Slow Reading Speed for Samples on External HDD

ryanmiller Member Posts: 1 Newcomer

I'm facing some difficulties with my Native Instruments samples that are stored on my external HDD. I'm running Ableton Live 11.3.10 on a Mac Studio with M1 Pro. The issue I'm encountering is incredibly slow reading speeds. For instance, when I try to load an instrument, it takes an agonizing 2-5 minutes to load each preset. Exporting the session is becoming a nightmare due to sound interruptions and clipping. This situation forced me to export stems for mixing, only to find them unusable due to these problems.

Interestingly, I noticed a vast improvement in loading and reading speeds when I moved the instruments I used to the Mac library. This leads me to my main question: What type of HDD should I consider using, and should I be looking at a different format type as well? I'm currently using APFS format. My current HDD is a 1TB WD, USB 3.0, 2.5".

I'm eager to hear your thoughts. Are there any other steps I might be overlooking or should check? Thank you all in advance for your assistance!


  • Royal Tee
    Royal Tee Member Posts: 28 Member

    You forgot 2 important pieces of info.

    Drive speed, HDD type.

    Using slower drives meant for other things could yield poor results.

    Ftr, I have never and would never use an external drive for anything that needs to be accessed during a session.

    External is a storage solution for me.

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,743 Expert

    You should use as fast as possible SSD. IMHO even SATA6 SSD is slow for big Kontakt libraries, so I recomend NVMe SSD.

    But those dropouts may also mean, you do not have enought RAM for your project and the content of RAM gets swapped.... So, also check the memory usage....

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