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SQ5. - Recording to a hard drive with network connection. Does this exist?

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SQ5. - Recording to a hard drive with network connection. Does this exist?

Postby MarkOne » Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:28 pm

So we are using the SQ Drive function on our SQ5 to record to a USB drive in our church each Sunday.

It occurs to me that if there was such a thing as a USB drive that was also networkable, I could let the operator record on a Sunday and then remotely log into the drive and download the WAV files for offline editing.

But does something like this exist? Network drives seem to be just that, lacking the USB connectivity. (They all seem to have the ability to connect to external hard drives, but no direct host connection)
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Re: SQ5. - Recording to a hard drive with network connection. Does this exist?

Postby CS70 » Fri Jan 03, 2020 6:15 pm

It might be but honestly the risks of trouble are not worth the hassle imho. A fast enough SSD hard disk like the Samsung T5 is smaller than a pack of cigarettes and fits everywhere, and you're sure your stuff will be recorded.
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Re: SQ5. - Recording to a hard drive with network connection. Does this exist?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Jan 03, 2020 6:38 pm

I don't think the SQ5 has the ability to record audio directly to a remote NAS drive.

However, it has a DANTE option, so you could set up a Dante network and record to one or more computers on that local network... and then log in to that computer remotely over the internet after the event to access the local files.
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Re: SQ5. - Recording to a hard drive with network connection. Does this exist?

Postby MarkOne » Sat Jan 04, 2020 12:55 am

Indeed, the Dante solution is probably the optimum one. But the Dante module for the SQ series is over £500, and I was looking for a more cost effective one.

I know the SQ can't record to a NAS, but it can record to a standard USB connected drive (or even a reasonably quick USB thumb drive)

So I was hoping that there was a NAS out there that would also have a standard USB interface as well as it's LAN connection I then could go:...

SQ SQ Drive port (USB A Port) > NAS (USB B Port) and record the wav file on the disk as it does on a standard drive.

Then I could use the NAS functionality to remotely log into the NAS and get the files.

I agree the simplest solution is a portable drive. But we have a volunteer team who take it in turns to operate the desk, I'm not always there, and inevitable the drive will be sitting on my desk at home when it needs to be onsite recoding something, or onsite with the content on it when I need to be doing some editing at home!
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Re: SQ5. - Recording to a hard drive with network connection. Does this exist?

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:05 am

I had a network drive that also had USB so they do exist but it is long dead and I can't remember if you could have both ethernet and USB active at the same time. I suspect not and the op would have to manually switch over from one to the other after the service to allow you remote access (either physically or, more likely, in software).
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Re: SQ5. - Recording to a hard drive with network connection. Does this exist?

Postby wireman » Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:55 am

If no commercial product exists then I suppose you could try to build something using the ideas from this project...

https://magpi.raspberrypi.org/articles/pi-zero-w-smart-usb-flash-drive

I don't see how a NAS with direct USB access support is going to work unless you have some capability to switch between USB and NAS access in a way that 'unplugs' the virtual USB drive when you want network access.
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Re: SQ5. - Recording to a hard drive with network connection. Does this exist?

Postby AlecSp » Sat Jan 04, 2020 1:54 pm

I'm with the first response - I suspect that anything that will achieve what you are hoping for will prove a lot more complex (i.e., less reliable), and that the simplicity of USB drives is the real winner.
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Re: SQ5. - Recording to a hard drive with network connection. Does this exist?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Jan 04, 2020 3:19 pm

MarkOne wrote:So I was hoping that there was a NAS out there that would also have a standard USB interface as well as it's LAN connection ...

As I understand it, the USB interface format is a one-to-one protocol. In other words, a device with a USB port can only be controlled and communicate with one other device. It can't also manage a second user via a different interface protocol simultaneously.

The NAS boxes with USB ports have an internal controller which communicates with the USB drive for backups etc, but it's the NAS box in control of that communication. In your situation, it has to be the SQ desk in control of the drive...

If you need remote access to the recording drive, the best thing would be to have the users plug the drive into a network adaptor when the recording gig is finished, and then you could log into the network remotely to access the disk...
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Re: SQ5. - Recording to a hard drive with network connection. Does this exist?

Postby James Perrett » Sat Jan 04, 2020 3:43 pm

A smartphone may well have the required functionality as it will look like a storage device to a USB connected host while being accessible via wifi but, if the SQ5 is anything like the Qu series, you'll need extremely good uninterrupted access to the storage during the recording if it is to work.
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Re: SQ5. - Recording to a hard drive with network connection. Does this exist?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:41 pm

James Perrett wrote:A smartphone may well have the required functionality as it will look like a storage device to a USB connected host while being accessible via wifi...

I'm not sure about that James... All of my phones have required me to enable USB access when I plug them into the PC to transfer files, and that action has locked out simultaneous access from the phone itself.

...But maybe I just have cheap, stupid phones... :lol:
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Re: SQ5. - Recording to a hard drive with network connection. Does this exist?

Postby James Perrett » Sat Jan 04, 2020 8:34 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:I'm not sure about that James... All of my phones have required me to enable USB access when I plug them into the PC to transfer files, and that action has locked out simultaneous access from the phone itself.

Yes, I've had that happen on some phones but I just checked on my Nokia 5.1 and it appears to allow access to images from the phone and from a computer host simultaneously. I've not tried setting it up as a file server and, as I said originally, I'd be surprised if it worked on the SQ unless you were just recording a stereo mix but in principle it can be done.
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Re: SQ5. - Recording to a hard drive with network connection. Does this exist?

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:36 pm

Photos are a special case as most phones will allow you to transfer them to the computer without switching into 'file mode' (or whatever it's called by your phone manufacturer). Raw file transfer usually needs the phone in a special mode so the computer can see it as a remote drive. Apple make life pretty difficult for you with iOs devices hiding their files in obscure places, No idea about Android though.
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Re: SQ5. - Recording to a hard drive with network connection. Does this exist?

Postby forumuser840717 » Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:10 pm

I've done a very basic version of this with stereo (and the odd mono) WAV files to allow for unattended/remote pickup of recordings, using an Android smartphone with a USB audio interface and a recording app. Though not by natively transferring the audio to the phone from the mixer.

The audio connection into the phone was normally via analogue (or sometimes AES) inputs of a USB audio interface (I've successfully used a Sound Devices USB Pre2 and an RME Fireface UFX) connected to the USB input of the phone. The audio was recorded to a microSD card in the phone using either Audio Evolution Mobile or Field Recorder (the latter being the more straightforward for stereo work but different apps support different interfaces).

In the case of Field Recorder, once the audio is in a file on the phone's storage, it's simple to have the person who did the recording hit the app's "Send" button and email the file to wherever it needs to go (depending upon the file sizes involved), or send it via something like WeTransfer, or upload it to cloud storage. Alternatively, assuming that it's set up beforehand and the phone is left on and with an internet connection, one could use a remote access app to access the files on the phone by linking in from a computer to pick it up remotely.

Theoretically, depending on the capabilities of the interface, recording app, and phone hardware it might be possible to record multitrack files this way.

Or, as the OP suggests, it'd be easy enough for someone to record to a drive in the USB slot of the mixer then take off the drive and plug it into the USB port of a NAS drive which has remote access capability and use the remote access of that to get to the files. If the NAS doesn't allow remote access directly to USB connected drives, then perhaps find one that allows for an an auto backup routine to upload any new files from the USB drive to the NAS whenever it's plugged in. If the PA operator forgets to plug it in then a polite reminder and/or a written checklist for people operating the system to follow might help.
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