Old 08-23-2019, 02:34 PM   #1
amoretam
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Default Multitrack recording to a MicroSD Card

Hi there lovely people of this forum.
I have an Asus Vivobook S15 and it has a MicroSD card slot.
I've always used Multiple HDD's, one for the OS, another for recording and other for libraries and such,
so I am thinking about buying a 400 GB MicroSD card for multitrack recording to it.

Do you think SD cards will be fast enough for this task..

Thanks a lot
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:50 PM   #2
vdubreeze
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Sadly, like so much in life and recording, the answer is...depends : )

There are fast enough micro sd cards out there for a decent sustained write rate (which is what matters), but the questions are (aside from how many tracks and at what sample rate of the projects):

Will the Asus reader work with the faster card formats? UHS-II is what is available for the fastest (last I checked) micro cards, but not all readers are compatible with UHS-II. You can still get good sustained speed with UHS-I, which it might handle) handle BUT there is still the issue of what the speed the reader tops out at, and if THAT might a bottleneck to an unacceptable data flow. I took a look at the Vivobook on the Asus site and, no surprise, no info : )

But here's the thing: a very fast 128G microSD will run about $130, and a Samsung T5 external 500G SSD drive, with USB C and literally half the size of a 2.5" internal bare drive and extremely robust both in its innards and outside runs about $100. And can record anything you throw at it.

I would say use whatever micro card you have and do a stress test to see how much you can record to it. If it's not enough get a fast UHS-I card (32G for around $25). If the reader can work with UHS-I it will be about 90 MB/s and if it can't it will fall back to maybe 10 MB/s. But these are burst speeds, the only rating most media vendors supply and not really meaningful except as a relative number. The sustained write speed is what matters.

I've done a bunch of Reaper recordings of a few tracks on SDs and micro SDs in a laptop's slot, but nothing very taxing. I would be more concerned with what Asus stuck in there than whether a card's spec was theoretically sufficient.

Anyway, good luck and have fun!
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Old 08-23-2019, 10:47 PM   #3
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I tracked 15 tracks simultaneous on a Microsoft Surface to a Samsung EVO 100/mbs U3 card. The first thing to be aware of is that it worked flawlessly until it was >80% full, then it would occasionally terribly stutter and almost unusable (but intermittently). So you might test that or leave wiggle room.

400GB is a lot of audio to keep on a single card that will eventually fail so keep it constantly backed up. I don't see it as a long-term solution on the same card though.
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Old 08-24-2019, 11:58 AM   #4
amoretam
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vdubreeze View Post
Sadly, like so much in life and recording, the answer is...depends : )

There are fast enough micro sd cards out there for a decent sustained write rate (which is what matters), but the questions are (aside from how many tracks and at what sample rate of the projects):

Will the Asus reader work with the faster card formats? UHS-II is what is available for the fastest (last I checked) micro cards, but not all readers are compatible with UHS-II. You can still get good sustained speed with UHS-I, which it might handle) handle BUT there is still the issue of what the speed the reader tops out at, and if THAT might a bottleneck to an unacceptable data flow. I took a look at the Vivobook on the Asus site and, no surprise, no info : )

But here's the thing: a very fast 128G microSD will run about $130, and a Samsung T5 external 500G SSD drive, with USB C and literally half the size of a 2.5" internal bare drive and extremely robust both in its innards and outside runs about $100. And can record anything you throw at it.

I would say use whatever micro card you have and do a stress test to see how much you can record to it. If it's not enough get a fast UHS-I card (32G for around $25). If the reader can work with UHS-I it will be about 90 MB/s and if it can't it will fall back to maybe 10 MB/s. But these are burst speeds, the only rating most media vendors supply and not really meaningful except as a relative number. The sustained write speed is what matters.

I've done a bunch of Reaper recordings of a few tracks on SDs and micro SDs in a laptop's slot, but nothing very taxing. I would be more concerned with what Asus stuck in there than whether a card's spec was theoretically sufficient.

Anyway, good luck and have fun!
Thanks a lot for your response, the Samsung T5 changed perspective but, wouldn't that be overkill?
Also, the Vivobook is USB Gen 1 and the T5 is Gen 2, I guess that means that it will not work at full speed. Correct me if I am wrong.

I wonder if one of these will work, as they are high speed USB 3.1
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07S9QS781...1VfcnAf6KsW5aA

I forgot to say that it is not only to record, it is also to mix in and keep the projects there. So I guess read speed is also important?

I found this article from presonus referring to the Studio Live Gen 3, I guess I can also trust that:
https://support.presonus.com/hc/en-u...rack-Recording

Thanks a lot, I am learning some good stuff here.
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Old 08-24-2019, 12:09 PM   #5
serr
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Those SD cards would be the least robust storage format.

If we're talking about some stand alone recording machine that uses them to record to, then that might be the only option there. Always transfer and backup the files right away.

For a computer, get a SSD. A single SSD out performs multiple HDDs. (The separate drives for OS vs recording was a thing with HDDs.)
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