FCP 7: Where To Put Scratch Disks

Posted on by Larry

[ This article was first published in the January, 2011, issue of
Larry’s Final Cut Pro Newsletter. Click here to subscribe. ]


Richard Kuenneke asks:

I shoot DSLR and transcode to ProRes 422 LT.


My last project had several hundred files. In order to maximize performance on my Mac Pro, I put an equal number of files on three internal drives. The original project folder is on an external, eSATA LaCie RAID 2.5 TB


When the project is playing back it is accessing information from all four drives.


Is this OK? I recently heard that all media files should be on the same capture scratch drive – whereas I thought I was being a good editor by spreading the workload around a little?


Am I wrong? I’ve not had any real problems with playback until just recently. I believe that problem may be related to something else other than hard disc performance. But the problem forced me to reconsider my methodology and that’s why I’m writing you.

Larry replies: Thanks for the question, Richard.

Using multiple drives for media – as you are doing – is an EXCELLENT technique. Final Cut fully supports it. Anyone that says media needs to be on one drive does not know what they are talking about.

Be sure to create a folder named Final Cut Pro Documents on each drive that you want to use to store media.

Then, using Final Cut Pro > System Settings, point a Scratch Disk to that folder on each hard drive. Final Cut Pro supports up to 12 different media drives.

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One Response to FCP 7: Where To Put Scratch Disks

  1. Russ says:

    Hello – this is a ll a very new world to me. Can I clarify. My iMac set up has an internal 3TB Fusion Drive and an external 3TB thunderbolt Drive.

    Am I right in thinking best to put the project folder on the external thunderbolt, but then share the project files across both the external thunderbolt, and the internal Fusion drive, placed in specifically named folder (ie. FC Pro Docs) and simply point the the scratch disk locations to those two folders on each respective drive?

    I also have an external USB 3 disk I use for general storage – should I also incorporate this into the mix, or just use the two drives mentioned above

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