Re: Jaz problems

Subject: Re: Jaz problems
From: Mark Corwin (
Date: Thu Jan 28 1999 - 16:28:37 EST

Concordia has 5 (of 8) studios with large removable media systems. They are
all Mac based. We've had some drive problems in the past but had none this
year as far as I can remember.

Our experience and knowledge gleaned over the past few years has made us
cautious about new media formats; the 2.2 gig medium would be great if it
proves solid. When the JAZ came out, we embraced it eagerly but found they
would soon crash when used for heavy random access operations such as
mixing multi-track sessions (Session, ProTools, SoundEdit 16, Deck). Now,
the JAZ carts are used only for storage of large files like a CD-R session
where many copies may be needed over a period of days or weeks, but due to
heavy shared use of the studio the internal hard drives need to be clear
for the individual and temporary use.

The Zips have been great for simple storage and transfer from one studio to
the next. Once the student has 5-6 full Zips of sound files, they burn a
CD-R and reuse the Zips after running a deep reformating. Since we have
almost 100 students using our studios, we generally can't have them keep
anything on the internal hard drives. We have had some difficulties with
files being stored on a PC formated Zip if they were 'played' off that
cart. We recommend that users copy all their files onto a temporary
partition on the large internal hard drives and work with them there,
transferring back to the Zip (PC or Mac) at the end of the session. A low
level reformat to Mac has been quick and flawless for students who only
work on Macs but could only purchase PC formated carts.

The problem of "lost" files is really one of "orphaned" files. Deck,
ProTools and Session type programs needn't keep the files of a session all
in one file folder. It is possible to 'import' a sound from another place
on the hard drive and unless it's not modified in some significant way by
the mixing program, it isn't saved in the "Audio Files" folder made by that
session. This problem occurs quite frequently during the first few weeks of
classes until students learn to use only files that they either physically
place in the "Audio File" of the session or generate through recording
which are automatically placed there.

All for now,
Mark Corwin
Director, Electroacoustic Studios
Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, CANADA

>We are running a Sound design London College of Printing media
>School, based around Power macs primarily
>running ProTools, Cubase VST, Sound Maker,and MESA. Most systems consist
>of the Mac, External hard drive, jaz drive and Akai S2000 sampler (thus
>MESA). There are two eras of computers: 6x 7600 running os 7.5 and 2x G3
>running OS 8.1. Some computers have a few other gizmos attatched eg CD-Rs
>and video capture cards.My students have just embarked on their first Pro
>Tools project. Our recommended way of working was archive onto the Jaz
>drives, work of the External HD and archive back onto the Jaz at the end
>of each session. However we a experiencing a lot of problems of lost data
>etc. There is obviously some user err0r going down but I am becoming
>increasingly convinced that there is something inherently unstable in our
>systems. I have heard about Iomega 'click of death 'problems - very
>worrying and I am highly suspicious of MESA - our next port of call is to
>disconnect the samplers from the SCSI chain. I am interested to know
>whether anyone else has experienced anything similar or has any ideas of
>conflicts etc also we are I think moving on to a large sever for audio
>data at some point in the future but I wonder how other people using
>multiuser machines have dealt with the problem of audio files??
> Cathy Lane
> London College of Printing/ City Universtity
> **********************************************************************

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