External Hard Drives and Your DAW

External Hard Drives and Your DAW

November 4, 2019 100 By Kailee Schamberger


All the way from the start I could feel it in my heart like… hey what’s going on
out there I’m Sean Divine hope you all are doing well today I want to talk
about external hard drives and how they can be extremely advantageous to those
of you who are working in the studio with audio whether you’re a producer a
mix engineer a sound designer anything that you do that has a demanding da W
you want to have external hard drives in your setup they’re going to make your
workflow a lot smoother and more efficient they will make your DAW have
much better performance they’re gonna minimize recording latency and they’re
going to give you a solid backup that you can rely on in case something goes
wrong with one of your drives so let me tell you a little bit about my own
personal setup with my external hard drives in the studio I have two
identical two terabyte drives that are clones of each other in terms of the
information on them I have all of my session files all of my sample libraries
all that stuff mixing sessions production sessions they are stored on
the external so if anything went wrong with the internal drive of my computer
the only thing on there is the software itself so that and the plugins which I
have a backup for that I’ll tell you about that in just a second but I want
that to rely on just running the OS keeping the DAW going smoothly I don’t
want to fill that up with a lot of files and make that one really slow and bogged
down so if you’ve got a backup like this or a clone of your main drive with all
your data on it if one of those drives fails I’m immediately able to work and
pick up right where I left off no matter what so while the other one I’m getting
that replaced or I’m getting it fixed I have all the data on another drive to
where I’m not stuck not working so the third external drive I have is a one
terabyte USB drive and it’s not particularly fast or high-performance
like these others are but it is just used for a time machine
back up or a complete machine back up of my system computer so if something
happened with that drive I have a copy that I could at least back up to my
laptop and have the setup with all my software all my plugins saved to this
and I back this up daily now as far as connectivity I do not have a newer
machine I’m using an older iMac so I don’t actually have Thunderbolt or even
USB 3.0 on this computer the drives I have utilized USB 2.0 I think they could
use 3.0 if I had it but right now I’m using that older technology I would
recommend if you have a computer with Thunderbolt or USB 3.0 absolutely take
advantage of an external drive that has his connectivity that’s going to give
you even faster read and write times from your DAW and with your samples so
you’re gonna get a lot better performance one other thing you may want
to consider with external drives is going with a solid-state drive or SSD
external now I do not have an SSD at this time but it’s something that I’m
definitely considering the reasons for it being number one these drives with
the the mechanical physical aspects of them they are a little bit loud there’s
fans in these and so I’m recording next to my computer that’s always a concern
and so sometimes I have to turn those off just to keep things nice and quiet
also the SSDs are going to give you much better performance again they’re going
to be very fast especially if you have that newer connectivity technology like
thunderbolt like USB 3.0 they are quite a bit more expensive than the older
technology however moving forward they are going to be the way to go in terms
of performance alright so that’s a couple of quick thoughts on using
external hard drives with your DAW I can promise you if you’re not utilizing
this right now as soon as you start saving your sessions and saving a lot of
your audio content onto the external it’s going to make your DAW run so much
better and keep your workflow a lot smoother and also keep your backups more
consistent and have you better organized that way so if you have any questions or
comments about external hard drives feel free to leave them below if you learned
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