When recording audio in GarageBand (open GarageBand, New Project, Voice, then start recording). I would like to record to an external SSD rather than the system disk as I get occasional crashes that seem to be heavy IO related (either to much IO, or perhaps the disk is hitting a thermal shutdown point, I'm not sure). A simple solution seems to be to record the audio to an external SSD and bypass the internal spinning disk. Is there some hidden setting I can change to set the directory/location where GarageBand records audio to by default?

This is on Mac OS X 10.12.1, GarageBand 10.1.4.

  • It may help if you provide more details. As a minimum, the version of GarageBand and version of macOS you're running would be useful.
    – Monomeeth
    Dec 9 '16 at 22:44

I don't know a lot about GarageBand - but I move most of ~/Library directories (where most of the User stuff is being kept) by simply linking them to a different place with:

ln -s /your/source/directory /your/target/directory in terminal.

for example, assuming that GarageBand is saving music to ~/Library/GarageBand/Music please move the directory first with

mv ~/Library/Music/GarageBand ~/Library/Music/GarageBand.bak/

and then try to link a directory in the place of ~/Library/Music/GarageBand (the ~ resolves to your /Users/username or $HOME and is simply a shortcut to your home directory)

ln -s /Volumes/YourDevice/YourDirectory/GarageBandMusic ~/Library/GarageBand/Music

assuming it is the place where your data is being stored. You could try to create a hard-link without the -s flag, but this is not possible for cross-device targets (i.e another hard-drive)

I'm sure you can do this, there are more ways to force macOS to use linked directories.

I don't know about GarageBand - but I keep my Mails, iTunes, Photos, Dropbox etc. on a different drive simply by either using symbolic links or, if necessary by hard-linking them to another directory.

For hard links workaround in macOS use https://github.com/selkhateeb/hardlink it does work very well.

Keep in mind that if you rm -rf a symbolic link directory you delete link only.

When you do the same with hard-link on the filesystem then rm -rf follows your link and deletes the things linked to it!

Let me know if this helps you.

  • Sadly no, I just want the temporary recordings sent to the SSD, not the entire directory and so on.
    – Kurt
    Dec 16 '16 at 2:40
  • You are sure that the temporary recordings kept in the same directory? I wouldnt be so sure. Have you checked the fs activity durning recording? Use sudo opensnoop to find out exactly where GarageBand is writing what and then relink that part, if it's using the /private dir-tree on macOS for it - then it would be hard, but still possible. You could give out some more information, you know, it's hard to guess - and I would like to help you to solve it ;-)
    – PJJ
    Dec 16 '16 at 12:44
  • Also check out default read | grep -i 'garage' for any clues - like previously stated, it's a matter of finding out what's being written to where and redirecting that operation somewhere else - if this is causing GarageBand to crash, could you put your crashlog here? Review log stream for more clues. log stream --predicate 'sybusystem contains com.whatever.garageband.sub.is' --level=debug or log stream --predicate 'processID >insert Garageband pid here<' --level=debug
    – PJJ
    Dec 16 '16 at 12:50

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