There are many, many ways to produce music. As such, with so many tools and tech at your disposal, it’s sometimes hard to know where to begin. However, great creative minds always dive right in and start to create. That’s one of the keys to making great music.
If you produce music at any level, you know that it’s extremely important to back up your files so you don’t lose them. Music files can also take up quite a bit of memory, so you need enough extra space to store them. The way to solve both of those problems is with an external hard drive. Here, we will look at some of the best ones for music production.
- If you need or want an almost endless amount of storage the WD My Cloud External Hard Drive is the model for you. It’s a little pricey, but you can get anywhere from 1TB to 8TB of additional storage.
- Many of us take our music on the go, and that is why a portable hard drive is so important. The Seagate Portable External Hard Drive offers serious storage solutions when you’re away from the studio.
- The Silicon Power Armor A60 external hard drive is great for anyone who’s on the road. This option is rugged and portable, which allows it to hold up well under the rigors of touring.
Who Should Get This?
No matter what kind of music you produce or how long you’ve been doing it, an external hard drive is highly recommended. If you’ve ever experienced the terror of losing a great idea or almost-finished project because you didn’t back up the files, you know how important hard drives can be. Even if you are simply thinking about getting into music production, you should get an external hard drive.
I’ve heard some of my musician friends say their computers have plenty of storage and an external hard drive is overkill. Even if your computer has a lot of storage, accidents may occur. You never know when it might get stolen or break during a drop. In such instances, if you don’t have an extra hard drive you are out of luck. An external hard drive is an important safety measure that’s affordable and easy to get.
Best External Hard Drive for Music Production: What to Consider
Storage Size and Physical Size
External hard drives have vastly improved in recent years. Large amounts of storage used to mean that you had to have a huge, bulky drive. Today, you can easily get several TB of storage in a compact device. You may not need that much and you may need more, so storage size is an important consideration. If you plan on traveling with an external drive, look for a compact device.
If you’re just learning music production and don’t have a lot of projects in the works, you can get by on 1 TB or less. If you run your own studio with multiple projects rolling at once, you may need several TB or more to back up that work. You can literally get just about any amount of storage these days, but I would recommend getting at least 1TB as that should be enough for the common producer.
You always want to make sure that the external hard drive you get works with your computer. While most models will work with a wide variety of machines, you need to double-check in order to avoid running into issues when trying to save files for the first time. Check the manufacturers’ specs before purchasing to make sure the drive will work with the device you want to pair it with.
One thing that’s true for just about any musician is that they live a life on the move. With that in mind, you will more than likely take your hard drive with you to a gig, to band practice, or on tour. You need something that’s well built and durable enough to handle any abuse that you come across along the way. Some hard drives are built with reinforced materials that make them extra strong. If you travel, go with such options.
Best External Hard Drive for Music Production: Our Picks
If you need a huge amount of storage and want something that will be able to back up an entire music studio, the WD My Cloud External Hard Drive is for you. This is a beast of a hard drive and is more than capable of backing up any Mac or PC based system. It comes in multiple sizes from 2TB all the way up to 8TB so you can rest assured that you will have plenty of storage for any and all of your music production projects.
- Plenty of storage from 2TB to 8TB options
- Perfect solution to back up entire recording studio
- Works with both Windows and Mac-based systems
- Mobile and remote access capabilities
- Sync content across the cloud
- Large physical size
For an external hard drive that’s great for life on the move, the Seagate Portable External Hard Drive is a solid solution. This affordable and highly portable device comes in a starting size of 1TB and you can choose from options up to 16TB if you need that much room. You can also choose between SSD and HDD storage depending on your needs. Either way, you will have a back up solution when you’re away from home.
- Small and portable
- A range of storage sizes available
- SSD or HDD options
- Compatible with most Windows and Mac setups
- Comes with a 1-year warranty
- Not the most durable option in a portable hard drive
The Silicon Power Armor A60 external hard drive is another highly portable option that’s also extremely durable. Those two traits make it well suited for any producer who’s on the road or constantly on the move. That reliability is made possible due to the military-grade construction that’s both shockproof and water-resistant. It’s also available in either a 1TB or 2TB version and is compatible with both Mac OS and Windows devices.
- Extremely durable construction
- Shockproof and water-resistant
- Needs to be reformatted to work with Mac OS
Useful Tips & Resources
You don’t need to have a ton of technical skills to use an external hard drive. You pretty much just plug it in and, if you’re at least a little tech-savvy, will be able to save and back up all of your files with ease. That being said, you do need some skills if you want to become good at music production. Experience is the best in this regard, but it’s always nice to have a little guidance. Check out this video for some important music production tips.
An external hard drive is a must-have for any music producer. Regardless of if you are a seasoned pro with your own recording studio or if you’re just learning the basics on how to create and record music, you need to be able to back up all of your ideas so they don’t get lost when the power goes out. All of the hard drives you’ll find here come highly recommended, and they will all meet your music production needs.
Do you have any good music production resources? Why do you like them so much? Let us know in the comments below!
Jessica is the co-founder and content manager here at AnySoftwareTools. She has been fascinated by the startup culture in Silicon Valley and she loves building things from zero to one. When she is not writing, she loves getting close to nature and shoot photos with her iPhone and Canon EOS 80D.