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Anybody use a non "oxford chip" hard drive with Pro Tools?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by yesteryear, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. yesteryear

    yesteryear Member

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    I have a Lacie and it works like a charm but I was thinking about picking up a Seagate Freeagent Pro. I comes with a switchable module so you can run two firewire ports with it, plenty of room, 7200 rpm. All the specs check out to make it a winner except the Oxford chipset. Im not too sure what it uses but its not the Oxford. I know Digidesign has "approved" the Oxford chipset and nothing else but Im wondering how vital it is. By the way the Seagate is a 320gb USB 2.0/Firewire 400/eSATA drive for 110$. Wow!!!!
     
  2. elambo

    elambo Member

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    I know it used to be necessary to check for the Oxford chip, but I don't think it's important anymore. I could be wrong. I DO know that I never look for it and all my FW drives, some of which are used very liberally, have no trouble keeping up with the demand.
     
  3. yesteryear

    yesteryear Member

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    I was under the same impression as well. Im sure that the Oxford chipset is still recommended but Im willing to try out the Seagate. If it doesn't hold up I can always use it as a storage drive only.
     
  4. Kenny D

    Kenny D Member

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    I have a PT HD-2 Accell system and find that it is finicky enough without testing the waters.

    I use FireWire 911 drives from PacificProAudio.com. They are guaranteed to be compatible with PT and PPA boasts 128 tracks of audio on one drive. They are not expensive, IMO. Why chance it?

    I don't recall reading anywhere that Digi signs off on other chipsets.

    Just my $0.02 worth.
     
  5. elambo

    elambo Member

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    I believe you're right about that. It's my assumption that they simply stopped testing a while ago, likely because most current FW drives can handle it.
     
  6. Kenny D

    Kenny D Member

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    I hope you are right. Further compatibiity would be nice!
     
  7. Jayson Chance

    Jayson Chance Member

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    First off, the actual brand of the drive isn't important. It can be Seagate, Western Digital, whatever, as long as it's at least 7200 RPM. What's important is the enclosure that the drive is in. This is what needs the correct chip.

    My first hand experience?

    After switching to Pro Tools last year, I had NOTHING but problems getting my hardware stable. I was using a variety of external drives that I already had. NONE of them had the Oxford chipset.

    As soon as I bit the bullet and bought an Oxford 911 equipped enclosure from OWC (www.macsales.net), my problems went away.
    And I'm dead serious!

    Now, I'm not sure why Digidesign is so adamant about the Oxford chips, but apparently they are tested as the most stable for audio.
    I learned the hard way that Digi is serious about using only qualified hardware. When I made sure I had nothing but Digi qualified components, my hardware issues have completely vanished.

    If any of you already have extra 7200 IDE/ATA hard drives laying around, the enclosure I bought from OWC was very affordable. I think I only paid like $40-45 for it. Check out the enclosures on the OWC site and look at the Neptune. That's the one I got and it works incredibly smoothly & quietly.
    Hope this helps!

    JC

    P.S. Although Digi doesn't recommend USB drives for recording, I had a rep from M-Audio (same company) tell me that USB 2.0 drives are "fine" for recording, assuming you have plenty of CPU power and a high quality drive enclosure with a stable chipset.
    YMMV, though. The firewire/Oxford 911 combo is virtually guaranteed to work with Pro Tools, so it might save you some hassle in the long run to just get set up properly to begin with. Good luck!
     
  8. JMA

    JMA Supporting Member

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    If I can ask a newb question - Are you saying that you buy separate enclosures and removable HDs? If so, I assume its more economical to buy separately, use up the capacity and then remove/store the HD and re-use the same enclosure with a new RHD? Or am I missing something?

    Many thanks - Jon
     
  9. yesteryear

    yesteryear Member

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    Hey thanks for the info Jason. I never really considered "putting one together" but it seems like it would be the safest and surest bet. Not too mention a lot cheaper!!!
     
  10. Jayson Chance

    Jayson Chance Member

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    Yes, an external hard drive is simply an enclosure with a drive (generally ATA or serial ATA) mounted inside of it. The drive in an external is the same type as the one that would be the internal in your computer.

    So you can shop around for best prices on drives, then buy an enclosure for it.

    Or you can order a complete unit if you don't want the hassle of assembly.
    I just found that with putting your own drive together (which takes all of a minute or two at the most) is a) a little cheaper and b) a little "better" because you can buy an enclosure with a specific chip for your needs (if necessary, like in the case of audio recording)
     
  11. JMA

    JMA Supporting Member

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    Thanks, Jason. Makes sense. Sounds like a good way to go esp. w/PT being finicky about chipsets.

    Good thread, guys. thanks.

    J
     
  12. elambo

    elambo Member

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    Ah, well, there you go... Seems like the chipset may still be important. No reason to risk it then - just look for the Digi-approved stuff.

    OWC is where I used to buy all my FW drives back when the 911 chipset was unquestionable essential. They're great. Coincidentally, after combing the world for memory for the latest MacPros, OWC was the first to come through, and with great memory at a killer price. I can't ask for more than that.
     
  13. yesteryear

    yesteryear Member

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    Hmmm. I came across this. These guys tend to know what they are doing. Seagate Drive mechanism. Ok fair enough. But check out the bridging chip. It says Prolific. I thinking bridging chip is the same thing as chipset, right? They mention several times that it is tested and approved by Digidesign. Im confused. http://www.economik.com/index.php?pr=2502
     
  14. elambo

    elambo Member

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    My guess - it was tested and approved for ProTools by THEM, not by Digidesign. That seems to be the way it's worded.
     
  15. Jayson Chance

    Jayson Chance Member

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    It's a Glyph, so it's going to be fine for Pro Tools or any audio recording software. My beef with Glyph is that they are a bit on the expensive side. You can shop around and get comparable performance for less.

    They are rock-solid, though.
     
  16. yesteryear

    yesteryear Member

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    I picked up a Seagate Barracuda 7200 rpm, 16mb buffer, Serial ATA, 320 gb drive. Well actually my girlfriend got the Freeagent Pro but I diassembled it and inside was a Seagate Barracuda:jo. Anyways I now have the Barracuda. My question is do I have to find a SATA enclosure with the Oxford chipset? Or will an ATA enclosure with the chipset be fine? Also do you think that the newer chipsets 924 will be fine as well? Help Im almost there. Oh and by the way the Freeagent pro was a pain to open up. No screws just glued together. And the hard drive wasn't even screwed in, just mounted in the enclosure. This seems like a bad idea to me but whatever.
     
  17. yesteryear

    yesteryear Member

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    Ok I just googled the crap out of this topic and see that SATA and ATA are quite different. Have to find a SATA enclosure!!!!! with the oxford chipset. Im going to assume the newer Oxford 924 should be ok. Anybody differ?
     
  18. Kenny D

    Kenny D Member

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    I buy all my drives from Pacific Pro Audio (www.PacificProAudio.com).

    I have called their tech support staff a couple of times and spoke with Garth. These guys are very knowledgeable about PT and the hard drive issues.

    I have had my drive for years and am about to buy another, larger model.

    Check them out.
     
  19. Kenny D

    Kenny D Member

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    I heard a rumor that the certain drives with the 924 chips are acceptable.

    I would post the question here: http://duc.digidesign.com and find out for certain.
     

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