Composing : Composer's and RAIDs by Chris Joye

Chris Joye

Composer's and RAIDs

Do any composers use RAID systems to run your sample libraries? Changing things up and saw some RAIDs on Black Friday with SSDs.. Expensive, but I already have a few SSDs, so if I can get an empty RAID bay, it could be beneficial.

What do you run it in? RAID 0 or RAID 1? I feel like the back/redundancy for RAID 0 is overkill, as if I lose a sample library, I can just re-download it. So I would think RAID 1 performance would be the better way to go. Of course, backup redundancy in RAID 0 for my project files wouldn't be a bad thing, but not sure I need to spend the money on that sort of thing as it's never happened mid-project in 10 years (knock on wood).


Joel Irwin

Many years ago I used to run RAID. But the odds of losing 'static' data such as samples is extremely low and I don't create many files a day which the software backs up on a regular basis. So the bottom line for me is that I am willing to take the risk of losing up to one day of dynamically changing data (my composing files).

Here is why:

1. My desktop and laptop have two bays each. I put the critical software (composing, video, etc.), my operating system, and all my samples on the C drive. Everything else goes on a D drive. Both are SSDs.

2. I have software called Allway Sync. I have routines I have defined for it to synchronize between my desktop and laptop. I sync at least once a day and sometimes a few times a day. So I can do anything on one that I can on the other EXACTLY (just a bit slower on the laptop). In fact, I composer on my laptop in coach on a plane (with a small midi keyboard which goes in front of the tray table). So when I get back to the studio - a single sync and everything is now usable on the desktop.

3. I also backup todays data to an SD card once a day - usually only a couple of files.

4. Every 4 to 6 months I do an image backup of both the C and D drives to a 3 TB external hard disk (which normally has room for two backups for each drive).

So for me, I see no benefit for RAID - I much rather have my laptop and desktop duplicate/sync each other exactly.

Jonathan Price

Here's a discussion on RAID systems and if they're worth it to composers:

I don't use a RAID system myself. Between my use of VEPro on my main hub-PC and two satellite-PCs, and Digital Performer's V-Rack, my workflow is such that I can load in my film's template once and leave it up. So load-time isn't much of an issue with me. But if you're loading in sounds for every cue, I could see where a RAID system might save some time.

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