yay or nay on external hard drive,

whats the word on external hard drives,any good for recording,i would be putting the wav files on there if i did,

USB 2.0 and Firewire external drives capture video fine so I’d assume they would capture a reasonable number of audio tracks as well.

Yay. I use USB2.0 drives no problem. Firewire, with it’s higher sustained throughput should do even better. Get a one with nice, big cache and 7200 rpm spindle speed and you’ll be fine. By the way, that pretty much eliminates the buss powered jobbies. I have a 40GB “pocket drive” thats buss powered. Much over ten tracks or so at 24/44.1 and it starts to choke.


O.K. It’s not n-Track on a PC (it’s a ProTools TDM system on a Mac), but we use external Firewire drives all the time. Been doing it for several years now. There can be some latency from pushing start to actual recording (or playback) and some video latency, mostly depending on how many tracks you’re trying to play. I know I’ve had at least 24 tracks playing back at once with no skips or noise issues. Works well. Darn sight quieter than a SCSI, pretty cheap, and easy to work with. We have a Firewire hub in the control room so folks can hook up their drive (multiple if needed…the Poi Dog Pondering guys usually have at least two with them…) and get going without mucking about with the computer tower that’s out in our “machine room” along with the big ol’ power supplies for our console…

Good for you wozz… Them tattors are commin in … you’re gettin paid and you’re spending your money on DAW toys…

What more could you ask for??

I’m stuck on a system that is a “StarTech” PCI card that has two IDE ports on it… It’ll run 80-pin Ribbon/Wire and four drives in total… Each of these DAW’s I have has a setup like that… They’re all loaded with much the same way… networked together, on a hub… The odd time I loose a drive… I think that’s expected… So far, it has been working pretty good… Sometimes, the network acts up… Sync’ing the drives with data I’d like to share/backup can be mind consuming…

I don’t know if I’ll ever run outta hard drive space…


ok,im startin to make some headway here,its cool to use external hardrive,but now,i need a pci card to go usb 2 or firewire,am i right thinkin this?

Quote (wozz @ Sep. 28 2006,11:40)
now,i need a pci card to go usb 2 or firewire,am i right thinkin this?

Firewire - probably. Not many PCs come with Firewire built in. USB2 - probably not. Depends on how old your machine is. Most PCs built in the last couple of years have USB2 ports on the motherboard.

Check your PC’s manual, or eyeball the motherboard and do a search for its specification, or check Device Manager - it normally tells you if your USB subsystem is USB2, or just plug in a USB2 device - Windows usually tells you that you have plugged a USB2 device into a USB1.1 port.


From the Wikipedea:

“The signaling rate of USB 2.0 Hi-Speed mode is 480 megabits per second, while the signaling rate of FireWire 400 (IEEE 1394a) is 393.216 Mbit/s.”

"Despite all this and despite USB’s theoretically higher speed, in real life benchmarks the actual speed of FireWire hard drives nearly always beats USB 2 hard drives by a significant margin (for example). In addition to this some operating systems take a conservative approach to scheduling transactions and limit the number of transfers per frame, reducing the maximum transfers from, say, the theoretical 13 per frame to 10 or 9."


EDIT: You can but a firewire card for your PC for under $20 - lots for around $10 on ebay.
EDIT: If you are going to use your ‘movable’ hard drive for recording, and your audio interface uses firewire, get a USB hard drive. If your audio interface uses USB, get a firewire hard drive. That will prevent both devices having to use the same bus, and will make a significant difference in performance.
EDIT: Sorry - link above was broken - fixed now.

For the last year I’ve been using a GlyphGT050 firewire drive daisy-chained to my Motu828mkII going firewire to my Gateway XP laptop. Absolutely ZERO problems.

I also use a Seagate Firewire/USB2 drive for video editing (I use it on both my laptop and desktop). Also no problems.

Note that many interface companies like Motu REQUIRE you to use Texas Instruments or Lucent firewire chipsets. Check with the manufactuer before you buy; others have reported many problems that have cleared up when they used a firewire card with a proper chipset.

i don’t see that anyone has mentioned this, so i’ll add my 2 cents…

Firewire, USB, EIDE, SATA… it’s all good when it’s NATIVE. That means that the motherboard’s chipset offers a natively supported buss to carry that traffic.

You mentioned adding a PCI card so you’ll have USB2. Heads-up… if you do this, then the traffic moving back and forth to the external drive will be in direct competition with all other PCI traffic. In most cases, that includes your sound card.

In DAW work, that’s a no-no cause it leads to collisions and audio dropouts.

On the other hand, if your motherboard offers native USB2 support, then traffic to and from your external drive travels a different buss than your PCI sound card… no colisions, and everybody’s happy.

just something to consider.


got an error message saying i have a high speed device plugged into a low speed port,or somthin similar,the ribbon inside the uter on the usb ports says 2.0…any ideas?


Not all USB 2 devices can support the high speed mode. First step is to make sure that your computers USB subsystem can handle it. To check, go to the device manager, then click on ‘universal serial bus controllers’. See if any of the controllers have the word ‘advanced’ in its name. If at least one does, at least one of your computer’s USB ports can support the high speed mode. However, it may be that not all the USB ports on your computer will support high speed. Check documentation or do trial and error testing to see which one can. Also, Windows XP service pack 1 has to be installed. So have Windows check for updates if you are not sure about whether the service pack has been applied. Finally, I would avoid using any external USB hubs until you get things working, and then check hub compatibility later.


that message sounds like you have USB 1 on your computer. Check your bios for USB 2.0 Controller Mode. On my asus Hispeed is 480 and Full Speed is 12.

i have a USB 2 drive on a vaio laptop running only USB 1 (the actual owner of thel laptop has not installed XP service pack 2 whick contains the USB 2 drivers) it works great for data transfer, never had a problem, all of my graphic programs are on the USB drive with files of 150/200meg proving no problem - but - it you even whisper ‘wave file’ it packs up atraight away - windows gives a delayed write error which kills the hard drive, even the off button is killed so the only way to reset it is to pull the power plug -

Dr J

I’ve had great results with the Glyph Firewire drives.