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  #1  
Old 09-02-2012, 02:30 PM
CalebB CalebB is offline
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Default USB 3.0 for external recording drive

Thinking about the new MBP non retina with SSD internal system hard drive recording to USB 3.0.

When I search for any term for any thread I get no results so I wasn't able to see if there are other threads about this which I'm sure there is...
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  #2  
Old 09-02-2012, 07:55 PM
snipertango snipertango is offline
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Default Re: USB 3.0 for external recording drive

I'm missing the question in this topic, but if your question is "is that a good computer" the answer is yes. I have one of the 2012 non retinas and it works like a dream. however i've heard people having problems with lion/mountain lion which i have also but thats on both my iMac and Macbook.

If you're asking about recording to a external drive with USB 3 that's fine too. USB 3 has a 5 GBp/s data transfer rate which is huge. Other options include thunderbolt (generally more expensive) and Firewire 800 drives. Its really easy to find a dual USB 3 and Firewire 800 drive for a low price tho.
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  #3  
Old 09-02-2012, 08:32 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: USB 3.0 for external recording drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by snipertango View Post
I'm missing the question in this topic, but if your question is "is that a good computer" the answer is yes. I have one of the 2012 non retinas and it works like a dream. however i've heard people having problems with lion/mountain lion which i have also but thats on both my iMac and Macbook.

If you're asking about recording to a external drive with USB 3 that's fine too. USB 3 has a 5 GBp/s data transfer rate which is huge. Other options include thunderbolt (generally more expensive) and Firewire 800 drives. Its really easy to find a dual USB 3 and Firewire 800 drive for a low price tho.
There is a lot more to what works well than just a marketing data transfer spec for an interface. We'll have to see how USB 3 drives work in practice (and specifically on OS X). So while USB 3 might well work OK, if you use one now you are being a test pilot. There is nothing wrong with that but just be aware what you are going into. The most conservative options on a Mac today are to use a SATA internal drive or a Firewire external drive that meets all the traditional Firewire drive requirements (e.g. Firewire Oxford chipset based).

Especially be sure to avoid (USB 3 or any other interface) drives that --

1. use software or hardware RAID (unless you can disable the RAID and separately access each drive--like you can for example on the Lacie Thunderbolt drives)
2. are slower than 7,200 rpm
3. or use "green" drives (the WD Caviar Green is especially causing folks problems). -- green drives typcially have on-board power management, spin down, etc. that causes all sorts of problems.

Hopefully we'll see more people here reporting successful use of USB3 and Thunderbolt drives with Macs and PCs. And all this is happening in parallel with Flash based storage and its compelling performance specs. Flash is not always a magic bullet and problem free, but things have improved there a lot with falling prices and improved OS/driver support, improved controller chipsets, etc. Again what I'd hope to see most is folks who are using specific Flash drives with Pro Tools, either as a systems, sample or audio drive, to report their success or failures here.

I do worry that Avid is now running too far behind with all this, and has not qualified/approving even one single example of all this interesting new technology (USB3, Thunderbolt, Flash SSD, PCIe based flash). Avid have lots of other issues as a company and maybe they have just given up and/or don't have the staff to do any of this.

Darryl
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  #4  
Old 09-03-2012, 06:08 AM
nst7 nst7 is offline
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Default Re: USB 3.0 for external recording drive

Someone's already posted good results with a USB 3.0 drive as a recording drive:

http://duc.avid.com/showthread.php?t=325779
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  #5  
Old 09-03-2012, 10:20 AM
CalebB CalebB is offline
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Default Re: USB 3.0 for external recording drive

Yes, that helps. Sorry about not framing my question. I was wondering specifically if I can record to a USB 3.0 external drive as I am considering the non retina MBP 2012 15". I am using the 003R and thought it would be nice to keep it on it's own connection (firewire) separate from a recording hard drive.

nst7, I did see that thread and asked the person if he had tried recording at 128 samples since I am always recording throughout the project (having tons of tracks with tons of plugs and needing to record still).

Darryl, I also wish AVID would officially qualify thunderbolt and USB 3.0.

If anybody else is using Mountain Lion, the new non retina MBP 2012 15", USB 3.0, thunderbolt, or have replaced the optical drive in the MBP with a second 7200 SATA or a SSD drive I would love to hear your experience.
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  #6  
Old 09-03-2012, 10:30 AM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: USB 3.0 for external recording drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalebB View Post
Yes, that helps. Sorry about not framing my question. I was wondering specifically if I can record to a USB 3.0 external drive as I am considering the non retina MBP 2012 15". I am using the 003R and thought it would be nice to keep it on it's own connection (firewire) separate from a recording hard drive.

nst7, I did see that thread and asked the person if he had tried recording at 128 samples since I am always recording throughout the project (having tons of tracks with tons of plugs and needing to record still).

Darryl, I also wish AVID would officially qualify thunderbolt and USB 3.0.

If anybody else is using Mountain Lion, the new non retina MBP 2012 15", USB 3.0, thunderbolt, or have replaced the optical drive in the MBP with a second 7200 SATA or a SSD drive I would love to hear your experience.
The link that nst7 posted has beautiful detail of what that user tried. Based on that if going USB3 I'd try to use the same USB3 case/drive.

The other options you have to avoid both interfaces on the same FW bus is to use Apple's Thunderbolt to FW adapter to get a second Firewire bus. Several folks have reported using those working fine (or using the FW adapter built into an Apple Thunderbolt display). One user had a problem when using the FW adapter--but I suspect it was not the adapter but UAD Apollo related FW problems.

Darryl
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  #7  
Old 09-03-2012, 12:02 PM
CalebB CalebB is offline
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Default Re: USB 3.0 for external recording drive

That is great Darryl. If it were you, would you get the thunderbolt to firewire adapter for the DIGI 003R (firewire 400)? Or use the firewire 800 port for the 003R (which I'm doing already on my Mac Mini Server with a 800 to 400 cable) and then use the thunderbolt to firewire for an external firewire 800 hard drive with the correct chipset that AVID has qualified?
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  #8  
Old 09-03-2012, 12:50 PM
nst7 nst7 is offline
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Default Re: USB 3.0 for external recording drive

If you get the Retina Mac, it doesn't have any firewire ports, so you have to use the adapter regardless. You could use an adapter in each port, one for the 003 and one for a firewire hard drive. Or use a usb 3 drive. And it shouldn't matter what buffer size you're using, it only matters that you have enough bandwidth, and based on the other guy's post, that shouldn't be a problem.
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  #9  
Old 09-03-2012, 12:52 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: USB 3.0 for external recording drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalebB View Post
That is great Darryl. If it were you, would you get the thunderbolt to firewire adapter for the DIGI 003R (firewire 400)? Or use the firewire 800 port for the 003R (which I'm doing already on my Mac Mini Server with a 800 to 400 cable) and then use the thunderbolt to firewire for an external firewire 800 hard drive with the correct chipset that AVID has qualified?
I would probably go Thunderbolt to Firewire adapter, but that's becuase I also have older MBP and iMac and several spare external FW 800 drives. I would just try swapping the FW disk and the 003R on either bus and see if there is any difference. OTOH I may just buy a USB 3/FW combo drive for my sons' new 15" MBP and see how it goes (more as a general drive not specifically for Pro Tools).

Things will get more interesting in future with SSD disk, and then hopefully we'll see USB or native Thunderbolt access to those drives that will seriously outperform Firewire 800. Right now with spinning disks the disk is typically the limit (especially the moment the drive needs to seek.) so I'd not be too worried by chasing interface specs.

Darryl
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  #10  
Old 09-03-2012, 01:09 PM
musicman691 musicman691 is offline
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Default Re: USB 3.0 for external recording drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by nst7 View Post
Someone's already posted good results with a USB 3.0 drive as a recording drive:

http://duc.avid.com/showthread.php?t=325779
And Mitch Gallagher from Sweetwater has also gone the USB3 route for drives. See this Sweetwater Minute (actually longer than that) on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYybe...em-uploademail

No benchmarks or actual tracks playing though. They actually took internal SATA drives and put them in a USB3 pair of enclosures.
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