This hard drive is kinda' like a Hummer: Totally overbuilt and over engineered. Like a Hummer, it's like killing flies with a sawed off 12-gauge. But unlike driving a silly, gas guzzling Hummer, the GT-103 is a fantastic storage medium for your digital audio files. It doesn't cost as much as a Hummer either although it will cost more than a firewire drive from Frys. OK, here's the specs: Three removable 60GB firewire drives in a single rack space enclosure with dual power supplies. These are proper hot swappable drives at the firewire, not ATA, level. Each drive can be physically locked into the enclosure with a key. The drives are built with a special hi-tech 'quiet' metal that keeps the unit much quieter than most drives. You have to see/hear a demo of this metal to really believe it works, but it does. You can barely tell this drive is on. There are two firewire ports on the back of the drive and one more in the front making it easy to put this unit anywhere you need it within a firewire chain. I've used this drive unit in my studio for about three months now with no problems of any kind. Having it fit securely into an out of the way machine/amp rack is a big plus in my crowded studio. The unit also comes in a three space, eight drive unit for the ultimate in hard drive storage arrays. Drives are also available in 120, 160 and 200 GB sizes. Busier, commercial studios will find it super easy to swap out client's drives and projects with the GT-series drives. At $2205 for three 80GB drives and a rack, this unit is not for everybody or every budget, but for demanding professionals, or anyone who's really serious about their digital audio, this is definitely worth looking into. (The rack alone is $900 and drives are $435 each for 80GB.) I've seen smaller studios store their client's files on IDE drives that they pop in and out of their computer, storing them in the box they bought them in. The potential for disaster/liability seems huge in this scenario, and I would discourage this practice, especially when external firewire drives are so inexpensive now. I look at this like buying analog tape. If you really care about what you're working on and can afford it, buy the best storage medium you can afford. It usually pays off in the long run. (

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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