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external HD

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by phrygianpastor, Oct 29, 2009.

  1. phrygianpastor

    phrygianpastor closet bassist...

    Apr 16, 2005
    ok, this might seem like a dumb question, and sorry for being a bit of a newbie...just started wanting to record to an external HD. faster drive, bigger, etc...connecting with firewire...

    after connection, is it as simple as hitting "save as..." and designated the external on whatever program i'm using?!?!?
  2. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    If you can use the internal as the drive to store to, then backup to the external. It'll cut down on latency issues.
  3. Ronan


    Jun 5, 2006
    Los Angeles
    In most DAWs when you do a "save as" you are only saving the session file but not the audio files it is accessing.
  4. Its normally the other way round mate, you don't want to have the audio on the internal drive as this is normally the one that is running the OS and the recording program, this is a big no-no in recording. Even 2 partitions on the same physical drive is bad as the disc still only has one physical 'playhead'.

    If you have two internal drives then that is the way to go but if you have only one then using an external firewire drive will not cause latency, the data is streamed before the event happens so you don't get latency in the way you do with A/D converters and audio signals.

    Projects can be run off of firewire drives no probs, and all our working drives at the studio are on firewire 800 rack units!

    To the OP, yeah its pretty much as simple as that. as long as the drive is formatted and working with your computer then all you have to do is designate the external drive as your working drive. Ie when you start a new project or save it for the first time just put it on your external.

    If you want to move a project to an external drive then just copy the entire folder with the project file, the audio/fades etc folders in to the external. It should run off of there no problem, but the safest way is to just start new projects where you want them to be saved and then leave them be!
  5. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    If you have a desktop system, eSata is fast as the internal drives, and you probably already have open sata connectors on the MB - so you just need a connector plate.

    On harddrives in general - it's the first sectors of the drive that are the fastest. When they rate them at MB per sec it's only for the first part. You can see this with utilities like

    Buy as big of drive as you can afford, and leave half of it empty. Or partition it, and use the first partition for recording to, the second for archive.
  6. I've always been taught that you want everything on the same hard drive. Specifically, your software on the same file as your VSTs, samples, recordings etc...
  7. nope thats certainly not correct, not for audio anyway. It goes as far that at some point digidesign would not support you if you didn't have audio on a separate drive to your system! they would ask you that first and if you replied in the negative they would say 'change that first, then get back to us'.

    vst's, not so much of a problem, samples, good to have seperate if you can swing it. at best a fast drive which ISN"T your audio drive, but for most samplers you can get away with it being anywhere as long as the drive is good and quick.

    its all about the physicality of the disks. hard disks can only read from one point at a time and if its having to skip from program data to audio data it just constricts everything. A seperate, defragmeneted drive for audio makes things a lot easier and can even improve perceived system performance.
  8. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    I suppose I should have worded it, "AN" internal drive. My desktops always have at least 2 internal drives. If i was using an external, it would have to be a very fast, stable connection.
  9. atheos


    Sep 28, 2008
    Tampere, Finland
    Firewire 800 for external drives, we'll have to wait a few months to get reliable results from USB3.0 benchmarks but USB3.0 could be the best bus for external drives. Well, at least until Apple and Intel release their Light Peak bus ;)

    I recommend having two internal drives, one for OS and software and other for audio. Then some external drives as storage/backup drives.
  10. Yes.
  11. cool cool, in that case yup, I agree that that is the best option!

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