Los Angeles, CA (June 27, 2007)–Mix engineer Dave “Hard Drive” Pensado, who’s recent hits include Nelly Furtado’s Loose, Christina Aguilera’s Back to Basics, Mary J. Blige’s Breakthrough, and Rich Boy’s self-titled album, typically does a mix a day, finding himself under pressure to deliver superior product without costly delays.
Pictured (foreground) is Dave Pensado and co-engineer Jason Joshua with the Avastor HDX hard drive, at Larabee Studios. Photo by David Goggin. Pensado uses Avastor HDX hard drives in his rig. “Although many people think a drive is just a drive, they are not all the same,” Pensado points out. “Everything about Avastor has been optimized for the professional. When you get a Pro Tools error message that the information cannot be retrieved fast enough from the drive, you have to split your session across two drives, and sometimes three. With Avastor, I don’t have to do that. It’s efficient, it’s fast, and sessions that would normally require me to spread out across multiple drives, I am now doing on one Avastor.”
Songs that Pensado has worked on include Pink, “Get the Party Started”; Keyshia Cole, “Love”; Destiny’s Child, “Check On It”; “Lady Marmalade” (Christina Aguilera, Mya, Pink); Christina Aguilera, “Beautiful”; and Keith Urban, “I Told You So.” Among other artists he has worked with are Missy Elliott, Ice Cube, Lil’ Kim, Brian McKnight, Justin Timberlake, and Warren G.
“Pro Tools is not a big fan of sessions with a lot of little regions,” Pensado continues, “And fades especially slow it down quite a bit. Avastor doesn’t mind a lot of regions and a lot of fades because it is such an efficient drive. The standard hard drive solution is to consolidate tracks, but it takes time and that adds up. Even though it is a small amount of time, when you multiply that by 10 or 12 times a day, you’ve saved an hour. Getting to go to sleep at 3AM as opposed to 4AM doesn’t sound like much, but if it’s every day of the week, it is quite a bit. So, I thank this drive for a some extra sleep.”
Avastor drives feature cooling fans and an internal power supply, as opposed to the typical wallwart “powerbrick.” “An internal power supply is much steadier,” remarks Pensado. “You can generate a lot more current. It’s not the voltage that you are worried about, it’s the current. To get that much current out of a wallwart would require a big one. And also they aren’t grounded, so if there is an earthing problem it goes straight back into the drive electronics–ouch.”
Although Pensado’s work subjects the drives to more than average stress, he praises their dependability and feels that the technology would benefit anyone serious about music recording. “Any home studio recording engineer can profit, because of the reliability. If you’ve been working on an idea for four or five hours, you will eventually appreciate this drive.”
Summing up, Pensado concludes: “The fan, the power supply, the Lockbox case, and a number of other factors are all part of the Avastor picture. Some sharp engineers and demanding users sat down and tried to figure out how to build a better mousetrap. In my opinion, Avastor has done that.”