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Can I RUN VSTs on a external harddrive?


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Do you understand how partitioning works? That question makes no sense.

However, for the question in your subject, it depends on your DAW. If your DAW lets you specify multiple folders that it will search for plugins, then sure, there's no reason why you can't point it to a folder on an external hard drive (and, of course, if you can only set one folder, you could just point it to the external hard drive and move all your plugins over).

But, unless you have a tiny main hard drive and a massive number of plugins, it's probably not the VSTs (eg. the DLL files) themselves that are taking up the space; it's probably sample libraries. Depending on the sampler or plugin, you can probably locate the samples wherever you want, even if they're not on the same hard drive. Kontakt, for example, isn't restricted to loading samples from any one location; within a single Kontakt instance, you can load samples from multiple libraries spread across multiple hard drives.

Performance-wise, you're better off putting a second hard drive into your computer (if it's a tower) than using a USB connection, and a USB hard drive probably won't cut it for large orchestral sample libraries, but for something like the odd instrument from Kontakt, or the Omnisphere library, an external hard drive will work just fine. Basically, it's the amount of data that needs to be streamed (and so, the size of each sampled instrument you want to load) that matters.

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Fast drive + fast connection = fast loading of whatever's on it.

And as Kanthos said, it's not the actual plugins you need much space for, it's their sample libraries. I've got my Omnisphere and Kontakt libraries on a separate drive. Should have gotten a faster drive, but besides that, it works fine.

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Do you understand how partitioning works? That question makes no sense.

Yes... I was only asking if I could use a external drive to run vst plugins, I did not ask any partition questions.

Performance-wise, you're better off putting a second hard drive into your computer (if it's a tower) than using a USB connection, and a USB hard drive probably won't cut it for large orchestral sample libraries, but for something like the odd instrument from Kontakt, or the Omnisphere library, an external hard drive will work just fine. Basically, it's the amount of data that needs to be streamed (and so, the size of each sampled instrument you want to load) that matters.

Oh I see.

Im not really running out of space, im just avoiding using my main drive for things other then compiler files, documents and mp3s. all my 2-6gb samples libraries need to stay on my main drive for personal reasons.

Yes only for vst use. I will buy a internal harddrive when I transfer my kontakt and eastwest stuff to my other pc.

I tried using fm7 on a small external harddrive but all 3 of my daws could not get it to run, or maybe It was the device I was using, but that was a while ago.

Fast drive + fast connection = fast loading of whatever's on it.

I will try to buy a fire wire drive, but not sure if I can find one thats less than 500gb in the stores around here.

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I tried using fm7 on a small external harddrive but all 3 of my daws could not get it to run, or maybe It was the device I was using, but that was a while ago.

FM8, at least on mac, is 150 megs - audio unit, standalone, everything. If you need to move something of that size to another drive, you should probably retire your last-millennium machine and get a new one.

I will try to buy a fire wire drive, but not sure if I can find one thats less than 500gb in the stores around here.

I have no idea what you're thinking. The size of a drive doesn't have much to do with its speed. Get a large drive, put all your junk there, keep the main drive for all your music production.

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I have no idea what you're thinking. The size of a drive doesn't have much to do with its speed. Get a large drive, put all your junk there, keep the main drive for all your music production.

yes I know, Im looking for just a small drive, but if you suggest I should get a larger drive then I will give that ago. was only saying that stores around here dont carry the best of computer related devices

My current pc is not that bad, just trying to keep things off my main drive like you said.

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He's pointing out that you mention partitions in the first post, which I responded to, and then you later said that you didn't ask about partitions.

I see, that thread bump sucked ass then:sleepzzz:

But thankyou guys on the help, I think I will buy a usb 3.0 desktop drive and move my vsts to it.

I only need to move my vst and some other stuff incase I move pc's, im not too convinced to move my entire sample library though, alot of unused stuff.

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No, no, no, NO! If you're going to ask a question, please actually read the responses.

VSTs are an application, and should be installed on your main OS drive.

The extra hard drive is only going to bring you speed when installing the library associated with a sample-based VST instrument.

Like Dannthr said, if you're trying to move the actual PLUGINS, and not the SAMPLES, you should be buying a bigger hard drive. Unless you have a REDICULOUS amount of plugins, most of which are commercial and have some amount of built-in samples (eg. something like Absynth that has a few samples it builds patches from, but isn't a sample library), I doubt you're using much more than 1 GB of hard drive space for plugins. You're not going to get much in the way of space savings, and you're not going to get a speed increase.

There is NO REASON to run plugins from an external hard drive. Just because you probably can, that doesn't mean you should.

Also, other than simple plugins that consist ONLY of a DLL, you can't use an external hard drive to transfer already-installed plugins to a new machine, because you won't be able to copy the plugin and all associated files and registry settings to the new machine. The new machine won't see the plugin as being installed if all you do is dump a DLL into the VSTPlugins folder; you'll have to get the installer and reinstall it.

Here is what you should do.

If you're running out of space on your main hard drive, try the following in order:

1) If you have a desktop, install a second internal hard drive and copy some things over to that to save space on your main HD.

2) Find things you can uninstall

3) Move finished projects (especially with audio recordings, probably done in WAV, that will take up a fair bit of space) to an external hard drive or back them up to DVD, and remove from your computer.

4) Move some/all sample libraries to an external hard drive.

5) If you're still out of space, or if you can't do any of the above, buy a bigger hard drive, back up everything useful on your main drive (eg. don't back up plugins or programs that need to be reinstalled; don't back up sample libraries that you can reinstall from DVD, etc.) Then, take the old hard drive out of your machine, put the new one in, and reinstall your OS, drivers, software, and plugins.

If you're going to ignore good advice from people who know what they're doing and take the time to figure out what you're actually asking (for GOD SAKES, learn to write questions clearly!), then maybe you shouldn't be wasting people's time if you're going to just do your own thing anyway, advice be damned.

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Also, other than simple plugins that consist ONLY of a DLL, you can't use an external hard drive to transfer already-installed plugins to a new machine, because you won't be able to copy the plugin and all associated files and registry settings to the new machine. The new machine won't see the plugin as being installed if all you do is dump a DLL into the VSTPlugins folder; you'll have to get the installer and reinstall it.

This is what I really wanted to know.

Maybe im not being detailed enough in my typing, here are(or were) my intentions. I do tend to be unorganized when I type out my ideas in a rush, sorry about that.

Space is not so much the issue here, im really concerned about moving.

1.) Move my most used software to external hard drive ready to be moved to main OS drive. (which I'v done with games and other software from my program files in c:/ but not so much music related things on a small flash drive.)

2.) leave a good half of my sample library on this current pc.

3.) if possible, keep vst's on drive, but as you said, I should keep things like that on my main OS drive, which is the new pc I am moving too soon.

sorry for the poor typing.

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That just confused the issue more, so let's back up a step.

You're getting a second computer. When you have it, what do you want to have on each machine?

Sorry on the mix up

What I want to have on the new computer is my 3 main Daws which are Cubase, Ableton, and Flstudio. Then I want to have my most used vst's and samples on the main computer.

Everything else that I dont use often such as some vst's and other heavy sample libraries to stay on the external harddrive.

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Sorry on the mix up

What I want to have on the new computer is my 3 main Daws which are Cubase, Ableton, and Flstudio. Then I want to have my most used vst's and samples on the main computer.

Everything else that I dont use often such as some vst's and other heavy sample libraries to stay on the external harddrive.

Ok, do this. When you get your new computer, download all the installers for your VSTs again, and install ALL your VSTs to the main hard drive on the new computer, whether you use them often or not. There's no advantage to having ANY VSTs on an external hard drive.

Then, put your sample libraries on the main hard drive or external hard drive as you see fit. Those can be copied over from your old machine via the external hard drive.

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VSTs are applications or plug-ins for applications--they do NOT stream from your hard-disk, the only performance gain you will experience is a minimal decrease in load-time on instantiation.

There will be no true performance increase.

The only thing that does stream from the hard-disk is DATA, and for you, specifically audio data--as in an associated sample library or impulse files.

You will experience a performance increase installing libraries on a separate drive from your OS--but only if that separate drive is quick, as all samples must be loaded into RAM before playing (or streamed from disk by loading portions of samples into disk) and thus you want the data flow from sample installation location to RAM to be quick.

This is NOT necessarily through your USB. If you have several other peripherals plugged in to your USB, or if you're busing information through the USB besides your VST libraries, then you may notice a performance DECREASE.

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Ok, do this. When you get your new computer, download all the installers for your VSTs again, and install ALL your VSTs to the main hard drive on the new computer, whether you use them often or not. There's no advantage to having ANY VSTs on an external hard drive.

Then, put your sample libraries on the main hard drive or external hard drive as you see fit. Those can be copied over from your old machine via the external hard drive.

I will install my vsts (for the ones that need installations) to my main drive, I guess I will just install the ones I use if I will have issues keeping vst's on a external drive.

Thank you for the help!

VSTs are applications or plug-ins for applications--they do NOT stream from your hard-disk, the only performance gain you will experience is a minimal decrease in load-time on instantiation.

There will be no true performance increase.

The only thing that does stream from the hard-disk is DATA, and for you, specifically audio data--as in an associated sample library or impulse files.

You will experience a performance increase installing libraries on a separate drive from your OS--but only if that separate drive is quick, as all samples must be loaded into RAM before playing (or streamed from disk by loading portions of samples into disk) and thus you want the data flow from sample installation location to RAM to be quick.

This is NOT necessarily through your USB. If you have several other peripherals plugged in to your USB, or if you're busing information through the USB besides your VST libraries, then you may notice a performance DECREASE.

I see, did not think of it that way I guess.

well I guess I will leave behind the unuseful vsts and just install the ones I use the most on my pc's main harddrive as said. I usually do load my samples in RAM, but I need to figure out how to make Ableton do that by default for all samples used.

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