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Old 05-22-2011, 04:13 AM
PUMASALAD PUMASALAD is offline
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Default USB port for hard drive on iMac

Having finally discovered that the Focusrite Saffire 56 doesn't like being daisy-chained I've run my system for a week with the Hard Drive on the USB bus as it seems the only way to do it with an iMac. Does anyone have experience of using the USB bus on a Mac? What problems am I likely to encounter? The maximum I would ever want to do is a concert recording running 16 tracks in record all at them same time. Theoretically the USB bus can handle it, but can it in reality? Is there another piece of hardware that will give me 16 tracks of digital input that will work in a daisy-chain?

Saffire 56 > firewire 400/800> iMac
iMac> USB 2.0> HARD DRIVE
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Old 05-22-2011, 10:17 AM
Bill Denton Bill Denton is offline
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Default Re: USB port for hard drive on iMac

The maximum I would ever want to do is a concert recording running 16 tracks in record all at them same time.

"running 16 tracks in record" starts buming up against the high-stress territory for a USB drive.

Your best bet is probably the old "Here, dude...take one of these and tell me what it does"; I'd say try it and find out how well it works.

BTW: Since the Saffaire 56 has two Firewire ports, why do you think it doesn't want to be daisy chained?
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Old 05-23-2011, 02:53 AM
PUMASALAD PUMASALAD is offline
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Default Re: USB port for hard drive on iMac

Many thanks. Possibly it can be daisy-chained in other situations, but after 6 weeks iof trying to get it to work (see my previous threads) with various hard drives and putting it both positions in the chain I can safely say it doesn't want to work properly.
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Old 05-23-2011, 02:18 PM
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DigiTechSupt DigiTechSupt is offline
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Default Re: USB port for hard drive on iMac

Which brand/model firewire hard drive is this and how many/what type of firewire ports does it have?
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Old 05-25-2011, 04:45 AM
PUMASALAD PUMASALAD is offline
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Default Re: USB port for hard drive on iMac

I bought a LaCie QUADRA (2 x 800 firewire sockets). This won't work at all in a daisy chain - it will show the audio on the screen but not play it. Otherwise the disk works perfectly. My old stand-by has been a MACALLY PHR-100AC (2x 400 firewire sockets). This will work in a daisy chain, but seriously slows MIX-CONTROL down (if you click on default in the PT I/O window it goes a little crazy!) and made the Saffire 56 very unstable in a location recording situation I did recently.
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:29 AM
nst7 nst7 is offline
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Default Re: USB port for hard drive on iMac

What order did you put the drives and interface in, in both cases?
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Old 05-25-2011, 11:04 AM
PUMASALAD PUMASALAD is offline
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Default Re: USB port for hard drive on iMac

Saffire 56>firewire>Hard Drive>Firewire>iMac. I have reversed the 56 and the HD at Focusrite's suggestion, but the result is the same.

Today I ran 16 tracks record enabled with mics and music going in for 55 minutes continuously with the HD connected via the USB and it worked perfectly. Mix Control/Saffire 56 also worked perfectly.
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Old 05-26-2011, 02:23 PM
huzzam huzzam is offline
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Default Re: USB port for hard drive on iMac

One way around the USB problem would be to BOOT off the USB disk, and track to the internal disk. That way the USB bottleneck only matters for booting & launching applications, and you can use the fast internal SATA bus for your recording. Just a thought.

~peter in oakland
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Old 05-30-2011, 04:31 AM
PUMASALAD PUMASALAD is offline
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Default Re: USB port for hard drive on iMac

Thanks for that. To be honest there doesn't seem to be problem with the using the USB bus. As I said previously running all 16 tracks in record and with a signal for almost an hour with no problems is more than enough for me. I've got nothing to do in terms of serious studio recording until August so I'll play around with it and give your idea a trial, but with only one internal hard drive possible on the iMac does this not get back to the problem of PT software and audio on the same drive?

P
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:28 AM
JonesH JonesH is offline
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Default Re: USB port for hard drive on iMac

It might work fine. It might also spontaneously stop working.

I have a 500GB pocket WD drive that I've used both over FW and USB with sessions ranging from two tracks to 140 tracks and it worked fine for the most part over USB when under lighter load. Recently it's started to choke though - Pro Tools doesn't want to play with it at all.

I've also recorded 18 tracks to my internal HD on my old, old MacBook and it worked fine. I wouldn't bet any paying gigs on it though.

Same as with USB - it's not recommended and might stop working anytime.
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