Suggestions for recording setup, please ;)

I’d like to have some suggestions about my new setup changes.

I have a Laptop i5, 4core, windows 7 64bit, runing Cubase 5.1 with internal HDD 1T in 3 partitions:
partition 1. System files
partition 2. Recordings + Libraries
partition 3. rest files.
I also have NI Komplete Audio 6 Interface (USB2) and a hub with e-licencer, iLok2 and 2 controlers
I’d like to move my Libraries to an external HDD USB2 1T 5400rpm

The question is:
Should I make recordings with Cubase in the second partition of my internal HDD
or I have to move to a second partition in the external HDD?

So, the senarios are:
Senario A) 1> Internal HDD: partitions: 1. Windows 2. Recordings 3. rest files
2> External HDD USB 2: libraries and samples
(+1 extra USB port for audio card +1 USB port for e-licence, iLok, controlers with hub)
Senario B) 1> Internal HDD: partitions: 1. Windows 2. backup data 3. rest files
2> External HDD USB 2: partitions: 1. recordings 2. libraries and samples
(+1 extra USB port for audio card +1 USB port for e-licence, iLok, controlers with hub)

Any suggestions, please?
Thank you very much for your time


It’s a Toshiba Satellite L655. I think there is no space available. There is no mention in the specs.
And the eSATA/USB port is USB 2 or 3?

Partitioning a drive as you have done, will only make searching for files a little easier (possibly!), but will have no performance improvement whatsoever. The files are still on the same, one-and-only HD, so will be limited by the drives interface speed, whatever that is. Having a second internal drive if that is possible could yield benefits though.


It’s a ‘puzzle’.
I have an external USB drive but it’s USB2.
Is it ok for libraries reading?
I can’t use USB3 and it’s not possible to mount a second internal disk.

An internal HD will NOT be using USB as an interface. It’ll be either SATA 2 or SATA 3.
USB2 is reasonably quick for storing your samples/files etc on, that can be uploaded to your laptop. That’s fine. However, running a number of audio files from an external HD with USB2 will lead to glitches fairly quickly.

So, for occasional storage, use an external HD by all means, but when you want to use the audio files in a project, please copy them to your laptop’s internal HD, so they are accessed there and not from your external HD.

Hope that helps?


Yes it helps.
Thank you very much.
So there is no reason move my kontakt and other libraries to an external HDD.

No - definitely not.

Think of it like this. When you are processing audio (and video, or anything else for that matter!), the files being processed need to be as close to you CPU as possible. The interconnect/pipeline between your internal HD and CPU is much shorter and massively faster than the speed at which files can be moved from an external HD.

So, if you have a sampler, you need stacks of RAM for example, so that the files being processed can be stored in RAM. The transfer-speed between RAM to CPU is orders of magnitude faster than HD to CPU. The really important files are stored in CPU cache, within the CPU itself. This is faster again.

Or, look at it like this. Would you store your VSTi’s and samples on a network server 1000 miles from home, expecting them to work instantly like they (should) do on your PC? No - of course not. Keep your samples on one HD (internally). Keep your DAW and VSTi’s internally, and ensure you have enough RAM headroom to cope!
As always, faster is better. I have my W7 and Cubase 6.5 on an OCZ Agility 3 SSD, and this works very well, but I am soon going to get another SSD, just for my Cubase, HALion and VSTi’s leaving the OS on a seperate SSD. This will improve performance as the two SSDs are working in parallel.


That’s very helpful.
Thank very-very much.

Yesterday I tested my USB ports. All 3 are USB 2. By now I have everything (operating system, libraries and recordings) in one internal 1TB HDD with3 partitions. How about moving just the cubase recording folders in the external HDD USB 2 and leave the rest in internal partitions?

Use your external drive to ‘store’ files/samples.
Use your internal drive to work from.

However, you only have one internal HD. This is not helping things.
You should have a c:\ drive with obviously your OS on, and maybe Cubase.
Your d:\ drive is probably an internal DVD writer.
Then, I recommend you get a second internal HD as your e:\ drive (or any letter you care to use!). On the e:\ drive you should have your working samples, audio-files etc. That way, with the very high amounts of drive access required for your samples, you will not be hindering your operating system which is on another physical drive.
As you stand, you have an HD which is trying to run the computer AND is also being worked hard by Cubase.

I recommend a Solid State drive for your OS and a good SATA 3 drive with 32 or 64Mb cache for your audio samples.


That’s ideal but I have a laptop, so I can’t install extra HDD.
What’s the best for my current setup?
I have and internal HDD with 3 partitions and external Usb 2 HDD for backup and store.
How can I use eSata port effectively ?


Sorry, I forgot you had a laptop with only one HDD.

The eSATA port is used to connect an external HDD via eSATA and not USB. Some drives come fitted with both options.


I just tested eSata speed. I copy a 3gb file from partition e to partition c in the internal HDD and its fast.
I copy the same file from partition e to external eSata drive and its faster. Very impressive.
Last, I copy the same file from e to external HDD USB 2 and its slower than anything else.
Do you think if I move my libraries of samples and anything to the eSata HDD will work effectively?
I will leave os in one internal partition and rec folders in second internal partition.
Just the active libraries will be moved to eSata HDD.