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TWO HDs or THREE for Music Production?
Old 29th August 2007
Here for the gear

TWO HDs or THREE for Music Production?

I currently have 2 x 200GB Sata drives and they are getting a little cramped. I plan on upgrading to 2 x 500GB.

The way I've been running this so far is:

HD1: OS, Audio software (incl. samplers, soft synths, etc...)
HD2: Strictly Audio Data

Would it be beneficial to arrange my system like this:

HD2: Audio software, samplers, synths, etc...
HD3: Strictly Audio Data

just curious if anyone has thought of doing this and/or if there is any benefit

Old 30th August 2007
Lives for gear
numrologst's Avatar
Originally Posted by voodoochild292 View Post

Would it be beneficial to arrange my system like this:

HD2: Audio software, samplers, synths, etc...
HD3: Strictly Audio Data

just curious if anyone has thought of doing this and/or if there is any benefit

no, not unless you are using alot of samples. If you are then

2-samples/audio backup

Buy a raptor for your audio drive and back up to an external drive
Old 30th August 2007
Lives for gear
andsonic's Avatar

I say 5 or 6 (huh?)

In an ideal world I would RAID all three

Mirror of the OS drive
Mirror of the Audio drive
Mirror of the Samples drive.

I don't do samples. My new desktop pc is going to have the audio drive on RAID.
Old 30th August 2007
Lives for gear
Tibbon's Avatar
Two should be fine. If you're constantly pulling samples on the fly, then a drive for samples might not hurt, but otherwise is overkill.

Just try and see what you actually NEED and then use it. Right now I have four external drives plugged into my MBP (and about to order another), but that's just for storage size that I need for video mainly. They aren't really set up for speed.

Never thought I'd have a terabyte hanging off a laptop.
Old 30th August 2007
I've seen it recommended to get audio data and streaming sample instrument (BFD, the big piano and orchestra VIs, etc) data on separate drives. And, of course, that's in addition to the system drive. Of course, an intelligent use of your drive channels will be important too. Making an audio drive out of a slaved IDE drive might not be optimal. You may need to get an add in controller.
Old 30th August 2007
Gear Maniac

Here's what I'm thinking:

HD1: System, Applications, Plug-Ins (250 GB)
HD2: Audio (500 GB)
HD3: Samples (Battery, NI Piano, + anything else I pick up) (500 GB)
HD4: Audio Backup (everything else should be in boxes) (500 GB)

How's this sound? Reasonable?
Old 30th August 2007
Lives for gear
Tibbon's Avatar
Using a hard drive for backup is an ok idea, but not great. I'd rather run them in a RAID 1 so that there's constant redundancy, and then back up to tape or other media. Backing up to hard drive isn't good. Just not stable enough in the long term.

At the same time, when client stuff is done, burn it to DVD, give it to them and get it off your drives.
Old 30th August 2007
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The MPCist's Avatar

4 HDs here:

1 for OS
1 for recording
2 for sound libraries/samples.
Old 30th August 2007
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andyspiller's Avatar

4 Here
#1 for OS

#2 For Samples (600Gb)

#3 for Sequence/Audio Data

#4 For Backup of #3 - I would Raid everything but for the time being this is the next best option.
Old 1st September 2007
I have 8 Sata drives on my computer via an external 19" rack.

Drive 1 = System/Programs
Drive 2 = Audio
Drive 3 = Strings (Sonic Implants & Vienna)
Drive 4 = BFD (with all drum expansions approx 470GB)
Drive 5 = Piano (Ivory, Vienna, Malmsjo, White, ArtVista, etc.)
Drive 6 = EWQL misc (Colossus, Gypsy, MOR, Ra, Fab Four, etc)
Drive 7 = EWQL SO XP
Drive 8 = Sound Library, ACID Loops (100GB), Samples, Plugsound, Steinberg, Zero-G, NI, etc.

All drives are WD 150GB Raptor 10k rpm, except Drive 4 and 8 are 500GB Hitachi.

My motherboard has 8 SATA connections. No PCI card needed.

For backups I swap Drive 2 (audio) for a 1TB Hitachi drive to backup drives 3-8 (all sounds) and then
I swap Drive 8 (sound library) for a 500GB drive to backup drives 1-2 (system & audio).
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TWO HDs or THREE for Music Production?-hds.jpg  
Old 1st September 2007
Lives for gear

man... 8 drives...

you won´t benefit from 3 hds:


buy 4 hds, make 2 striped raids and you´ll have a little bit more r/w performance:

2 x hdd: os, apps
2 x hdd: audio

and ALWAYS make backups
Old 1st September 2007
Gear Maniac
In my MacPro I have

1- 250 OS
1- 320 Audio
1- 320 Samples
1- OS Backup and Leopard beta partition.

I tend to pull out the last drive once I'm done goofing around as that last drive tends to make the fans run more so I just leave it out.
Old 4th September 2007
Here for the gear
Jonny5's Avatar


Should the drives be partitioned?
My set-up is...

160gb HD1-C:(O.S./Apps./plugins)14gb

250gb HD2-E:(Audio Recording)50gb
F:(Project Storage/itunes library)200gb

Im Going to get an external 250gb HD for Samples for BFD/Battery/piano VST etc.

I read in Future Music mag that you want to partition 25% of the hard drive so that the smaller partition will use the outside of the HD and therefore be the fastest. Is this correct or should the be NO partitions at all on the hard drives?
Old 4th September 2007
Gear Maniac
mwd's Avatar

DW the criteria is whether both partitions are active. You don't want 2 (or more) active partitions on the same drive because the heads will bounce back and forth and kill any speed gains you might have gotten from running on the outer edges of the platter.

Ex: 1 - C: OS/Apps - I would not run on separate partitions because the OS and Apps are both constantly being accessed.

Ex: 2 - C: OS/Backup or Storage - Would be great to short-stroke the OS on say a 12GB partition.

The other partition being used for backup would seldom get accessed. So partition 1 is active and partition 2 is mostly dormant.
Old 4th September 2007
Here for the gear
Jonny5's Avatar

mwd, sorry I keep going over the same thing.

so, its ok to keep the partitions as long as nothing is being accessed on the second partition of the drive when recording, etc? That will eliminate head bounce?

I dont want to make it inactive and waste all that disk space. Not sure if I understand the "short stroking" of the hard drive. Is that basically what I have done with the 25% thing, or is that a different allocation process?

The system drive is 160gb, how much should I allocate for O.S. and apps. (both being run off same partition) if I use that partition manager software you recommended?

Also, dont freak out, but I picked up a Seagate 250gb external HD which runs on USB 2.0 (sorry, I know your keen to eSata) but it was on sale. I havent tried it out yet, but for the time being I think it might work out. Probably should have got a LaCie or Glyph Quad interface,but they were $100.00 - $150.00 more....

I appreciate all your help....thanks
Old 5th September 2007
Gear Maniac
mwd's Avatar

Jon not to worry ...we all have different situations.

Yep... short stroking the drive and using the outer edge of the platter = the same thing. don't want to waste a partition or any disk space for that matter... you just want a situation where you "group" them as active/inactive or frequent access/infrequent access whatever you want to call it.

What you don't want is very busy/very busy on 2 partitions on the same drive.

Just as an example for you:
I run XP on Raptors:
C: OS only on 12GB - remainder of drive for backups
D: Apps only on 12GB - remainder of drive for backups
E: Audio only - no partition

So yes if you took your 160GB drive and allocated a partition that was equivalent to 20% to 25% you would wind up with a 30GB to 40GB partition, on the outer edge, which would probably be plenty of room for your OS & Apps.
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