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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => LAB: The Classic Live Audio Board => Topic started by: Al Rettich on August 29, 2014, 07:22:16 pm

Title: Thunderbolt vs. Firewire 800 or USB 3.0
Post by: Al Rettich on August 29, 2014, 07:22:16 pm
So after spending the last hour looking up on the ol'intraweb I'm not finding good information.. So I bring it to the forums..

Every year I do a TV broadcast of a live TV show. Last year we used a Avid Venue Profile to record multitrack (48 tracks) as well as mix down the TV mix. This year I want to move over to the Midas Pro 6. Great sounding console, can do virtual soundcheck! What I'm trying to find out is this. Last year we split the 48 tracks over two USB 3.0 drives. Worked fine. I've been told that I can capture all 48 tracks via thunderbolt recording on a singular hard drive. Anyone try this?
Title: Re: Thunderbolt vs. Firewire 800 or USB 3.0
Post by: Andrew Broughton on August 29, 2014, 07:42:05 pm
FWIW, I've done 32 tracks (16bit/48k) on a USB2.0 external (7200rpm) with no issues. That was on a Yamaha running into a PC running Reaper.
Your interface is not usually the bottleneck, it's the speed of the hard drives.
Interestingly, 24bits * 96,000 = 2,304,000 bits/sec = 288kb/sec. @ 48 tracks, that's 13,824kb/sec or around 13.5mb/sec.

Many regular hard drives can hit 60-70mb/sec write speed, and SSDs are into the 100's of mb/sec, which is more than the max of about 50mb/sec that USB2 can handle, so if you have an SSD or a RAID array, you'll want something faster than USB2.

So, it seems you should be fine with anything, but I've only personally done 32 tracks. Has anyone really run into a problem with hard drives not being fast enough to record many tracks at once? You hear a lot about it, but I've never actually met anyone who's run into problems. With Protools/Avid stuff, maybe there's more overhead?
Title: Thunderbolt vs. Firewire 800 or USB 3.0
Post by: John J Saunders on August 29, 2014, 09:54:04 pm
How are you recording? And what protocol to get the 48 tracks into the hard drive? 

Don't know if it helps but if your using dante or madi I have had great experience with the sound devices pix270 and the 970. They will do 64 tracks and record on to 4 drives either at the same time (redundancy!) or one after the other. The 970 is audio only the pix270 is audio and video. Very cool boxes and worth a look.

They record to standard ssds and use a caddy to mount them and also have 2 esata ports.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Thunderbolt vs. Firewire 800 or USB 3.0
Post by: John durisko on August 30, 2014, 03:02:09 am
I have a multitrack rack setup that can go out with the Midas desks in our inventory. In a 4ru skb I have a KT DN9650 outfitted with a madi card. I send the optical out of that to a Joeco Blackbox recorder (up to 64 tracks at 48k which records to a glyph drive. Haven't had any trouble with this setup
Title: Re: Thunderbolt vs. Firewire 800 or USB 3.0
Post by: Al Rettich on August 30, 2014, 07:57:29 am
ANDY!! 24 hours buddy!! Yes I've had no issues with 32 channels into a USB 3.0 HD. I have ran into problems at 40 channels. With everyone saying that USB 3.0 should be handling 5.0 GB, lets be realistic and what is it actually. I know a guy in New England, he swears that he's ran 64 channels through Apple Logic Pro X 96K 24 bit on one Thunderbolt using a SSD HD. Sadly, I can't show up with that without testing it first.
Title: Re: Thunderbolt vs. Firewire 800 or USB 3.0
Post by: Al Rettich on August 30, 2014, 07:59:44 am
Interesting, My first option was looking at RPM Dynamic's interfaces. They're AES 50 which will work (Hopefully seamlessly)with the Pro 6. I'll google the Sound Devices right now.. Thanks..
Title: Re: Thunderbolt vs. Firewire 800 or USB 3.0
Post by: Ryan Cecil on August 30, 2014, 09:10:29 am
Al,
I have been recording 64 Channels @ 96K to my Retina Macbook Pro via a Digigrid MGB onto one of these via USB 3 with no issues. Using reaper.
http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/firewire/on-the-go
Before that, I was doing 64 Channels 48K via a Native Thunderbolt with no issues onto the same drive. Using Protoools.
I am about to step up to 2 MGBs and have been wondering the same thing as you are. 
On my last run we had a Mac Mini rig with 2 x MGBs into a thunderbolt Raid drive, running logic.  Logic would on occasion stop while recording with no error message or notification.  We would get disk too slow errors on occasion during playback.

Hope all is well.
Ryan
Title: Re: Thunderbolt vs. Firewire 800 or USB 3.0
Post by: Andrew Broughton on August 30, 2014, 10:10:48 am
ANDY!! 24 hours buddy!! Yes I've had no issues with 32 channels into a USB 3.0 HD. I have ran into problems at 40 channels. With everyone saying that USB 3.0 should be handling 5.0 GB, lets be realistic and what is it actually. I know a guy in New England, he swears that he's ran 64 channels through Apple Logic Pro X 96K 24 bit on one Thunderbolt using a SSD HD. Sadly, I can't show up with that without testing it first.
Again, I was on USB 2.0 with 32 tracks, not USB 3.0 and the interface isn't the problem, it's something else that was giving you problems.
Title: Re: Thunderbolt vs. Firewire 800 or USB 3.0
Post by: Justice C. Bigler on August 30, 2014, 04:11:35 pm
I've done 42 or 43 tracks at 24/48 at once, but I was using an internal 7200RPM SATA hard drive for a live symphony, about 45 or so minutes for each half of the show. 

If you are doing high track count recordings, I would suggest at least USB 3.0. There are Thunderbolt drives out there, but they are rare and expensive. SSD should be worth considering also.
Title: Re: Thunderbolt vs. Firewire 800 or USB 3.0
Post by: brian maddox on August 30, 2014, 04:20:13 pm
I've done 42 or 43 tracks at 24/48 at once, but I was using an internal 7200RPM SATA hard drive for a live symphony, about 45 or so minutes for each half of the show. 

If you are doing high track count recordings, I would suggest at least USB 3.0. There are Thunderbolt drives out there, but they are rare and expensive. SSD should be worth considering also.

When doing hard drive recording, it's all about where the pinch points are.  It used to be at the processor, but those days are over.  Recording to external drive, the pinch point was USB or FireWire 800 with FireWire 800 clearly winning.  Still could run out of pipeline though if you went 96k or high [32+] track count.  USB 3.0 and thunderbolt have eliminated that pinch point.

So now we're down to Hard drive write speed.  SSDs are blisteringly fast.  I don't know how much you can do, but i do know that 48 tracks at 96k would not put ANY strain on an SSDs ability to write.  That's why they are used to record Video now.  They do come in different speeds, though, so do a little research before you dive in.

John Saunders recommend of the Pix 270 and Pix 970 is a good one.  That's 64 tracks of worry free recording on redundant rollover drives.  Bullet proof if you need a truly professional solution.
Title: Re: Thunderbolt vs. Firewire 800 or USB 3.0
Post by: Andrew Broughton on August 30, 2014, 05:17:16 pm
Recording to external drive, the pinch point was USB or FireWire 800 with FireWire 800 clearly winning.  Still could run out of pipeline though if you went 96k or high [32+] track count.
Unless my calculations are wrong (and let me know if they are) 24bit/96k x 48tracks is only 13.5mb/sec so how would you be running out of pipeline?
Title: Re: Thunderbolt vs. Firewire 800 or USB 3.0
Post by: Tommy Peel on August 30, 2014, 05:54:22 pm
Been following this thread for a while. I just did some drive testing on my MacBook Pro which as an Intel SSD as the main drive and a 500gb 5400rpm drive in the optical bay. I also tested my 500gb Seagate USB3 external drive, but my Mac's USB ports are only 2.0 so they were clearly the bottleneck in that test. Also my SSD is only able to run at SATA 2(3.0 gbps) speeds instead of SATA 3(6.0 gbps) speeds, but I'm not sure that this SSD is fast enough for that to make much of a difference.

Anyway here are the results:
(http://i.imgur.com/R9Tn15f.png)

(http://i.imgur.com/0nlCZhO.png)

(http://i.imgur.com/bTWMmOj.png)

Not sure if this helps anybody, but I thought it might. I know the USB3 external drive is much faster on a USB3 port as I've used it on my brothers newer laptop that has USB3.