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macbook w/MOTU - what external hard drive

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by bradjonesbass, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. I've got a macbook (the newest white 13.3) and am going to be using a MOTU 828 running either DP5 or Logic8 (Haven't decided for sure yet). What to do about an external recording drive? Hate to use a firewire hub w/ FW400, but I also know that firewire drives prove better for audio than using USB (even USB 2)... I'm thinking it would be better to go ahead and compromise with a USB drive than use a hub and FW drive. What do you all think? Also, Logic8 or DP5?
  2. I've had great luck with a Glyph GT050 daisy-chained to my MOTU 896HD. I don't know what your reservations are about using a hub, but if the devices are fully compliant then you don't lose anything. One trick that FW devices can do is transfer data without having to ping it back through the host device (macbook). You might get some advice from MOTU tech support regarding chipset choice for the external drive.

    You should still get better performance than running audio on the FW bus and the drive on the USB bus. The main hangup with USB is that it is not bi-directional, where FW can run full speed transfers both ways at the same time.

    I went through the whole mess of choosing a DAW last year and if Logic had been $499 when I was shopping, and not $1000, my choice would have been a lot harder. As it is I use Ableton Live and it meets my needs very well. When you look at the integration with OS X and the suite of instruments that Logic comes with I find it hard to see how DP is a better choice. I used Audiodesk for about 2 years and I was never crazy about the device handling and I/O control.
  3. hunta


    Dec 2, 2004
    Washington, DC
    Yea, I would definitely go for a FW hub before using a USB hard drive to record audio. USB is the lesser technology for sure.
  4. Okay. Looks like Firewire with a hub is the way to go. And I'm really leaning towards Logic. I may go with express to start and upgrade down the road. It doesn't cost any extra to do so and it gets me started for a lot less cash layout.
  5. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    Don't forget that the MOTU and the disk would share/split the bandwidth of the firewire bus.

    A USB2 bus is faster than Fire wire. It's 480Mb/s compared to FireWire400 wich is 400Mb/s.
    Fretlessrock , you probably meant FW800 ?
    Wich is 800Mb/s

    BTW , I'm able to record 24 tracks on my internal disk without a hiccup.
  6. Nope. I meant FW400. USB has a higher spec throughput, but it can not send data both ways at full speed. That number is a one-way speed. So, if you are recording (sending data to the computer from the interface) and writing an external disc on the same bus, FW is MUCH faster and will allow higher track counts. I've tried it on both interface types and it isn't even close. If you are just writing then it is pretty much a wash. There is also the issue of peer-to-peer transfer, which FW supports and USB doesn't. That can allow data transfers to bypass the computer completely, making transfers a lot faster.

    As for the hub, why not just use the daisy-chain connector on the MOTU to start with. It is basically a one-port expansion hub. I run my 896HD like that nd it works great.
  7. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    Thanx for the info.
    Didn't kow that

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