Logic Pro X ships with a brand-new sound library including many updated Apple loops and sample instruments. However when you install your sound libraries, you’re not given the option to install any of them to a different hard drive as you were in past versions of Logic Pro. Taking advantage of Folder Aliases inside of OS X, it is still possible to transfer the bulk of your Logic Pro X sample and Apple Loop libraries to a different hard drive.
Why Use a Dedicated Sample Hard Drive
Save Storage Space
Logic Pro X ships with over 30 GB of sound content including Apple Loops, samples, and virtual instrument sample libraries. While this is not a major issue for desktop based computers because of the traditionally larger hard drives that are installed, the large amount of additional sound content may be problematic for mobile producers who wish to install Logic Pro X on a laptop computer with a smaller hard drive capacity.
While solid state hard drives are becoming more popular, especially with the creative crowd such as musicians and producers, the size to cost ratio is still pretty wide and therefor many people are still opting for smaller storage capacities.
The large amount of additional sound content may be problematic for mobile producers who wish to install Logic Pro X on a laptop computer with a smaller hard drive capacity.
Being able to store the additional sound content that is available for download on an external hard drive will help you keep your system hard drive free for other programs and storage needs, while still allowing you to use Logic Pro X to it's fullest by having access to all the available content that you have purchased.
Traditional disk drives can read or write data to or from the disk, and while it preforms these actions several times a second, they technically cannot both read and write at the same time. For most day today computer use this is really a non-issue. However, when the hard drive is attempting to read a large file, or multiple large files, such as when loading a sample based instrument, the physical limitations of the hard drive begin to be noticeable as the drive has to momentarily stop writing, so it can read the large file.
By storing your sample based libraries on an external hard drive, you’re not only dividing up the workload between two physical drives, but you’re actually allowing both drives to perform together the read and write tasks simultaneously; something a single hard drive physically cannot do. Your main hard drive that is running your computer based music creation software is able to write and perform all the tasks needed for the software to run smoothly, while the external sample hard drive is able to simultaneously read the samples from the disk.
Tip: While creating multiple partitions on a single physical hard drive is good for organizational purposes, the limitations of a single physical hard drive are still present, and therefore you do not gain the same benefits as you do with two physical hard drives.
Moving The Logic Pro X Sample Libraries
Now that you have an understanding of the benefits of using a dedicated external sample hard drive, let me show you step by step how to move the Logic Pro X sample libraries to an external hard drive using Folder Aliases inside of OS X.
1. Locate the Sample Folders to Move
Most of the samples for the sample based instruments inside of logic Pro X are stored in Macintosh HD > Library > Application Support > Logic. The folders you want to move to your external sample hard drive are EXS Factory Samples and Ultrabeat Samples.
The Apple Loops are stored in Macintosh HD > Library > Audio > Apple Loops > Apple. Here you will find all of the Apple Loops libraries including the Jam Packs, as well as the new categories such as Dubstep.
Tip: You may see more or less folders contained in the Apple Loops folder. If you have Logic Pro 9 installed along side Logic Pro X and have previously moved any of the Apple Loops libraries as described in this tutorial, Logic Pro X is using the current indexed locations of them on your external hard drive when adding any new content available for specific libraries.
2.Copy the Sample Folders
In Finder, open a new window by pressing the keyboard shortcut Command+N and navigate to the external sample drive where you wish to store the sample folders. Drag and copy the folders you want to store on your external sample drive and copy the audio files.
3.Create Folder Aliases for Each Folder
Now that they have been copied to the external sample drive, create a Folder Aliases of the folders by right clicking and selecting Make Alias. Drag the Folder Aliases back to respective folders on your system hard drive.
Next, delete the original folders containing the samples, and rename the Folder Aliases giving them the name of the original folder. Now, as far as logic Pro X is concerned, the samples are still in the same location because of the Folder Aliases pointing to them on the external hard drive.
Keep in Mind
In past versions of Logic Pro, you could re-index the Apple Loop library by simply dragging the folder into the loop browser inside of the interface. Because of the new loop pop-up menu available by clicking the bank title at the top of the loop browser, you need to use a Folder Alias in order to keep all the available folder filtering options. Otherwise the Apple Loops will be available to use in the Loop Browser, but the loop pop-up menu will be blank.
While the benefits of storing your sample libraries on a dedicated drive outweigh any drawbacks, there is one thing to keep in mind. Storing the additional content that is available for download in Logic Pro X will give you a false notification that you have not installed the sample libraries when checking the additional content list by going to Logic Pro X > Download Additional Content. As you can see, the content the dialog window is saying is not installed is in fact the content that we just moved, and that is still available in the loop browser.
In this tutorial I’ve shown you how to transfer your logic Pro X sample libraries to an external hard drive, as well as explaining the benefits your system will receive by using a dedicated hard drive to read larger sample files from.