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SD card for tracking?

Discussion in 'DAW's, Computers & Software' started by peanutjar, May 8, 2009.

  1. peanutjar

    peanutjar Guest

    Wondering about using a high capacity SD card for tracking. Solid state memory should read/write faster than a HD, though I do have a 7200rpm drive with a 8m cache (16?? not sure). I suppose this depends on bus speeds, etc, and where the SD is located in the physical (and virtual) hierarchy of the computer?

    SD cards are relatively inexpensive - I can get 2 4G cards for appx $30. Has anyone tried this?

    Anyhow, here's the question:

    - How can I test the data read/write speed of my actual, installed hardware? I could look at rated specs, but this does not account for my actual conditions.
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Moderator Resource Member

    Mar 20, 2008
    currently Billings
    I use 4g cards in my modified Marantz PMD671 for down and dirty 2 track recordings 24/88.2 . This works just fine.

    In a computer situation with a multitrack session 4 gigs isn't enough for me to bother with. One of my laptops does have a SSD as the OS drive and it is a screamin machine. The write speeds of SSD-especially once it's sectors have been used-is not as good as SATA 2.

    Your biggest problems in testing is that current performance utilities do not test SSD or SS cards in a manner that reflects their technology. IDE and SATA drives organize data differently than solid state. Do not defrag any solid state drive whether 4gig or 120. The proper method of reclaiming any lost speed is to reformat the drive.

    In the end, standard IDE or SATA drives are still the best option of multi track recording in the computer world.
  3. cfaalm

    cfaalm Active Member

    Feb 21, 2005
    Home Page:
    What are your actual conditions? Why bother with SD cards?

    HDDs are relatively inexpensive also. Look at the GB/$ ratios. A 7200rpm SATA II with 16 - 32MB cache will still rock.
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    I like inexpensive items. But if I could get away from mechanical nightmares, I would. I'm holding my breath & turning blue waiting for a solid-state replacement to these 100+ year old mechanical concept contraptions darned fpangled things. I mean that's like Mr. Spock getting his ears stuck in a mechanical rice picker with Captain Kirk explaining this to Joan Collins, who works on a soup line and is a part-time actress, cleaning things on daytime television with Colgate-Palmolive.

    Paradoxically speaking, the new Star Trek movie really dropped the ball on some things. Anybody who remembers the original series would remember that Captain Pike was rolled around in a 23rd century integrated mobile chair device. Meanwhile, back in the new Star Trek movie they are rolling people around in wheelchairs. What is wrong with this picture in the 23rd century with other craft hovering over top of people being pushed around in wheelchairs? Give me a break. I want my money back. And with Spock talking to Spock that is a paradox in time. We're not even here anymore because of that. I mean I think I'm ceasing to exist? I saw a guy driving around the other day, an old man, whose bumper sticker read "HONK IF YOU DON'T EXIST". So I honked. There was no reaction. Now I'm frightened. Hello? Is anybody out there? Hello? This is Lawrence. Lawrence Kansas. OMG the humanity.

    I'm sorry the number you have dialed is not in service.
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  5. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Fredericksburg, VA
    SD Cards are NOT the same architecture as Solid State HDs.

    Solid State HDs can transfer data at speeds in excess of 10X that of SD cards. Not to mention, they're on a far more relieable and prioritized bus.
  6. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Moderator Resource Member

    Mar 20, 2008
    currently Billings
    SD cards are very very similar to SSD's. When data is written to this type of architecture and then "erased" it is not erased at that time. It actually gets erased when the device goes to write those sectors again causing a slow down. There are special utilities to clear those sectors for real and ready them for new data but you have to search them out from OCZ, SanDisc etc. Write speeds on SSD's are still quite impressive but the data clearing process is what makes them not quite as good -yet- as SATA or IDE discs. Not to mention price.
  7. peanutjar

    peanutjar Guest

    SD card for tracking

    Thanks to all who weighed in on this.

    Sounds like I just go with my on-board stuff, and that should be fine for my purposes.

    To clarify, I will be multi-tracking, but building up tracks one by one, recording myself (maybe a stereo pair, but that's the most I have hardware for). So I don't need massive input/write capacity, but if I get to 20+ tracks or so I don't want the thing to hiccup in the middle of a take.

    Could always mix to a scratch track and track that way I guess.

    Not working with dedicated recording workstation here, but did spec the machine as best i could at consumer-level to do some recording with it.

    Got a HP HDX18T laptop (hardly - it's BIG), Core Duo T94002.53Ghz, 4G RAM, 7200/320G HD, running Vista Home Premium

    Any experience with this or similar machines?

    Also, if there have been any threads with pointers on (temporarily) stripping down/shutting off programs and on-board services for a "recording mode" I'd love to see take a peek at those.

    Thanks again to all.
  8. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Distinguished Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    If you do get to 20 tracks, you can make a quick bounce/mixdown of the backing and just play that while recording.
  9. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2005
    Re: SD card for tracking

    Have you considered a dual boot setup? I have a laptop of similar specs: I left the original Vista installation in place to use for doing my accounts / surfing the net etc, but also installed a strpped-down audio-only XP on another partition. So I can boot into Vista and have all the bells and whistles, or I can boot into XP with networking and all non-audio peripherals disabled. Works well so far...
  10. jg49

    jg49 Distinguished Member

    Oct 16, 2008
    Frozen Tundra of CT
    I also use a dual boot setup and have been exremely happy with the way it works and the system resources it freed up. Here is a link as to how to do it
    You will need a registered XP install disk, and a simple program you can download off the net. After install I tweaked XP to be audio only.

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