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Old 03-28-2012, 03:14 PM
DJ Hellfire DJ Hellfire is offline
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Question Why does Avid recommend external USB over external Firewire for audio drive?

Why has Avid changed their recommendation for external drives from FW to USB when Windows 7 was approved? On my living room computer I have a secondary internal drive (16MB cache, 7200 RPM) that I had been using to store all my family photos, videos, and music collection. And when I starting using this computer for Pro Tools outside of my studio, I was just using that same secondary drive for Pro Tools audio when editing or tracking beats from Reason/Maschine and it's been working great.

So a couple weeks ago I moved all my Pro Tools and other music related files off of the internal drive to an external USB hard drive I have, since Avid approved them for W7 couple years back, which is 8MB cache, 5400 RPM. I did this so I could use this hard drive as a complete mirror of my studio computer hard drive and keep the two drives in sync with DSynchronize. But I'm noticing this drive does not perform as good at all as the internal. When tracking from Maschine (between 10-14 audio tracks) I get errors that the drive can't keep up, yada yada yada, and playback of Pro Tools is delayed and just not a swift when stopping and starting the transport, which I NEVER got using the internal drive. This computer used to be my studio rig before I built a new one. Anyway, the external drive is 0% fragmented and running on a USB 2.0 port.

So why do they suggest these drives? Is anyone else having lack luster USB hard drive performance as well? You guys think it could be the 8MB cache and 5400 rpm really making the difference for such a small amount of tracks being tracked?

I decided to run Pro Tools on the external drive instead of moving all the pics, videos, and music to the external and have to deal with relinking everything in iTunes. But the way Pro Tools performs on this external, I'm just gonna swap everthing between the internal and external and just suck it up on the iTunes relinking!
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Old 03-28-2012, 04:32 PM
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Buccanears Buccanears is offline
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Default Re: Why does Avid recommend external USB over external Firewire for audio drive?

http://avid.custkb.com/avid/app/self...p?DocId=422335

Drive speed of 7200rpm or higher required.
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Old 03-28-2012, 05:40 PM
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Default Re: Why does Avid recommend external USB over external Firewire for audio drive?

USB was approved with Win 7 as performance problems with Vista and XP had been resolved. It isn't, however, the *best* drive to use - internals will almost always outperform and external drive, whether it's USB or FW.
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Old 03-28-2012, 05:43 PM
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Buccanears Buccanears is offline
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Smile Re: Why does Avid recommend external USB over external Firewire for audio drive?

I do so enjoy your username RTFM
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Old 03-28-2012, 06:29 PM
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Default Re: Why does Avid recommend external USB over external Firewire for audio drive?

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I do so enjoy your username RTFM
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Old 03-28-2012, 06:36 PM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: Why does Avid recommend external USB over external Firewire for audio drive?

When Windows 7 hit, it had better USB drivers, but worse firewire drivers. At some point, maybe they(Microsoft) will issue a better firewire driver, but until then, its not the best choice(eSATA and internal drives are still the best choice). I have a few FW drives, but I rarely run sessions from them(just use them for backup and transfer).
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:42 AM
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Default Re: Why does Avid recommend external USB over external Firewire for audio drive?

An additional internal drive is always the best choice for audio, followed by an external eSATA drive.
Personally, I'd never use a USB drive for audio, recommended or not.
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Old 03-29-2012, 05:18 AM
DJ Hellfire DJ Hellfire is offline
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Lightbulb Re: Why does Avid recommend external USB over external Firewire for audio drive?

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Originally Posted by ejwells View Post
An additional internal drive is always the best choice for audio, followed by an external eSATA drive.
Personally, I'd never use a USB drive for audio, recommended or not.
Yeah, this was always my view, which is why I have always used them for my main rig.

I'm thinking I can just switch the volume labels on the hard drives to trick iTunes and such into thinking the media is still in the same spot!
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Pro Tools 2018.10

Mac Pro 4,1 (5,1 upgrade), Early-2009, 3.46GHz Nehalem 12-Core, 32GB RAM - OS 10.12.6

13" MacBook Pro, Late-2011, 2.4GHz Dual Core i5, 16GB RAM - OS 10.12.6

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Old 03-29-2012, 06:49 AM
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Default Re: Why does Avid recommend external USB over external Firewire for audio drive?

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Originally Posted by albee1952 View Post
When Windows 7 hit, it had better USB drivers, but worse firewire drivers.
Im guessing 'bad' firewire drivers could also affect the performance of audio devices as 003, Mbox 3 Pro, etc...?

Maby thats why some (including myself) experience problems like loud bursts of white noise from the HP out of the Mbox + other oddities in PT sometimes ?
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:31 AM
DJ Hellfire DJ Hellfire is offline
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Default Re: Why does Avid recommend external USB over external Firewire for audio drive?

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Originally Posted by chrisdee View Post
Im guessing 'bad' firewire drivers could also affect the performance of audio devices as 003, Mbox 3 Pro, etc...?

Maby thats why some (including myself) experience problems like loud bursts of white noise from the HP out of the Mbox + other oddities in PT sometimes ?

Doubt that's related to the hard drive. Most likely something in the interface driver or software!

Anyway, swapping the drive letters worked.
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Akai MPC 2000XL, Akai MPC X, Mackie 1202VLZ Pro, Akai Advance 61, Focal Alpha 80, UAD 2 Apollo Quad, UAD 2 Satellite Quad, UAD 2 Octo PCIe, Neve R6 "Lunch Box", Neve Portico 511, Neve Portico 551, Neumann TLM49

Pro Tools 2018.10

Mac Pro 4,1 (5,1 upgrade), Early-2009, 3.46GHz Nehalem 12-Core, 32GB RAM - OS 10.12.6

13" MacBook Pro, Late-2011, 2.4GHz Dual Core i5, 16GB RAM - OS 10.12.6

27" iMac, Late-2012, 3.4GHz i7, 24GB RAM - OS 10.12.6
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