Questions & Answers

Recording 16 tracks on an external SSD

+1 vote
asked Mar 14, 2023 in Computer Based Recording & Production by jespercejie1 (180 points)
I have had troubles with my disk on my laptop being too slow for recording 13 mics on a drum kit. I am considering buying some kind of external storage unit for recording as I record on one computer and mix on another.

What specs should be considered when looking into using an external SSD? Would an M.2 SSD connected with a USB 3.0 to USB C suffice  for recording a drum kit with 16 mics? I'm thinking of buying something of the kind but I want to be sure that it's a good purchase.

1 Answer

0 votes
answered May 4, 2023 by AlexTinsley (925,100 points)
Best answer

Most modern SSD's running over a USB 3.x or USB 4.x (USB-C) or Thunderbolt connection are fast enough to handle 8 stereo tracks or 16 mono tracks (or more) of recording. 

Consider using Avastor or OWC brand drives which are designed for the broadcast and recording industry. 

Unfortunately most of what you find in a modern electronics or big-box store is inadequate for real-time audio recording. USB 2.x external drives or devices that have spinning hard drives with a rotational speed of 5400 RPM or less where you will run into problems. These older slower technologies are designed for energy conservation. These types of devices will result in "Disk Too Slow Errors" 

Stay clear of the inexpensive drives, these most often have spinning hard drives with 4200 RPM or 5400 RPM drives in them. Even some of the larger multi-terra byte drives that seem like a good deal also have slow spinning drives in them. Unless it specifically states that what you are getting is an SSD or m.2 type technology, probably a good idea to stay away from it.