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Old 07-10-2018, 08:46 AM
Coffeebean7 Coffeebean7 is offline
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Default Using an external SSD drive with Pro tools

Hi, I have recently downloaded Pro Tools First, and was thinking of paying for the monthly plan for Pro Tools. So I started watching some videos to get some knowledge since I know nothing about it and the guy said not to record directly to the same drive you are running Pro Tools from, because this will slow things down etc. I was going to purchase a SSD for my Mac because that is apparently what I need but I'm very confused on which one I'm meant to get or if there is certain specs I need, there is one I can afford which I'll add a link to at the end of this but I don't know if it is okay or not. Also, I currently have a standard portable hard drive (I really don't get the difference between that and a SSD) which I have native instruments sound libraries installed on so can I have that running at the same time? It's all very confusing. Any help would be great, thanks.
Here is the link: https://www.macfixit.com.au/240gb-ow...RoCDkYQAvD_BwE
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Old 07-12-2018, 07:42 AM
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junkgear junkgear is offline
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Default Re: Using an external SSD drive with Pro tools

Basically a hard drive can only read and write so much data at any given time. If everything is running off of the same drive, then the OS is accessing information from it, your sample libraries are accessing information from it and your audio files are being read/written to/from it. That's a lot of data all at one time, so at some point, one or more of those things is put in a line and has to wait before it can be processed. And this is where your system starts to slow down; waiting for all that info to be read/written to the hard drive.

A simple solution to this problem is to separate this data onto separate disks. One for the OS and Pro Tools itself, one for your session (audio) files and one for your sample libraries. In this configuration, the drive only has to serve up any one of these things at a time, which removes the bottleneck and improves system performance.

Now mind you that newer computers are pretty powerful and SSD drives are a lot faster than older mechanical drives, so you can get away with a lot more these days as far a running things from a single drive. Mind you, this all depends on how big your sessions are, how many audio tracks and how many sample based instruments you use. At a minimum, I would suggest a separate drive for your sessions.

The drive you linked would be perfectly fine as your session drive.

Hope that clears it up a bit.
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Old 07-14-2018, 06:42 PM
Coffeebean7 Coffeebean7 is offline
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Default Re: Using an external SSD drive with Pro tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by junkgear View Post
Basically a hard drive can only read and write so much data at any given time. If everything is running off of the same drive, then the OS is accessing information from it, your sample libraries are accessing information from it and your audio files are being read/written to/from it. That's a lot of data all at one time, so at some point, one or more of those things is put in a line and has to wait before it can be processed. And this is where your system starts to slow down; waiting for all that info to be read/written to the hard drive.

A simple solution to this problem is to separate this data onto separate disks. One for the OS and Pro Tools itself, one for your session (audio) files and one for your sample libraries. In this configuration, the drive only has to serve up any one of these things at a time, which removes the bottleneck and improves system performance.

Now mind you that newer computers are pretty powerful and SSD drives are a lot faster than older mechanical drives, so you can get away with a lot more these days as far a running things from a single drive. Mind you, this all depends on how big your sessions are, how many audio tracks and how many sample based instruments you use. At a minimum, I would suggest a separate drive for your sessions.

The drive you linked would be perfectly fine as your session drive.

Hope that clears it up a bit.
Thanks for the detailed reply. I actually have some of my sound libraries (well native instruments mainly) on a standard portable drive (Porsche design Lacie drive) and the rest on my computer, it's probably a weird setup but I needed to start saving space so I brought a portable drive. So sometimes it will be using my computer and other times not for the most part it will be. So, because I've done it this way I figure I need a drive hooked up to my computer for Native instruments (It was too big to put on my computer directly) and the SSD one for recording. Kind of a weird setup I'm sure but I couldn't fit Native instruments on my Mac and so I needed to do that. It would probably be easier if the sound libraries/plugins were all on the same drive.
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Old 07-15-2018, 10:48 AM
musicman691 musicman691 is offline
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Default Re: Using an external SSD drive with Pro tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coffeebean7 View Post
Thanks for the detailed reply. I actually have some of my sound libraries (well native instruments mainly) on a standard portable drive (Porsche design Lacie drive) and the rest on my computer, it's probably a weird setup but I needed to start saving space so I brought a portable drive. So sometimes it will be using my computer and other times not for the most part it will be. So, because I've done it this way I figure I need a drive hooked up to my computer for Native instruments (It was too big to put on my computer directly) and the SSD one for recording. Kind of a weird setup I'm sure but I couldn't fit Native instruments on my Mac and so I needed to do that. It would probably be easier if the sound libraries/plugins were all on the same drive.
Don't know what the specs are on that LaCie drive but make sure that the drive speed is 7200 rpm if it's a spinner. Hopefully it's an ssd. What type of connection are you using between the computer and drive? If it's an ssd and you have the space I'd put all the sample libraries on it. Plugins themselves must go on the system drive.
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Old 07-17-2018, 01:39 AM
Coffeebean7 Coffeebean7 is offline
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Default Re: Using an external SSD drive with Pro tools

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Originally Posted by musicman691 View Post
Don't know what the specs are on that LaCie drive but make sure that the drive speed is 7200 rpm if it's a spinner. Hopefully it's an ssd. What type of connection are you using between the computer and drive? If it's an ssd and you have the space I'd put all the sample libraries on it. Plugins themselves must go on the system drive.
To be honest I don't know, it said portable hard drive, I just know it holds 8tb and when I used it with Logic which is where I'm coming from I didn't have any problems. Yes, the sound content of Native instruments is on the drive but the actual installation is on my mac, when I installed it asked me where to install and where to store the content libraries. I really need to learn more about all this stuff. If it will run smoother I will see if that SSD drive I mentioned in my first post comes in a larger capacity and get that assuming I can afford it. My drive came with a USB3 and a USB-C cable.

Question though, if all my sound libraries are on an actual ssd like the link in my first post, do I record to the drive my sound libraries are on since my computer is the hardware with the actual plugins and Pro tools installed? I apologise for so many questions, this is very new to me.

I just brought some more ram because I only have 8gb(I will now have 24gb because I read Pro tools needs at least 16gb), so I'll be subscribing to Pro tools as soon as it arrives, so I want to get this sorted out as soon as I can. I'm also hoping not to spend too much on the SSD because the ram was expensive.
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Old 07-17-2018, 04:39 AM
musicman691 musicman691 is offline
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Default Re: Using an external SSD drive with Pro tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coffeebean7 View Post
To be honest I don't know, it said portable hard drive, I just know it holds 8tb and when I used it with Logic which is where I'm coming from I didn't have any problems. Yes, the sound content of Native instruments is on the drive but the actual installation is on my mac, when I installed it asked me where to install and where to store the content libraries. I really need to learn more about all this stuff. If it will run smoother I will see if that SSD drive I mentioned in my first post comes in a larger capacity and get that assuming I can afford it. My drive came with a USB3 and a USB-C cable.

Question though, if all my sound libraries are on an actual ssd like the link in my first post, do I record to the drive my sound libraries are on since my computer is the hardware with the actual plugins and Pro tools installed? I apologise for so many questions, this is very new to me.

I just brought some more ram because I only have 8gb(I will now have 24gb because I read Pro tools needs at least 16gb), so I'll be subscribing to Pro tools as soon as it arrives, so I want to get this sorted out as soon as I can. I'm also hoping not to spend too much on the SSD because the ram was expensive.
Look on the drive case - it should have a model number on it. Maybe you still have the box it came in? Or the receipt from where you purchased it? Those should have the model number. From what I can find it is a spinner but not how fast but probably 5400 rpm; even the LaCie site doesn't list the drive speed.

You could record to the drive the libraries are on but you'd be better off recording to a separate drive; either an ssd or a 7200 rpm spinner.

As to ram - you really should have all ram modules the same size and spec.
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Old 09-05-2018, 03:09 PM
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xrekcor xrekcor is offline
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Default Re: Using an external SSD drive with Pro tools

hey Coffeebean7

how did you go, and what did you end up with. I noticed recently the drive you linked has a 1t model for around AUS$387.00 which I might look into once I sort out a couple of other things first.

also have you noticed any improvement to your system with the added drives and using variations of....
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