I can answer a couple of questions ...
[quote:5887]Do you record audio to a separate external HD? [/quote]
No. I have not done that for years. At the turn of the century (and before) this was a really important technique for several reasons ... the biggest being access times on the hard drives, with another being the dodgy quality of those very expensive hard drives early in the product cycle. Hard drive technology was not as refined, and forcing drives to work hard caused greater probability of crashes leading to catastrophic data loss. Both of these issues are no longer much of a problem ... particularly with the SATA drives internal to your Mac.
More RAM also ...
BUT, if you find your system lagging or slowing down, or if it sounds like your hard disk is working to hard (just listen to it ... you'll be able to tell because under normal circumstances you shouldn't be hearing your hard disk chugging) ... [b]by all means seperate the drives, that's the cleanest workflow, bar none[/b].
It just becomes a pain when it comes time to archive projects, find files, and etc, so these days I lump everything together, in the same folder. Sam hard drive. No problems.
BUT, I usually work off the internal hard drives, and archive to external ones. Only current projects are on my production machines.
If you want to work off external drives, you can. The firewire 800 interface is quick, and unless you are doing complex video edits with multiple channels of audio, on a machine with very little RAM ... you'll be fine.
You can always just test it out ... get a drive, use it, and if your system seems to be lagging ... get another drive, or find other ways to optimize your workflow.
[quote:5887] What do you have on all those external drives lying around?[/quote]
Archives and archives and archives ... terabytes of stuff like mpv tutorial source files ... all the project files for all the songs I've ever produced ... the manuscripts to several books ... in short, my life ... :)