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Sound Devices Approved Media for 633 - SanDisk question

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Hello - I'm wondering if someone could help me out here.  I've got a 633, and I'm wanting to make sure I use SD and CF cards from the approved media list.

https://www.sounddevices.com/support/approved-media/6-series-approved-media-list

In the list, for the SanDisk SD cards, it lists the following (for example):

 

128... SanDisk ...Extreme PLUS; SDXC/UHS-1, Class 10; 80 MB/s 

(bold is mine)

 

For some other cards, they sometimes specify read and write speeds, but for the SanDisk lines they only list one number.  Is that meant to be the read speed, or write speed?  I want to be sure, because when I look for this card on Amazon... 

https://www.amazon.ca/SanDisk-Extreme-Write-SDSDXN-128G-G46-Version/dp/B00MBFPT1W/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1503881057&sr=1-1-fkmr1&keywords=SanDisk+Extreme+80mb%2Fs+16gb

...it says 80 MB/s on the disk but lists only a 40 mb/s write speed (60mb/s for older model)

 

So, for those who have tried to stick with the approved list, I have a few questions about the SanDisk SD cards:

1) does the required 80 MB/S refer to the read or write speeds?

2) if a similar SanDisk SD card is listed as 90MB/s but has a write speed of 60MB/s, is this acceptable or do the numbers have to be exact?

 

Since the SanDisk SD cards are so popular, I'm thinking I can't be the only one who has wrestled with this.  I appreciate any insight.  Thanks in advance!!

 

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This is a good inquiry to throw at Sound Devices. I only noticed this difference in read and write speed now as you mentioned it.

But from my experience, I try to look for the EXACT model of card stated in the approved media list. Even though it's tempting to just buy the 'faster' cards, I've had Media I/O Errors pop up when using cards NOT mentioned on the approved list.

And yes, it is proving difficult to acquire these mentioned cards. I guess that's why SD just came out with their own SD/CF card version.

Sent from my SM-N9208 using Tapatalk

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Follow-up...

 

Answer from Sound Devices:  "For the SanDisk cards, the speed listed on our website is the read speed of the card."  This clarified things, and will make it easier to be sure I'm getting one of the tested/approved cards.

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90 is Not 80 so I asked Sound devices about this:

 

answer was basically buy their Own cards. 

 

There are no approved san Disk SD cards right now to buy as they have all changed except the 64gb extreme pro 95mb. 

 

all other tested sandisk cards have 80mb and all cards they sell now have 90. 

 

i am a Bit pissed to pay 82€ for Sam32SD when the Former approved San Disk 32gb extreme plus 90 sells for  28€. 

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I would really be surprised if the 90s would not work perfectly....   I have heard of problems with MANY other cards... but I can't remember any with San Disk cards...   I have never had issues  (knock on wood) with any of them for years... many different ones...SD and CF

The extreme plus are great cards...   I would take a chance on one and run it through the mill first...  Check it out... put it through some tough testing... long takes...Many tracks....starting and stopping...etc..   I bet it works.... or, get the SD card from Sound Devices.....

 

I think they got tired of testing them constantly!!!   Manpower, time and money...  Easier to simplify it from their end...   

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+ 1 on Sandisk Extreme Plus  for Sound Devices.  

 

I'll borrow AFMY's wood to knock on... er I mean I'd better  knock on wood too, but I never had any issue with them.

 

Cheers,

Brent Calkin

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11 hours ago, Armin Siegwarth said:

90 is Not 80 so I asked Sound devices about this:

 

answer was basically buy their Own cards. 

 

There are no approved san Disk SD cards right now to buy as they have all changed except the 64gb extreme pro 95mb. 

 

all other tested sandisk cards have 80mb and all cards they sell now have 90. 

 

i am a Bit pissed to pay 82€ for Sam32SD when the Former approved San Disk 32gb extreme plus 90 sells for  28€. 

I bit the bullet and bought the Sound Devices cards and keep the others (sandisk) for copying to (for extended handovers etc) or a worse case scenario - plan 'C'. The SAM cards are €xp€n$iv€ (especially in Europe and even more so in UK, so a very good 'state side' purchase to make when you can), but if the camera is rolling on SxS or CFast, any kind of problem, with anything less, I imagine would put me in a whole other world of pain. Still cheaper than DAT, just about (c. €5/hour-stereo) but it would be nice if SD offered sandisk style guidance on data recovery etc. For what it's worth, when I bought mine there was only 1 UK supplier stocking 'SAM' cards and rentals from RFS come with sandisk cards. I went with Constantin's advice and bought from Audiosense.de who were cheaper than UK supplier (even after delivery costs). 

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15 minutes ago, Armin Siegwarth said:

I have SanDisk Extreme Plus 32GB 90MB. One worked very well for quite some time. Another one I got new makes problems in different Sound Devices machines...

Even at their premium price the SAM cards are the least expensive element in the recording chain (XLR cables aside). The extra cost will give piece of mind and speed up discussions with SD in the event of a problem with your recorder. Eg when they ask what cards you were using there is less of the 'to and fro' before you get an 'return authorisation'. imho.

 

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1 minute ago, IronFilm said:

SanDisk Extreme Pro cards are now so cheap, why not just go all out and buy a stack of those.

Er, because their reduced price is of small comfort if you have a problem on set with the rest of the crew standing about and an AD eyeballing the clock. So what if you've got 5 spare sandisk cards in your pocket, camera department are paying hundreds (even thousands) for their cards, so if anyone suspects the sound op of using unapproved media because they were cheap they'll be in for the high jump. If I was production side and thought the sound op (charging hundreds a day for services and kit) had compromised the schedule with the wrong recording media I would make alternative arrangements ASAP. Sometimes circumstances develop and we get close to the 'seat of our pants' but starting the day like this is just fool hardy.

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I think you completely misjudged the perspective I was writing that from, SanDisk Extreme Pro are their high end cards, more expensive than the other cheaper SanDisk cards mentioned in this thread.

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well, the trouble it two fold:

first, it's not always the fastest card that is on their approved list (for example the Sandisk 128GB card is 80MB/s and not the faster 95MB/sec variant)

and more importantly, the card on their list might have changed in design even if they are still labeled the same (for example the 64GB 95MB/sec card is still labeled as such, but is internally different to the 95MB/sec card when they wrote the list).

as afmy said, it's probably a pain to re-test all the cards all the time and guarantee that there are no unexpected hick ups (even more so if you add the problem of counterfeits).

chris 

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10 hours ago, chrismedr said:

it's not always the fastest card that is on their approved list

 

Likely because they didn't even test the others.

 

10 hours ago, chrismedr said:

(even more so if you add the problem of counterfeits).

 

Basically no problem at all if buying from a reputable source (I almost exclusively buy my media from B&H).

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The way I understand it from earlier conversations on the phone directly with Sound Devices, the cards on the approved list are the ones that passed their extensive testing. As mentioned above, in this case it is not always "faster" or "more expensive" is "better", but has to do with internal components in the cards.

In fact, sometimes a specific card on the list is approved in the 32 GB size, but the same exact brand/speed etc. of that card at 16 GB or 64 GB may not be on the list, because it has different internal components that causes trouble with the 6-series recorders.

 

Early on, there was also some cards that at first were approved, then the card manufacturer changed some components that they probably thought had no significance, but the 6-series did not like this new component. Fortunately for myself and others, that particular manufacturer was kind enough to exchange the card at no cost (for all cards after a specific serial number).

 

I agree 100% with Daniel above - as a professional charging professional rates, I want to be seen as reliable. You will not save money by cheaping out on mission critical kit, but rather you risk losing a client, your reputation, possibly your whole career. Over $20-40? Many people posting here carry kits in the $50,000-$60,000 range, some way more than that.

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10 hours ago, IronFilm said:

I think you completely misjudged the perspective I was writing that from, SanDisk Extreme Pro are their high end cards, more expensive than the other cheaper SanDisk cards mentioned in this thread.

I don't think I misjudged the perspective you were writing from but perhaps you are misjudging the perspective production will take if you have a problem with your cards (and even if you aren't, why risk it?). 

Report a problem with your recorder to Sound Devices and the first thing they will ask you is about the media - experienced production staff may well do the same (but it will be from a different angle). For all I know the SAM cards are SanDisk cards, rebranded after testing, and I'm paying 3x the price for card because its got the SAM label on it. I don't really care. I've spent thousands on an SD recorder not to mention the rest of the kit so this is about managing risk and others perception of risk.

RFS send their SD recorders out with 16GB SanDisk 'EXTREME' cards (80MB/s SD; 120 MB/s CF) and I'm sure they've done their tests too. But RFS answer to their clients, I answer to mine. I welcome OEM branded cards (if not the prices) for the piece of mind. Even if OEMs published a fool proof way for owners to test their media in recorders, it still adds another element (testing) to the equation - that said it would be useful if they did.

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to conclude: even the 64GB SD Card SanDisk Extreme pro did change. It now is UHS 3 - but UHS 1 is on list.
chrismedr is right.

So summary: No SanDisk SD card right now common availible in germany is on the approved media list. Maybe some old stock left somewhere hidden...



BTW: Years ago I have bought Transcend SD cards that were earlier on the list - but had problems with it. They got removed from the list. Still work fine in my Digicam though. I will not buy media that is not approved...

But I would like Sound Devices to approve a actual SD card that is worldwide easily availible.

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SD and CF manufacturers world wide are facing a shortage of flash chips this year.

All chip fabs doing flash have shifted the majority of their factory lines to producing 3D NAND chips to meet the demand for high density SSD products, so the smaller size chips are in short supply -> SD card producers have to rev their designs often to use whatever chips they can get in quantity.

 

3D NAND has a different access speed to single layer NAND, so the specs on the SD cards are changing greatly with each revision, and are currently targeting the 4K video recording markets, which is a single file stream scenario - multiple file streams for audio recorders are not a priority.

 

Remember that all flash media hits a wall in write speed once all the blocks have been written once - it's vital to do a full erase format that lets the card go back to "factory spec speed", before each use.  If you don't, you can run into the case where a morning session was fine, but the afternoon resulted in underruns and write errors.

"Quick Format" doesn't do this, and not all products have a full erase format feature, in which case you need to use a computer and the SD Consortium's formatter app.

 

This is why media is approved - the write speed during the worst case scenario is the key, the write speed when new is not important, but that's what's written on the card.

 

10 hours ago, daniel said:

Even if OEMs published a fool proof way for owners to test their media in recorders, it still adds another element (testing) to the equation - that said it would be useful if they did.

 

For this to be foolproof, it would have to record constantly until the card was full, then delete the files, then record until full again...   That's the only way you'll see the worst case write speed.  Bonus for doing a full erase format after that and another pass to double check that the worst case write speed is improved.

 

For a 64GB card, back of the envelope calculation -> >16Hrs per pass for a 8 channel recorder.

 

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15 hours ago, Tom Duffy said:

SD and CF manufacturers world wide are facing a shortage of flash chips this year.

All chip fabs doing flash have shifted the majority of their factory lines to producing 3D NAND chips to meet the demand for high density SSD products, so the smaller size chips are in short supply -> SD card producers have to rev their designs often to use whatever chips they can get in quantity.

 

3D NAND has a different access speed to single layer NAND, so the specs on the SD cards are changing greatly with each revision, and are currently targeting the 4K video recording markets, which is a single file stream scenario - multiple file streams for audio recorders are not a priority.

 

Remember that all flash media hits a wall in write speed once all the blocks have been written once - it's vital to do a full erase format that lets the card go back to "factory spec speed", before each use.  If you don't, you can run into the case where a morning session was fine, but the afternoon resulted in underruns and write errors.

"Quick Format" doesn't do this, and not all products have a full erase format feature, in which case you need to use a computer and the SD Consortium's formatter app.

 

This is why media is approved - the write speed during the worst case scenario is the key, the write speed when new is not important, but that's what's written on the card.

 

 

For this to be foolproof, it would have to record constantly until the card was full, then delete the files, then record until full again...   That's the only way you'll see the worst case write speed.  Bonus for doing a full erase format after that and another pass to double check that the worst case write speed is improved.

 

For a 64GB card, back of the envelope calculation -> >16Hrs per pass for a 8 channel recorder.

 

Great insight, Thanks Tom.

 

Can someone from Sound Devices chime in and confirm if all the pathways to formatting cards in their machines result in a "full erase format", after which the card goes back to "factory spec speed"?

 

Thanks.

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1 hour ago, daniel said:

Can someone from Sound Devices chime in and confirm if all the pathways to formatting cards in their machines result in a "full erase format", after which the card goes back to "factory spec speed"?

 

Even though I have no background info, I think it's safe to say that if you use approved media (best the SD labeled ones) and format the cards in their recorder then you're good - I'm pretty sure they tested that ; )

 

(Never had a problem with my 633 and I've formatted the cards in the recorder many many times)

chris

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There was something with formatting an sd card three times right in a row. That did something in the 552 mixer but I can't remember...

 

but critical cards may format ok the first time but refuse second or third time. 

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I would really like to know of some reliable (aka approved) high capacity SD cards (say 128gb) that I could use.  I recently did an event where we were recording 12 tracks for nearly 10 hours, and it's looking like I might have some more of these with even a greater track count.

 

I have no problem with Sound Devices selling their own "approved" cards, but for goodness sake, give us something bigger than 32gb!

 

It looks like I can still get the approved Sandisk 128gb CF card, but it appears the 128gb SD card is no longer available.

 

Tom

 

 

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The Sound Devices SAM cards and media on our Approved Lists are tested rigorously to perform successfully under the most testing of scenarios. The many tests that a card is subject to can take several weeks. One of those tests is to ensure the media continues to perform well after filling up the media multiple times without needing to fully physically erase each time.  Sounds Devices recorders offer Quick Formatting which is absolutely fine for reliable operation with our approved media. Full physical erase is not necessary in SD recorders - besides, it can take many hours as it involves physically erasing every cell on the flash.

Having said that, there is no harm in performing a full physical erase - you might want to use a computer 2 or 3 times a year to do this as a form of preventative maintenance. 

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On ‎11‎/‎30‎/‎2017 at 10:09 AM, TomBoisseau said:

I would really like to know of some reliable (aka approved) high capacity SD cards (say 128gb) that I could use.  I recently did an event where we were recording 12 tracks for nearly 10 hours, and it's looking like I might have some more of these with even a greater track count.

 

I have no problem with Sound Devices selling their own "approved" cards, but for goodness sake, give us something bigger than 32gb!

 

It looks like I can still get the approved Sandisk 128gb CF card, but it appears the 128gb SD card is no longer available.

 

Tom

 

 

 

 

So... anyone know of a 128gb SD card that works reliably?  None of the 128gb SD cards on the "approved" list are currently available.

 

Thanks,

Tom

 

 

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Hi Paul hope you and the family are all well.

 

Is the write speed of cards critical?

 

Also is there software that can verify the stated speeds?

 

Cheers

 

mike

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