it would provide the most convenience for recording and practicing with minimal tweaking. Most reviews are positive and it has a 3 year warranty. I still have to get an external hard drive but most say at least 8 mb cache 7200 rpm. Any suggestions?
  5. vdrummer

    vdrummer Active Member

    By the way do you think 250 GB for an external drive is big enough? I'm currently looking at a Micronet Titanium-II 250GB Combo Firewire+USB 2.0 Hard Drive 7200rpm 8MB Cache for about $100.

    Thanks for all the help!
  6. its going to take you a year or so to fill that drive up unless your doing video. i make anybody i work with to buy there own drive for that purpose of me not having to buy a new drive every 6 months
  7. cfaalm

    cfaalm Active Member

    Your Micronet 250GB will do but you can get better if you are willing to pay a bit more.

    You can start by looking at buying the case and HDD separately. This way, you can swap the HDD if it is full and upgrade to a bigger/better model. You might like a 16MB cache because streaming performance will benefit from that. The sweetspot on GB/$ is around 300GB now for about $ 75.

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