Home Recording Academy: External Hard Drives

Studio Equipment External Hard DrivesDo you have to have a dedicated drive exclusively for your audio files? Having one can save you all kinds of studio headaches.  Get it now! In fact, get two.

How Does Having an Extra Drive in Your Studio Work?

We all know that the high resolution audio files that we use to record are big. So needless to say, they take up a ton of space on your hard disk. By storing these files on a separate hard disk (and running them off the hard disk while you are recording), you save a ton of space on your original computer hard drive.

This freed space on your computer allows it to do what it does best: process. And without all those audio files weighing it down, it can do this faster. Which means you get less sluggishness, processor overloading, and computer freezes.

How Do I Save to An External Hard Drive?

While your DAW (ProTools, Logic, etc.) will be installed on your original computer drive, when you start a new session and are prompted to save, save to the additional drive. All of your audio files will then be run from the drive and not take up space on your computer.

What Kind of Hard Drive Should I Get?

Though portable external hard drives are much more powerful than they used to be, it’s still a good idea to go with a desktop hard drive that requires its own power so it is not being powered by your computer. Additionally, these models tend to offer more storage, faster processing speeds, and better durability.

If you’re recording on a laptop, you’ll likely have no choice but to get an external hard drive, but if you are working with a tower you may be able to choose an internal drive, depending on your system.

How Many Drives Should I Get?

For recording, you only need the one that you are running your files off of. However, you should have at least one more drive to serve as a backup storage. It cannot be said enough how important it is to have as many backup copies as possible of all your work. Hard drives fail, computers fail, and it’s a fact of the industry (and life), and if you don’t have a backup plan, then all of your work may be for naught.

Nearly just as important, update your backups often. You don’t want to encounter a problem right at the end of a project, only to find you only have the first day’s worth of work saved to your backup drive.