What arrangement of HDs to use in Mac Pro for audio work?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by samtasticra, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. samtasticra macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2010
    hi all,
    so it looks like I may be the proud new owner of a Mac Pro soon enough : )

    I think I'll be getting a 2009 8-core 2.26Ghz model. The maximum storage in these is 8TB, rights? Is that just a current maximum, is it likely to go up in the future (as larger capacity HDs are fitted into smaller enclosures/bays)? My local retailer doesn't seem to have anything above 2TB.

    I'll be using this for some pretty intense audio production and dialogue editing. I'm wondering what would be the best HD set-up for me in terms of performance and security (in the sense of back-ups).

    I'm thinking I'll use one HD bay for a system/apps HD. 1TB should be plenty (this will hold some pretty extensive sample instruments, taking tens of GB each, that's why I think such a large HD will be the one to go for). I see people are using SSD drives for their system HDs, but I don't think my budget can stretch that far at the moment. I thought I'd wait until their price came down a fair bit.

    And then a second HD for holding audio projects/mixes/documents. Maybe 2TB would be the way to go (some of these projects start to get pretty big after a while, and in a second user account, it'll hold personal things like photos and a digital copy of my music collection).

    So assuming this is a logical enough set-up, my next question is how should I go about backing all of this up?

    I currently back-up my system onto two identical external HDs. One is left at a different property (in case my place is robbed dry or burns down, etc) and the other I back up to at my place. I switch the two of them over regularly, to ensure they're both reasonably up to date.

    I'd like to do the same with my new system. Have two massive external HDs that everything is backed up to, and keep one in a separate house.
    But can you get HDs that are more than 2.5TB in capacity? And is there a better way to do this (I don't know anything about the RAID system - should I be considering it?).

    Should I instead look at two external enclosures, each holding a TB drive and a 2TB drive (to mirror what's inside the box)? This way, if one was to go down (say the internal system/apps HD), I could swap it out and be up and running quickly again (with the continued benefits of having a separate HD for the system and audio work)?

    I hope Im not raising a ton of questions you've all heard before!

    cheers : )
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    For backup, once your total amount of data gets over about 1.5 TB you are going to need a RAID system to hold your backup data. A simple one to use is "Drobo". Setup Time machine to use the Drobo.

    You will need some redundent backup system too as time machine is really not enough. I'd get a second Drobo and rotat the two of them to an off site location
  3. samtasticra thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2010
    I've used Time Machine in the past, and found that it stopped working properly after a few months (I've since read somewhere that you're supposed to have twice the space on the HD you're backing up to, compared to the one being backed up).

    Have used SuperDuper successfully for a while now.

    Will look into RAID.
  4. seisend macrumors 6502a


    Feb 20, 2009
    Switzerland, ZG
    There are so many drive setup solutions/ Backup solutions which might be nice. I just tell you that I use 3X1TB in Raid0 and I have everything stored on them (librarys+projects+applications). I have a full external Backup and I also keep one Backup of my Work (Logic,etc.) at a different property like you. I have a Windows HD in the last HD bay.

    With this setup my projects load very fast and Logic playback at 48kHz/24bit just flys (even with >80 channelstrips and heavy librarys loaded)

    I think RAID 0 with a good backup solution is a very fast and secure option.

    I'm using Intego Backup Manager for daily Backup.

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