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External drive for MacBook Pro? Data Storage
Old 1st July 2016
  #1
Here for the gear
 

External drive for MacBook Pro?

So, the current top-of-the-line MacBook Pro still doesn't have the capability to add a second internal HD. Can anyone advise re the adequacy of external Thunderbolt (or other) HDs for playing back sample-based instruments in real time while recording new audio to internal drive? I use Logic, would prefer not to have to always freeze virtual instrument tracks while recording audio.

Last edited by LA lefty; 1st July 2016 at 06:27 PM..
Old 1st July 2016
  #2
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807Recordings's Avatar
 

I am using a Samsung SSD over USB with zero issues so far.
Old 1st July 2016
  #3
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lestermagneto's Avatar
With USB3 you should be just fine, I do it all the time, heck, even usb2 or firewire will be fine as long as you aren't trying to stream, say, a lot of instances of Spitfire libraries or something... I would even recommend recording audio to the external drive, as, and I may be wrong, but the system drive needs to access itself a lot for different things, whether it be ram swapping, or system functions, etc... I don't think it's much of a problem... (the external drive won't be as fast probably as your internal, but it shouldn't matter unless you are recording many tracks of 96k audio etc...).... I never like to record to my boot drive.... But especially with TB, you should be just fine, just make sure whatever external drive you get is fast (not only in protocol ((usb2/3/TB/Firewire etc)), but I wouldn't use a 5400rpm spinner, a 7200 rpm spinner should be fine, but obviously an SSD would be best... but I wouldn't sweat it that much and just check it out!
Old 1st July 2016
  #4
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kafka's Avatar
I prefer USB3 to Thunderbolt. I've found that Thunderbolt is at least occasionally prone to dropouts. I don't have any such issues recording to or using samples from USB3 drives. My samples are on a 5400rpm drive now, and I don't have any issues with it. It could be fine, depending on how heavy your use is.
Old 1st July 2016
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 807Recordings View Post
I am using a Samsung SSD over USB with zero issues so far.
Thanks for the reply, 807. What sample rate do you record at?
Old 1st July 2016
  #6
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Thanks, all, this is encouraging.
Old 1st July 2016
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LA lefty View Post
Thanks for the reply, 807. What sample rate do you record at?

All 96KHz, so far 64 on the buffer with my RME.
Old 1st July 2016
  #8
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lestermagneto's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kafka View Post
I prefer USB3 to Thunderbolt. I've found that Thunderbolt is at least occasionally prone to dropouts. I don't have any such issues recording to or using samples from USB3 drives. My samples are on a 5400rpm drive now, and I don't have any issues with it. It could be fine, depending on how heavy your use is.
That's good to know! I don't use thunderbolt yet, so haven't encountered problems obviously.... .. I used to use a 5400 drive for my samples, and didn't have that much of an issue either, but with "heavier" sessions, some streaming stuff might choke a little... (and it helps to use things like Kontakt Memory server if you are running 32bit DAW's etc...)... I did find audio to choke a little with lots of edits etc with high track counts with 5400's, but consolidating or whatnot usually solved that problem...

I guess we can take from all this, is that OP, you should be JUST fine with an external drive, that's what a LOT of people are doing with larger sample libraries and having lots of sessions etc... best of luck!
Old 1st July 2016
  #9
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Should have two other drives, one for audio and one for samples. Both should be at least 7,200 rpm, SSD better for sample. If only one internal drive it should contain only OS and apps.
Old 1st July 2016
  #10
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What the last respondent said is your very best bet; I assume your on board drive is not a 5400 rpm; if it is then that will always be your weakest link the way you are using it no matter what else you do.
Cheers.
Old 4th July 2016
  #11
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One tip I will say is if you use a USB bus it could make a big difference. I have a better one here and likely picking up the Overhub from Elektron but when I was using this cheap hub my performance went to ****. Things like glitches or buffer loss. Not having it now but just something to keep in mind.

SSD is not needed to be honest and this Seagate free agent thingie for portable also works in most cases at 24/96 on at least 10 track or more. SSD is faster though for samples or when you do really small loops of recorded material.
Old 7th July 2016
  #12
Gear Head
 

I also have a mid-2015 MBP (2.5 ghz i7 quad core, 16GB RAM, 256 internal SSD). Just picked it up used, going to be using PT for post-production audio mixing/editing/design, and music composition on Logic X with Maschine and some other instruments and sample libraries.

Was thinking of getting this Samsung T1 1TB SSD to use for both my sessions and for my sample libraries. Samsung Portable SSD T1 1TB USB 3.0 Drive MU-PS1T0B/AM B&H Photo

Otherwise was gonna just get a Lacie thunderbolt rugged HDs LaCie 1TB Rugged Thunderbolt External Hard Drive 9000488 B&H

Since my internal SSD is only 256GB, i'd obviously like to keep my sessions and sample libraries on my external.

The MBP will be my only computer and will be transported most days to a studio that I'm interning at for post, and then used at home for music production.

What do you guys think?
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