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pro tools recording onto ext hard drive??

Discussion in 'Pro Tools' started by loh90, Nov 18, 2007.

  1. loh90

    loh90 Guest

    Hi everybody. right now im running Protools m-powered 7.3 on my intel macbook. I want to buy a USB external hard drive with 7200rpm to increase recording performance and the number of tracks i can record. It says on Digidesign website that PT does not support recording onto an external HD (digidesign says a lot of stuff though). Has anybody have experiences with recording in PT directly onto an ext HD?
  2. taxman

    taxman Active Member

    Its hard to believe the sight says that, but I seem to recall seeing it also. Elsewhere it states you should have a dedicated audio drive. It is almost essential.
  3. UncleBob58

    UncleBob58 Active Member

    My understanding, although I haven't visited the Digi website in a long time, is that they recommend that you use an external firewire drive and advise against using USB. They also mention that firewire drives should have the Oxford chipset.

    I could be mistaken, however, I've been using PTLE with Oxford chipset external firewire drives for years without any problems.
  4. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    We haven't had any problems recording to FW drives, up to 32 tracks simultaneous, in PT6.
  5. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Guest

    I would dare to say that PT does not support recording onto the INTERNAL drive. You risk corrupting your system.

    Use an external drive. 7200 RPM firewire is fine.
  6. UncleBob58

    UncleBob58 Active Member

    Here's the link for drive compatibility re: M-powered systems.


    As you will see, USB2 is NOT supported.[/i]
  7. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    I'm not as much of a computer geek has some folks think I am. The FireWire versus USB 2.0 is a peculiar one indeed. From my understanding, ProTools works well with FireWire drives. My understanding is that FireWire is more of a continuous bitstream where USB is sort of cache and carry and with high track counts, that doesn't cut the mustard.

    Now I do a fair amount of video editing and I've been told the same thing. Use FireWire not USB 2.0. But, I've used USB 2.0 which worked just fine. In that respect, 25Mb per second is probably the equivalency of about 12 or so simultaneous audio tracks? But if you need more than that, you probably have to chase those electrons around faster? Interestingly enough, the hard drives contained within the FireWire or USB 2.0 are the same hard drives. So it's not the drive but the way the interface handles the data stream. Sort of like left-hand drive cars versus right hand drive cars. They both work fine. Provided you're driving them in the proper country. I won't even bring up the Bahamas. That's plain crazy! Left-hand drive cars on the left side of the street. Totally bizarre and much easier to crash. So remember to use a left-hand drive disk instead of the right hand drive disk and you shouldn't have any problems with your back.

    I think I'm on the wrong side of the street?
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  8. jcnichols

    jcnichols Guest

    i got a 250 gb g-drive mini think PT will be alright running on that
  9. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    You want to be recording into 3.5 inch drives not 2.5 inch drives as those are not quite fast enough for high track counts and quick response. You really want drive with 7200 rpm 8MB cache. 10,000 rpm if you can afford it. The 2 1/2 inch drives can barely get you by for more than 16 tracks effectively.

    So not sure what you have there.
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  10. burywite

    burywite Guest

    Hey there.. I'm pretty new to Pro Tools and to Macs as well. I've got a new iMac running OS X 10.4.11 with 2.0 Ghz Core 2 Duo & 2 Gigs of RAM, and I'm running Pro Tools LE 7.3 with an MBOX 2. I've got my RTAS processor set to 2, Hardware buffer set to 2048, default DAE setting of 2, It's weird, but I keep having CPU Overload Errors that come up when I've got insanely little going on. Sometimes as little as two tracks, with no plugins. Trashing the Preference files seems to help temporarily, but it's still not performing the way I thought it would. I just bought an external WD Firewire drive (haven't opened it yet), because I was told I'd be a great fool to keep recording to the system drive.

    Anyway, I'm wondering if anyone knows:

    A) If the new drive will fix the CPU overload problem and why?
    B) Why must you record to an external?
    C) Do I need to downgrade to 10.4.9 to get the best performance?
    D) What brands of Hard Drives have the Oxford chipset and do I need one? Or is my Western Digital going to be fine?

    If you have an answer to even one question on here, I'd greatly appreciate your time. Thanks.

  11. TheBear

    TheBear Guest

    put your buffer size to 256. you shouldnt be gettin those cpu errors.

    only when i mix is when i put the buffer size to 2048 or higher
  12. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    It's not a 'must', but it is a lot more convenient.
    If you want to take your files and sessions somewhere else you've got that option.

    We record to both, internal (not the system drive) and external.
  13. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Notice bent said that he records to an internal drive, NOT THE SYSTEM DRIVE. That's a secondary internal drive. That's OK but that's not what you have. You are trying to record to the system drive which is also caching your virtual memory and other housekeeping functions. You can record to your system drive with greatly reduced performance, track count & plug-ins. And, so you should be using that Western Digital FireWire drive to achieve full functionality. It's not just for interchange-able data purposes between other computers. It's for better performance overall which is what is recommended by ProTools. Didn't you read the specifications and recommendations before running ProTools? If it ain't working right, try ProTools recommendations.

    Pro-fool 7.oh?
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  14. burywite

    burywite Guest

    Hey there, thanks for the help everyone. I started using a LaCie 500Gb Firewire 800 external and it does give me a higher track/plugin count. But the thing that really saved my skin was a little tool that I found on the Digidesign website. It trashes all sorts of preference files etc and helps PT run the way it should. I've been livin' it up.. 30 tracks and tons of plugins on my current session and no CPU overloads. Fantastic.


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