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Music, Audio, and Podcasting Do you use your Mac to create music? This is the place for discussions on creating and editing music on the Mac!

iMac firewire drive speed issues!??

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robot dinosaur

Member Since: Jul 14, 2010
Posts: 3
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Mac Specs: iMac, 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB memory, OS 10.5.8

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I first posted this question in the Hardware category and got no replies, so I'm trying it here.

I have an iMac and am using Logic Pro 9 to make multitrack audio recordings to an external hard drive connected via firewire 800. I can't record sixteen tracks simultaneously at 44.1kHz 24-bit for very long before Logic suddenly stops recording and gives a message saying 'Disk too slow.' The drive is 7,200 rpm, which I've been lead to believe should be fast enough for this task.

I suspect my problem might be that my two 8-channel Presonus audio interfaces connect via firewire 400, which means that the interfaces and the external drive are sharing the same firewire bus. I tried connecting the drive by USB 2.0 instead, but I had the same problem -- 'Disk too slow.' I even tried recording to the internal drive, which actually worked really well for one long session, but then started having the same problems.

I'm beginning to get discouraged, because I don't know how else to work around this issue without buying a whole new computer with more options for adding another firewire bus or an eSATA port or something. Any ideas??
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Member Since: May 18, 2008
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Mac Specs: MacMini 2.4, 4 Gb, OS 10.9 and 10.6; MacBook 2.4, 2 Gb, OS 10.6.8

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A WD Raptor external drive, 10K/16 Mb cache speed, *might* solve the issue. Certainly cheaper than a more powerful Mac. [What are your iMac specs? Put them in your profile.]

Given however what you're loading on to the iMac's logic board/firewire, a Mac Pro with FW800 and dual/multiple drives, and therefore internal SATA connection speed, would be a good - but expensive - option.

A comment from another M-F member says that he's never had any success with an eSATA card in a G5 dual core PPC. Others may have achieved better.

Please post your Mac (or other) specs and MacOS version in your post, your profile or your signature. It helps us to help you better.

I'm leaving now to go and find myself. If I should return before I get back, please ask me to wait.
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robot dinosaur

Member Since: Jul 14, 2010
Posts: 3
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Mac Specs: iMac, 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB memory, OS 10.5.8

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I looked around a little for WD Raptor external drives, and couldn't find any. Just internal ones. I had a pretty hard time finding any 10,000 rpm external drives, actually.

If I do end up buying a new computer, I was considering a MacBook Pro, which would be easier to take to live recordings than a desktop. The 17" version has an expresscard slot which can be used for an eSATA connection. (Pretty weak that the 15" and 13" versions don't, if you ask me.)

What did you mean about that other guy having no success with eSATA?
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