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ABLETON Using multiple hard drives


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Posted (edited)

https://help.ableton.com/hc/en-us/articles/209069989-Using-multiple-hard-drives

 

This article recommends using 3 hard drives.

Can I get away with only 2?

How abouts installing the program to system disk

and then using an external Samsung t7 ssd for 

samples and libraries 

& audio recording and file caching ??

Thanks y'all

 

Would I benefit using a 3rd 500gb t7 for audio recording and caching?

Edited by yekker
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Weird. Just go with the one external imo.

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Looks like that guide is how to optimise performance if you want to use that many external drives for Ableton and how to utilise each of them if so. My setup is: the main application, max4live devices & 3rd party samples on the main drive; and then the external drive for all the official packs / libraries from the Ableton store (backups of projects on the 2nd and a third external drive)

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I feel like if you have a reasonably modern computer, the samples that you actively use in the project will be loaded into memory, so no need to set a special hard drive for samples and libraries.

Basically for me the best way boils down to this: if you have a SSD system disk and you have an external SSD (Thunderbolt or USB 3), then it makes sense to assign the external drive to audio recording and file caching. 

All the other setups are probably more useful if you have an absolutely massive User Library and your system disk is not big enough to have space for it.

And yeah finally backups are always important, but this can be handled by your operating system too - just get a solid Western Digital external HDD and have Windows or Macos handle the rest.

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Don't use SSDs for backups, though.  They're a bit better for medium term storage than they used to be, but the JEDEC spec for unpowered data retention is still only a year for modern, consumer SSDs.  The memory charge is temperature sensitive, so they'll last longer if you live in a cool climate, but they're rally not meant to sit without power for very long.

is-ssd-good-for-long-term-storage-3.jpg

 

If you want really reliable long term storage, tape is still the only practical option (and it's also the cheapest, once you have the drive the actual media is way below 10% the cost of an HDD, much les an SSD. I just keep stuff on HDD, but the problem is the drives cost thousands of dollars these days, so a decent HDD with as much redundancy as you can afford is the inly good choice if you aren't rich (and also the cheapest).

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I think the point to keep in mind for SSD long time retention is that if you do weekly-daily backups, it's likely a good measure against this degradation. On the other hand, old school spinning drives are much much much more cheaper for the size, so setting up a managed NAS with RAID will get you a nice reliable backup solution that will keep on trucking and let you know if some disk is about to fail or not.

Or you can just pay a service like Backblaze to take care of it. 🙂

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Posted (edited)

I don't really record lots of audio soooo

I'm thinking ableton program goes on system disk and everything else on one external. Then get a 2nd external HD for backup. Good enough? 

Speak now or forever hold your peace.

only thing I'm confused on is if temp cache files should be on system disk or external.

Edited by yekker
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I'd advise having your go-to's on your OS drive, and moving sample banks around depending on the projects you're working on. And to use the "Collect and Save" option once you're done working own your tune(s).

Basically what @mcbpete said.

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11 hours ago, mcbpete said:

My setup is: the main application, max4live devices & 3rd party samples on the main drive; and then the external drive for all the official packs / libraries from the Ableton store

(backups of projects on the 2nd and a third external drive)

Sorry I'm having trouble reading this. 

You mean backups on 2 different hard drives?

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Aye just in case one of the drives fails, my two external drives are pretty much clones of one another and when the older one starts so act a little dodgy (external drive 1 is about 3 years older and half the capacity of external drive 2) I'll buy a new external drive and retire the older smaller one ... And the cycle will continue every 3 or 4 years

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Posted (edited)

CPU cache > RAM > SSD > HDD > HDD backups

Use freefilesync profiles to use your SSD as nothing more than an "intermediary" medium which, after formatted and blank, merely:

-Loads data off HDD (single step initialization after buying or reformatting)

-Is used for editing of your music files, rendering, etc

-Mirrors its state back onto your HDD periodically, maybe after every music editing session you run this mirror

This way you benefit from fast SSD speed without suffering from SSD's unreliability for longterm storage, and if your SSD starts failing you can just buy a new one and redo this process, because all important data needs to be cached to the HDD with reliable persistence.  Then of course, that HDD must simply be the source used to copy data from into a distributed backup system, i.e. having multiple clones of that HDD with equivalent size, which you store at various places geographically and with varying backup frequencies

1 hour ago, yekker said:

Sorry I'm having trouble reading this. 

You mean backups on 2 different hard drives?

You should backup all your data on more than 2 hard drives, especially if they are both stored in your house.  You should have at least 2 in your house which are regularly backed up to, then another 2 or more in other places, maybe a parent's house or safety deposit box.  Consider also a 1TB keychain flash drive to backup "essential" data to and keep on your person at all times

Edited by ilqx hermolia xpli
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External hardrives will fuck with you...

I personally dont trust them for anything else than back up. They can die at any moment.

Desktop PC with two internal drives (main SSD + HDD for big sample banks, 1st back up etc) is my set up right now and its the best ive had. 

If you can have a desktop with two drives i absolutely recommend that over anything with external. Its way more stable and secure.

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15 minutes ago, thefxbip said:

External hardrives will fuck with you...

I personally dont trust them for anything else than back up. They can die at any moment.

Desktop PC with two internal drives (main SSD + HDD for big sample banks, 1st back up etc) is my set up right now and its the best ive had. 

If you can have a desktop with two drives i absolutely recommend that over anything with external. Its way more stable and secure.

Don't trust ANY hard drive.  Internal vs external is often a non-issue considering they are literally identical hardware just wrapped in different casing

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Yeah that's why the industry standard solution is to build a RAID system where the data is automatically duplicated between many HDDs. Regular SMART checks ensure that if a drive starts to fail, you get a warning and can replace the failing drive in the array. The system handles rebalancing the data automatically. If two drives fail simultaneously, you might be screwed, but a) that's much more rare than 1 drive failing and b) you can set up a RAID that can tolerate 2 drive failures.

Also a good rule of thumb is: if you did not test recovering from your backups, you might not really have backups once shit hits the fan.

And yeah echoing the strategy of keeping the backups physically separate with a few plans B.

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