Sample Libraries - Where to put them

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by joe.cavers, May 4, 2010.

  1. joe.cavers macrumors regular

    Sep 16, 2008

    I've often been told that you should keep Sample Libraries (e.g. the extra content supplied with Logic, or an Orchestral sample library) on a separate hard drive to optimise performance. I currently only have my system drive and one external Firewire 800 drive which I store my audio sessions on.

    Currently, any sample libraries I have (Logic and Live) are on the system drive, but would I be better off having that content installed on the same drive as my sessions? I thought this would maybe cause data bottlenecks since the computer would be accessing samples and session data as well as writing data all through one connection, but I'd be happy to be proven wrong.

  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    IF you don't have a performance problem then it does not matte where the data is. For best performance you want to spread the data around and NOT have it all on one disk. The more disks the data are spread over the overall better performance.

    When samples your audio and files and the system are all on the same disk tha disk heads need to move a lot . If you only have two disks then for best performance you'd want to keep the session audio recording on it
    s own disk and everything else on the system disk.

    But then sample libraries are so large people like to put them on the external drive.
  3. joe.cavers thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 16, 2008
    That's good, that's what I've got now. Performance is starting to struggle a little but thats partially because my MBP is 3 years old and partially because I learned a lot of new things in terms of production. I think I might purchase another drive when and if I finally purchase an orchestral sample set (been looking into them for years now, just haven't justified the purchase so far).

    Anyone else got any input?
  4. jufros macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2009
    The best option for you would be to get an optibay and 2nd internal hard drive. Having your samples on the system drive is not nearly as big a deal as having them on your recording drive is. Trying to write live audio tracks to a drive that's simultaneously streaming audio and triggering samples is a lot to ask of an HDD. If you have a project drive, sample drive, and system/apps drive, you will definitely see a very legitimate jump in performance. If you have your project-of-the-moment on an SSD, you will see a massive increase in performance. Right now, I have two SSD's in my 17'' 2.8Ghz MBP. The smaller faster one is for applications, OSX, and Omnisphere. The second larger SSD has slower reads but faster write speeds (through the reads are still absolutely nothing to scoff at). I keep my most-used samples there as well as ~4-7 current Logic projects at any given time. Bouncing tracks and loading samples is essentially instantaneous and I've had had anywhere near this kind of reliability. After I've finished a project, I just dump it to an external drive. My larger orchestral sample libraries are on an external as well. But, for example, I do keep my favorite ensemble string samples, a solo violin, viola, and cello, and a condensed woodwinds/brass library on the SSD that consists of a small percentage of my total orchestral library. Still, as far as real-world-application is concerned, I found that around 75% of my project samples wind up coming from the SSD. I've had my composing workflow pretty down for a while, but if interviewed, most composers would say that they too do only as much sample auditioning as is necessary because its so time consuming to audition 200 timpani samples to find the perfect one for that one cue.
  5. joe.cavers thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 16, 2008
    Thanks, that was helpful. SSD's are out of my price range for now, altho I've seen the performance benefits they offer.

    The Optibay has been something I've been interesting in for quite a while, my SuperDrive is temperamental as hell anyway. I may purchase that and use it with another drive to store my sample collection.


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