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  #1  
Old 12-31-2013, 01:30 PM
Dcader10 Dcader10 is offline
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Default External Drive for Pro Tools question

Hello,

I use Pro Tools SE that came bundled with M-Audio Mobile Pre interface. I was wondering about the requirement to use an external drive for Pro Tools.
Is it just for saving recordings or must Pro Tools be installed to it as well?

Thanks in advance
Dcader10
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  #2  
Old 12-31-2013, 01:36 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: External Drive for Pro Tools question

Pro Tools and Pro Tools SE itself must always be installed on the system drive (usually C:).

The recommendation for a dedicated audio/session drive you have seen is just to use for audio/session files, not the Pro Tools software itself and not for samples for VI plugins (which also go on the system/boot drive or on yet another seperate dedicated drive--but only needed for heavy VI uses, and SE is not likely to ever need that).

Pro Tools SE is fairly restricted in its capabilities compared to a full version of Pro Tools and I don't think Avid has ever explicitly stated that SE needs an dedicated audio/session drive. But its may still be a good idea, and especially if you are having problems. And this is much more likely to be a problem if your internal drive is only 4,800 rpm and you have a lot of tracks (not many possible in SE) and plugins being used. I suspect the internal drive on your laptop is only 4,800 rpm and so a likely worry.

With your laptop there is likely only USB2 (or you could use the eSATA port) and you want a 7200 rpm or SSD drive. If the external HDD specs do not specifically state it is a 7,200 rpm drive then don't buy it. And be especially careful not to use any "green" drive. Many cheaper PC oriented external drives from non-pro-audio/media specific brands like Western Digital, Seagate and others tend to be slow green drives. OTOH if it is not causing you problems you could just leave it as is. One thing to try is to check if you have "ignore errors" checked in the playback engine dialog that you are not getting very subtle clicks and pops recorded into your audio. You can try unchecking ignore errors and see if Pro Tools throws an error... of so (depending on the error) you may want that external drive.
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  #3  
Old 12-31-2013, 01:46 PM
Craig F Craig F is offline
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Default Re: External Drive for Pro Tools question

The external drive is for the session(s)
The Pro Tools application get's installed on the System drive line any other application
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  #4  
Old 01-02-2014, 11:08 AM
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DonaldM DonaldM is offline
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Default Re: External Drive for Pro Tools question

Is there any difference running sessions of an external versus an internal drive? I'm about to install a 3rd HD on my system. Right now my sessions are on my D drive and the OS and programs on the C drive. I am also getting a USB3 card installed with 2 ports. I will be getting a West. Dig 1TB USB3 drive. If I ran my sessions off that, would there be any difference in performance?
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  #5  
Old 01-02-2014, 11:47 AM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default External Drive for Pro Tools question

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Originally Posted by DonaldM View Post
Is there any difference running sessions of an external versus an internal drive? I'm about to install a 3rd HD on my system. Right now my sessions are on my D drive and the OS and programs on the C drive. I am also getting a USB3 card installed with 2 ports. I will be getting a West. Dig 1TB USB3 drive. If I ran my sessions off that, would there be any difference in performance?

It is totally impossible to answer any of your questions in any meaningful way without clear information like...

What Pro Tools are you running? 10?, 11? 10HD? 11HD? (I assume 11 from you signature, but just confirm).

Internal drive connected to exactly what controller (SATA I, II or III or something else?)
What exact internal drive make/exact model/rpm.

Just post a Sandra report for your current system with all the drives you have now connected when you run the report. That will tell us all we need to know about your current system. I think I have asked for this before when you have had similar questions, if you replied with one I have lost the thread.

What do your sessions look like (# tracks mono/stereo tracks, sample rate)?

What current problems do you run into? What problem are you trying to solve... E.g. If DAE error then what exact one(es)?

And again what exact model Western digital 1TB USB 3 drive. Western Digital is one if the worst providers of external drives, kind of ironic for a company that makes the great WDC Black drives. Western Digital have a just awful practice of putting their cheapest and nastiest WDC Caviar Green drives in their external enclosures and obscuring any actual drive data/specs. Those Caviar Green drives are just utterly toxic to Pro Tools, regardless of how they are connected. The first requirement for Pro a Tools us a 7,200 rpm drive and if the specs do not say this do not buy the drive. But even better you want a vendor who will state the drives they use in these external docks, or claim Pro Tools compatibility, or find a review/tear down to confirm it is at least not a WDC Green drive... which Without proof otherwise I would assume it is. Glyph, G-Tech, OWC and Lacie all make USB external HDDs suitable for use with Pro Tools,
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Old 01-02-2014, 01:42 PM
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DonaldM DonaldM is offline
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Default Re: External Drive for Pro Tools question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl Ramm View Post

And again what exact model Western digital 1TB USB 3 drive. Western Digital is one if the worst providers of external drives, kind of ironic for a company that makes the great WDC Black drives. Western Digital have a just awful practice of putting their cheapest and nastiest WDC Caviar Green drives in their external enclosures and obscuring any actual drive data/specs. Those Caviar Green drives are just utterly toxic to Pro Tools, regardless of how they are connected. The first requirement for Pro a Tools us a 7,200 rpm drive and if the specs do not say this do not buy the drive. But even better you want a vendor who will state the drives they use in these external docks, or claim Pro Tools compatibility, or find a review/tear down to confirm it is at least not a WDC Green drive... which Without proof otherwise I would assume it is. Glyph, G-Tech, OWC and Lacie all make USB external HDDs suitable for use with Pro Tools,
I'm not trying to solve an problems or errors. I am trying to expand my system and want to do it in a way that makes the most sense. In another thread I believe I told you I am getting the West Dig 1TB Blacks (2 of them) replacing my C drive with one and then adding the other as a 3rd drive. I was thinking of running either my samples or my sessions off one of the USB 3 drives. So, assuming I have a PT compatible external USB 3 drive (and thanks for the info on the WD drives, by the way...I did NOT know they were using the Greenies in there), is there any performance difference between internal HD (a WD black), or an external connected via USB 3. I don't see why this question needs a Sandra report. The info in my sig below is up to date!
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  #7  
Old 01-02-2014, 02:15 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default External Drive for Pro Tools question

A WD black directly on a SATA III controller (you should confirm your PC actually has SATA III--which a Sandra report would tell us had you provided it) will outperform a SATA III to USB 3 adaptor in the external dock but if the entire USB3 chain is well implemented there is likely not much difference you would notice. But given the choice I would go SATA III internal over external. The gotchas I already mentioned is not getting a HDD that sucks in that external enclosure. And it is possible to do poor USB implementations so it would always be nice to find a good/detailed review/performance test of any actual external drive you are considering buying.

If performance is important you are on the wrong technology with HDDs and good SSDs will outperform all these HDDs.
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Old 01-02-2014, 02:52 PM
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DonaldM DonaldM is offline
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Default Re: External Drive for Pro Tools question

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Originally Posted by Darryl Ramm View Post
A WD black directly on a SATA III controller (you should confirm your PC actually has SATA III--which a Sandra report would tell us had you provided it) will outperform a SATA III to USB 3 adaptor in the external dock but if the entire USB3 chain is well implemented there is likely not much difference you would notice. But given the choice I would go SATA III internal over external. The gotchas I already mentioned is not getting a HDD that sucks in that external enclosure. And it is possible to do poor USB implementations so it would always be nice to find a good/detailed review/performance test of any actual external drive you are considering buying.

If performance is important you are on the wrong technology with HDDs and good SSDs will outperform all these HDDs.
When I get my next system in a couple years, I will probably go with the SSD's. For now, though, it is cost prohibitive for my budget. The WD Blacks will serve well for the next couple years until I can upgrade everything. And who knows what technology will be out there in 2 years anyway. Anything we get today is outdated by the time you unpack it!

The problem is...there's just too damn many choices and options for computer equipment. And most of the stuff seems to be geared to the gamer market...not music studio application.

But you told me what I needed to know. Thanks!
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