Mark Henning wrote:
sorry I'm no real techy.... but do you mean to buy an internal drive and stick it in a case and use it as an external drive via firewire? if i've got this wrong then can you explain?
is it perhaps worth changing my internal drive for a larger/faster one - instead of using an external drive?
I just like the idea of being able to store ALL audio in 1 place.....
also, I thought that the highend external firewire drives were actually better solutions to internal drives where audio and programs share the same space????
Forget about changing your internal drive. The biggest factor regaurding limitations as to the nunber of simultaneous tracks you can record without glitches is the RPM of your harddrive. Most high end laptop hds only spin at 4800-5400 RPM, I've only heard of one in the works by IBM (TRavelstar) that is a 7,200 RPM laptop. Problems are the high heat cause by such fast spinning, and getting it to not burn up your laptop. Not only do the internal drives spin less fast, but you will definitly pay more per gig for an inferior (performance-wise) interior drive.
If you've recorded much multitrack stuff, you'll see how quickly disc space evaporates--recording 7 tracks for about 2 hours at band practice at 24 bit in Live is about 4 gigs of harddrive space. Therefore, may as well get a big daddy drive with 120+ gigs, you will not have trouble filling it up. The bigger drives actually allow you better/faster storage towards the outside of the hard drive disk, as it allows you to store more info per drive revolution that a smaller harddrive. Analogy: two bicycles are being pedaled at the exact same rate (RPM), but one has bigger diameter tires--(more gigs), the bigger tires will take that cyclist that much further each revolution. As long as you aren't super worried about noise (my firewire drive is no louder than my toshiba satellite 2430), and size(9" x 1/12" x 6"), and external firewire drive enclosure containing a western digital 7,200 RPM, 8 MB cache, 8.98 ms seek time drive is the way to go. You can spend more for no fan, super small quite drives, or for dedicated audio stuff, but I know of many high-quaility studios (both mac and pc based) using external firewire drives like I describe. If you can handle the noise/size/wallwart factor (which to me is no problem--its no noiser than my computer, it fits in my laptop bag, and I alway have power where I record anyway), then that is what you should get--in the end you will be getting a drive that will outperform the expensive small, quiet drives as well as the expensive audio drives. Should be no more than $250 for 120 gigs, not bad.
Definetly agree with you thoughts about programs sharing the same internal hd. It is absolutely a better situation to be reording all of you audio via firewire to a drive dedicated soley to recording audio, and have all of your programs and apps on your internal drive. Go for the external fw westerndigital 7,200 RPM, 8 MB cache, 8.9 ms seek time--the best performance, and a better price than the other options. Definitely don't bother with the internal drive.
Hope that helps,