View Full Version : External Hard disk

05-23-2008, 04:26 AM
(Sorry if this has already been discussed somewhere, but in that case please just tell me and I'll try to find it.)

So Im going to buy a new sample library, maybe EWQLSO gold bundle, and in that case my laptop is running out of hard disk space as EWQL Colossus is already installed in it. So I guess this could be solved by buying a external hard disk, right? I guess something like 250-500 Gb would be plenty for me, but is there any other things that I should know when buying that. I wouldnt like to end up buying a hard disk that is for example too slow to be used with making music.

Im not a professional, so Im not exactly looking for best quality there is, but I would appreciate that it would work anyway. ;)

Oh, and once I get that, should I install all my music software (cubase and sample libraries) there?

Thanks in advance!

05-23-2008, 05:47 AM
I would recommend that you have 2 external drives; 1 for Colossus and 1 for Gold. Or, you could split Gold into the 2 external drives for even better performance for your orchestral libraries. I think installing your DAW on your laptop's HDD is ok; you don't need to install it on your external drive.

Now you need to get Firewire drives; USB HDDs are too slow. If possible you can try getting eSATA drives (faster than Firewire). Glyph (http://www.glyphtech.com/) has a range of such HDDs certified for use with digital audio that will suit your needs. You might want to look there.

05-23-2008, 06:00 AM
Thank you once again! =)

05-23-2008, 11:20 AM
Definitely do NOT install the DAW on the external drive. You want the external drive to hold the samples and the boot drive on your computer to hold the software for the OS and the EWQLSO software. Having them in separate locations is critical.

Also, it is often said that it's important to have 20% at least of the hard drive empty so that it works fast. Therefore if you have 400 gigs of samples you'd want a 500 gig drive.

05-23-2008, 12:18 PM
ive benchmarked far better results with 40% free on 5 different drives.

05-24-2008, 01:36 AM
Ok, thanks a lot for that info! I will be having about 70Gb of samples so 250Gb should be enough I guess. Should I also save all the audio material on external, if I for example export some tracks to audio for better performance?

05-24-2008, 09:18 AM
The best setup is to have:

1. boot drive that holds the OS, the sequencer / DAW software (DP, Logic etc); your sample playback engine (Kontakt or MachFive) software should go here, though not the libraries,
2. one or more samples drives,
3. a drive to which the audio is recorded and from which audio is played back,
4. a separate drive from which to stream video if you are working to picture.

I know four drives sounds like a lot but it is crucial if you are going to record a lot of tracks simultaneously and you are working to picture.

However, if you are NOT working to picture and you are only recording stereo tracks (Left and Right masters), then that is obviously less taxing. I sometimes have 40-plus stereo audio tracks going plus midi, so that is more demanding on the disks.

05-25-2008, 12:59 AM
Well now that I'm into arranging metal songs with lots of symphonic orchestras, I usually have just lots of (maybe about 20) midi tracks with vst instruments and maybe just a few audio tracks (+ freezed midi tracks, which I guess are kind of audio tracks too). I usually never record audio (apart from exporting tracks to audio) and I surely never work with video material.

So maybe one external hard drive would be enough for both samples and the bit of audio material..?

05-26-2008, 04:01 AM
Hey! When you said that usb is too slow, did you mean usb 1.0? Because it looks like eSATA is 300MB/s and usb 2.0 is 480MB/s, so it would actually be a lot faster. So if I'd buy external hard drive with USB 2.0 connection, would that be ok? =)

05-26-2008, 04:21 AM
No; it is not. Read this article:

05-26-2008, 04:29 AM
Ok, sounds strange but fine. I do have one firewire 400 port, is that fast enough or does it have to be firewire 800?

05-26-2008, 04:35 AM
I guess the fastest would be FireWire 800. Im not sure exactly how slow is FW400. If you lack some firewire 800 ports, you can buy some PCI Bracket adapters for it.

05-26-2008, 05:05 AM
Well i was thinking of buying this one http://techgage.com/article/maxtor_onetouch_4_plus_500gb_external_hard_drive/4 and on that page the test results show that its working a lot faster with usb 2.0 than firewire 400. I wonder what that means..

But the PCI bracket might be a good idea if there just is a pci slot in my laptop. It wouldnt be very expencive either..

I guess I really should try to find a hard drive from glyph, like someone said. Then I would know for sure that it can be used with music production.

05-26-2008, 12:15 PM
eSata rocks for speed:

I put together an eSATA external usng a Kingwin Z1 enclosure, a 7200 RPM500GB Seagate SATA Hard Drive. It's connected to my MBP via a Vantec Express Card and everything works great in Leopard and on my Vista Bootcamp Partition registering full speeds near the expected 3Gb/s transfer rate. This is a comparison of about 3000Mb/s for eSATA against 800Mb/s for Firewire800, 480Mb/sec for USB2.0, and 400Mb/sec for Firewire400.

I partitioned the eSATA drive into two halves - one that I use as a TimeMachine backup in Leopard and the other that I use for gaming installations in Vista.

As a note... the Vantec card uses the Silicon Image chipset and registers as a generic eSATA ExpressCard device. This has caused no problems in functionality. But, the drive itself was a little cumbersome to set-up. Neither Leopard nor Vista would recognize the unformatted drive by eSATA, instead I had to connect via USB to establish initial formatting and partitions. But, once it was set-up the eSATA interface works great... and FAST.

05-27-2008, 12:18 AM
Hmm.. As I anyway have to get a card for firewire 800 connection, I guess I could as well buy eSata adapter instead of that.. Thanks for the tip!

So this is one is most likely going to be my drive: http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-Studio-External-Drive/dp/tech-data/B000WGJZ44/ref=de_a_smtd

Its fast, its cheap. What more could I wish! =)

05-27-2008, 12:42 AM
I would be just a little concerned over the bad reviews. Theres not a single drive from ANY manufacurer that doesn't have at least ONE bad review but this drive seems to have a pattern of reviews that mention drive failure after a day and many times NOT being recognized by the computer unless your prone to never shuttng down.

If you DO get it make sure you can return it if all doesn't work out.

05-27-2008, 12:44 AM
Looks good to me. 7200 rpm and has all the interfaces.

05-27-2008, 12:52 AM
Ok, so just have to be a bit carefull, thanks!

06-27-2008, 12:09 AM
Finally I've ordered that External HD + esata PCMCIA-card, and also more RAM is on the way. Now just gotta order the gold bundle it self, at least as soon as I get those working. :)

But one more question: Where to put my project folder and project file? (oh, and im using cubase studio 4) On the EHD or laptops HD? I guess the audio files from freezing tracks will be there too, so which one is better? You said I should keep the DAW in laptops HD, so should the project files be there too?

06-27-2008, 12:32 AM
Dont know how large your projects are. We have separate drives for all individual projects. Keep your proj. files on an external drive unless you feel your performance is being hindered tremendously. At times if your projects are small enough you can keep them on your main internal drive and then move them later...

06-27-2008, 09:37 AM
Uhm.. What do you mean by "how large"..? They are normally songs with lenght of 4-10 minutes, and 2-8 instances of colossus, and soon hopefully EWQLSO. Or if you mean how serious they are, then I'd say i do music just for hobby. So cant afford own HD for each project.

Keep your proj. files on an external drive unless you feel your performance is being hindered tremendously.
So the DAW doesnt mind if project files are on different drive than the DAW itself?

At times if your projects are small enough you can keep them on your main internal drive and then move them later...
So do you mean that if they fit there? File sizes aren't big so sure I can keep them on internal HD. I was just wondering if they should be on a external drive where there is more free space for some reason..

06-27-2008, 11:54 AM
for you project files should be just fine on your int. Drive.

06-28-2008, 03:11 AM
Ok, thanks!

07-03-2008, 02:34 AM
This isnt really what this forum is about, but if you wanna read and see if you can help:

Finally I got the HD, but to get it work seems to be another thing.. Or well, it does work with usb, but I guess that is really too slow, as you said. So I did buy the esata connection card to pcmcia slot, I downloaded the vista drivers from the manufacturers page (in system reguirements it does not mention vista, but it has vista read sticker on it (wonder what that means) and i did find the drivers so i guess it SHOULD work), but when I try to reboot windows, it crashes. I just cant get windows on whenever the card is attached. Does anyone have any ideas, why is that? Could the card be just damaged? Or are the drivers just wrong after all?

07-04-2008, 01:23 AM
Interesting.. Because now it actually does work! :) Only problem is that I cant start my computer when that card is inserted, but if I insert that AFTER starting my computer, it works very well. Strange and annoying, but absolutely better than not working at all. :D