Best way to use Hard Drives with Cubase 7?

Recording Gear:

Operating System: Microsoft® Windows 8 Standard 64-bit
Intel Core i5 3470
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LX
Memory: 8GB DDR3 1333mhz (2x4GB)
Hard Drives: Corsair 120GB Force3 SSD S-ATAIII 6.0Gb/s, and a 1.5TB S-ATAIII 6.0Gb/s
Interface: Focusrite Saffire Pro 56

This is my first self-build on a computer (still waiting for it to arrive), and I have also ordered Cubase 7. Does anyone have any advice on the best way to divide up programmes and third-party VSTs between the Solid-State hard drive and the standard one? I’d thought of using the SSD for Windows and Cubase, and putting third-party VSTs on the standard drive. If I store my projects on the standard drive (while I’m still working on them) will this slow things down? Also, would the same apply to VSTs if they are on a separate drive to Cubase? With only 120GB on the SSD it’s going to fill up pretty quickly!

HI i was thinking like wise , a 250 Ssd 4 the OS ( Win 8 X 64 ) a 500 Gb Sata III / 6 Gb/s 4 programmes !!! , a 1 TB sata III / 6 Gb/s 4 Vsti/s , n a 2 or 3 TB 4 the the audio rendering … would less tax the CPU , but no answers so far … i shall may be try it … No PC is as fast as i want it 2 b , but there may b short cuts , i dt know if this will help or work out , few opinions out there… wish there r more who can try it out … n broadcast here … why m i so particular that my studio Pc is 2 b so precise 4 performance … well human nature … sm

Yes. Keep it simple and to the point:

SSD - C: Drive - ALL software…including the OS, apps, VSTi - everything.
HD1 - R: Drive - Recording (ALL your project audio goes here) (Drop 60 extra bucks on a new 500GB modern SATA)
HD2 - S: Drive - Samples, loops, FX etc. (Any clip that is audio based and not created by you - bought with a sampler etc etc) (Use your existing 1.5 TB SATA)

There is NO need to place your VST’s on a separate drive - and some VSTs expect to be on C: - forcing them elsewhere will be more hassle than it’s worth.

Given you new config - this setup will fly and you should not waste time worrying about things “slowing” down. They won’t - especially with that ASUS and i5 minding the store. :sunglasses:


well dont u think that , the C drive , read / write head will be much taxed , reading the OS , as well as the Vst/s , i always used a 3 H/drive 4 Vsti/s only , considering they r so cheap now , would appreciate ur opinions though … u could b right technically …

Firstly - An SSD has no “read/write” head - everything is in flash memory and secondly - no - once the OS is loaded it’s does almost nothing. Same with the apps and VST’s. But hey - if you want a noisy, power hungry machine with tons of hard drives spinning - that’s your call.

I have been building custom for over 12 years now and have never encounter any issues, “taxing” of system or anything negative in using this standard three drive system.

One thing I can tell you for certain - dedicating ANY drive to a bunch of dinky VSTi’s makes no sense and would represent an instance waste of money and resource in any machine I would tackle.


Bruce, I don’t think you meant VSTi in your last sentence, because VSTi certainly need their own drive, and sometimes 2 or 3 of them. Same as audio needs its own drive, and on occasion more than one.


No - I was pretty clear. But let me clarify - I mean the actual “software” portion (the dlls) of Every VSTi I have is installed on the C: drive - in the standard “plugins” areas etc.

Now - if you are referring to the “Sample content” of a given VSTi (like the Omnisphere sound library for example) - is of course stored on my S: drive (Samples) .

The way I interpreted OP and others on this thread is that they are installing the actual VST (dll - software) on a separate drive - which made no sense to me. If they meant the “sample content” then fair enough. However - never saw the word content mentioned.

However - I still do not understand needing “2 or 3 drives” for content. I have all of the major VSTi’s in my collection and every single “sound library” is installed to a single “samples” drive and have been for the last ten years.

I suppose if you have a VSTi whose content exceeds a TB or something - then OK.

But in my case - no matter how large the project - none have ever complained about not being fast enough, never had a message about performance issues and have never had a project go off the rails due to not having 2 or 3 extra drives full of samples.

A single modern 7200RPM SATA (1TB or larger) will easily handle any samples for any VSTi you can muster - especially with an i7 and 8+GB of RAM in play.


Ah yes, the .dll portion really doesn’t matter and i agree that the C drive is probably best for that.

In my experience has nothing to do with the size of the drive, it has to do with the number of voices being streamed. Once you get into some of those large libraries with multiple microphone positions, you can have 8 voices just for one note. Then if you have things like layer crossfades and vibrato level crossfades going on, that can bump up to 32 voices per note. Then you have the overlapping tails/release samples to deal with, and this is just for one instrument. A single 7200 drive in this situation is unlikely to be fast enough for a whole orchestra.

I have also had dropouts using audio files. Trying record 125 stereo tracks and play playing back from the same drive, for example, has been a problem.


FWIW: I have done several 100+ (audio file only) sessions with no issues like this - and some of these session harken back years to the XP days with much less capable hard drives than today’s.

I have since capped all my personal recording sessions to 48 tracks max - not for hardware performance reasons but for forcing myself to be a better player and arranger. I refuse to keep adding tracks just because I can. Not only does the session become unruly (But much less so now that I am on Presonus Studio One) - but if I actually think I really need 50 or 80 or 100 tracks to complete a song - I view it as a sign of weakness and laziness from a personal standpoint.

My standing rule is: If the great bands did the great albums of yesteryear with just 16 tracks (and sometime much less) - then I must be able to make due with 48 tracks (and usually much less). I would rather make each track I record matter rather than adding 28 tracks of useless content that adds nothing to the song.

But that’s just me and my kinda typical rock fusion type noodling :slight_smile:

If someone is recreating symphonies etc - I suppose “more” might be warranted - but even the greatest classical recordings out there still rarely exceed 32 or 48 tracks. So it can be done - on much less.


Of course, if you’re doing rock fusion, then you are in a totally different game to me, so you wouldn’t have the same experiences. My MIDI template is pretty small, compared with many other people and even that uses 84 tracks. 32 wouldn’t cut it, I’m afraid.


Well No body wants a noisy PC with many Drives , i cant verify , but i think , a separate drive 4 Vsti/s , ( dont know if the content should remain separate , many Vsti/s r just a Dll file , might as well put them 2gether ) , n i Didnt mean SSD yet , but Imagine the read n write head , spinning fast , reading / Writing Files on different platters , n bits u might need 2 use , makes the single drive very hot sure , as well , as will definitely reduce the life of the H/ Drive , even a P4 worked with 3 drives pretty well 4 me , i m going the SSD way soon , but only 4 the OS , another Point would b , i wouldnt trust the OS drive , its like a desk top , any thing can go wrong , OS files can get corrupted , Viruses , My important Data ( presets etc ) would b , probably safer on another drive , in case , the OS fails , i just reinstall , n of course , all the reinstalls of the Vst/is etc… just my opinion , i could b wrong sm

My standing rule is: If the great bands did the great albums of yesteryear with just 16 tracks (and sometime much less) - then I must be able to make due with 48 tracks (and usually much less). I would rather make each track I record matter rather than adding 28 tracks of useless content that adds nothing to the song.

n this i agree … its the creativity … sm