1. Register NOW and become part of this fantastic knowledge base forum! This message will go away once you have registered.

Recording directly to External Hard Drive?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by bushido, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. bushido

    bushido Active Member

    Evening! not sure if that has been touched on before but i haven;t found anything yet. Not sure if its possible and/or wise to record directly to an external Hard Drive?
  2. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Possible if your DAW allows you to choose what folder you record to. (Temp folder, Project folder, maybe)

    Wise if you are.
  3. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    It's not only common, it is recommended that a seperate Hard Drive (internal or external via firewire) is used for Pro Tools. I guess that makes it pretty universal in most studios.


    I use one almost exclusively. Its much riskier to have the app and the recording on the same drive due to potential drop outs and speed of writing and reading.
  4. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Just to reinforce what Phil was saying, the audio data should always be on a different physical drive from the one that has the OS. This separation matters much more than whether the audio drive is internal or external.

    Note that splitting one physical drive into separate logical partitions with different drive letters for the OS and for audio is even worse than using just the one partition, as the heads have much further to travel when shuttling between OS activities and writing audio data.
  5. ManicMonkey3

    ManicMonkey3 Guest

    follow up question

    Is USB 2.0 perfectly adequate to use as a drive to record the audio tracks to or should one use eSATA because it is faster if they have that option? I record to the C drive because I was worried that USB 2.0 might not be fast enough although I had no info to base this on. I backup the files to an external drive. Now I have a virus- Koobface. I backed up all my sound files, but instead of reformatting the C drive, I just took the PC off the internet, continue to record to it and bought a new PC for internet stuff- the Dell I was cursing for having no old fashioned PCI slots in another post. Good machine otherwise- except that Vista sucks.
  6. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    ...and you still have a virus on it, right?

    Now that it's off the net, I'd disable a load of junk, uninstall more junk, and recording to a USB drive is OK if you're only dealing with a small number of tracks.

    For more tracks, you want a dedicated internal SATA drive.
    (Yes eSata is faster but the drive itself makes enough of a difference to make the protocol irrelevant)
  7. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Mainly, you want 7200 RPM or higher for any drive dedicated to storage, especially an external drive no matter what the protocol: SATA, eSATA, EIDE, etc. USB 2.0 is generally the accepted method, although Firewire is still around. (Even so, most systems these days use FW for recording and playback, and USB 2.0 for Data storage.)

    The trick with Vista (which you've dismissed a bit prematurely, IMHO), is to make sure your user permissions are set properly. (One of the biggest - and easiest - fixes for working with large audio and video files in Vista.) Vista is also a huge step forward for networking, if you're moving a lot of data around from machine to machine. With Vista's superior networking, all of my machines "see" each other without any hassle anymore, and work together almost as fast as if they were inside the same box. "Shared" drives on my network's various computers are available almost as quickly and as easily as internal drives.

    The same rules apply that you've already heard: Don't use your C drive for anything but apps and the OS itself, and keep your data on other (and external) drives. Share only the files or folders you WANT to share with others on your network, but DO NOT SHARE anything on the C drive; turn off ALL Sharing on your C drive, period. It's the oldest trick in the book for keeping viruses and boogers away from your system's vital files.
  8. ManicMonkey3

    ManicMonkey3 Guest

    Yeah, I'm aware people say to use a separate computer for recording. I just didn't have an extra one to spare, so I was having it do double duty. It is a PIV 2.6ghz with no eSata outs- although I suppose I could add a card. If USB 2.0 is fine, I already have one of those.

    The reason I hate Vista is really just that it won't run my Cubase SX3 and I don't feel like buying another updated version. I was happy enough with the features on that one. I don't pitch shift my vocals or do any fancy stuff. The only Waves plugins I use are EQ, compression, reverb and L2 for mixdown limiting- only 3db if I can help it for limiting.

    I have been slowly doing a second home CD project for 2 years or more and and almost finished, so I didn't feel like reformatting the C drive and reloading everything until I'm finished.

    The trick then will be to see if I want to buy Cubase 5 and record on my i7 super powerful processor or stick with my same old computer for recording only- which works fine, but gets bogged down with plugins and many many tracks.

    Here's a question. I often do vocals- lead and backup and then a few weeks/months/years later, redo them. I was a self taught singer and fairly mediocre (not that I'm great now) but I started taking lessons- since the stuff on my Myspace.com/manicmonkey3 stuff and often find myself wanting to resing songs. Anyway, the question... I redo vocals a lot, but keep the old ones there and mute them. Are they still taking up CPU and memory power?

    I figure I'll wipe the drive clean when I finish this project. I'll back everything up on an external, but I've done that in the past and still lost some of the tracks somehow. Next time I'll definitely save all work to an external drive and it will be eSata. I always save my photos, MP3s of pro bands and home movies to external drives anyway because I don't want to lose them if I get a virus.

    Do you recommend just totally disabling the internet and firewall even on the old PC to free up system resources? Things come up like the other day Line 6 started giving away Pod Farm for free. I couldn't activate mine though and I think it was because the Koobface virus was interfering with registration. Crap.

Share This Page