Using VSTs With External Hard Drives


Drench Audio
VIP Junglist
May 21, 2007
Basically I was thinking of buying Kontakt to use with Ableton Live, but the sample library is about 33gb, which I don't have hard drive space for on my actual laptop.

However I have a external hard drive which will fit it, and was wondering whether this will slow down the VST as it gets the samples on the external hard drive via USB.

This also lead me to another question, if I installed a VST such as Massive onto the External Hard Drive, by selecting it as the install directory, and then moved my VST folder, and configured Ableton live to search for VSTs in the VST folder on the External Hard Drive, would they run properly?

This would mean I could take my hard drive when using other computers and be able to run my VSTs.

Sorry it's so long winded, but hopefully someone who knows about computer stuff could help me out.

Yeah, it'll work fine dude.

Musicians often store vsts and plugins onto an external hardrive for portability and convenience.
Obviously, the higher the performance the better, so depending on your current system. Which hopefully contains;

USB 2.0 ports or FireWire and it's an eSata compatible system

You should definitely purchase an eSata USB 2.0 large capacity External Hardrive for the highest possible performance.
But obviously, higher performance usually depends on the systems RAM.

I Hope this information was helpful :)
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Yeah cheers for the quick response, not sure what type of HDD it is but I'll transfer a couple over and see if it heavily reduces performance, but hopefully not.
I've got another similar question on this topic

I've just bought a new internal hard drive as my other broke and I lost loads of stuff including VSTs, so I'm planning to keep a backup from now on.

I've got a program that backups my VST folder, and the installation files of the VSTs on to an external hard drive from my C drive.

I went round a mates house to work on a couple of tunes, and bought my external HDD thinking I could use the VSts off that as all the nessecery files were copied over, but the VSTs dynamic link libary, as it had just been copied from another HDD still looked for the program files on the directory on the C drive on my laptop at home, is there anyway to change where VST looks for the program files, as I had to create an identical folder on my mates computer as to where mine were installed (C/Production/Software/Installations)

Sorry it's so long but trying to explain as well as possibile

hope i did understand u correct. So most vst are a simply .dll file, then just change in the DAW the folder path, some vst have a own folder with presets/samples etc. and the dll needs to know the path g:/vst/xxx for example. Then connect the ext. HD, go to to ur Data manager and change the device letter given to ext. HD if not "g:" to this. Then is has to work, in theory :) Therefore it is best to give the ext. HD on ur own system a late device letter x y z so u can mount it on friends system with many partitions and already assignded device letters.
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