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Pro Tools work with Raid setups? DAW Software
Old 6th August 2006
Gear maniac

Thread Starter
Pro Tools work with Raid setups?

I just bought a OWC Mercury Elite Pro 320x2 mirror raid drive and the digi website said not to turn on the raid feature when using pro tools is this true or will this drive work with pro tools any one have any experience?


Old 6th August 2006
Lives for gear
hociman's Avatar

Post RAID Concepts

I have no experience using a RAID with Pro Tools. Yet I think this is a good moment to briefly discuss how RAID works and why it probably is not going to work effectively for audio.

RAID, redundant array of independent disks, is a way where you can take many individual disks and have them work together as a single disk. This can be setup with parity so that if one drive fails, you swap it out and then the other disks use their parity data to rebuild the data that should be on the new disk. It can also be setup without parity, in which case a single disk failing means your data is gone.

RAID is useful for large bandwidth applications, such as uncompressed video capture and playback, where the bandwidth requirements are sufficently high such that a single drive on an interface cannot handle the load, but the interface itself can. As an example, uncompressed standard definition video is 270Mb/s. A single SCSI drive on an Ultra3 SCSI card cannot handle that throughput, but the SCSI card can. Hence, when you stripe four disks together as one on an Ultra3 SCSI card, your large drive can now handle the bandwidth requirements.

The bandwidth requirements for audio are small, relative to video. CD quality audio (44.1kHz, 16bit) is only 1.4Mb/s. Even if you are working with 48 tracks at once, each audio file has a bandwidth demand of 1.4Mb/s. When trying to write files of small bandwidth across multiple disks on a RAID, you lose the edge that RAID gives you because that small amount of data is being written across multiple physical disks. You will incur a greater performance hit simply seeking for the data you need to read/write to the disk.

Give it a try, as I would like to know what happens, but I suspect it will not work the way you hope it will.
Old 6th August 2006
Lives for gear
Geert van den Berg's Avatar

RAID's are not supported by Digidesign, I think it will work but I think it's better to keep the RAID as a backup disk...
Old 7th August 2006
Gear Addict
a2dpapi's Avatar


I have been able to get pro tools to record and play back from my raid 5 array yet it hasn't been incredibly stable. I would highly recommend having a dedicated internal or external drive for PT audio. I use my array for archiving sessions, sample libraries , and disk images of my c: drive in case of a crash.
Old 7th August 2006
Gear addict

I have a RAID 0 array on 2 systems and they work perfectly. One system is an HD/Accel 4 system and the other is an LE system. Both are PT 7.1 I use them both to track/edit. I can do > 50 tracks of 24/192!
I'm using 2 WD 74GB SATA Raptors on an Intel system. I've had ZERO problems!

Old 14th November 2008
Lives for gear

Will Pro Tools support having a 4G FIber Channel card and the Promise RAID arrays? I am thinking of getting into a RAID system to handle 6 to 12 terabytes and this is the best one I have seen. I am not a fan of SCSI RAID.

Old 1st May 2009
Gear interested



Yes, it will work with fiber drives. I have 7 systems running on it now. Here's why it works - If you setup a fiber card (Atto is what I use), it sees that drive as a SCSI drive. You format the drive from your own system just as if it were local. As far as your computer knows, it is a local drive. It is truly local to that system. Just be sure what type of RAID you'd like to work within. If you're working with lots of video files and many tracks, you may want to go RAID-0 and the more disks the merrier. I have some audio systems on 24 drives. The only reason we're running RAID-0, is that they're strictly work drives, not storage drives. Our audio engineers were instructed to work on a project and immediately back it up. If you need full protection, stripe it as RAID-5.

Ryan Salazar
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