Beginner: recording, partitions, external harddrives etc.

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by chrisnfi, Aug 9, 2007.

  1. chrisnfi macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #1
    First, my apoligies if some of these question have already been answered, but I could not find them!

    I have just ordered a new imac (also my first!) and want to use it mainly for recording purposes. My intention is to also purchase a Mbox 2 (maybe pro) and use the supplied version of Pro Tools.

    1. Some people have told me I should partition my harddrive for better recording/playback performace. But recently I've seen people discussing external harddrives 'instead' (I gather...). I'm totally confused :( . Should I/do I need to partition my new mac's hardrive, or is the same benefit achieved by using an external harddrive? On that note, is there a benefit? If the answer is that there is a benefit can anyone point me to an existing thread about what exactly to do, or tell me? I mean, if the external harddrive is the suggestion, do I use the external harddrive to store files, and the Mac to process, or vice versa or ??? . [as you can tell I'm confused!]. Likewise, if partition is the suggestion, how big should I make them?

    2. On the note of external drive, I gather that I need one that connects with firewire for performance... but I have a brand new 500GB Seagte, but it's USB 2.0... If the external harddrive is the answer, is this still ok, or do I need to fork out for a firewire compatable one?

    Any help is appreciated!

    ------------set up and requirments---------
    set up: iMac 2.4GHz, 2GB RAM, 750GB Harddrive,

    Needs: to record at least 2 tracks at once... maybe up to 6 or 8 if I can afford the right hardware to get it into the computer!
    -------------------------------------------

    Thanks!
    Chris
     
  2. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #2
    don't partition anything, just use a 2nd drive.

    i don't know the scoop on what's "wrong" with USB2 drives; maybe someone else can chime in.
     
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #3
    USB 2.0 drives require the computer's CPU to manage transfers - they can load the CPU by 10% or more of its capacity, with is positively what you do NOT want to do while recording. eSpecially if you are also using USB for audio interface.

    Go with Firewire 400, or if you are getting the new iMac, Firewire 800 for external drives.

    As Zim said, partitioning doesn't help drive performance (that's a very broad generalization, but search MR for many discussions on the subject.)

    To record multiple channels simultaneously, look to a FireWire 400 audio interface. Most USB interfaces will record 2 channels simultaneously only, some USB 2.0 interfaces will record 4. If you're looking at ProTools, then look at the M-Audio Firewire mixer with ProTools M-Powered
     
  4. chrisnfi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #4
    cheers! but a question on internal hd & external drives

    Thanks for the replys! So I gather I should use the external firewire 800 drive to mix the tracks, record to etc right? And just use the internal drive for apps etc... if I use the internal drive for other processes (e.g. word docs, powerpoint etc) this would have no effect on performance while using the recording software right? OR should I only use the internal drive for storage and have another external for running other processes?

    Also, do you have any recomendations for external drives? I heard lacie and seagate drives were good... any thoughts/suggestions?

    Thanks again!
     
  5. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #5
    basically, yeah. store your audio projects, and their associated audio files, on the dedicated drive. run the apps and OS from the main drive. it's that simple.

    i record to an internal SATA drive at home, but if i take my laptop somewhere for audio, i use these. i also use that model for backups.
     
  6. chrisnfi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
  7. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    #7
    Just for the track record, if anybody reads this thread and is in the position of using a PC instead of a Mac, then in the case of Windows, you do need to partition the drive, with the OS on one partition, software on another and projects on the third.

    In the case of OS X though, this will do little more than slow the machine down overall.
     
  8. Palliser macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #8
    I'm trying to figure this out too.. I just un-boxed my brand new macbook today, and having moved over from PC I'm trying to figure out how to move files from the new mac to my external hard drive (Usb 2.0). When I am in the drive I see that the permissions say I can "Read-only".... why is this showing read only? Do I need to format the external drive for my mac to be able to use it. I am quite bummed about this.
     

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