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Best external hard drive setup for music production? (enclosure + 1 SSD + 1 HDD?)

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Best external hard drive setup for music production? (enclosure + 1 SSD + 1 HDD?)

Postby KillerTofu » Sun Jul 12, 2020 2:15 am

I've decided to add a external hard drive or two to my recording setup, but can't find a concrete answer to the question:

What would be the best (future-proof and effective) way to setup external hard drives,
for a home recording studio setup?


About my setup:

- I'm using a 2017 Macbook Pro with 500GB SSD (but it's almost all full already from the VSTs I recently installed)

​​​​​​​- I record with Ableton Live 10 and Logic Pro X, mostly Midi and Vocals

​​​​​​​- Scarlett 2i2

So far from reading online, I understand the best bet is get a separate enclosure, and then an SSD and HDD to put in there, but I still have the following questions:

Is that truly the ideal external HD setup for a home studio? (1 enclosure + 1 SSD + 1 HDD)

What would be the most reliable (and future proof) enclosure, SSD and HDD to get?

Anything else I should consider? (I'm open to any ideas / criticism)

Thank you in advance for any help!
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Re: Best external hard drive setup for music production? (enclosure + 1 SSD + 1 HDD?)

Postby MOF » Sun Jul 12, 2020 2:52 am

I’ve got USB 3 speed hard drives (not SSD) for audio and sample libraries, the only problem I have is if the drives go to sleep during inactivity, the song starts and then stops a few bars later, restarting the song sorts it out.
If you get USB 2 drives then they might not be fast enough.
It might be worth archiving songs to external drives and then using the internal drive for the current project.
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Re: Best external hard drive setup for music production? (enclosure + 1 SSD + 1 HDD?)

Postby ef37a » Sun Jul 12, 2020 6:58 am

I read a How-to-Geek article a few days ago about how to care for SSDs and from all the caveats you would think they are fragile things that need to be handled with kid gloves!

"Don't do too many Read/Write cycles" wears them out apparently.
"Never defrag them" knew that.
"Don't let them get more than 75% close to full capacity".
"Don't store huge files on them" guess they mean audio tracks, samples and videos? WTF?!

Makes them seem pretty useless for SOS bods but I feel sure most users blithely ignore that advice (or did not know) and their SSDs are still fine after many years 'wrong' use?

However, to my humble, analogue brain, it would seem sensible to save a wad and buy mechanical external drives to store and backup files. So long as you don't drop them (!) spinners are extremely reliable in my experience.
Yes, USB 3.0. Maybe a caddy since spinners are so cheap you can backup the backup.

Dave.
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