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firewire vs eSATA

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ok i just ordered an OWC mercury elite pro 500gb external.


i run LP7.2 off the last (before the current) mac book pro model. intel core 2 duo 2.16 ghz w 2gb ram and currently a 120gb 5400 rpm HD.



my HD has like 30gb free and it mostly full so its getting quite messy. i already know you are not supposed to record to a system drive but with a mac book pro i always figured ONE internal is better than having a firewire due to transfer rates.


btu lately i am getting core audio overloads and disk too slow errors during tracking even on one track and with stuff like a lot of crossfades over drum tracks



my interface is two daisy chained firepods so i record drums upto 16 trakcs. i've done a few projects before with no problems but lately i am having HUGE issues like i cant even record with the disk too slow error and the core audio overload.





anyway i have been advised to get an external FW800 HD and record onto there. but with the transfer rates being half the speed of an internal i don't see how that works. but i got one anyway. then someone told me about eSATA. i can get an express/34 eSATA slot and connect it to the exernal for internal HD transfer speeds which seems more reasonable. however it uses my e34 slot which i wanted to use in the future with the apogee symphony card. that future is still a year away so i guess i can worry about it when the time comes but in the meantime i wanted to see what everyone here thought about this topic. is my firewire based external going to be ok to record very loud audio sources upto 16 tracks?????

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thank david.



one thing though. you said that the audio level has nothing to do with it. the first time i got an error message and the first time i knew i had to do something was when i was recording 3 guitar cabinets CRANKED at once. 3 mics, 3 tracks. there were also 3 room mics for drums but once all three guitars simultaneously kicked in that's when i saw physically the waveform previews start lagging and the computer bugged out and gave me the error. i spent that whole night trying to fix it via buffer sizes, etc. all the settings.


i just wanted to make sure i'll be fine wit the FW800 since the data transfer rates are almost half of what an internal is. but if you are saying fine i take your word for it.

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For audio, seek time is a much more important factor than transfer rates. Audio files are not streamed from the Hard drive in real time, they're just passed onto the computer as requested in the form of chunks of data.


Once the audio has been converted by the A/D converters, and it is passed on to the computer to create an audio file, all Logic does is take the 0s and the 1s coming from the audio interface, and place them in an audio file. Wether those 0s and 1s represent a soft signal, a loud signal, a photograph of the moon or the coordinates of the Eiffel tower on a map does not have any influence over the way they are handled by the computer. :wink:


Maybe when you crank the guitar, the sound pressure waves are making your computer case or hard drive vibrate?

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i also thought that however i have had the same error while editing and mixing as well on crossfades and stuff. as well as recording vocals and whatnot. but either way i'm sure recording to an external will fix this.



i just didn't want to get the esata card for no reason. so i will see what happens with the firewire 800 first.

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I just added a LaCie 320 gig external FW800 drive and, man, I can't believe the speed! I did some quick testing, and was able to transfer a 700 meg movie file in just under 10 seconds (Same file to a FW400 drive took just over 23 seconds, and FW400 is fast!). That was from my internal drive (iMac 2.4GHz - not sure what kind of HDD I have inside). When loading Logic, the file loading windows literally whiz by so fast, I can't see the contents of the windows. Whoooooosh!


When playing back projects in Logic, the disk I/O meter registers one, maybe 2 segments. That's really really low, and a good thing.


eSATA will be a little faster, but in Logic, you're not likely to even see the difference if you look for it, let alone notice it in regular use. So I say go FW800.

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well the OWC HD i got has both so all i'd need to do is buy the e34 card.



ok but here goes...



i got the OWC on friday morning. i tested it it at home (since tracking is done in my studio) on mixing and it was fine. i transfered my entire studio folder to the external and it free up a lot off my internal HD.



now like i said mixing and playing back was fine i was able to use like waves ssl on 16 drum tracks. i had like 30 something total tracks and i just kept putting plug ins on all of them reverb pitch shift waves you name it. it was fine. crossfades all over the place had no issues. thought i was in the clear.



ok now today i had a reamping session with a buddy of mine who needed guitars reamped for a project he was doing. so i had the amp head and the cabinet set up in my room with ONE sm57. i've done reamping at violently loud volumes before with no problem. i started a new project file on the OWC hard drive and imported like 4 tracks. 2 of which were clean DI tracks and the other 2 reference tracks. i armed one track as my recording track.


there were 5 songs in total. the first song went fine, the second song halfway though gave me a core audio overload. by the way at this point the IO BUFFER size was 64. the place where it gave me the overload was this like very dissonant note, i don't know how many guitar players there are here but imagine playing a dissonant high chord around the 12th fret. sounds like a shrill and it was like long and drawn out and created this cool oscillating effect. that was the point of that part of the song. i will upload a sample later tonight. but anyway. i tried several times and it kept overloading. so i skipped it recorded the rest of the song and autodropped over that part. it recorded it.



i then lowered the buffer thing to 128 and the rest of the songs went fine.


but i don't know it freaked me out that it couldn't record that one part, perhaps the type of sound that was created overloaded the computer? i don't know, i'm getting very paranoid. this is a $2000 computer, granted its a laptop, it has top of the line technology i mean i shouldn't be having these problems. now that i got almost 60gb of audio files off my system HD and onto the external the HD is less than 50% full and it should be running better.



i am realllly paranoid. this MBP which i got last april was my first mac so i don't know is there like a defrag or some sort of testing i could do maybe if i take it to the mac store get some tests done make sure everything is ok. it has 2gb now, should i upgrade? am i being crazy for thinking i shouldn't have to be going through all this? someone help!!!

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Well, first off, you should be able to record pretty much anything, especially with a single line in. It shouldn't matter whether it's a dissonant guitar part or the shrill wail of an African Rhino's mating call. WHAT is being recorded shouldn't be at issue, provided, of course, that levels are all good which I'm assuming they are.


The only thing I can think of would be that that particular dissonant tonality is causing some kind of freakout in a plugin or something. But that shouldn't matter cause, in the end, it's all 1's and 0's. So I don't know......

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