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HDD vs SSD for recording & mixing

PortaStudio

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Hello,

I want to do experimental work with a lot of time-stretching. Therefore I do record and mix at 192khz. Is there any benefit in recording and mixing my material on a SSD?

Thanks in advance!
 
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PortaStudio

PortaStudio

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SSD is wayyy faster in all operations, is not susceptible to G forces like a spinning drive is, does not fail as much and is smaller. As per the advantages when recording a peep with thoughts on that will be along shortly ima sure. :D
Thanks for your response. Okay, I'm curious to know whether or not faster operations of a SSD make any difference for recording and mixing. G-forces shouldn't be an issue since the PC is safely placed and potential failure I can deal with by making backups. My SSD is big enough to record and mix my material, but maxing out space is a concern. Is it better to buy another SSD or am I just fine with a HDD when it comes to recording and mixing performance (at 192khz 24bits).
 

Doodski

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Thanks for your response. Okay, I'm curious to know whether or not faster operations of a SSD make any difference for recording and mixing. G-forces shouldn't be an issue since the PC is safely placed and potential failure I can deal with by making backups. My SSD is big enough to record and mix my material, but maxing out space is a concern. Is it better to buy another SSD or am I just fine with a HDD when it comes to recording and mixing performance (at 192khz 24bits).
When doing backups and drive maintenance the HDD will be slowwwwwwww and monotonous. A SSD will be much much faster.
I'm not up on the data rate for HDD and mixing audio.
 

MaxwellsEq

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A modern HDD is fast enough for audio editing. An SSD is very much faster. SSDs have a finite number of writes per "sector", so you need to keep an eye on this (not a risk with HDD).
 
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PortaStudio

PortaStudio

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When doing backups and drive maintenance the HDD will be slowwwwwwww and monotonous. A SSD will be much much faster.
That's good to know.
A modern HDD is fast enough for audio editing.
That's great, so I'll be just fine working on a modern HDD performance-wise.
SSDs have a finite number of writes per "sector", so you need to keep an eye on this (not a risk with HDD).
Oh, I did not know that. So it will degrade, when in heavy use.

What is industry standard for recording and mixing, HDD or SSD?
 

LTig

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I want to do experimental work with a lot of time-stretching. Therefore I do record and mix at 192khz. Is there any benefit in recording and mixing my material on a SSD?
Regarding performance it does not matter, maybe it will if you record more than 64 channels at once. A SSD however is dead silent which could be an advantage if the recording mics are close by.
 

3125b

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Oh, I did not know that. So it will degrade, when in heavy use.
Well, a decent 1TB SSD wit TLC memory will in practice be able to write 1PB of data without issue.
That is a lot, my system drive of several years at this point is a Crucial MMX500, it has written 21TB in 3851 hours so far.
 
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PortaStudio

PortaStudio

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Regarding performance it does not matter, maybe it will if you record more than 64 channels at once.
I'm fine then. :D
A SSD however is dead silent which could be an advantage if the recording mics are close by.
I have my PC in a separate room, but that's good to know as well.
Well, a decent 1TB SSD wit TLC memory will in practice be able to write 1PB of data without issue.
That is a lot, my system drive of several years at this point is a Crucial MMX500, it has written 21TB in 3851 hours so far.
I see. May not be a practical concern in my case then. :)
 

Berwhale

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There's little point in using HDDs unless you need many TBs of storage. My NASes have HDDs in them, but all of the PCs in the house run off NVMe SSDs.

In other news, my FLAC collection has just reached 999GB.
 
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PortaStudio

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There's little point in using HDDs unless you need many TBs of storage. My NASes have HDDs in them, but all of the PCs in the house run off NVMe SSDs.
I split the signal of many of my instruments to have them run through different gear in parallel. That is 4 signals for one instrument track. I also want to do reamping and such things. It's going to add up. My SSD is 1TB, with the system and all the software on it, it might not be enough since I record at 192khz 24bits for the projects I have in mind.
Estimations indicate current SSD costs could be cut in half by the middle of 2023. If projections prove correct, 1 TB M.2 SSDs could retail for around $50, 2 TB SSDs might reach sub-$100 prices, and the 4 TB drives approaching the $200 mark might put them within reach of budget-minded customers.

I could see myself getting a 4TB for 200$, but for now I will try out using my HDD.
 

nerdstrike

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I imagine everyone uses SSDs as a matter of course now, the only potential issue I can imagine is capacity.

192kHz 24 bit will be about 6x the size of CD quality wav files i.e. 3-4 GB/hr per stereo track. You mention 4 channels per instrument, so double that. It's not insurmountable, but you might want to only have one big project in play on the SSD at a time. Not sure how good the mixing software will be at projects moving.

I'd be wary of committing too much work to a DAW without trying a toy example and moving it around to see what breaks.
 

twsecrest

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Hello,

I want to do experimental work with a lot of time-stretching. Therefore I do record and mix at 192khz. Is there any benefit in recording and mixing my material on a SSD?

Thanks in advance!
People have been doing audio production on HDD way before SSD came out, so yea, a HDD should be good enough.
In the old days they has special (slightly modified, NAS?) HDD for video/audio work (HDD were a lot slower then).
Most of the processing work is being done using the RAM (RAM and CPU working together and assuming you have lots of RAM).
SSD are better all around (faster) work, so get a big SSD for your boot drive.
Use the HDD for storage.
 
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PortaStudio

PortaStudio

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I imagine everyone uses SSDs as a matter of course now, the only potential issue I can imagine is capacity.
Yes that is my concern.
192kHz 24 bit will be about 6x the size of CD quality wav files i.e. 3-4 GB/hr per stereo track. You mention 4 channels per instrument, so double that. It's not insurmountable, but you might want to only have one big project in play on the SSD at a time. Not sure how good the mixing software will be at projects moving.
Yes, I would like to have the option to be more flexible when it comes to start working on different projects. I use cubase btw.
I'd be wary of committing too much work to a DAW without trying a toy example and moving it around to see what breaks.
Good idea. I will try it out before I do anything serious.
People have been doing audio production on HDD way before SSD came out, so yea, a HDD should be good enough.
In the old days they has special (slightly modified) HDD for video/audio work (HDD were a lot slower then).
Most of the processing work is being done using the RAM (RAM and CPU working together and assuming you have lots of RAM).
SSD are better all around (faster) work, so get a big SSD for your boot drive.
Use the HDD for storage.
Great.
 

Berwhale

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I split the signal of many of my instruments to have them run through different gear in parallel. That is 4 signals for one instrument track. I also want to do reamping and such things. It's going to add up. My SSD is 1TB, with the system and all the software on it, it might not be enough since I record at 192khz 24bits for the projects I have in mind.


I could see myself getting a 4TB for 200$, but for now I will try out using my HDD.
So add another 1TB SATA SSD or M.2 drive in a PCl-e adapter (if you don't have a spare M.2 slot). The price difference between SSD any HDD at this capacity is negligible.
 

Blumlein 88

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So add another 1TB SATA SSD or M.2 drive in a PCl-e adapter (if you don't have a spare M.2 slot). The price difference between SSD any HDD at this capacity is negligible.
Yes and no. HDDs still come in around 35% of the same sized SDD in the 1 tb or so range. Might add up if you wanted to do a Raid or NAS setup.
 

amirm

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Oh, I did not know that. So it will degrade, when in heavy use.
It will. One way you can slow that progress is to have a larger driver than you need, and not use the last few percentages of capacity. SSD file systems attempt to use the blocks more uniformly by spreading the usage across different blocks. The more room you have, the easier it is for it to find space to do that. In addition, as blocks go bad, others are used as substitute. So the more space you have, the less chance of this mechanism failing leading to hard errors.
 

amirm

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On space issue, you can use multiple tiers. When I measure speakers, it is very data intensive so I put the file on SSD. Once done, the data gets save to HDD (and cloud storage for back up). You can even automate this so in the background the files get copied to larger but slower storage.
 

dshreter

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If you are moving data around a lot and doing processing of the tracks, you will be happier with SSD. Have you done an estimate of your actual data generation?

Besides performance, HDDs have a higher failure rate too.
 

twsecrest

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That's good to know.
That's great, so I'll be just fine working on a modern HDD performance-wise.
Oh, I did not know that. So it will degrade, when in heavy use.
What is industry standard for recording and mixing, HDD or SSD?
It will not degrade as fast as you might think, maybe degrade after a few years of audio/video production (best guess).
Never(?) heard there is a industry standard for recording and mixing (but I'm not the expert).
Assume most would rather use SSD, instead of HHD.
But one thing to know, when a file is "deleted" off a HHD, a new file can be written on that same space right away (like milli-seconds).
When a file is deleted off an SSD, it takes the SSD time to fully "reset" the same space for a new file, so it might take up to a few minutes or up to an hour (rough guess) for a new file to take the same place (SSD features called Garbage and TRIM).
So if your doing a long session of Audio/video work and the computer seems to slow the processing, you might have to run the TRIM command and wait a little while (several minutes) for the computer to free up space on the SSD.
But I'm not the expert, so double check everything I've said :)
 
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