Best practices for HD use in DAW

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by fretman, May 19, 2011.

  1. fretman macrumors newbie

    May 19, 2011
    DFW, TX
    A few years ago it was considered good practice to use 4 hard drives for

    1. OS & programs & plugins
    2. projects
    3. loops & audio sample streaming
    4. backup

    Is this still considered true? I've recently read that if you have enough RAM (4G?, 8G?) then the audio samples are just loaded into RAM and run from there. If so, there's no reason not to put the audio samples on the project drive.

    The reason I'm considering this is because I'm on the verge of buying a new 27" iMac w/SSD and internal 1T HD. It be very nice to have both the project files and audio streams internal to the iMac in order to keep some degree of self-containment & portability (such as it is with a 27" monitor - although if I have to lug around an external audio interface anyway then maybe adding an external HD is not that big a deal, still it would be nice to reduce the number of items tethered to the iMac).

    FYI, I can't see myself using more than 16 tracks. 8 tracks would be more typical. They're a mix of live recordings and MIDI samples.

    What degradations and/or limitations would I run into if I used the same HD for both project and audio files?

    If I decide to pursue this, do you see any problems or disadvantages with just using 1 partition instead of 2?

    Thanks, Paul
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    partitions don't help. It can make things even worse if a disk head has to bounce between to partitions are half way across the disk.

    I'd say start with two disks. One for the audio data and one for software and so on. Then look using Activity Monitor and see if you are hitting one of the disks to hard. If so move some of the data to a third drive. But don't try and "fix" a problem until measurements show you there is in fact a problem,

    Of cource you need multiple external drives for backup. No way around that. You need on full time ecternal disk for Time machine. On more for an off-line backup that mabe you keepin a fire safe at home and another disk for an off-site backup you keep in another building. That is the bare minimum you really should rotate disks (no pun) and for example only bring home your off-site backup when you replace it with the new off site so there is onlys an off site disk. This means four.

    I notice that 500GB drives are selling for $39. Four of them cost little more then pocket change.

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