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  #1  
Old 09-07-2007, 07:36 PM
JChance JChance is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Nashville
Posts: 231
Default Hello from newbie in Nashvegas! Couple of hardware ?\'s

Hello, all! I want to first say that I'm glad I found this forum. A friend recently referred me (forgot to ask him what his user name is!), and I can tell it's going to be a great resource...

Three weeks ago I made the switch to Pro Tools after experience with Cubase & Sonar.
I made the switch because Nashville is truly a "Pro Tools town," and I just knew I'd have an easier time getting work done with other musicians without having to convert or import files, etc.

My single use for my system, at least for the immediate future, is the ability to add guitar overdubs at home to existing projects. I'll probably also use it to let songwriting friends do basic guitar/vocal scratch projects.
I have no plans to record a band or any type of full-blown projects right now. So basically, after spending a lot of time shopping around, I settled on M-Powered 7.3.1 with an M-Audio 410 Firewire interface.
It's should be all I need. (at least until the "Gear Acquisition Syndrome" kicks in! LOL)

Here's what I'm using right now-

-My Desktop is a 2005 Dell Dimension with 3.2 Intel P4/HT. 2048 of RAM. 80G/7200 internal drive.
It's DAW optimized (with XP Home,) and is a dedicated music machine. No internet connection, virus programs, etc.
For recording no more than two inputs at a time, I should be fine. In fact, my early results are wonderful. Moves very fast, no CPU issues, etc.

-My mobile system I use for recording guitar when on the road is an 2004 Averatec 3250. AMD XP-M 2200+ (VIA Chipset,) 1024 RAM, 60G/7200 internal drive. DAW optimized (XP Home.)
It's mainly dedicated to audio, with light internet browsing when traveling and email checking with Outlook. Since it's got a decent but not "smoking" processor, I decided not to install virus protection. Mainly didn't want to use up CPU resources if I didn't have to...
I realize this is dangerous for Windows users in this day & age, but I'm very careful when online. Really only a handful of websites that I visit with this machine (Like the DUC forums!)

Here are my hardware questions-

-Keep in mind that I'm only recording a maximum of two tracks at a time. Mainly two amp mics (cabinet SM57 and room condenser), or occasionally acoustic & vocal.
I found a cheap deal ($25!) on eBay for a 120Gb external drive. It's 7200RPM/8MB. The catch is, it's USB 2.0 and not firewire.
I realize of course that DigiDesign neither recommends nor supports 2.0 external drives with Pro Tools. However, so far I haven't had any real issues. The only time I experienced issues was when I opened a pretty large Pro Tools session from a client with my laptop. I'm assuming that since the USB drive takes up CPU, this is probably why my laptop's processor was running pretty high when working in the session. Is that correct?
The question is, would I still be better off getting a firewire drive, even though the USB 2.0 works well for the most part? My laptop CPU was running around 75% with the large session I opened, and I could tell it was getting a little taxed & bogged down. However, this was just one instance. Normally it runs around 40-45% with most of the clents' sessions I've opened.
So given my uses with my system, do I still need to bite the bullet and get a firewire external?

-My M-Audio Firewire 410 says that it supports an external drive with it's second firewire port. *If* I did decide to spring for a firewire drive, is it better to plug the drive into the computer's firewire port, or the M-Audio's?

-Even though both of my computers are at least a couple of years old and don't have dual-core CPU's, would I see any true benefit from going the dual-core route? I have considered selling both my laptop and desktop and just getting one dual-core laptop with plenty of processing power. But since finances are a concern with the recent purchase (today in fact!) of a new home, I'm enjoying the flexibility of having two machines. For my uses, am I "fine?" Or do I really need to make the switch to a dual-core system?

Thanks to everybody for taking the time read a LONG post from a newbie! I truly appreciate any help, advice, or personal experience you guys & gals have to share!

Jayson Chance
www.myspace.com/jaysonchance
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  #2  
Old 09-09-2007, 10:17 PM
JChance JChance is offline
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Default Re: Hello from newbie in Nashvegas! Couple of hardware ?\'s

Anyone have ideas? Thanks!
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  #3  
Old 09-10-2007, 10:00 AM
dave2005 dave2005 is offline
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Location: California
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Default Re: Hello from newbie in Nashvegas! Couple of hardware ?\'s

why add another hard drive?
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  #4  
Old 09-10-2007, 02:33 PM
JChance JChance is offline
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Default Re: Hello from newbie in Nashvegas! Couple of hardware ?\'s

Because my current external hard drive is USB 2.0.
It's not recommended, but seems to be working fine for my applications.
However, I'm curious if I'd be better off in the long run with a firewire drive...

Thanks
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Old 09-11-2007, 05:28 AM
Ruusperi Ruusperi is offline
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Posts: 53
Default Re: Hello from newbie in Nashvegas! Couple of hardware ?\'s

Firewire works way better than USB 2.0. Especially firewire 800, if you don't have 800 port (only 400) I still would recommend firewire hard disk to avoid all kind of problems what may appear.

Copying 30 gig (album) thru 800 takes only something like 10 min and with usb you don't even want to try that if you are in hurry Newer had any problems with firewire hard disk with 48 tracks what is best what my m-powered PT can handle.
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  #6  
Old 09-11-2007, 11:24 PM
AlohaMoto AlohaMoto is offline
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Default Re: Hello from newbie in Nashvegas! Couple of hardware ?\'s

I have a USB ext HD as well. It works fine. Haven't had any problems with it once.
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  #7  
Old 12-25-2007, 11:20 AM
sw rec sw rec is offline
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Default Re: Hello from newbie in Nashvegas! Couple of hardware ?\'s

Quote:
I have a USB ext HD as well. It works fine. Haven't had any problems with it once.
Which is funny, 'cause Digidesign says that they only support FIREWIRE external drives, not USB.
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  #8  
Old 12-25-2007, 10:21 PM
poolio1971 poolio1971 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: nashville tennessee
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Default Re: Hello from newbie in Nashvegas! Couple of hardware ?\'s

yo JC....first, glad you found this site. Most helpful here. Ive been using several USB drives with "little" problems. I say "little" because there has been those unexpected crashes. I have made ctrl + S my best friend. I was told not to go with PC or protools (for that matter) from the beginning. I chose PC because thats what Im used to and protools for the very reason you switched. Nashville is very PT friendly.

My suggestion on the upgrade to a dual core deal is......if you dont really plan on doing more than a couple tracks simultaneously and what-not....theres no need to put money in that area. If it aint broke.....dont uh......hmmmmm.

call me big boy
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  #9  
Old 01-19-2008, 02:36 PM
JChance JChance is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Nashville
Posts: 231
Default Re: Hello from newbie in Nashvegas! Couple of hardware ?\'s

Hey buddy.. Thanks for telling me about this site!

Actually, I ended up getting an external firewire drive AND made the Apple switch...So it's all good.

I do have Pro Tools 7.4 loaded on the wife's new Vista desktop, though. Seems to work good. I use it to open larger sessions & consolidate when they are a but much for my G4 iBook to handle.

See ya soon-

JC
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