Author Topic: USB vs onboard USER storage best practices  (Read 1332 times)

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Offline FrankJaco

USB vs onboard USER storage best practices
« on: January 26, 2021, 01:02:24 AM »
Does anyone have any strong feelings on what should be stored on USB flash drives versus what is stored in in the USER area within the keyboard? 

As a still-learning novice, I at first modified styles with my instrumentation attached to the OTS. I saved a style per song and kept them on a USB flash drive.  After reading and watching a few YouTubes, I realized the better way to save arrangements is by using a bank of registration memory per song along with a a foot pedal to step me thru the variations...

But I learned the hard way that registration banks don't actually hold "everything".  They contain "calls" to the style, but not the style itself.  If I didn't have my USB flash installed with my custom styles, the registration memory couldn't find them. So I started moving my custom and downloaded styles to the USER area instead of keeping them on the USB drive..... But....

After reading about YEM and all the free content that is out there (like CMS), I wanted to install some expansion packs.  Alas I didn't realize how limited the 400Mb of User area is on the SX700.  But it doesn't seem possible to install expansion packs on USB.  (Which is crazy in my mind and unexpected when I purchased the keyboard).

Sorry for the long rambling story...  I guess my base questions are... Considering Voices, styles, registration banks and expansion packs does anyone have any "best practices" recommendations for what to put where? And has anyone come up with a "hack" to install expansion packs on USB drives and use them in real time instead of overwriting the USER area?


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Re: USB vs onboard USER storage best practices
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2021, 02:32:46 AM »

First a couple of comments regarding memory. There are two different types of internal memory, and then there are the USB sticks. The internal memories are:
  • User memory (or user drive): this behaves exactly the same as the USB stick, and in computer terms, it would be a different hard drive. Here, you can store whatever you want (styles, registrations, MultiPads, text files...). Whether you hold your content here or in a USB drive is mostly a matter of preference and convenience. Unlike in previous models, the amount of available space is reasonable (1GB for the SX700, 4GB for the SX900), and the style/registration/multipad files are relatively small.
  • Expansion memory: this is an internal, fast memory, connected directly to the sound generation engine. This memory is optimized for holding samples that are to be reproduced by the instrument, and is not accessible from the user interface. This memory does not behave like a disk drive at all. This is where the samples from external packs (YEM) will be loaded into. There is no way to hold them anywhere else, as the required bandwidth to read the data and generate sounds, with a 128 voice polyphony, is simply not there (for comparison, the USB stick's bandwith is taxed just  playing a standard stereo audio file!) For the SX700, you have 400MB of available expansion memory (1GB for the SX900), which is really quite a lot. Many older-generation keyboards had just this (or less!) to hold the samples for all the internal sounds!

For older-generation models, the recommendation was to keep the user drive mostly empty, and to keep everything in usb sticks. The main reason for this was the extremely limited amount of space in the user drive (for example, on a PSR-S950, we had just 6.7 MB - yes, MegaBytes! - of space). Therefore, the common wisdom gleaned from that era is to use exclusively usb sticks. This would still apply to the SX600, where the user drive is limited to 20MB.

Today, for the SX700/SX900, I would re-think it. I would definitely keep copies of everything on one (or more!) usb-sticks, just in case the keyboard stops working, but other than that, I would tend to keep the things I most commonly use on the user drive. Another possibility is to use the user drive while editing, and to copy the final version (of styles, registrations, midi files, and so on) to the pen drive. Just find a way that works for you, but be consistent. Consistency is more important than having an "ideal" way of doing things.


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Offline FrankJaco

Re: USB vs onboard USER storage best practices
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2021, 11:55:52 AM »
Thank you Andres. That is all very helpful!

One point that you cleared up for me is that the Expansion area is "special" and not part of the USER storage. I was thinking this was a shared area with USER (like a partition).  Your explanation of why it is not makes sense as well.

My current strategy of keeping my common and most used content in the USER area, and putting all overflow...downloaded styles not yet implemented, arrangements in progress, (and backups of USER too) on the USB looks to be right for me.

Thanks again!


Offline EileenL

Re: USB vs onboard USER storage best practices
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2021, 12:56:14 PM »
Some expansion packs are quite small and you should be able to load two or three or some CMS voices that are not to large in size. The access to these will be saved to you user section so that you can select them.

Offline johan

Re: USB vs onboard USER storage best practices
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2021, 09:10:10 AM »
On my SX700, I never link a registration to a file on the USB stick: the moment I use a style or song in a registration, I always first copy the file to user memory. In this way, I never have the problem that the wrong USB stick is inserted.
SX700 and S670
Former keyboard: E433, E463