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Topic: External hard drive, sample libraries, help!

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  1. #1

    External hard drive, sample libraries, help!

    I am considering getting EastWest Symphonic Orchestra (68 gigs) and Symphonic Choir (38 gigs). Both use a total of 106 gigs of memory!!

    My current setup uses 2 SATA hard drives, 120 gigs each. Drive #1 has my OS (Windows XP) and my sequencer (Sonar5) and all my virtual synths. I have @ 50 gigs free
    Drive #2 contains my swap file and all my audio projects. I have @ 100 gigs free

    My motherboard does not support a third SATA drive but should accept a third hard drive in ATA format.

    My question: If I purchase these programs, I wil definately need a third hard drive. Is fire wire fast enough if I use an external harddrive for these virtual synths?

    If I had to use an external drive, is it better to use it for sample libraries or audio recording works in progress?

    Thanks!

    Steve

  2. #2

    Re: External hard drive, sample libraries, help!

    Hi Steve

    I can't tell you exact data, but from personal experience, I've used an external 300 Gb USB 2.0 Drive for samples, which has worked just fine. Stable, with no drop outs, ticks or latency...

    If I had to use an external drive, is it better to use it for sample libraries or audio recording works in progress?
    My guess(!) would be to _not_ run audio recordings to an external drive. Perhaps the bandwidth is sufficient, but I wouldn't count on it. Also depends on number of simultaneous recorded tracks of course. So..I would stick to libraries for the external HD.
    USB 2 also works fine (it's faster than FW...not than FW 800 though).

    BUT...I want to give you a small warning...Make sure your Motherboard and OS supports bigLBA...which allows for partitions greater than 137 Gb. If it doesn't, you might end up with what I had a few weeks ago. I was plugging my external drive to a friends computer, then suddenly one of the 2 partitions was not accessible. A 150 Gb sample-partition vanished in thin air! The NTFS file system was erased, and replaced with RAW. I've had the disk in for repair since the tragedy, and I don't yet know If they will solve it.
    So, if you use an external drive, make sure your comp can handle it, and once you've got it running, DON'T plug it in somewhere else than to your own computer; for safety.

    /Daniel Beckman

  3. #3

    Re: External hard drive, sample libraries, help!

    Thanks for the reply

    Is an external usb2.0 drive better than internal IDE Ultra ATA drive?

    Thanks

    -STeve

  4. #4
    Moderator/Developer Brian2112's Avatar
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    Re: External hard drive, sample libraries, help!

    The fastest external drives (in order) are probably firewire 800 (Which many PC MoBo’s don’t support as of yet), followed by SATA drives, then USB 2.0, then firewire 400.
    I opted for a SATA 400 GB LaCie drive. Now, it requires an extra step in that you need to have a free PCI slot to insert a SATA card to plug your drive into. Also, even though you can use power off the MoBo (like USB), I recommend using the included external power and just making sure you power it up before your PC. (I would also recommend this if you opt for USB 2.0)
    In my main machine I have 2 internal 250gb SATA drives. Drive c holds my audio apps including Kontakt and the Kompakt players, D holds the libraries (samples to stream), and my external Lacie holds both sample libraries and my Drumkit from Hell Superior “bounce” folder. So far, no problems streaming samples, audio, or video. In fact, all my benchmark tools (the real ones that you buy – not the freebie bs), show my external to be my fastest drive on all counts in all configurations.
    Now, some of these external drives can overheat…so I’ll let you know if it blows up later, but LaCie drives are very good.

    ...2112
    "So what if some parts of life are a crap shoot? Get out there and shoot the crap." -- Neil Peart
    Hint:1.6180339887498948482 Φ

  5. #5

    Re: External hard drive, sample libraries, help!

    If I can get an extra SATA drive via PCI then thats the way to go.

    I just need to know if there are issues with BIOS recognition, XP recogonition, realiability, etc. WIll running a PCI controller w/ SATA connection impair my PCI bandwith while using my EMU sound card?

    I just ordered PCI controller SATA card and SATA Maxtor 300gb, 16mb buffer hard drive. I really hope this config works!!!

  6. #6

    Re: External hard drive, sample libraries, help!

    Thanks everyone, dcastle that was especially informative...

    Okay,.... AFter talking with a number of people, I decided not to use the PCI slot for a SATA hard drive hookup because I do have an available IDE ATA drive! If I was more competent about bandwidth and eveything else here I would have known to do this in the first place. SO I am going to use my new 300gig SATA drive for my audio recording projects.

    Now I have one final decision: Should I put XP and and applications on the 120 SATA drive and put my sound libraries on the IDE ATA 250 gig or vice versa?

  7. #7
    Moderator/Developer Brian2112's Avatar
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    Re: External hard drive, sample libraries, help!

    Quote Originally Posted by kstevege
    Thanks everyone, dcastle that was especially informative...

    Okay,.... AFter talking with a number of people, I decided not to use the PCI slot for a SATA hard drive hookup because I do have an available IDE ATA drive! If I was more competent about bandwidth and eveything else here I would have known to do this in the first place. SO I am going to use my new 300gig SATA drive for my audio recording projects.

    Now I have one final decision: Should I put XP and and applications on the 120 SATA drive and put my sound libraries on the IDE ATA 250 gig or vice versa?
    You do understand that Your SATA drive will not plug into an IDE slot? If you have an external SATA drive, you MUST have a PCI SATA connection. Serial ATA (SATA) is NOT the same as IDE ATA. I have 2 internal SATA drives that use my MoBo's SATA ports (these are my system, apps, and library drives), and I have 1 internal IDE ATA drive (plugged into one of my Mobo's IDE slots) for backup, storage, trash, junk, etc.... My external SATA drive (audio, and libraries) requires the PCI connection....maybe I just misunderstand you?
    "So what if some parts of life are a crap shoot? Get out there and shoot the crap." -- Neil Peart
    Hint:1.6180339887498948482 Φ

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