I took the studio down yesterday to transfer all the active Pro Tools sessions over to the new G5. I maintain a backup system where active files are streamed to an external firewire hard drive. I always have two instances of active projects: one on the local dedicated audio disk and the other on an external firewire drive. I also encourage clients to get either a USB or Firewire drive to archive the project as well.

First step was to do a complete archive of the Audio disk to the Firewire drive. There were about 95 Gigabytes of data. The AMD-based computer took about two hours and change to transfer the data. I then removed the Firewire cable from the old PC and plugged it into the G5. I then initiated a transfer of all the files to the audio disk on the G5.

The G5 has two internal SATA 160GB hard drives. One is a system drive and the other is dedicated to Pro Tools. Although it took over two hours to transfer the data from the old PC to the Firewire drive, it only took 36 minutes to transfer the same volume of data to the G5.

So then the testing began. I had the G5 in the control room and I have to admit that this is a very quiet machine. I had to special purpose the old PC with components to bring the noise level down. I measured the G5 at 34dBA at one metre. I worked the machine hard for the next 6 hours and there was no perceptible change in noise level.

I tested about 12 sessions through the system to ensure that I was achieving good performance, that all plugins were working and that the overall system was stable. First test results were excellent. So much so that I will hold my next session using the G5 as the production machine.

Some of my projects were taxing the old PC to its limits. The same projects are barely denting the new Pro Tools rig. This will really help me out on some of my mixing activities over the next few weeks.

So far, a refreshingly pleasant transition.

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