Laptop/Desktop Folder Setup

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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blindspotlighting
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Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:15 pm

Laptop/Desktop Folder Setup

Post by blindspotlighting » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:59 pm

Hi,

I'm a longtime musician but a bit new to production, specifically Ableton, but am really in love and coming from a pro video background prefer to do things properly when I do them.



So, in setting up an Ableton library of Samples, VSTs, and plugins, I'm curious in the best setup for sync work across a desktop and laptop computer.

There are 2 major questions:

1) Ableton itself- I am going to license two copies of the program, to desktop/laptop, but how can I keep the internal organization of my favorite effects in sync?

2) Folder structures, file placements:


I have a fast RAID-0 SSD with 1TB of space that's quite portable. I also have an big 8TB external to offload not in-use projects and larger sample libraries. Quick note is I am soon to buy a new latop optimized for music production so I can make decisions around advice here)

The long story short is I'd like to hear the ideal folder arrangements and installations to maximize long term portability or projects.

Here are the specific questions:

-I had heard to keep your projects on the SSD, and VSTs etc on the HDD. But I'm only going to travel with the SSD when I work off my laptop. I assume I don't want to divide where I keep plugins and VSTs, but should I just put them all on the SSD so I am never missing them on a project?

-When a huge sample library is on one drive and then I create a project that contains a given sample- Doesn't it move or copy the used sample to a folder within the project? So then I dont need to worry about not having it on my portable drive? If that is the case, is there an option I need to enable to do this?

-I know I'm supposed to put all VSTs into a 32 bit and 64 bit folders. Are there other similar essential conventions to follow?

-If I do have to move these in accordance with advice from this forum, what is ok to shift around just by dragging the files to a new location and what do I need to reinstall?


I know this is a lot, but wanted to be thorough so any advice is relevant to my specific needs. Definitely appreciate any and all thoughts, and if there is a resource I should go straight to for answers happy to hear it.

re:dream
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Re: Laptop/Desktop Folder Setup

Post by re:dream » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:34 am

blindspotlighting wrote:Hi,

So, in setting up an Ableton library of Samples, VSTs, and plugins, I'm curious in the best setup for sync work across a desktop and laptop computer.

There are 2 major questions:

1) Ableton itself- I am going to license two copies of the program, to desktop/laptop, but how can I keep the internal organization of my favorite effects in sync?
I use Dropbox. My entire collection of music and samples (including my itunes library) is housed inside a dropbox folder. I have to pay about US 10 per month for a 1 terabyte dropbox allocation. It is a little tricky to set up (and I had to wait like a full week for the two libraries to sync) but once I've done that, it becomes effortless and invisible. I can save a set on my desktop & open it on my laptop 2 minutes later and everything is there.

But if you have a big SSD, why not just do all the work on there? I haven't used portable SSDs so I don't know whether it is practical. But it should be possible for you just to swop the SSD between your two computers.

The only risk there is: should you misplace or lose that portable SSD, you've lost all your work.

blindspotlighting wrote:
2) Folder structures, file placements:

-I had heard to keep your projects on the SSD, and VSTs etc on the HDD. But I'm only going to travel with the SSD when I work off my laptop. I assume I don't want to divide where I keep plugins and VSTs, but should I just put them all on the SSD so I am never missing them on a project?
As far as I know you can specify wherever you want to keep your plugins so in theory you should be able to put it on the SSD.

But then you will be unable to do anything if you happen not to have the SSD plugged in.

For my setup, I use the default folders for plugins. So I have the VSTs mirrored on the two machines. I just have to make sure I keep the VST libraries perfectly in sync between the two computers.
-When a huge sample library is on one drive and then I create a project that contains a given sample- Doesn't it move or copy the used sample to a folder within the project? So then I dont need to worry about not having it on my portable drive? If that is the case, is there an option I need to enable to do this?
No. If a sample is played as is, it stays where it is. The clip in Ableton loads directly from the main sample library. New samples created within the project get copied into an internal project folder (e.g when I crop or consolidate and existing sample) but if you are just playing an untreated sample it stays where it is.

There is an option in preferences for copying samples on export. It is to be used with care, because it can lead to an enormous and unnecessary proliferation of samples, and can use quite a bit of space, especially if you are working back and forth between the two machines. (That's just my opinion, others may differ)
-I know I'm supposed to put all VSTs into a 32 bit and 64 bit folders. Are there other similar essential conventions to follow?
I am not so sure about this; I also don't know whether there is a difference here between PC and mac. There is a system folder for VSTs, specified in preferences. Use that. You can also set a custom folder if need be.
-If I do have to move these in accordance with advice from this forum, what is ok to shift around just by dragging the files to a new location and what do I need to reinstall?
Install VSTs in the correct folder, and then trigger rescan plugins in Preferences -> File Folder

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