Best External Hard Drives For Music Production 2021 Part 2
Todd Simpson
Nov 20 2021, 09:20 PM
Posts: 23.881
Joined: 23-December 09
From: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Let’s continue with our Music Production Hard Drive Shootout. This is NOT an exhaustive list, just a compilation of some major vendors with reliable products at decent prices. If you have a drive that you think should be added to this roundup, just mention it in a reply and it will be part of the roundup thread smile.gif


This is a very inexpensive drive. Of course, it’s also not a very large drive and it’s not a very fast drive. It would make a very handy budget option if you want a drive that you can just throw in a bag or pocket and not worry too much about it. It features a USB 3.0 connection so it’s broadly compatible. You can plug it in to anything with a USB port. It will slow down to accommodate older ports. It’s NOT Mactintosh formatted so it will need to be reinitialized on a Mac. You can expect transfer read/write speeds of about 100 MB/s. This is far slower than any SSD but it’s more than fast enough to do huge mult track audio projects and enough to edit compressed HD video. If you are wanting to edit 4k video, or you work with PRO RES footage, you may want a faster drive. It makes a great budget back up drive. If you are running with NO backup hard drive for your music projects, this is a great way to go. There is no good reason to not have a an external back drive when they are this cheap.
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Western Digital has been making solid drives for a very long time and they have good warranty support. This is a good capacity drive for a good price. It’s NOT an SSD so it won’t be as fast as an SSD. It is double the size of the previous drive we looked at and just a pinch more expensive. It features a USB 3.0 connection and it backwards compatible with all USB variants. It is PC formatted so will need a quick formatting for use on a Mac. It’s available at sizes up to 4TB but price goes up as you go bigger. It’s 1TB drive that fits in your pocket. Performance is similar to other drives in it’s class at about 100 MB/s. So not crazy fast, but more than enough for music and compressed HD video editing.
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This is a HUGE hard drive from a respected vendor. Seagate has a long history of making solid drives. This one is also NOT SSD, but it is massive. It’s 8TB of storage in an external case connected with USB 3.0 with backwards compatibility. Like other drives in this class, this one delivers about 100 MB/s performance so it’s ready for big multi track projects. At this size though, it would make a great backup drive as you can fit just huge amounts of data on this thing. You could probably back up just about all your projects as this is larger than most drives found in modern computers by default.
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In this roundup we have looked at external form factor USB 3.0 Drives. I didn’t cover larger multi drive enclosures or “home cloud drives” that connect via your home network. I plan to cover those things in future articles. There are wads of options for computer data storage these days, including services like dropbox and such which store your data in the cloud. I hope this was informative. Please do feel free to add any drives you think should be part of this roundup!

*This article was very helpful in writing this series.

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This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Nov 20 2021, 09:27 PM
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