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Topic: Solution for multiple giant sample libraries?

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  1. #1

    Solution for multiple giant sample libraries?

    I'm planning on spending quite a bit of hard-earned money on a few giant sample libraries, and they would eat up hundreds and hundreds of GB total. My DAW already has two 200 GB filled, and two 80 GB halfway filled. When I purchase these new libraries, I would definitely have to get at least one or two new 200 GB drives. So, here's my problem:

    I'm out of room for more drives in my DAW (already have 4 in it). I'm thinking of external solutions--maybe connect external drives by USB. Is that a good idea? Would that setup affect my music-making negatively? Any other alternatives?

  2. #2

    Re: Solution for multiple giant sample libraries?

    Lunatique,

    I have an external 250GB that I bought to keep the K Hunter Concert Strings, Brass and Woodwinds on. I've been streaming the strings from it with no problems at all. I've also thrown the libraries that I am developing on there as a back-up and tried a stress test running the strings and my drums, bass and a piano from the drive with no drop-outs. So, if you have USB2 or Firewire (which peeps will come in now and debate which is better, eh) ports on your compy, I would suggest one or two externals.
    Alan Lastufka | www.BelaDMedia.com
    Producer/Artistic Design | Content Producer

    20 Things

  3. #3

    Re: Solution for multiple giant sample libraries?

    I have an extra PCI-SATA card that holds 4 additional SATA drives, beside the 2 SATA and 2 PATA drives already on the motherboard. You need some extra heavy power supply to feed the 8 drives but it gives you up to 2.400 GB of storage space, depending on the size of ind. drives.
    Never experienced problems with stability. Some people reported drives disappearing out of the system without any reason, but my only incident was a drive that died premature, after 10 months.

    I also have a couple of USB2 drives attached for back-ups, but they are not as fast as the SATA ones. Plus they costs more due to the cases.
    Best regards,
    Michiel Post


  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Re: Solution for multiple giant sample libraries?

    If you’re planning to USE these giant sample libraries, you should be thinking about adding new systems to you rig, not new drives to you system.

  5. #5

    Re: Solution for multiple giant sample libraries?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill
    If you’re planning to USE these giant sample libraries, you should be thinking about adding new systems to you rig, not new drives to you system.

    Exactly what I was going to say.
    Attaching 400mb more hard drive space to the one system will be of limited use because the ram can't possibly be enough to run what you already have, let alone what you will be adding...
    I was also a little depressed at having to run multiple systems, but this is the way of it for now (and for some time to come!).

  6. #6

    Re: Solution for multiple giant sample libraries?

    done. (gmail...removing it from my signature (it´s swamped by spammers)).

    Back on topic.
    These replies hold some good advice. An extra system, dedicated to playback is a good investment.
    Best regards,
    Michiel Post


  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Dec 2004
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    Re: Solution for multiple giant sample libraries?

    Not that i'm planning to do this just yet but just out of curiousity...

    How does one set up multiple computers as a single DAW system? Is there a way to sync them and output audio from a 'playback only' CPU digitally into a 'recording/playback' CPU in real time? To my ears (which have no experience with this kind of setup), this sounds like a nightmare of bugginess and instability. Or do you rely on dedicated recording hardware of some kind? Enlighten me.

  8. #8

    Re: Solution for multiple giant sample libraries?

    Quote Originally Posted by jloeb
    How does one set up multiple computers as a single DAW system? Is there a way to sync them and output audio from a 'playback only' CPU digitally into a 'recording/playback' CPU in real time? (...) this sounds like a nightmare of bugginess and instability.
    I have gone this route & IMO doing it right is not for the timid or frugal. I've got 3 computers, a digital mixer, a word clock synchronizer (etc!). My DAW can act as a digital patchbay, the mixer can act as a digital or analog router, I can add FX at any point and send anything anwhere and back. There's no bugginess or instability.

    The real hassle is reconstructing big projects. I have to save mixer snapshot, pathbay settings, and state of all applications on all computers. I always keep a rough mix of what it sounded like when I left it, and I save everything on a network drive with notes about any configuration that wasn't obvious. If any audio signal came from anything not savable (like analog fx loop) I'll make notes on that as well and keep a bouncedown track.

    Sometimes I wish everyting were just on a single computer, saved as a project with vsti's and vst-fx. But there's just too much I can't do that way.

    Having a properly distributed & flexible setup is not for the faint of heart, and you have to stay on top of it to know how to make it go quickly. A month on vacation & I have to go back to documentation I wrote for myself to remind me of all the routing details, and it takes some effort and awareness to keep it all debugged (backups become more crucial and time consuming).

  9. #9

    Re: Solution for multiple giant sample libraries?

    Can you guys elaborate a bit on your suggestion of getting another machine instead? I'm really nervous about the thought of adding another machine.

    How does a multi-PC DAW rig work? I assume you have your sequencer and typical VSTI plugins on one machine, and you install the big sampling libraries on the other machine, and then link them up with some type of MIDI LAN? But what I don't understand is, if I'm accessing the big sample libraries via my sequencer anyway (for example, Kontakt opened up inside of Sonar), wouldn't the second machine only serve to store the samples but don't help in terms of RAM and CPU?

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Re: Solution for multiple giant sample libraries?

    The specifics of how to set this up depend on what you’re using for a sample player.

    You would be running another instance of it on the other computer. If it’s a VSTi, you could use something like VStack, or FX Teleport. Or you can go all hardware for MIDI out and Audio back. There are many possibilities.

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