SD card adaptors for Qu-Drive and SQ-Drive
Posted by Keith Johnson, Last modified by Keith Johnson on 26 January 2021 09:55 AM
SD and microSD cards are a common choice for media storage - they're inexpensive, small enough to carry a few around and usually feature high data transfer speeds and can be a great option for audio recording and playback with Qu-Drive or SQ-Drive.
Both Qu-Drive and SQ-Drive use hardware solutions to connect to USB storage devices, so there are no 'drivers' as you would find in a computer or laptop.
SD and microSD cards on the other hand are far more consistent in the technology they use, and also include markings to let you know class and read/write speeds.
So to use SD card storage with your Qu or SQ, you just need to use the same, compatible SD card adaptor each time.
SD and microSD cards
The read/write speed required to record or playback high quality audio using Qu-Drive or SQ-Drive are relatively small at only around 5MB/s, but this bandwidth must be consistently available and not just the top speed that the card can achieve with short bursts of data.
As a minimum, we recommend sourcing Class 10 SD storage, with at least UHS speed class 1, to guarantee minimum write speeds of 10MB/s.
These should be easy to source from retailers and include the following markings:
(higher speed cards are available and will also work, though the benefit of this extra speed will be when transferring data from the device to a computer)
The maximum record time is based on the FAT32 file system used, which allows for multitrack recordings of around 8hrs (48kHz Qu/SQ) or 4hrs (96kHz SQ). This will take up approximately 72GB of storage space.
You may only need a straightforward full size SD card to USB-A adaptor:
Depending on which side the SD card slot is, the SD card itself may extend over (and block) the headphone port, a simple solution to which is a short USB-A male-to-female extension cable.
Another option is to use a direct micro SD to USB adaptor, some of which are very small, barely protruding from the socket when inserted:
Whichever adaptor is used, just like the SD storage itself, it must be able to provide a consistent read/write speed of above 5MB/s, with 10MB/s or higher recommended.
Checking performance and preparing before use
Before use, the SD storage may need to be formatted to a FAT file system using a computer. This should allow the mixer to 'see' the storage.
Then format the storage again using the mixer to ensure the FAT32 file system is being used and that the correct folder structure is created.
Then to test for use as Qu-Drive:
Or for SQ-Drive:
A suitable SD card/adaptor setup should not show any errors after recording for the maximum amount of time.