Installing DAW to external hard drive?

Discussion in 'Production' started by SENATE, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. SENATE

    SENATE Member

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    Hi all

    Quick question really, Google search isn't really helping.

    What it is, I have reason 5 installed on my C drive as normal, works ok but if i ever get to mix down stage with all channels going then my little pc "computer too slow" etc etc..

    Im getting a ram upgrade, 4gb - 8gb perhaps.
    Also id like the option of using reason rewired through cubase - trouble is my C drive is not large enough to install both reason and cubase.

    So...first thought would be, install cubase on to an external usb/firewire hard drive and plug and play sort of thing.
    Is it possible? why isn't it possible? do I just simply need to fork out for a new setup or mac with huge amounts of space?

    Thanks.
     
  2. DJWhizzkidd

    DJWhizzkidd Member

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    You should be able to do that, can't see why not, unless Cubase does not allow it for some sort of anti piracy reasons.

    Windows allows you to install programs to whatever drive you like.

    Anyway, your issues are CPU related, not RAM. Getting more RAM won't help with "computer too slow" type errors.

    Im guessing you have a very old PC if you can't fit Cubase and Reason on one drive.
     
  3. usualsuspects

    usualsuspects Sippin

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    The problem is the limitations of speed of USB. Unless its Firewire, USB3 or thunderbolt it will have big latency issues, and probably max out all the time due to CPU.

    Also, I guess depending on how you format the HD it may not be possible anyway. Plus externals can fail pretty easily,

    I would upgrade the drive in your computer if im honest, cheaper than a external HD and will help the performance of the comp especially with the extra RAM.


    What kind of comp are you on?
     
  4. DJWhizzkidd

    DJWhizzkidd Member

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    I don't think any of this is true, to be honest. When your DAW is loaded, everything is in RAM anyway, it makes no difference where it loads from. No latency issues and I don't know why you would think it would max out the CPU.

    Even if you were streaming samples in your track, USB2 is still plenty fast for that.

    Native Instruments say installing Komplete on an external USB2 drive is fine, and that program is extremely data heavy.

    I also don't know why you say an external drive is more likely to fail. An external drive is the same as in internal one, it's just in a case. Unless you have a habit of throwing your hard drive at walls, it will be fine.
     
    Derelicts Of Tomorrow likes this.
  5. SENATE

    SENATE Member

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    I see

    Okay, the specs of the PC are -
    intel(r) pentium(r) 4 CPU 3.00ghz 2.99ghz
    3.24gb RAM

    hp compaq (small ) was bought as a replacement for my older pc when I started getting into reason.

    Not ideal for producing I know, full on bedroom ballin' on a budget at the moment.

    Which raises the question, how do you determine the speed of the USB ports? i have 4 however unsure if they are even up to 2.0 speed =/

    Thanks for replys
     
  6. DJWhizzkidd

    DJWhizzkidd Member

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    You need a new CPU to be honest. More RAM isn't going to help, because you already have the maximum amount a 32 bit CPU can deal with.

    Problem is, you can't upgrade the CPU on such old kit. You need a new computer, basically.
     
  7. usualsuspects

    usualsuspects Sippin

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    I used to get issues like that, so I had to bounce to Comp HD then copy over to External HD, once software is open in your Ram thats fine, ive had issues in the past recording audio.

    Also, Ive never had an internal HD fail on me before, but Ive had plenty of externals fail, so again im only speaking from my own experience.
     
  8. SENATE

    SENATE Member

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    Exactly, I defiantly need to upgrade Pcwise.
    That being said, I cannot do that atm.

    No, you cannot install cubase or any other DAW onto a external hard drive if your comp cannot fit it on.
    But you can however throw all the exported files and samples to said hard drive to make room on comp.
    Even though with all samples etc on hard drive, reason is still too big to go side by side with cubase (probably) thus running backwards and in slow motion when either DAW is opened.

    Am i on the right track? ;D
     
  9. DJWhizzkidd

    DJWhizzkidd Member

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    Your CPU is 11 years old, or 7 million computer years old (I just made that up).

    To put things in perspective, some modern mobile phones have more processing power than your CPU.

    Bite the bullet and get a nice new windows PC. You can put a good one together for about £350. You can get more storage space for your current one, sure, but it's still going to run like a dog. It's a wasted effort.

    Don't get ripped off by buying a MAC, whatever you do.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2013
  10. SENATE

    SENATE Member

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    Thank you, I definatly needed to know that, my iphone is so small... haha

    Mac/pc mac/pc
    So what size cpu are we looking at these days if I were to upgrade?

    When I used to play warcraft ( =/ ) I had the same problem, you should've seen the custom tower with all sorts sticking out.
     
  11. DJWhizzkidd

    DJWhizzkidd Member

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    A cheap quad core AMD CPU, 8GB RAM, Windows 7, 500GB hard drive. I just put a quick build together and it came to £299
     
  12. SENATE

    SENATE Member

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    Thanks a lot man, very helpful.
     
  13. lostnthesound

    lostnthesound Burns Easily in the Sun

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    As previously mentioned, it's impossible to install your DAW on an external drive unless your external drive is your boot drive (or a secondary boot drive the mirrors your primary). Programs/Apps will always need to be installed to your primary drive.

    What I do to maintain efficiency with regards to CPU strain is utilize three external drives that are daisy-chained via Firewire. Drive 1 contains project files, Drive 2 contains audio samples Drive 3 contains audio for applicable instruments/DAWs (ex. Kontakt, Ableton Packs, etc.). This way the only "thinking" done on my primary drive is related to processing and and plug-ins. Everything else is handled "outside the box" per se.
     
  14. Binary_UK

    Binary_UK Binary.

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    Your best is a pc upgrade, I run my OS and essential apps off a 160gb SATA3 SSD, with my music, samples and project files on my main 2tb hdd. Adding an ssd is one of the best upgrades for a pc, makes it lightning fast, I was amazed and I've been building pc's for years
     
  15. Ran

    Ran Member

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    Are you sure ? I may be wrong but i think i can remind old days when i was running game programs from my ED (which wasn t my boot drive btw).
     
  16. lostnthesound

    lostnthesound Burns Easily in the Sun

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    I'll never say that I'm 100% right. :) And if I am in fact wrong, I certainly would like to be corrected.

    However, for every DAW I've worked with/installed (Cubase, Logic, Ableton), the install dialog box will always place a large "!" over drives that are not the boot drive. Typically, there is also a note that states something along the lines of "program must be installed on primary drive."

    I suppose you could achieve a bit of a workaround by creating a bootable clone of your internal drive to an external one, and then treat the external drive as a secondary boot drive that you would use only for DAW work. Of course you would probably need a hi-speed connection (ex. eSATA, Thunderbolt, USB 3.0, etc.).

    Cheers.
     
  17. DJWhizzkidd

    DJWhizzkidd Member

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    You can install programs to whatever drive you want, it does not have to be your primary drive. I have two hard drives right now, one SSD which is my primary C: drive and a normal 500GB hard drive, on which I have installed FL Studio, Maschine, Komplete 9, a few games along with various other things.
     
  18. lostnthesound

    lostnthesound Burns Easily in the Sun

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    Interesting. And these are the actual programs/apps and not secondary content? You've certainly blown my mind.

    The way I've always understood it is that because the registry keys for these programs must reside within a folder of the system directory of the OS that it wouldn't be possible to run a program from a drive that doesn't contain said OS and registry key association. Did you have to do anything special in particular when installing? Furthermore, do you keep all your 3rd party plugs on the same external drive as your DAW(s)

    Thanks for sharing.
     
  19. DJWhizzkidd

    DJWhizzkidd Member

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    In Windows, you have always been able to install programs to any drive. Maybe you use MACS and it works differently for them, I don't know.

    You can choose any drive and any folder you want when installing. Currently all my plugins are on my secondary drive, along with my DAW, but before I have had my DAW on the primary with the plugins on the secondary, doesn't make any difference, works both ways.

    Like I say, I have loads of programs installed on my secondary drive at the moment. I know for a fact Ableton can be installed on any drive letter, because Ive done it!
     
    lostnthesound likes this.
  20. Ran

    Ran Member

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    Thanks for those information guys. I m far to be an expert in computering, its good to know a bit more about the tools :smash:

    - - - Updated - - -

    That seems to me the best way to learn and share !