Ever since the release of the Hollywood Series, the drive type most recommended for this library has been an SSD. On the PC, as many of us have read, the SSD is the uber-performer. Therefore, as the tribal drums telegraph, if we don’t have have Thunderbolt on our Macs for this library and the new Vienna Dimension series, we are, as we have been warned most assuredly, putski.

And now the news. And it’s goodski!

I just finished testing Other World Computing’s 240GB Mercury Electra 3G SSD. In talking with OWC, this is the model that would work best with my Mac Pro 12 Core.

Since the drive is only 2.5″, you need a sled to install it. So I got the OWC 2.5″ sled, also for the 09-10 Mac Pro. The sled is solid metal. It comes with 4 micro Philips head screws. Attachment of the drive to the sled is literally 2-3 minutes.

True to its advertising, the OWC sled slid right into bay #4 with no hassles. After boot-up, the system found it promptly. The drive needs formatting and the correct choice (thank you, Jay Asher) is the Mac OS Extended (Journaled).

Drive formatting, and I’m not kidding, was done in a single eye blink.

The test that brought joy to Muddville was copying over the Dimension Strings Violins from a Western Digital 7200RPM Caviar Black drive to the OWC SSD. Copy time of 93GB – just 18 minutes. I then added the new folder to Vienna’s Directory Manager and then deleted the older 7200RPM folder within Directory Manager.

My next step was booting up Logic 9.1.8. At this point, I haven’t upgraded to Logic X as I have a stable system with 10.6.8 and no real need to upgrade to X for the work I’m doing now.

Once Logic opened, I inserted Vienna Instrument Pro and then loaded one of the ALL Violins Presets. Pre-OWC, this took well over a minute to load. And after loading, I could play and hear pops and clicks within Logic.

However, with OWC, it was a much different story. I loaded 04P-VI-All Large Set 2 with 8526MB (8.53GB) of samples in roughly 37 seconds. Even if took a slightly more than minute, and not 37 seconds, that’s an excellent load time for one matrix.

My next step was playing it, and happily, no pops and clicks within Logic using 26GB RAM.

Previously, I had tested loading from the the 7200RPM drive directly into the Vienna Ensemble Pro. And here, no pops whatsoever.

I’ll simply make a generic statement here for those wanting to run the Hollywood Series on the Mac, but were concerned about it given the not always favorable comments re: Macs and SSD drives. Give it a shot.

Many of the Hollywood String programs are around 1GB, some larger and some smaller. The Vienna matrix I loaded, by comparison, is by size roughly the equal of eight Hollywood Strings bowings.

So, from my view, it makes sense for me to try a separate SSD drive for the Hollywood Series before considering getting a PC just for those libs.

Of course, much depends on your Mac system. My 12-core system can be expanded to 64GB RAM. And based on how I work I can do most everything on a single system using Vienna Ensemble Pro to take advantage of all the cores.

So there you have it!

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