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Sample Storage

Michael B. Oliva
edited March 22 in Tech Talk

Where do you store your samples? On your Computer/laptops SSD or an external SSD?

I've been thinking about grabbing one of these, I heard they were pretty awesome. Curious if any of you have used this brand, or if you prefer any other in a similar price range?


https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/AtomRAID-2TB--glyph-atom-raid-ssd-2tb-usb-c-portable-solid-state-drive-black

Thanks for your time!

Cheers

«1

Comments

  • I got a Samsung T7 external SSD (USB C) with 2TB storage. Everything so far runs like a dream.

  • I use the slightly older Samsung T5. Perfect!

  • I like to spread things across different drives where possible. At the moment my main machine is a laptop so I'm using the internal drive just for the OS and applications/plug-ins, and then have a couple of external SSDs for DAW sessions/audio and VIs/Samples. I'm about to add a second machine to host libraries so everything there will be on internal SSDs, but again with a dedicated system drive.

    I've never heard any complaints about Glyph, although I've not used them myself. At the moment my external drives are a Samsung T7 and a WD NVMe in a USB enclosure.

  • Similar to Luke, I like to split across different drives as it means you don't choke the bandwidth when streaming lots of data at once.

    All content stored on Samsung 860 Evos in Spitfire USB C enclosures, divided up by manufacturer. Daw sessions run off a separate projects drive also.

  • I’ve got the T5 2TB myself, and even that does the trick. Compared to running samples on a standard hard drive or the computer’s internal is like night and day. I’ll be using dedicated external SSDs from now on!

  • My 1TB MBP is filling up fast, does anyone experience any lag with external SSDs? Also I've only got a single USB3 port available (would be shared with a thunderbolt connection to my Apple Thunderbolt monitor. Does anyone use the USB2 on these or know any thunderbolt based SSD devices that work well for sound libraries?

  • If you've got a Thunderbolt connection available then a good option may be something like one of the OWC Thunderbays or similar. They're external enclosures that you can mount standard drives or SSDs in.

    USB-2 is too slow to run even a standard SATA SSD at its full speed, you'd need at least USB-3 for the connection to not be the bottleneck.

    Most external solutions will be slower than your internal drive, and initial load times may be a bit higher, but it's unlikely to cause a problem for streaming samples once everything is loaded up. Others who are more knowledgeable with computers may be along to correct me on that, but that was pretty much the advice I got when speccing up my new computer and deciding between SATA and NVMe storage.

  • How’s the load time for your t7? Do the plugins take longer to load than on the internal computer ssd? That’s why I was wondering how fast this glyph raid would be.


    thanks!

    Also is the t7 quiet? The glyph says it’s silent, but if the T7 is fast and quiet that might be the best option cuz it’s cheaper. Cheers

  • I've only recently added the two external SSDs, so I haven't really had a chance to put them through their paces yet. I've also never used the internal drive in my MacBook for anything other than the OS and applications, so I don't have a comparison there in terms of loading times I'm afraid.

    I have loaded up some sessions as a quick test, and didn't hear a peep out of the T7 or the WD, I do have them tucked away in a rack though.

  • I use an 1TB external SSD for all my SA libraries which are currently sitting at 940GB.

    With other studio equipment, I have the SSD plugged into a Caldigit TS3 Plus hub which works an absolute dream!

    Ill probably have to upgrade to a 2TB SSD if Spitfire keeps having these amazing sales from time to time ;)

    Jase

    www.jaseess.com / www.instagram.com/jaseess / #musicisemotion

    Albion One, Albion Tundra, BBC Symphony Orchestra Pro, Eric Whitacre Choir, Spitfire Symphonic Motions, Darkstar, Aperture Orchestra, Hainbach, Originals: Mrs Mills, Originals: Drumline

  • I would always advise against storing samples on an internal drive, unless you have a dual drive system where the sample drive is dedicated only to the storage of samples. Your main drive is already streaming lots of data from your plugins, software, and other applications, so adding the sample libraries to this drive also will put more pressure on the drive, and cause data bottlenecks that will lead to drop outs. The best storage solution is a dedicated external SSD drive- many of our customers use Samsung T5/T7s, but any SSD drive that provides over 500mb/s transfer speed will do.

    Some resources that may help:


  • I’ve got the T5 2TB myself, and even that does the trick. Compared to running samples on a standard hard drive or the computer’s internal is like night and day. I’ll be using dedicated external SSDs from now on!

  • easyrider
    edited March 23

    I store my samples currently on internal multiple 3 x 2TB SSD’S and 1 x 4 TB SSD. All these drives are pooled together so they are seen as one single 10 TB volume. The beauty of this is there is only one Drive letter making managing samples easy. SSD’s can be added to the pool in real-time to increase storage of the pool.Drives can be removed if there is enough free space within the pool. When a new drive is added the Pool spots free space and balances the data across the drives.

    My OS is on a single 2TB Nvme Drive.

    The 10TB volume is monitored by my home server and any libraries that get added to my main PC automatically get backed up to the server.

  • Remember that usb-c is a term used to describe the physical properties of the port. It is not necessarily indicative of speed.

    The T5 is a usb 3.1 gen 2 device. The T7 is a usb 3.2 gen 2 and is theoretically twice as fast as the T5. It is also roughly 50% more expensive. They are both usb-c.

    What are the specs for your computers usb-c ports? If they only support usb 3.1 gen 2 then you are wasting money on the T7! 

  • Hey thank you guys for your detailed responses! So...My MacBook has 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports. It’s a 2019 model. I assume it would be able to handle the fastest connections yes? I’m not 100% sure.

  • Simply put, yes. A USB 3.2 Gen 2 device connected to a Thunderbolt 3 port will work at its full speed. This is where it starts to matter about different protocols sharing the same physical connector as Steve has mentioned though, as the same isn't true the other way around. A Thunderbolt 3 device connected to a USB 3.2 Gen 2 port will not work, even though it physically fits.

  • Ok perfect, we’ll it sounds like the T7 is maybe my best option then because it’s definitely $100 cheaper or so than the glyph raid that I was looking at. And still very fast.


    Thank all of you for your input! ??

  • Just bought the Samsung T7! Thanks for your help!

  • Michael B. Oliva
    edited March 23

    Hello Angus, I could use your help here. I'm having some issues transferring.

    So I just got the t7. I transferred all of my spitfire libraries onto it and then deleted them off of my computer. Problem was I forgot to format the drive to journaled...so I had to delete everything off the t7, formatted it to journaled and now have to re-install all of my spitfire libraries.

    I'm currently trying to do so, and have them routed to a spitfire folder in the T7 in my spitfire audio app. I also have my default content path set for the same folder...Every time a library finishes downloading it says 'install' again, not registering that it had just installed. I click install again and it goes through the motions of trying to re-zip everything, says it re-installed and then it shows up with the 'install' option again as if nothing is happening...

    I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong, I'll open up logic and open the plugin and says error, so they are definitely not installing.

    Very frusterating I've been at this for a few hours and made no progress. Would GREATLY appreciate any help. Thank you for your time!

    best,

    Michael


    WAIT I think I have it now. I had to also switch the VST category to that folder in settings...

  • I haven't had too much trouble with the T7. A track with around 30 BBCSO instruments takes around 45 seconds to a minute to load. I do freeze tracks pretty regularly to improve performance.

    But I'm on a pretty new MacBook Pro with 32 GB ram. I won't be running it much harder than this so hopefully this performance holds out.

  • Angus
    Angus mod
    edited March 24

    @Michael B. Oliva I'll just add this anyway just incase someone else comes across this...

    If you are moving Spitfire Plugin files from one location to another on the same system, you need to reset the Default Content Path in the Spitfire Audio App Settings, before using Locate:

    Tip: You only need to locate one LABS library to relocate LABS, and one part of BBC SO to relocate the entire library.

    If moving a Kontakt library on the same system, you just use Locate within the Kontakt Application.

    Hard Drive Format

    Windows: NTFS

    Mac OS 10.10-10.13: Mac OS Extended (Journaled)

    Mac OS 10.14+ : AFPS

    There is a slight increase in speed with AFPS compared to Journaled. Most drives ship in ExFat format, so always reformat a drive before you do anything else.

  • Thanks all of you for the insane amount of value. 


    Just want to make sure I understand.

    My main issue is lagging on a big session (orchestral for example) in Cubase.


    I'm, at the moment, using only internal storage for everything (OS, libraries, samples, etc).

    I would be optimising my workflow if I used external SSD? 


    So if I use my internal drive for OS and plugins only + SSD on the side for Samples, just the fact that I give my internal drive more breathing room (storage space), I will solve my lag issue when on a big orchestral template? 


    [For context, I use a MBP2017 with 512 Gb, 16RAM and I have access to one External SSD Drive 2TB from LaCie]

  • I'm, at the moment, using only internal storage for everything (OS, libraries, samples, etc).

    I would be optimising my workflow if I used external SSD?

    Yes, you'll almost always see an improvment by having dedicated drives for your libraries, and it's usually significant. I also have a separate drive for my DAW audio and session files.

    So if I use my internal drive for OS and plugins only + SSD on the side for Samples, just the fact that I give my internal drive more breathing room (storage space), I will solve my lag issue when on a big orchestral template?

    Exactly that, spreading the different tasks across different devices gives each of them less data to move around and "think" about at any given time, so they'll perform better than if its all happening in the same place.

  • Super helpful! Thank you.

    Last question: Why do you use separate drives for projets and samples? Safety issue in case one of the drive does not work as expected? or just to spread the workload even more?

    Thanks

  • No probs ?️

    For me it's a bit of a mix. Partly to spread the workload, and partly because I'm fairly militant when it comes to keeping everything neat and tidy, I find it much easier to organise my files/folders that way.

    I'm fairly new to using sample libraries, my background is more on the recording and mixing side of things. When I started working with DAWs computers and software were far more fussy than they are these days and dedicated system and audio drives were essential, so old habits also play into it to an extent.

  • That makes sense mate!

    Thanks for all the answers, that helped a lot!

  • I use 2 Samsung EVO 860 1TB SSDs in a Dual-Bay-case via USB-C to store my libraries.

  • Just tried to format my T7 using my 2020 iMac based on advice on this thread but dont see the AFPS option - there are 2 options for MAC-OS Extended being (journalled) and (case sensitive journalled)

    Which should I choose as the optimum one please as I am going to put all my libraries on it I think

    Thanks a lot!

    Steve

  • I reformatted the T7 drive as MAC-OS Extended (Case Sensitive Journaled) but don't stress out too much. The biggest difference as I understand it, is that Case Sensitive just knows the difference between "this", "This", and "THIS" whereas the other would see all of those as the same. I use Case Sensitive to avoid accidental overwrites, but these aren't super common.

  • Thanks Adam I appreciate the reply but isn’t AFPS the best solution as noted above? Seems to not be there as an option to format it to that. That was my query really.

    I think there must be another route to select that as an option. I’ll take a look after work.

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