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preparing my DAW system

Discussion in 'Recording' started by sibleypeck, Mar 21, 2006.

  1. sibleypeck

    sibleypeck Guest

    I am getting ready to add a Seagate 7200 RPM external drive to my setup and don't know enough about computers to be able to make some prudent choices. For example:

    1. Do I want to partition this drive?

    2. Do I want to put the DAW application on the 80GB internal drive - or on the other external drive (an 80GB Maxtor), and use the Seagate just for audio files?

    3. Do I want to set up a - what do you call it? - a seperate account to boot up under, that is optimized for audio processing?

    These are recommendations I have come across, that seem like good ideas, but I'm having trouble sorting everything out because, for example:

    4. I don't know what I gain by partitioning a drive.

    5. Do I want to go FAT32, or NTFS?

    6. I don't know how to tell Cubase to store and retrieve files from a remote location.

    I'm not a big fan of the trial and error method. I don't want to just slog my way through it, learning from my mistakes. I need direction. Anybody willing?

    I am using a FW-1884 with Cubase LE. I have no controller - I input MIDI with the mouse. I expect to do mostly audio, with sampled drums. Until I learn to record and mix, I will be recording just myself.
    Help me out, please, if you can.

  2. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    Well, you didn's say how big it is but I would say yes. The only reason I say to do it though is because of organization. I keep certain projects in certain partitions.

    Put the DAW sofware on the internal drive and use the Seagate for audio.

    If you know what you are doing, then sure, go ahead. If not, don't mess with it. Simply set up your computer the best that you can for audio production and leave it at that. You don't need a dual boot system and for what you are doing a standard windows package will run just fine.

    Helps with organization; defragging is quicker and there are safety benefits. If you lose one partition, your other partitions should remain in tact.

    I'm not positive about this but if you want to use the drive on both Windows and MAC systems, then I think it has to be FAT32. If you are not using a MAC, NTFS is the way to go. NTFS allows for larger partitions and has much better space management when it comes to larger sized hard drives.

    When you create a new project in Cubase, it will ask you where you want to create it. Simply select a partition of your new drive (create a folder if needed) and that's all there is to it. When you save your project, the saved project file will remember where the files are.
  3. sibleypeck

    sibleypeck Guest


    Wow! Thanks for the life jacket.

    It's a 160 GB Seagate.

    1. How do you organize your projects? Date? Genre? Personal/Business? (I'm just learning to use both software and mixer. I have two projects.)

    2. What does "lose a partition" mean, and what might cause the loss of one?

  4. jahtao

    jahtao Guest

    mac OsX 10.4 and above can read NTFS but they can't write it. FAT32 is fine both ways. NTFS is more 'efficient'.

    As for safety, back up back up back up, partitioning provides little security. Sod's law will bite your ass.

    Personally i'd not partition the audio drive and just have well organised folders i dont think there's alot to be gained performance wise these days, especially with SATA drives. If you want to organise by date go year, month, day they sort apha-numbrically
  5. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    I partitioned my drive just for organization of my personal stuff. All my electronic music is on one, live music on another, friends projects on yet another and the 4th partition is for video.
  6. Alécio Costa - Brazil

    Alécio Costa - Brazil Well-Known Member


    Are you going to buy an ATA or Sata Drive?
    I agree 100%with what other folks mentioned here.
  7. sibleypeck

    sibleypeck Guest

    I don't know the difference between ATA and SATA. What's it all about, Alecio?

  8. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    SATA (serial ATA)is replacing the old standard IDE hard drives. It's faster and uses a different type of connection. You should check the specs of your motherboard to find out if it supports SATA drives. If so, you should get SATA drives.

    But I believe you've said that you have 2 external USB drives. So this is really a moot point.
  9. sibleypeck

    sibleypeck Guest

    This is interesting: Placing project files on an external drive (separate from the application - Cubase LE, which is on the internal drive) has improved latency better than four-fold.

    Before adding the external drive, I needed to have the 1884 Control Panel Audio Latency set at 2048 in order to be able to play back audio without severe dropouts (one-half second of audio followed by 30 seconds of silence, repeating).
    Since adding the external drive, I am able to play back audio at 512 with only infrequent and very brief dropouts.

    I wish I had tried adding the external drive two months ago, instead of wasting so much time on dozens of system tweaks that had absolutely no appreciable affect on audio performance, yet degraded internet performance and visual appeal.


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