Cubase 8 Pro Installation On New PC


I put together a new PC for music production that has three physical drives. Is there an optimal way to assign Cubase-related tasks to multiple drives? Here is my current understanding:

  1. The base program should be installed on the system drive. Is this the same for VST instruments? I have Halion 5, Padshop Pro, Groove Agent 4.

  2. Cubase project files should be saved on a separate drive.

  3. Sample libraries for VSTs should be allocated to their own drive. But how does one accomplish this? During the VST installation process or afterwards?

Thank you for your time!

  1. Base program and the VSTi(s) you mentioned should go on the main drive, but any libraries/samples should go on your Samples drive IF you have that option during installation.
  2. No, Cubase projects can go on your main drive as well, but always back up your projects on a separate drive in case the main drive ever fails.
  3. Yes, samples and many full libraries should go on your Samples drive(s) whenever possible You do this during the installation process…just stay alert. Sometimes the entire library can go on your Samples drive and sometimes a library wants to install the program files on your main drive and then give you the option of where you want to place the samples. The instrument files are not what take up space, it’s the samples. You want to stream your samples from your Samples drive, not the main drive.

In brief, the only set rule is to get as much of the library on the samples drive as possible when you are given that option. But what you can do and where you can or must install a library depends on the library you are installing. Hope that helps.

  1. yes, the content of Halion (samples) library however should go to the sample drive, choose when installing.
  2. yes absolutely on their own drive, and while at it disable your antivirus program to scan this drive.
  3. Yes

It really depends on how many tracks you are using, if splitting it all up is necessary. But on a PC that has the room for multiple drives and the low cost of drives, it makes no sense not to play it safe.
It also makes backups much simpler.

Just for clarity on (3): pay close attention when installing VSTi’s. Usually the first dialogue box will ask you where you want to install the plugin - that is the small vst file Cubase opens from the VST Plugins folder which runs the plugin. The second, or final dialogue box will ask you where you want to install the sound files / libraries, and this should be set to your dedicated drive for sound libraries. I’ve just set mine to two SSD’s in RAID 0 which has massively improved VSTi loading times, also with the thinking that as the drives will be mostly read rather than written to they might be relatively safe from corruption (also disabled some processes that automatically rearrange data on the drives to improve loading times for this reason) - time will tell if I’m right or wrong…

It is usually possible to move sound files / libraries after installation if you want to move any that have already been installed on the system drive. With a lot of VSTi’s, this is just a matter of finding the existing location of the library (often in the plugin manufacturer’s program group in ‘Program Files’ on Windows, or in ‘Libraries/Application Data’ on a Mac), moving it to the new drive, deleting the original, creating a shortcut to the library in its new location, moving the shortcut to the library’s original location and removing the word ‘Shortcut’ from the file name. Most manufacturers have videos / info on their websites on how to do this as well.

Kontakt libraries can be moved, then removed and re-added from inside the Kontakt plugin with ease. Just make sure you keep the directory structure inside each library folder intact (ie. move the entire ‘Una Corda library’ folder, but never any of the contents in it such as ‘samples’ or ‘instruments’ by themselves).