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 Fostex D80: HD vs. Recording Time. attn: skod
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tez Offline
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Joined: 12 Jan 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 9:09 am    Post subject: Fostex D80: HD vs. Recording Time. attn: skod Reply with quote

Hey there,

I was referred to this forum by a fellow over at home recording dot com in regards to a question I had about the old Fostex D80 HD based multitrack. Apparently skod is the man when it comes to these old beasts.

To cut to the chase, I was wondering how harddrive size relates to recording time in these units. I've had a D80 for a while now, not thinking I would ever reach it's hour capacity. However, I'm after hitting the end stop a number of times now which has got me to thinking... should I have more than 59m57s worth of usable recording time?

(As far as I know) there's an 8GB drive in the machine and after a format I only get 59m57s of time. At least that's as far as I can go, and that's what the time remaining display tells me when the unit is empty. It doesn't matter if I use 1 59m57s track, or 8 simultaneous tracks of 59m57s.

If it helps any, I'm pretty sure that the unit says VER2 when it boots up. Whether thats new or old, I do not know.

Anyway, that is my question. Or at least I think there's question in there somewhere, hehe. Any input is greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
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Lt. Bob Offline
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That doesn't seem right. You should have more time if you're just doing a single track. So it's probably a set-up issue of some kind.
skod'll be along. He goes thru spells where he doesn't have time to pop in here. Be patient and I'm sure he'll be along to help.

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skod Offline
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, the D-80 is limited to 8.2Gb as the max disk size. Anything bigger than that gets truncated to 8.2: http://www.fostex.co.jp/int/hdlist/d80.html

Now, I seem to recall that on that unit, individual programs are limited to 1 hour max, and you can only have a maximum of 5 separate programs on each disk. The D-80 did not have the more sophisticated disk management software that allowed the recording time to change depending upon the number of tracks used: you got a max of one hour per program whether you recorded only one or all 8 tracks. The better disk management (FDMS3) only came out with the D-160 updates and later machines. The D-80 is a bit of an orphan.

So my recommendation would be to try the program change function and see if you actually get 5 hours between the 5 programs. That's the way I vaguely remember it working, anyway. I've never actually played with one of those guys in person... Hope that helps!

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tez Offline
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey guys, thanks for the quick replies.

Unfortunately its not a matter of the 5 programs having their own seperate hour. If i use the entire hour in one program, that means there's no recording in any program at all. As far as I know anyway. I'll test this specifically at a later point, but i'm pretty damn positive it's that way.

The only other possibility is that the drive isn't actually an 8GB drive, meaning the fellow who sold it to me lied. I will also try and figure out the size exactly. Unfortunately it doesn't say on the drive.

I'll give you an update within the near future, as I'm sure I'm not the only one whose had this problem.

Thanks again guys; it's much appreciated!
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tez Offline
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, now I feel like a twat.

Turns out the drive is NOT 8GB like I was told, but rather, it's only 2.5GB.

Which means...

*drumroll*

59m57s total recording time is correct. Sorry about all the hassle folks!
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Lt. Bob Offline
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That still doesn't sound right man because the number of tracks you record will definitely affect the amount of time you have. I think what you're running into is what skod mentioned. You have a certain number of programs and each one is limited to a maximum time. So when you use a hour up, you might be able to choose a new program and get more time.
On a stereo CD you get about 9.25MB per minute. So on a 2.5GB drive that should be around 270 minutes of 16bit/44.1k stereo or 540 minutes for a single track. There has to be something ekse at work here unless I've miscalculated somehow.

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skod Offline
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not on the early Fostex HDRs. They allocated bytes for all the tracks at the time of program definition: they used the same space if your recorded one or 8, and just put zeroes in the unused tracks. They even suggested that if you had a tune that only used 4 tracks, that you record another tune in the other 4 tracks: both would fit in the same program, and there was no possibility of crosstalk. Remember, the D-80 came from the early days of prosumer digital, and didn't have a lot of the tricks we take for granted nowadays. It really _was_ a digital 8-track, with no computerish disk allocation sophistication- that came later. They just processed all the data for 8 tracks all the time, whether you needed them or not...
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Lt. Bob Offline
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh ...... well ..... that actually makes sense when you look at the time period this was. They had a lot to do back then just making the damned things record at all!
So with the limited software of the time ..... I can see where it would be a lot easier to just have all 8 tracks going. Plus they were still thinking like tape guys then so it was natural to do that since that's what tape does.
Interesting.

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Ausrock Offline
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scott,

Guess who recommended Tez come over here Very Happy .

OK, I just checked the Recording Time Calc Chart I have from Fostex and Tez is correct.............a 2.5 drive will only give you 59 minutes based on 8 tracks, 44.1/16bit. If the deck didn't automatically "block" the unused tracks it means you would have 471 minutes available.

Tez, if you like the basic concept of the D80, I would suggest you look to upgrade to at least a D160.

Cool
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tez Offline
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again for the recommendation Ausrock!

And thanks for all the input guys, it is appreciated. The D80 is an old unit, and I like it that way. It's got a certain rustic quality to it, if that makes any sense, hehe.

Upgrading to the D160 is not only NOT in my budget, but it would be a waste (or a total pain in the ass) since I only have a 1202 VLZ-Pro and 8 tracks on the 160 would be unused.

Thanks again folks. I think I'll stick around these forums. Very Happy
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Mosfet Offline






PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lt. Bob wrote:
Oh ...... well ..... that actually makes sense when you look at the time period this was. They had a lot to do back then just making the damned things record at all!
So with the limited software of the time ..... I can see where it would be a lot easier to just have all 8 tracks going. Plus they were still thinking like tape guys then so it was natural to do that since that's what tape does.
Interesting.


This concept isn't quite as "back then" as you would think. Many HHD recorders still use this concept of blocking out all the tracks for the song at one time. The Alesis HD24 does this. The concept is quite sound. It means there is little chance that you will have stuttering problems upon playback. Probably a bunch of other benefits I don't know about. Anyway..........
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Eddie Orbit Offline
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Joined: 31 Dec 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got a Fostex D-80 a week ago, and, desperate to get more recording time, I tried out every HDD I had on my shelves, and lo and behold, the Seagate Barracuda Ultra 133 20 GIG one auto formatted perfectly! I can't quite figure out how much time that might give me, but if someone could help me calculate..... Thanks, EO
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skod Offline
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The stock 850MB drive gave 18 minutes, so 20 gig ought to give on the order of 420 minutes, or 7 hours or so, IF (big if) the firmware really allows it all to be used. If it actually formatted as anything bigger than 8.2GB, there must have been a later 80 firmware release than the one I wrote about above. Fostex doesn't list this unit in the "supported media" document on their site any more, so that's a swag...

I use 160GB drives on my D160s, which format up as 137GB (that's the software limit with the last version of firmware they released). That gives me basically a metric shitload of minutes- I haven't had a project run out of space yet, since I used a fresh drive for each project. So even the latest/greatest D160 firmware didn't always allow you to use all the space on a drive it could auto-format. You'll have to check the actual size it gave you.

Regardless: if you have a drive spec that *works*, get a bunch of them while you still can. It is getting hard to find these small, old drives, and it surely is simpler to organize your projects that way. I've kinda cornered the market on WD Caviar 160GB drives- I keep a big stack of 'em around.

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