Mediabay sound libraries on an external hard disk

I’m considering putting my Mediabay sound libraries on an external hard disk.
Is it significant in this specific use whether it’s internal or external, And whether it’s USB3 or SSD?
In short, will I feel a significant slowdown in working at Mediabay with an external HD?
Thanks friends.

An internal SATA III connection tops out at 6Gb/s, and USB 3.1 gen 1 is 5Gb/s. USB 3.1 gen 2 is 10Gb/s. So one is slightly slower and one is slightly faster.

Also, it’s not “USB3 or SSD”, because “USB” is the connection / protocol and “SSD” is the storage technology. You can have a (spinning) hard drive connect via either SATA internally or USB externally, or an SSD internally or externally.

Certainly SSD will probably be faster, giving you faster search results I guess and possibly faster transfers (though that may be a minor difference). One difference is probably how you set up a hard drive, where if you allow it to spin down (stop) to save energy then whenever you open MediaBay you won’t get any results until it’s spinning again. For me when I’ve done some sound design it’s that first search that takes a few seconds, but then once the drive is spinning it’ll stay spinning for some time until it slows down, so it’s not an issue until I take a break or do something else and it stops.

If you want to be portable and don’t need a super-sized drive I would pick SSD since you can drop that without damaging mechanical components.

So, if I use an External Hard drive with USB 3.1 connectivity (blue) like the for my MediaBay and Groove Agent sounds will I get good results which will not slow my work?

I’m not sure if it’ll slow down your work compared to now, but an internal SATA 3 connection on the motherboard can do 6Gbit/second. USB 3.1 gen 1 can do 5Gbit/second. That’s all theoretical maximum burst transfer rates though (according to Wikipedia, 600MB/s versus 500MB/s effective theoretical maximum data rate for SATA 3 vs USB 3.1 gen 1).

The drives themselves will read / write at speeds lower than that a lot of the time. You can probably expect an SSD to be clearly faster than a hard drive in either situation.

Again, I’m not sure how fast you need things to be. Normally I would always recommend SSD, but I don’t know what your budget is. And what is your current setup?

Great info, I learned a lot from your answer,

So now my question is: if I use a slower external 3.1 HDD like the one in the link for choosing sounds, Does Mediabay/Groove agent:

A. keeps reading every time Cubase plays the file in real time from the HDD? (there for slows the general work)
B. once you load the sound to the program it loads it in the RAM and the HDD has finished it’s job so it becomes insignificant to the speed?

If it’s B. scenario then I don’t see any reason not using it as it will not slow down my work, maybe finding sounds is slower but once you find the sounds the work itself is back to regular speed???

I will be happy if you can shed some light on this.

Don’t know. I’d say do a search on whether or not Groove agent streams from disk or RAM.

When I do work for TV (post) I always transfer files from MediaBay into the project’s audio files folder. I need to do this to make sure that my backups are all good and all is contained within the project’s folder. So for me it all ends up on the work drive which is an NVME m.2 SSD which is super-fast.

So I suppose do a search or check the manual.

I just tested it. I see whenever a sound plays in GA the light blinks on the external drive, meaning it works in real time so it must have some effect on the speed, your way of work is smart maybe that’s the solution for me.

Well, I’m not sure you can control it in Groove Agent. What I do is I import sound effects as audio files and place them on an audio track. So that’s a different scenario. I’m not sure you can decide if Groove Agent simply streams audio in realtime from the drive, loads it temporarily into RAM, or saves it in a local folder.

You really have to check the documentation to figure that out. Or ask someone who uses it, or Steinberg people.

If you’re on the fence about this then surely an SSD will be a safer bet. Lower capacity of course, and more expensive, but better performance… if you need it.