Old 06-11-2019, 10:22 AM   #1
Lynard
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Default External Hard Drives

I'm just barely getting set up to start using Reaper/DAW composing. I want to store my song tracks on an external drive, but need a recommendation for size, brand etc. I'm interested in the notion of a RAID mirroring system with at least 2 drives. I've been advised to go with at least 4 tb and to consider a solid state drive. The solid state are considerably more expensive. Would it be better to buy 1 solid state drive, or am I better off getting 2 drives and mirroring them? I would like the drives to be as quiet and reliable as possible. Any recommendations for a beginner are really appreciated. Thank you!
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Old 06-11-2019, 10:47 AM   #2
cyrano
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USB, Firewire, Thunderbolt or something else? Desktop or laptop?

Certainly SSD for your internal startup drive.

For externals, if you need 4 TB, only magnetic harddrives are available, unless money isn't an object.

If you use large sample libraries and want to store these on the external, go SSD. If it's for archival, go magnetic for price and longevity.
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:06 AM   #3
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I just bought this toaster so I can stack drives on the shelf and back up to them easily. This way I can tell a musician to bring over their hard drive for backup of their project. Most of my full albums are less than 30gb so that makes it easy to pick up cheap hard drives.

https://www.amazon.com/Inateck-Docki...99T0FHPQRWP886

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fro...c&LH_PrefLoc=1
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:01 PM   #4
Lynard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyrano View Post
USB, Firewire, Thunderbolt or something else? Desktop or laptop?

Certainly SSD for your internal startup drive.

For externals, if you need 4 TB, only magnetic harddrives are available, unless money isn't an object.

If you use large sample libraries and want to store these on the external, go SSD. If it's for archival, go magnetic for price and longevity.
My computer is a Lenovo laptop with a solid state drive, but I don't know that I should be storing libraries or song tracks on it. If I went SSD for the external, do I really need to mirror for dependability? Is there a way to put in place something quality and then add to it as I grow and purchase more libraries? What tb do you recommend? Is 4 enough? While I could afford to go the SSD route, I need to figure out where the best place is to put my money in the beginning--other equipment, libraries etc. If the hard drive is a crucial component, I will do that. If I can go something a little less, still be secure and add something better later, I'd do that. Thanks.

Last edited by Lynard; 06-11-2019 at 12:18 PM.
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:01 PM   #5
Lynard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coachz View Post
I just bought this toaster so I can stack drives on the shelf and back up to them easily. This way I can tell a musician to bring over their hard drive for backup of their project. Most of my full albums are less than 30gb so that makes it easy to pick up cheap hard drives.

https://www.amazon.com/Inateck-Docki...99T0FHPQRWP886

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fro...c&LH_PrefLoc=1
Great idea! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:02 PM   #6
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I purchased an Orico cloner enclosure a Samsung 250GB (could be 500 I forget)hard drive
I keep my BFD3 and Omnisphere Data on it running through USB3
and could not be happier.

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Old 06-11-2019, 12:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynard View Post
Great idea! Thanks for sharing.
sure thing. I also plan to run Fresh Disk on drives every few years.

http://www.puransoftware.com/DiskFresh.html
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynard View Post
My computer is a Lenovo laptop with a solid state drive, but I don't know that I should be storing libraries or song tracks on it. If I went SSD for the external, do I really need to mirror for dependability? Is there a way to put in place something quality and then add to it as I grow and purchase more libraries? What tb do you recommend? Is 4 enough? While I could afford to go the SSD route, I need to figure out where the best place is to put my money in the beginning--other equipment, libraries etc. If the hard drive is a crucial component, I will do that. If I can go something a little less, still be secure and add something better later, I'd do that. Thanks.
It will speed things up if you put the samples on an ssd. I just use my boot ssd for windows software samples and plugins. Use your own judgement on mirroring. If you're like me and you want your backup more organized than the original then manage it yourself.

It all depends on what you want to do. I have a cheap laptop at home and everything goes on the internal 240gb ssd and it works fine. I'll do ~16 track songs with Addictive drums, lite ampsims, live instruments etc.
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:36 PM   #9
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As a backup you can also use something like Dropbox or Googledrive see how much space you really need it's free or a few bucks per month for extra storage and if you want to upgrade later for external you can if it's not enough.

Last edited by Pinknoise; 06-11-2019 at 04:51 PM.
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Old 06-12-2019, 02:58 AM   #10
cyrano
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynard View Post
My computer is a Lenovo laptop with a solid state drive, but I don't know that I should be storing libraries or song tracks on it. If I went SSD for the external, do I really need to mirror for dependability? Is there a way to put in place something quality and then add to it as I grow and purchase more libraries? What tb do you recommend? Is 4 enough? While I could afford to go the SSD route, I need to figure out where the best place is to put my money in the beginning--other equipment, libraries etc. If the hard drive is a crucial component, I will do that. If I can go something a little less, still be secure and add something better later, I'd do that. Thanks.
It's mostly a price thing. 470 GB Samsung SSD's are around 60 € over here; a 4 TB OTOH is very expensive.

For archival, I still buy spinning rust.

Personally, I wouldn't do RAID on SSD's. There's little speed gain and most RAID soft/hardware was tailored for harddisks. Rhere's a small chance it won't work for redundancy. Nobody understands the way SSD controllers work, except of course the people who design them. Besides, RAID isn't a backup.

With a dock, as Coachz suggested, you plug in what you need. Watch the prices and buy what you need. Eg, an SSD for samples, a big HD for archive. Maybe a duo Dock?
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:13 AM   #11
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I really appreciate all of you taking time to give me your perspectives. I've learned a lot and think I'll make a much better decision now and get things set up right in the beginning.
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:16 AM   #12
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By swapping out my hard drives for SSD drives I was able to get to 400 GB SATA hard drives that have a good health according to the smart parameters. Since an album for me is rarely over 30 GB I can use those two drives along with the external toaster to do extra backups and archiving and just put them on a shelf.

It makes it much easier to keep projects longer instead of having to throw them out every time because all I have is a DVD burner and 4.7 gigabytes doesn't do anything nowadays. I can't think of the last time I burned a DVD. Probably about the last time I thought I absolutely had to have a color printer.

Which is before the last time I knew for sure I had to have a flatbed scanner. This technology turns to shit way too fast. I should go back to the L cassette.


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Old 06-12-2019, 08:34 AM   #13
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Or you could just upgrade the internal SSD to a larger size. A Crucial 1TB is going for $120 right now. They also make a 2TB for $240. (Crucial is every bit the reliable big chip maker Samsung is FYI and these have 5 year warranties.)

You're not going to have any bottleneck streaming your sample library off the same drive as your audio files and system drive with a SSD. Certainly not with SATA3 or even if your machine only has SATA2.

You'll pay premium to go to an external thunderbolt enclosure with a SSD.
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