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Chuck Perpich
Scratch disk question
on Apr 14, 2010 at 12:25:10 am

Hello, I have a newbie question regarding capture scratch disks. Let me know if this is possible to do, as I haven't figured out a way to do so.

I use a MBP, and have an external FW 800 drive set as my capture disk. Sometimes, I would like to work when away from the desk, so I would like for FCP to automatically capture to my internal disk if the FW 800 drive is not present. Additionally, I would like to keep some offline quality files on the MBP hard disk for editing, before hooking up to the FW 800 and reconnecting to the higher quality media.

Currently, I have the FW drive set at the first scratch disk, with my internal drive as the second. This works fine when connected, but when I try and start FCP without the FW drive connected, I get an error that the scratch disk can't be found.

Is there a way around this, or am I doing something completely wrong. Thanks for any help.


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Michael Gissing
Re: Scratch disk question
on Apr 14, 2010 at 12:49:38 am


It is never recommended to use your system drive as capture scratch. It is already running the OS and FCP software so adding media is asking for performance problems.

Use the external. And make sure graphics and music make it to the external before you edit. I would like a dollar for every job delivered to me on an external only to find bits like jpegs and aifs missing because they were on the system drive.

Apart from performance issues, it is smarter and neater to have all your media organised on externals so that it is effortless to pass the project on for grading/onlining and sound post.


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Chuck Perpich
Re: Scratch disk question
on Apr 14, 2010 at 12:59:20 am

Thanks for the reply!
I'm fine with putting all of my media on the external. That was the plan anyway. Maybe the problem is that I'm not sure how to go about doing edits while "offline" or on the road.

What is the best way to work on sequences when away from home?
If I import all of my AVCHD files using log and transfer into the ProRes codec onto the external drive the files are quite huge. That is not a problem as I have plenty of space on the external.
I would like to occasionally edit the timeline when I'm away from home. I thought that the best way to do this would be to recompress the media to an offline codec and put that on the internal drive, then reconnect to the ProRes on the external when I get home.

Am I mistaken in thinking this is a way of dealing with extremely limited HD space on a laptop?
What is the preferred workflow for working with media on a laptop?

Again, thank you very much for helping a complete newbie with his questions.



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Michael Gissing
Re: Scratch disk question
on Apr 14, 2010 at 1:48:18 am


I can see the problem but as I don't edit on location on a laptop, I am not really the one to help. It is possible to use proxies and small FW powered external drives are available but I have no practical experience of that sort of workflow..


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Brad Kopp
Re: Scratch disk question
on Apr 14, 2010 at 12:44:55 pm

I use a MBP at remote locations all the time.. just get an ext drive that powers thru the FW.

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