External hard drive on Mac

PHIL94 Member Posts: 2 Member
edited November 2022 in Tech Talks


I now have my MacBook Pro M1 and a Native Instruments Komplete Control keyboard. And I'm very satisfied with it.

If I want to expand my soundbanks with the Komplete 14, I'm going to need storage space. The 1 TB of my MacBook will be very full, see not enough.

What type of external hard drive do you recommend?

Also, is it possible to transfer all Native Instruments plug-ins to this external hard drive? If yes, how ?

Thanks in advance for your expert help.


Best Answer


  • MyStudioOne
    MyStudioOne Member Posts: 269 Pro

    GET an external SSD and set the NATIVE ACCESS default folder for your CONTENT to that SSD. Leave everything else alone as they use very little space and you don't want to cause issues with folder permissions, etc.

    SSD is pricey but if you value performance it is the only way to go, period. There is plenty of in depth discussion on this topic on this forum if you want to dig in to it further.

  • PHIL94
    PHIL94 Member Posts: 2 Member

    Thank you.

    I found a SanDisk Extreme 4 To NVMe SSD.

    Before purchasing it, I will go through existing information in this forum.


  • Jeremy_NI
    Jeremy_NI Customer Care Posts: 10,619 mod
    Answer ✓

    Also worth mentioning, and this is important before installing, the hard drive must be formatted to APFS: Notes on Hard Drive Formats on Mac Computers

    And this is how to change install locations: Setting Install Locations in Native Access

  • jtintner
    jtintner Member Posts: 1 Member
    edited January 2023


    When you say there is plenty in depth discussion on this topic, may I ask to what end? Ideally installing the applications on the native HD is preferred and Libraries "can" be on an external drive I'm curious what the perspective is here. I still have my Maschine MK1 which is nothing more than a midi controller but it still is worth it even in 2023. From a software and library perspective I'm curious what the thought behind this is. I previously had a set up back in about 2015/2016 where my libraries were all stored on an external traditional disk drive, admittedly the load times were less than desirable (sometimes 30 seconds plus to load) but once they were loaded there was no issues. Granted this was on a custom build PC but with the external SSDs being reasonably priced and the ports now supporting USB 3 ( even if they are USB connections) I'm curious.

    It's been a while since I was messing around with the Maschine software/hardware but I'm getting back into the hobby, yes hobby, so maybe there is something that I'm not familiar with.

    Recently purchased a Macbook M1 processor ( due to cost and support for DAWs and the like) but before I go and re-install Gigs of libraries I want to have a deeper understanding.

    FYI Appreciate the screenshots of NA and the preferences settings to designate destinations of content vs libraries, I forgot that was in NA :)

  • MyStudioOne
    MyStudioOne Member Posts: 269 Pro

    SSD is quickly becoming affordable for most of us and the read/write speed is vastly better than traditional HDD. ESPECIALLY now with the advent of NVME SSD reaching blistering speeds as high as 7,000mb/s. I personally have all my N.I. content (Collector's Edition) on an NVME onboard drive and accordingly, load times are super fast.

    So your "SanDisk Extreme 4 To NVMe SSD" seems to me like a pretty good choice for your setup.

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