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Current advice on organising hard-drives & audio data?

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Current advice on organising hard-drives & audio data?

Postby Oli_F » Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:46 am

Hey guys, I've got the opportunity to reconfigure my set-up and I was wondering what the latest advice was on hard-drives and data organisation?

It used to be said that you should keep sample audio files on one external drive and recorded song audio data on another separate external drive.

Is that still the best advice (I'm on an modern iMac)? Can the sample audio and song audio live on the same drive? Can they even live on the computer's internal hard drive nowadays?

And while I'm at it - what are the best hard drives to use, in terms of access-time and data delivery rates?

Finally - do we prefer USB 2.0 these days to Firewire?

Thanks in advance!

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Re: Current advice on organising hard-drives & audio data?

Postby desmond » Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:06 am

They *can* be anywhere, and if you are well within your performance limitations then it doesn't matter.

NBut if you are using heavy track counts, lots of streaming samples etc then it makes sense to spread the load across multiple disks. A simple way is to keep your song/audio files on one disk, and your sample libraries on another disk so one drive isn't having to do both jobs at once.

FW is better than USB for audio streaming in general as it has less overhead.
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Re: Current advice on organising hard-drives & audio data?

Postby Oli_F » Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:19 am

Cheers D - sounds like the old advice still pretty much holds then.

Makes sense I guess - spreading the load across the drives is going to be better than hammering just one poor unit!

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Re: Current advice on organising hard-drives & audio data?

Postby Scope » Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:02 pm

Put your files where you want them.
SATA HDs are quick enough not to have to worry about HD bandwidth.
Yes, you will get a tiny bit more by splitting the sources, but nothing like the difference it made 10 years ago using IDE technology.


Given the performance of modern machines, I'd say with some confidence, it does not seem to really matter.
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Re: Current advice on organising hard-drives & audio data?

Postby debee » Thu Apr 14, 2011 4:06 pm

Scope wrote:you will get a tiny bit more by splitting the sources, but nothing like the difference it made 10 years ago using IDE technology.
lol
However it is recommended to create one or several partitions, helping keep the data organized. and accessible
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Re: Current advice on organising hard-drives & audio data?

Postby desmond » Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:07 pm

Daniel.B wrote:
Scope wrote:you will get a tiny bit more by splitting the sources, but nothing like the difference it made 10 years ago using IDE technology.
lol
However it is recommended to create one or several partitions, helping keep the data organized. and accessible

Not by me, it's not.

What's this obsession with hard splitting drives into fixed smaller sizes? It seems to be largely a geeky PC thing because we all did it back in the old Windows days...
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Re: Current advice on organising hard-drives & audio data?

Postby daedalus » Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:23 pm

Scope wrote:Put your files where you want them.
SATA HDs are quick enough not to have to worry about HD bandwidth.
Yes, you will get a tiny bit more by splitting the sources, but nothing like the difference it made 10 years ago using IDE technology.

That is, until you run sessions at 88.2kHz, have 10 audio tracks just for drums, 8 tracks of gtrs, another 12 for ensemble strings and running omnisphere with loads of synth patches.
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Re: Current advice on organising hard-drives & audio data?

Postby Scope » Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:38 pm

For a few months I had an iMac before getting a newer Mac Pro ( my old MP died )
During that time I did almost as much as the quad core MP did, which demonstrates how under-used the MP is.
I ran Logic with over 12 tracks of 24/96, with audio loops and Omnisphere and EXS24 tracks, at the same time as Final Cut working on true HD footage ( about a gig a minute ) with no problems on a 2.4 iMac with 4gb ram (and an extra LCD.)

Admittedly that was pushing it, but it demonstrates how good modern kit is.
All this "you must do this" and "you must do that", its just not true.

Don't forget 90% of it is in RAM and your synth patches are CPU intensive, not HD intensive, unless they are continuous samples for example, of several minutes in length- in which case, they would be audio tracks.

And as for partitioning the HD, what a waste of life that is.
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Re: Current advice on organising hard-drives & audio data?

Postby tomafd » Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:52 pm

Scope wrote:

And as for partitioning the HD, what a waste of life that is.

Never bothered with that one, either, and can't say I've ever had any problems I could have put down to that. Still keeping sample libraries on separate internal SATAs from the system drive (Mac Pro), though, with song files sometimes on internal or external (though more for file management and back up reasons than anything else). New system only been in for 3 months, and after initial hiccups now running like [ ****** ] off a shovel, no problems on even big arrangements (tho 12 cores, 32 gig ram, running at 64 bit, and 4 internal SATAs at 2TB each should do the ffffing trick... and it certainly does)
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