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  #1  
Old 06-11-2020, 07:22 AM
June Moris June Moris is offline
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Default Requirements on Externall HDs for audio/samples/Libs

Hi,


I have a few questions in regards to using external HD's.


I use an Xternal Glyph for audio recording. I bought a second one.
Is it best to not make partitions or would it be a good idea to make partitions?



I bought NI Komplete 12ultimate. While usually Installing software on the main internal HD this is out of the question w Komplete.

I'm reluctant to use expensive Glyph drives for sample libraries and the install of Komplete.


What HD's are good/best to use and are affordable?

What HD's in general are reliable enough for data backup storage? I had a extarnal Lacie fail on me w loss of all data.


Thank you
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  #2  
Old 06-11-2020, 10:43 AM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: Requirements on Externall HDs for audio/samples/Libs

Hard drives largely belong in museums, or used for archives. Why are you not looking at solid state drives?

Why are you not providing any information about your system? You use exactly what Make/model external Glyph? What exact external connections do you have available? USB 2, USB3.1 Gen 2, FireWire 800, Thunderbolt? Thunderbolt 3... How are we expected to guess? What exact internal drives (Make/model/spec) including the boot drive do you have? If you have internal space for drives you might be better installing a drive there, or upgrading existing drives, it all depends... on all the info you are not providing,

If you have a PCIe/NVMe boot drive then the best place to put your sessions is often that drive not an external drive, certainly not an external old HDD. For small sessions you might get away running them off a SATA SSD boot drive...

What exact variant and version of Pro Tools do you have? Disk Cache in newer versions hides lots of storage sins.

A super fast M.2 PCIe/NVMe SSD is not much more expensive than a slower SATA SSD, and both are way faster than any HDD. If you have Thunderbolt 3 then external PCIe/NVMe SSDs are an option. But may be overkill for samples... but I would def. look at SSDs if working on a laptop that is getting moved around.

How big are these new samples? How big are your current sample libraries?

And to be clear you have to install the plugin software on the boot drive in the normal place, you can install the samples that come with that software elsewhere.

All drives fail. Including drives you backup to. A good SSD, especially on a laptop that is moved around will likely give better reliability than a HDD. But plan on them all failing, you need to be prepared with backups and session archives. Multiple of them, stored in multiple locations, Ideally on different media/formats. Including session archives made to cloud storage or offsite drives. It is not always easy to pick brands for reliability, but Lacie is owned by Seagate, and Seagate consumer drives have well earned their current bad reputation for drive reliability. And it’s largely consumer drives we are talking about here being used by any manufacturer regardless of how fancy it is packaged. If using a HDD I would look for something using a WD Black drive.

As for “making partitions” The worst place to put your samples would be on the same slow old HDD as your audio sessions. And partitioning that drive would just make performance worse.

What is "affordable" do you a budget? ... but unless you are already backing up the system onto multiple other HDD (and maybe soem SSD) I would also include purchasing more backup/archive media (or do that before buying more plugins).

Last edited by Darryl Ramm; 06-11-2020 at 11:44 AM.
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  #3  
Old 06-22-2020, 10:51 AM
ejs ejs is offline
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Default Re: Requirements on Externall HDs for audio/samples/Libs

Hi, I recently bought a Mac mini to run Pro Tools subscription (specs in my user profile) I'm having a hard time deciding if I need to buy external drive to dedicate to audio. I've seen posts that suggest the system drive in the Mac mini can be used however, Avid knowledge base still says "One or more hard disk drives dedicated for audio record and playback"
I believe I want to purchase a fast SSD external Thunderbolt 3 to use as a dedicated audio drive such as G-Technology 1TB G-DRIVE mobile Pro Thunderbolt 3 External SSD. My old system used a dedicated 500gb Lacie Firewire.
AND a 2nd Larger capacity external drive to use for Time Machine backups of both the Audio drive and System drive of the Mac mini (2TB with 1.5TB free) like the G-Technology G-DRIVE USB 3.0 10TB External Hard Drive (0G05016). Does this seem like a sound way to spend the money to optimize my system for performance and backup? I just upgraded from Pro Tools 10 on a 2011 MacBook Pro so please forgive my ignorance of these newer technologies. Thank you.
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  #4  
Old 06-22-2020, 11:13 AM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: Requirements on Externall HDs for audio/samples/Libs

Quote:
Originally Posted by ejs View Post
Hi, I recently bought a Mac mini to run Pro Tools subscription (specs in my user profile) I'm having a hard time deciding if I need to buy external drive to dedicate to audio. I've seen posts that suggest the system drive in the Mac mini can be used however, Avid knowledge base still says "One or more hard disk drives dedicated for audio record and playback"
I believe I want to purchase a fast SSD external Thunderbolt 3 to use as a dedicated audio drive such as G-Technology 1TB G-DRIVE mobile Pro Thunderbolt 3 External SSD. My old system used a dedicated 500gb Lacie Firewire.
AND a 2nd Larger capacity external drive to use for Time Machine backups of both the Audio drive and System drive of the Mac mini (2TB with 1.5TB free) like the G-Technology G-DRIVE USB 3.0 10TB External Hard Drive (0G05016). Does this seem like a sound way to spend the money to optimize my system for performance and backup? I just upgraded from Pro Tools 10 on a 2011 MacBook Pro so please forgive my ignorance of these newer technologies. Thank you.
I can't address your specific questions, but do have some advice to offer for all here that have questions; whatever drive you record to, HAVE A BACKUP PLAN!!! There are 2 types of computer users; those that HAVE had a crash, and those that WILL have a crash, be diligent about saving copies of all sessions to at least 1 external drive. If its client sessions, then save to 2 locations(like an external drive and the cloud, or 2 separate external drives(and suggest the client to provide their own backup drive, too). And don't assume that a new drive won't fail for a couple of years(I had 1 go bad in 2 weeks and another just deleted thousands of file for no reason I could figure). The old rule of separate drives for system, samples and sessions is somewhat moot with modern SSD's(but as I said above, never have all your eggs in 1 basket). Most of the reasoning for separate drives was the nature of spinning drives(spreading out the load would give the best performance)
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  #5  
Old 06-22-2020, 12:04 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: Requirements on Externall HDs for audio/samples/Libs

Quote:
Originally Posted by ejs View Post
Hi, I recently bought a Mac mini to run Pro Tools subscription (specs in my user profile) I'm having a hard time deciding if I need to buy external drive to dedicate to audio. I've seen posts that suggest the system drive in the Mac mini can be used however, Avid knowledge base still says "One or more hard disk drives dedicated for audio record and playback"
If only somebody had provided info about this in the thread you are already posting to...

"If you have a PCIe/NVMe boot drive then the best place to put your sessions is often that drive not an external drive, certainly not an external old HDD. For small sessions you might get away running them off a SATA SSD boot drive..."

Avid''s knowledge base article is horribly out of date. All their comments on disk drives are from prehistory. They seem unable, or just don't care enough to update this info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ejs View Post
I believe I want to purchase a fast SSD external Thunderbolt 3 to use as a dedicated audio drive such as G-Technology 1TB G-DRIVE mobile Pro Thunderbolt 3 External SSD. My old system used a dedicated 500gb Lacie Firewire.
Yes that's a PCIe/NVMe drive similar to the internal SSD, but the internal SSD is already so fast you will not need this external dedicated drive. And especially for portable applications, you likely decrease reliability be using an external drive with a fragile cable connection.

If you wanted to donate money for an unneeded external audio drive personally would use a Samsung X5 drive. I don't have anything bad to say about this drive but I'd rather purchase drives from the leading SSD vendor who controls the whole stack from NAND chips to controllers to firmware... and who does not depend on their party controller chips and firmware, and is able to fix issues themselves.

The harder question is often how much space do you need for samples and where are you going to put them. Putting samples on the same drive as audio is often much more demanding that putting audio on the boot drive... but again these modern drives are so fast (and modern Pro Tools disk cache hides many sins anyhow) you can typically do that, *if* there is space.... so my advice to mac purchasers is to do whatever is possible to max out the size of that internal SSD, even at Apple SSD price points.

Quote:
AND a 2nd Larger capacity external drive to use for Time Machine backups of both the Audio drive and System drive of the Mac mini (2TB with 1.5TB free) like the G-Technology G-DRIVE USB 3.0 10TB External Hard Drive (0G05016). Does this seem like a sound way to spend the money to optimize my system for performance and backup? I just upgraded from Pro Tools 10 on a 2011 MacBook Pro so please forgive my ignorance of these newer technologies. Thank you.
You need to think through in detail what exactly is involved in recovering from any failure or user mistake. Time Machine is an awful tool to use for system backups. It can be useful for backing up user documents and sessions... but I would prefer to manually copy important sessions to archive them. And do so in multiple different places, onto multiple different media. Including some offside. And include copying to cloud storage like Google Cloud. I would not rely on just SSD for long term storage. HDD are more proven, and I'd be looking for WD based HDD units (which G-Tech, owned by WD, will use).. but you want 7,200 rpm drives ... which the one you are looking at has (be careful of other WD external drives they do tend to package some slow/crappy drives in external enclosures). As already note, you need multiple of these drives.

Cloning the boot drive with Carbon Copy Cloner is much better that using Time machine and what many people here do. If a failure happens you just connect that clone drive and boot off it and are up and running... for that reason you might actually want to clone to a fast SSD like a Samsung X5. That's what I do... I have one Samsung X5 amongst my other slower boot drive clones (mostly Samsung T5). I also use that fast SSD for testing new macOS releases using another APFS container on that drive. SSD for boot drive clones for speed.... but they are not relied on for long term archives so OK to be on SSD.

Boot drives clones should not be the only place you backup/archive your sessions if they are on the boot drive. The sessions are presumably much more important than the OS and apps and plugins, all of which can be reinstalled.

But even for boot drive clones have multiple external drives and rotate between those. A likely time you will encounter a boot drive failure is when it is being read while making a backup or clone... at which point your boot drive is toast, and you've also likely just corrupted your only backup as well.

Like your other question about do you need a dedicated audio drive this has been discussed hundreds and hundreds of times on DUC and you can find all you need by searching DUC (use google search with a site:duc.avid.com qualifier).

Last edited by Darryl Ramm; 06-22-2020 at 12:32 PM.
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  #6  
Old 06-22-2020, 10:38 PM
ejs ejs is offline
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Default Re: Requirements on Externall HDs for audio/samples/Libs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl Ramm View Post
If only somebody had provided info about this in the thread you are already posting to...
Thank you for your reply.

Quote:
"If you have a PCIe/NVMe boot drive then the best place to put your sessions is often that drive not an external drive, certainly not an external old HDD. For small sessions you might get away running them off a SATA SSD boot drive..."

Avid''s knowledge base article is horribly out of date. All their comments on disk drives are from prehistory. They seem unable, or just don't care enough to update this info.
This is unfortunate and makes things confusing

Quote:
Yes that's a PCIe/NVMe drive similar to the internal SSD, but the internal SSD is already so fast you will not need this external dedicated drive. And especially for portable applications, you likely decrease reliability be using an external drive with a fragile cable connection.

If you wanted to donate money for an unneeded external audio drive personally would use a Samsung X5 drive. I don't have anything bad to say about this drive but I'd rather purchase drives from the leading SSD vendor who controls the whole stack from NAND chips to controllers to firmware... and who does not depend on their party controller chips and firmware, and is able to fix issues themselves.

The harder question is often how much space do you need for samples and where are you going to put them. Putting samples on the same drive as audio is often much more demanding that putting audio on the boot drive... but again these modern drives are so fast (and modern Pro Tools disk cache hides many sins anyhow) you can typically do that, *if* there is space.... so my advice to mac purchasers is to do whatever is possible to max out the size of that internal SSD, even at Apple SSD price points.
I have less than 100GB sample libraries right now so perhaps best to use the Mac mini for both audio and samples now and get a dedicated sample drive if/when that becomes necessary.

Quote:
You need to think through in detail what exactly is involved in recovering from any failure or user mistake. Time Machine is an awful tool to use for system backups. It can be useful for backing up user documents and sessions... but I would prefer to manually copy important sessions to archive them. And do so in multiple different places, onto multiple different media. Including some offside. And include copying to cloud storage like Google Cloud. I would not rely on just SSD for long term storage. HDD are more proven, and I'd be looking for WD based HDD units (which G-Tech, owned by WD, will use).. but you want 7,200 rpm drives ... which the one you are looking at has (be careful of other WD external drives they do tend to package some slow/crappy drives in external enclosures). As already note, you need multiple of these drives.
Are my OWC Mercury Elite Pro Firewire/eSATA/USB drives (1TB and 500G) sufficient for these types of backup?
If I wanted more storage in those enclosures are Seagate BarraCuda 2TB HDD – 3.5 Inch SATA 6Gb/s 7200 RPM 256MB Cache acceptable or must they be WD? They’re only $55 on Amazon

Quote:
Cloning the boot drive with Carbon Copy Cloner is much better that using Time machine and what many people here do. If a failure happens you just connect that clone drive and boot off it and are up and running... for that reason you might actually want to clone to a fast SSD like a Samsung X5. That's what I do... I have one Samsung X5 amongst my other slower boot drive clones (mostly Samsung T5). I also use that fast SSD for testing new macOS releases using another APFS container on that drive. SSD for boot drive clones for speed.... but they are not relied on for long term archives so OK to be on SSD.
Is 2TB enough capacity to Clone the 2TB Mac mini? After I move my current audio drive files to it will likely have used about 1TB.
Bombich.com recommends U32 Shadow External SSD USB-C Portable Solid State Drive (USB 3.1 Gen 2) which has a 4TB version for $600. https://bombich.com/kb/ccc5/choosing-backup-drive.

Quote:
Boot drives clones should not be the only place you backup/archive your sessions if they are on the boot drive. The sessions are presumably much more important than the OS and apps and plugins, all of which can be reinstalled.

But even for boot drive clones have multiple external drives and rotate between those. A likely time you will encounter a boot drive failure is when it is being read while making a backup or clone... at which point your boot drive is toast, and you've also likely just corrupted your only backup as well.
This is getting expensive
Quote:
Like your other question about do you need a dedicated audio drive this has been discussed hundreds and hundreds of times on DUC and you can find all you need by searching DUC (use google search with a site:duc.avid.com qualifier).
Thank you again for your helpful reply
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  #7  
Old 06-22-2020, 10:47 PM
ejs ejs is offline
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Default Re: Requirements on Externall HDs for audio/samples/Libs

Quote:
Originally Posted by albee1952 View Post
I can't address your specific questions, but do have some advice to offer for all here that have questions; whatever drive you record to, HAVE A BACKUP PLAN!!! There are 2 types of computer users; those that HAVE had a crash, and those that WILL have a crash, be diligent about saving copies of all sessions to at least 1 external drive. If its client sessions, then save to 2 locations(like an external drive and the cloud, or 2 separate external drives(and suggest the client to provide their own backup drive, too). And don't assume that a new drive won't fail for a couple of years(I had 1 go bad in 2 weeks and another just deleted thousands of file for no reason I could figure). The old rule of separate drives for system, samples and sessions is somewhat moot with modern SSD's(but as I said above, never have all your eggs in 1 basket). Most of the reasoning for separate drives was the nature of spinning drives(spreading out the load would give the best performance)
Thank you for the advice. appreciated
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  #8  
Old 06-23-2020, 12:53 AM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: Requirements on Externall HDs for audio/samples/Libs

Quote:
Originally Posted by ejs View Post
I have less than 100GB sample libraries right now so perhaps best to use the Mac mini for both audio and samples now and get a dedicated sample drive if/when that becomes necessary.
I think that is a great approach. And you can focus on setting up backup/archives. And I do this myself on a 2TB internal SSD.. including because I don't want to have to deal with the hassle of external drives and cables most of the time.

Quote:
Are my OWC Mercury Elite Pro Firewire/eSATA/USB drives (1TB and 500G) sufficient for these types of backup?

If I wanted more storage in those enclosures are Seagate BarraCuda 2TB HDD – 3.5 Inch SATA 6Gb/s 7200 RPM 256MB Cache acceptable or must they be WD? They’re only $55 on Amazon
If the drives are working well now I would use them amongst a set of drives for backups, maybe a bit too small to clone to but use them for session and other user file backups.

Seagate Barracuda used to be well regarded drives. But they ranked low in reliability testing by Backblaze. And Seagate shot themselves in the foot with more recent Rosewood drive reliability. I sure would avoid those. They are used in some LaCie products (LaCie is owned by Seagate). Overall personally I avoid Seagate products, the company seems to have lost its way.

But if your SATA drive enclosure can take a 3.5" drive I would stick a WD Black drive in it.

Quote:
Is 2TB enough capacity to Clone the 2TB Mac mini? After I move my current audio drive files to it will likely have used about 1TB.
If you are only using 1TB then sure a 2TB drive to clone to with CCC will work fine. CCC can make incremental clones which you should use, so it will slowly fill up the drive you are clinging to saving copies of files even after you delete them off the source drive.. but you can manage how it does that.

Quote:
Bombich.com recommends U32 Shadow External SSD USB-C Portable Solid State Drive (USB 3.1 Gen 2) which has a 4TB version for $600. https://bombich.com/kb/ccc5/choosing-backup-drive.
I don't know why they recommend those drives, I have no experience with them, and I might pay attention to them if Anadtech or others did a detailed review and test. I like Samsung SSDs for the reasons mentioned, but they are not the only choice. The equivalent drive I usually recommend is the Samsung T5. 2TB for $300. They are tiny but basically the guts of the similar Samsung 2.5" SATA SSD.

https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-T5-Po...073H4GPLQ?th=1

This gets you the benefit of faster than SATA HDD backup to a SATA based SSD, which might have write performance in the ~400MB/sec range.

But that is a lot slower than the internal PCIe/NVMe SSD in your Mac... so if in the case of a internal drive fail, you could boot off the T5 (or U32 Shadow) type drive.. and might be able to run OK, you also might not because it's a factor of several times slower than the internal SSD.

That's what is nice about something like the Samsung X5. (~$700 for 2TB)... not only is it faster to clone to (but not as fast as raw drive speed imples) but if you have a failure and boot off that external drive it *is* as fast as your internal drive and you should be able to continue to run sessions and sampel off that without needing to restore to your internal drive (which you may not want to or many not be able to if it fails... which OK is a longer shot... the most likely reason to actually need to use a backup today is human/finger mistakes).

But just doing CCC clone to a HDD will work fine to let you restore from... but you really won't' be able to just reboot off one of those clones and run your sessions.

If you have never done this try it all out. Make a CCC clone to a drive. Reboot your Mac, hold down the option key while it boots up and select the clone drive and boot that. It's a great way to recover/get working again.

[QUOTE]
This is getting expensive
[QUOTE]

Yes it can. But you have a spectrum available to you of cloning to low cost ~$100 2.5" HDD (+enclosure costs) up to drives like the X5. And mix up several ways. say a X5 for very fast recovery potential, and other stuff on cheap HDD just in case.

And while cloning your boot drive will also backup your session, that's the area where I think you want to do more. I like to create a zip of tar file of an entire session (making sure all the assets are in the session audio folder) and manually backup/archive those. Copy to cloud storage, put on other external drives, burn a DVD-ROM, backup with time machine if you want, copy to NAS storage... whatever, just multiple copies in multiple separate places and make sure you can restore the sessions elsewhere and they really work. Don't lose your work.
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  #9  
Old 06-23-2020, 09:42 AM
ejs ejs is offline
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Default Re: Requirements on Externall HDs for audio/samples/Libs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl Ramm View Post
I think that is a great approach. And you can focus on setting up backup/archives. And I do this myself on a 2TB internal SSD.. including because I don't want to have to deal with the hassle of external drives and cables most of the time.
Darryl, this is all extremely helpful and very much appreciated. Thank you.

Quote:
If the drives are working well now I would use them amongst a set of drives for backups, maybe a bit too small to clone to but use them for session and other user file backups.

Seagate Barracuda used to be well regarded drives. But they ranked low in reliability testing by Backblaze. And Seagate shot themselves in the foot with more recent Rosewood drive reliability. I sure would avoid those. They are used in some LaCie products (LaCie is owned by Seagate). Overall personally I avoid Seagate products, the company seems to have lost its way.

But if your SATA drive enclosure can take a 3.5" drive I would stick a WD Black drive in it.
They can take 3.5” SATA but they are Firewire/USB 2. The WD Black is $177 but the G-Drive only $125 7200rpm and USB 3. Is there any reason you can think not to get that instead?

Quote:
If you are only using 1TB then sure a 2TB drive to clone to with CCC will work fine. CCC can make incremental clones which you should use, so it will slowly fill up the drive you are clinging to saving copies of files even after you delete them off the source drive.. but you can manage how it does that.

I don't know why they recommend those drives, I have no experience with them, and I might pay attention to them if Anadtech or others did a detailed review and test. I like Samsung SSDs for the reasons mentioned, but they are not the only choice. The equivalent drive I usually recommend is the Samsung T5. 2TB for $300. They are tiny but basically the guts of the similar Samsung 2.5" SATA SSD.

https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-T5-Po...073H4GPLQ?th=1

This gets you the benefit of faster than SATA HDD backup to a SATA based SSD, which might have write performance in the ~400MB/sec range.

But that is a lot slower than the internal PCIe/NVMe SSD in your Mac... so if in the case of a internal drive fail, you could boot off the T5 (or U32 Shadow) type drive.. and might be able to run OK, you also might not because it's a factor of several times slower than the internal SSD.

That's what is nice about something like the Samsung X5. (~$700 for 2TB)... not only is it faster to clone to (but not as fast as raw drive speed imples) but if you have a failure and boot off that external drive it *is* as fast as your internal drive and you should be able to continue to run sessions and sampel off that without needing to restore to your internal drive (which you may not want to or many not be able to if it fails... which OK is a longer shot... the most likely reason to actually need to use a backup today is human/finger mistakes).

But just doing CCC clone to a HDD will work fine to let you restore from... but you really won't' be able to just reboot off one of those clones and run your sessions.

If you have never done this try it all out. Make a CCC clone to a drive. Reboot your Mac, hold down the option key while it boots up and select the clone drive and boot that. It's a great way to recover/get working again.
So would you say 2TB is minimum capacity for Boot Clone Drive. Are there any external SSD that go above 2TB?

Quote:
This is getting expensive
Quote:

Yes it can. But you have a spectrum available to you of cloning to low cost ~$100 2.5" HDD (+enclosure costs) up to drives like the X5. And mix up several ways. say a X5 for very fast recovery potential, and other stuff on cheap HDD just in case.

And while cloning your boot drive will also backup your session, that's the area where I think you want to do more. I like to create a zip of tar file of an entire session (making sure all the assets are in the session audio folder) and manually backup/archive those. Copy to cloud storage, put on other external drives, burn a DVD-ROM, backup with time machine if you want, copy to NAS storage... whatever, just multiple copies in multiple separate places and make sure you can restore the sessions elsewhere and they really work. Don't lose your work.
So here’s my plan to spend $1,125. What do you think? And thank you very much for all the guidance.

1. Use the Mac mini for both audio record/playback and samples for now. Dedicated sample drive if/when that becomes necessary (Samsung X5 1TB)
2. ($700) Buy 2TB Samsung X5 make incremental clones with CCC - boot drive clone
3. ($300) Buy 2TB Samsung T5 as 2nd Boot Clone Backup
4. ($125) Buy 4TB G-Technology G-DRIVE USB G1 USB 3.0 Hard Drive for Time Machine
5. Put session folders in Dropbox to back up to cloud
6. Use external drives I already own to make third copy backup/archives
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  #10  
Old 06-23-2020, 02:35 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: Requirements on Externall HDs for audio/samples/Libs

Quote:
Originally Posted by ejs View Post
Darryl, this is all extremely helpful and very much appreciated. Thank you.


They can take 3.5” SATA but they are Firewire/USB 2. The WD Black is $177 but the G-Drive only $125 7200rpm and USB 3. Is there any reason you can think not to get that instead?
I would look and try to see what exact drive is installed in any external drive, especially if somebody has reviewed it. But start with if they don't clearly spec 7,200 RPM then definitely avoid it, just so slow they are painful. I have long used G-Technology drives, and for example I have several 1TB G-Drive eV RaW drives (and many older drives), but made sure to get the 7,200 rpm version, then available only in 1Tb size.

I just don't have anything intelligent to say about the latest high density external drives. I don't use them. I wish there were better technical reviews and long term tests done with them but they are such cheap commodities nowadays. And I would like to see stats on SMR vs CMR drive reliability, and even knowing the WD Black uses SMR in some higher density drives I've not heard of that causing reliability issues... but be paranoid, use a couple of different model drives.

Quote:
So would you say 2TB is minimum capacity for Boot Clone Drive. Are there any external SSD that go above 2TB?
Sure, but few units including the U32 Shadow 4TB. Which is maybe why Bombich recommends them? But this is just outside current sweetspots so give it a little time. Most folks today that wanted a lot of external SSD are just going to use multiple drives or for more demanding work stick multiple M.2 drives in an external Thunderbolt chassis... that can be compelling for high end used today, but cooling fans and power supplies make it less compelling with a MacBook Pro. Another option is to take a SSD Sata drive and put in your own enclosure, but I like the compact little T5 and similar units from other vendors, many of those vendors have 4TB 2.5" SATA drives today.. just a matter of time until they end up in a USB version. I expect the reasons there is all market demand and cost, not technology.

Quote:
So here’s my plan to spend $1,125. What do you think? And thank you very much for all the guidance.

1. Use the Mac mini for both audio record/playback and samples for now. Dedicated sample drive if/when that becomes necessary (Samsung X5 1TB)
2. ($700) Buy 2TB Samsung X5 make incremental clones with CCC - boot drive clone
3. ($300) Buy 2TB Samsung T5 as 2nd Boot Clone Backup
4. ($125) Buy 4TB G-Technology G-DRIVE USB G1 USB 3.0 Hard Drive for Time Machine
5. Put session folders in Dropbox to back up to cloud
Keep you session on the internal SSD not in a dropbox folder. If you put the actual session you run in a Dropbox folder that is likely to completely mess you up. You don't want Dropbox trying to copy stuff while Pro Tools is writing it to disk. When you want to make an archive of your sessions, tar or zip up the session folder and give it a name you can keep track of and copy that tar or zip file to an external drive and also drag and drop onto a cloud service (like into your Dropbox folder). In my case I have a script that does this and uses a utility that uses a simple Google Cloud API to copy stuff there. Check that stuff really gets what you expect and can download and use (e.g. say check it shows up correctly using the Dropbox web UI and download that to a different location, ideally on a different computer, untar/unzip and test run the session).


Quote:
6. Use external drives I already own to make third copy backup/archives
I think you are on the right track. I would probably grab the X5 and use your current HDDs, or maybe buy a cheap HDD and start doing clones and archive backups... and see how it goes and then decide what else to purchase. If you are doing this well you will soon end up with a decent number of HDD and SSDs stored away safe, nicely labeled, etc. It's so worrying to see folks that don't back up stuff and lose theirs or other's work... and as Dave says, it will happen.

And a nice thing about the X5 with APFS is you may have enough space on a 2TB one to throw a APFS test container on there and test out your future OS upgrades without any risk to your internal drive setup. That's exactly what I'm doing with an X5 now.
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