Beat-making has come a very long way since the 1970s-1990s being that most of the music was created using hardware and now music is produced using digital audio workstations. If someone took an interest in music production or “making beats”, then they can instantly consider buying the material that is required without having to spend a large sum of money. A simple Laptop and MIDI Controller can give anyone the opportunity to make music. As well as other technical equipment that is recommended to be used for music production, a storage device that has a large amount of space sometimes never crosses the mind of a beginning potential producer.
Music Production involves a huge amount of storage and here are some important reasons why a dedicated hard drive should be taken into consideration whether it is in a professional studio or for production at home:
Refills, VST’s, Preset’s
Without instruments, then how can you attempt to make music? It is always essential and beneficial to be loaded up with a ton of sounds. And, no! I am not just referring to stock sounds you get when you install your music software. There are plenty of free and purchasable sound-banks and VST plugins on the internet that you can easily download so I do recommend you take advantage of Google’s amazingness! Sound-banks and VST’s usually take up the most space individually so that is why you need to make sure you have plenty of space.
Samples, Drums, SFX, Loops
What about the groove? Unless you make music without any drum beat then I suggest you also take the low consuming time of downloading drum kits, sample packs, SFX packs, loops and more diverse sounds for your music production. Once again, loading up on sample packs, kits and et cetera will take up a lot of storage space so you don’t want to be stuck using a standard 320 GB hard drive.
Exporting MP3, WAV Files
Have you forgotten about how many times you have to export your finished instrumental as an MP3 file or even WAV file? Remember, WAV files have much better quality and good quality goes a very long way in the music industry so you will need to be prepared to export ALL of you projects as WAV which will take an outstanding number of storage space. Then of course, you may want to promote your beats by uploading them to websites and a lot of websites do not accept WAV files just for personal uploading, so exporting an extra MP3 file will also take some space.
Multiple Versions (Remakes, Remixes, Voice Tagged)
Often, a producer would more than likely go back to what he/she created a while ago to either remake an instrumental or to use it for a remix. Deleting or replacing your original content is NOT recommended for a variety of reasons (i.e. copyright and potential customers) so alternate projects will have to be created. Unless you risk uploading your music without voice trademarks then exporting untagged and tagged versions of your instrumentals is recommended.
Depending on the amount of length, audio tracks and instruments you used in your recording and/or beat projects, the files will always have to be saved and kept safe which will eventually result in taking up storage space. Especially for producers who have been making music for at least 5 years.
Promotional Content (Videos, Images)
The amount of images, logos and graphics that you will need to help promote your music will take up a large amount of hard drive storage space. Not to mention Videos for YouTube and other video-sharing websites. This only depends on how serious you are with your music, if you don’t have promotional material then you are not going to give listeners and artists a chance to check out your music. Video files take up the most space and you want them to be presentable by saving it as HD files.
Completed Recordings, Songs and Multi-tracks
What about recordings with artists and bands? Do you also mix vocals for artists? Mostly, professional studios will need to consider the number of audio tracks, songs and recordings they will need to store for quite a long time.
Imagine the amount of storage that Dr Dre has used for his music being that he has been producing and rapping since the 1980s! Or, Scott Storch who has produced chart-topping hits with many major artists since the 1990s? Do you think these producers would delete there projects once they are finished with it? Of course not, Dr Dre probably still has music lying around on his hard drives from the World Class Wreckin’ Cru days.
I hope this article helped you to understand how important it is to have at least a decent amount of space, especially if you are constantly making music. I recommend getting a 2TB external hard drive which has lasted me since I first started producing in 2010. I still have less than a half amount of storage and I have many files stored on there – files that aren’t even related to my music also.
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