Firewire or USB hard drive for recording

Discussion in 'Computing' started by kmackall, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. kmackall

    kmackall Active Member

    Nov 10, 2007
    Akron, Ohio
    Hi all. I've used Logic 7.0, with a PowerBook G4 1.33 Ghz (1.25 Gb RAM) for the past two+ years to do some simple recording, usually 1 - 2 tracks at a time, maybe a total of 10 -12 tracks when complete. I've used an external firewire hard drive (Lacie 7200 rpm, 250 Gb) with no problems. I've used both USB (Lexicon) and Firewire (Firepod) audio interfaces.

    I've now upgraded to a MacBook Pro 2.4 Ghz (2 Gb RAM), as I will be recording a CD with my band. To do this, I need 16 audio channels, so I've upgraded the firmware in my Firepod to an FP10, and have now purchased an FP10 (giving me in essence 2 FP10's) to give me the full 16 recording channels. The 2 FP10's will be daisy chained together on my single Firewire port. I'll be using Logic 8 to do the recording.

    So, here's my question. Should I add a Firewire hard drive to this chain to handle the recording, or using a different bus, attaching instead a USB drive (I have a 500 Gb Lacie 7200 rpm USB) instead of a Firewire hard drive?

    I'm concerned that the traffic on the Firewire bus, with the 16 audio channels might be too much when trying to add the external Firewire hard drive also to that chain. I'm thinking it might be better to have the 2 FP10's on the Firewire bus, and the external hard drive on the USB bus. I'm concerned however when I read that the USB bus speed is not really as fast as claimed, only supporting the full speed in short bursts, whereas Firewire supports the full speed continuously.

    Or, should I try an find a Firewire 800 external hard drive (MacBook Pro has 1 Firewire 400 and 1 Firewire 800 connector), use the Firewire 400 for the 2 FP10's and skip using USB?

    Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2003
    Kirkland WA
    Home Page:
    Firewire has a higher sustained thruput.

    USB2 only gets close to the advertised speed in short bursts.

    When my Powerbook was my main machine, I had three firewire drives and a MOTU 828 connected via a Belkin firewire hup with no problems.

  3. kmackall

    kmackall Active Member

    Nov 10, 2007
    Akron, Ohio
    Purchased Firewire 800 drive

    I ended up purchasing a Firewire 800 external drive (Lacie d2 quadra). For a preliminary test, I ran 10 mic inputs from the FP10's via Firewire recording onto the quadra, for 10 minutes, without a problem. My final test will be running all 16 inputs together for 10 - 15 minutes recording onto the quadra.
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