Backups And Archiving – Protect Your Art And Save Yourself Time, Frustration And Money
Have you ever lost an important file, or worse, an entire project that you've been working on for weeks? Yikes! I guess most of us have been there and never want to experience that feeling again, right?
The solution is a proper backup system and if you've learned about it the hard way, you probably already have one now. But how do you actually do it, so that it's safe, efficient, convenient and affordable?
There are different types of backups and archiving systems that are typically used for different purposes. And then there are different options for each of those.
In this episode we talk about why proper backups and archiving is SO important (beyond the obvious reasons) and we show you how we do it for our studios, businesses and personal lives.
If you think this isn't for you, because you've been lucky and have never experienced what it means to lose important data, you have two options:
- Wait until it happens and learn the hard way (it's just a matter of time)
- Listen, take action now, prevent it from ever happening, sleep well and pat yourself on the back for being a smart person
This Episode has been edited by Thomas Krottenthaler.
Gear/Software Mentioned In The Podcast:
Jericho Guitars, Seymour Duncan Pickups, Fishman Fluence Pickups, Evertune Bridges, Fabfilter Saturn 2, Pulsar Mu, ProTools, Melodyne, Cubase, Slate Digital, Plugin Alliance, Brainworx, Spiff, Oeksound, Omega Earthworks Granophyre, Neural DSP, Kemper
Backup Systems/Software Mentioned In The Podcast:
Backblaze, Dropbox, Crashplan, Time Machine
People And Bands Mentioned In The Podcast:
Diego Fernandez, Steven Ward, Brian Hood, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Steve Albini, Chris Eriksen, Thomas Krottenthaler, Eyal Levi
What Does The Damn Thing Actually Do And How Does This All Work? – Part 7: Computer, Software And Audio Files
TSRB Podcast 041 - Backups And Archiving - Protect Your Art And Save Yourself Time, Frustration And Money
[00:00:00] Benedikt: [00:00:00] Should be a pretty practical, pretty tactical episode because it's not like complicated or like abstract. It's a pretty straightforward thing to do, but it's super important. And I think a lot of people don't pay enough attention to it. So this is all about backups archiving, and let's go, this is the self recording band podcast.
The show where we help you make exciting records on your own wherever you are. DIY let's go.
Hello and welcome to. The self recording band podcast. I am your host Ben at a time, and I'm here with my friend and co Malcolm Owen flat. How are you, Malcolm?
Malcom: [00:00:37] Hello? I'm great, man. How are you?
Benedikt: [00:00:39] I'm great. Thank you. I've told you before, it's a mess with my internet phone stuff, but other than that, I'm fine.
So for those listening, I've been without internet and phone at home for like three weeks now. And as you can tell, like, as you can imagine in times of Corona, especially. This sucks. But other than that,
[00:01:00] Malcom: [00:01:00] yeah, the timing is wrong for that, but I've got some good news for you. Yeah. Curious that you got a new guitar.
Benedikt: [00:01:05] All which one?
Malcom: [00:01:06] Yeah. It's a Jericho fusion ever tune model and I'm pretty excited about it.
Benedikt: [00:01:10] Like, yeah. You finally got an tone. I actually thought about getting a cherry Coke guitar. Um, so you said it's, is it the one that you sent me a while back?
Malcom: [00:01:20] Uh, yes, actually here, I'll show you on the video right now.
Podcasts, listeners. You won't be able to see this, but it's cool.
Benedikt: [00:01:28] I want that exact guitar. I want that exact
Malcom: [00:01:31] guitar. It's sweet looking. Right. It's awesome. So
Benedikt: [00:01:36] are those the fishermen pickups in there?
Malcom: [00:01:39] Uh, no, there the Seymour JB 59, but I'm going to go, I think I'm going to swap them for the, I'm going to try those fish influences out. A lot of people say, they're awesome and I don't have any active pups in the studio.
So I need like, I've already got that set in another guitar. So it's kind of, it sounds like my other guitar is already, so I need to mix it up a little,
Benedikt: [00:01:58] such a beauty. I love those [00:02:00] Tilly Taylor style guitars, um, with like the natural finish and everything. It's like.
Malcom: [00:02:05] Yeah, it's a great looking guitar.
Unfortunately, I'm going to call it Jericho out the setups. Fuck. Like I'm going to swear here to fucking terrible it's it plays awful. Oh shit. That's totally attitude.
Benedikt: [00:02:19] It's not too easy to do that. The evidence set up.
Malcom: [00:02:21] No, I'm learning a lot, uh, you know, a lot about it, but it is what it is. I got a great price on it.
Um, and it will be a very nice guitar once. Yeah. All of a sudden
Benedikt: [00:02:31] done. Okay.
Malcom: [00:02:33] Giving them some Slack, you know, Yeah. They had a pandemic to deal with in the middle of making a bunch of guitars, maybe that affected them.
Benedikt: [00:02:42] But the irony of like shipping an ever tuned guitar to someone, and it's not a tune
Malcom: [00:02:47] like you expect to open the box, just be able to hit a chord.
Perfect. You know, but it was close. I'll give him that it was close, but, uh, I was there for my buddy getting, uh, Jericho as well and his was perfectly into okay, cool. You know, I didn't get that same. Like, [00:03:00] Oh my God. It was like a close, but maybe that wasn't like a recording engineer. I wouldn't have noticed, but yeah, maybe.
Benedikt: [00:03:09] Uh, other than that, on the topic of new gear, that would be, would have been my, my question to you. What's on your black Friday list this year. God, we can talk about it. Like it's we have to
Malcom: [00:03:20] a question is black Friday, the Friday that just happened or was it the one coming up till one coming up. Okay, great.
Which will be right. After this episode airs, right?
Benedikt: [00:03:29] Two days after.
Malcom: [00:03:31] Yeah. Okay. Um, I don't know, I'm really trying to keep my blinders on.
Benedikt: [00:03:36] That's the healthiest thing for sure.
Malcom: [00:03:38] Uh, yeah. I, uh, I was going to get some tuning software, um, but then pro is updated and it comes with Melodyne now. So I got it for free, which is great.
Yeah. They, they've got integration with Melodyne built right into pro tools now. Um, and it is awesome. So stoked with that.
Benedikt: [00:03:55] Like the license isn't is included with
Malcom: [00:03:58] it's essential. It's not the, not the [00:04:00] studio, the full version, but, uh, you know, you can do some great tuning with that. And it, uh, they actually integrated it in as their, uh, like ARA integration thing.
So you can drag audio to MITIE now and it uses Melodyne engine to do that.
Benedikt: [00:04:13] That's cool. I mean, Cubase has done that for quite a while. I know
Malcom: [00:04:17] everybody's been doing that forever.
Benedikt: [00:04:21] Like the fact that they use actual Melodyne might actually give them an edge because like Cubase works. But I always think that Melodyne is a little more accurate still and you can do more with it.
Malcom: [00:04:31] It worked pretty good. I had a bunch of fun yesterday just dragging people's vocals down onto many tracks and then, you know, throwing trumpets on and stuff. It was kind of, it was fun. Um, it could definitely speed up some time and just get like stuff roughed in. I haven't tried to use it for drum MITIE yet.
I'm stoked to try that.
Benedikt: [00:04:46] Cool, cool. Good to hear. Yeah. I mean, I'm curious for, it's not gonna happen like, like before black Friday, I think, but I'm curious for two other solutions that are about to come. I don't know if you've seen that, but. Plugin Alliance bought a [00:05:00] company that do like some sort of tuning software that's supposed to be pretty good.
I haven't heard of it before actually, but plugin Alliance bought that company and they're working on like refining that tuning software and then releasing it eventually. So I saw that post on Facebook, but.
Malcom: [00:05:14] Slate as well.
Benedikt: [00:05:15] Right as well. I got an email with some weirdly, like our attitudes style vocals in it, and they have apparently have some tuning software, um, coming up as well.
So those are the two solutions that I'm looking forward to. Especially the plug-in the lines. One to be honest,
Malcom: [00:05:31] slates is going to be a real time, like automatic mode tuner and not a manual, uh, deep dive kind of thing, but I assume anyways, but that's cool. That's, that's nice for people to have, um, I've got like five of them now.
Well, but whatever.
Benedikt: [00:05:45] Yeah, yeah, exactly. But other than that, anything on your list that you want to, or anything you've already bought, maybe
Malcom: [00:05:51] like, you know, you still don't have spiff, uh, by ODK. Um, yeah. And, uh, that's pretty amazing that plug and I've [00:06:00] demoed it and somehow still haven't bought it. Uh, so I'll probably get that probably.
Yeah. Do it,
Benedikt: [00:06:06] do it. I can recommend, um, yeah.
Malcom: [00:06:09] What about you? Anything that you're like you just got to buy?
Benedikt: [00:06:11] I don't know. I still haven't gotten Saturn yet. Fab filter. I still don't have that. I have a couple of other similar solutions, but everyone says how good it is, so I don't really need it, but I kind of want it.
Malcom: [00:06:22] awesome. Yeah, it's totally awesome. Yeah. The satin two in particular, I liked the new one very much. Yeah.
Benedikt: [00:06:29] And then also the, uh, pulse SAR mute compressor. I don't know if you know that, but like, um, a company called Pulser they make great plugins. I have, um, others from them and everyone says like, everyone keeps telling me that it's, it's the best, very new plugin out there.
And, uh, the best emulation of one. And. Stuff. So it's supposed to be really awesome and I don't really have a very new plugin that I like a lot. So that's one of the very like Dan of what that's one of the things that I always liked, analog compressors, just more, I haven't found [00:07:00] a great, very new plugin.
So far, so that might be one. But other than that, I don't know. I'm just replacing a bunch of monthly subscriptions with annual black Friday deals. That's what I always do every year. So as much as I can afford, I would just kill the monthly subscriptions and go for the black Friday deals that safe can save you a lot of cash actually.
And it's a good feeling to not have those, um, yeah, those payments every single month. So I have a lot of like business type subscriptions that become much cheaper. If you do those annual deals. Yeah. I've
Malcom: [00:07:32] only got the one I've only got the slate subscription, um, which is silly because I use their stuff so rarely now, but I just, it like it's in enough of my sessions.
I was like, I'll keep it around one more year. Yeah.
Benedikt: [00:07:46] Same here. Don't you have any like productivity or business
Malcom: [00:07:50] softwares, those kinds of subscriptions. Yes. You should be looking into that stuff. You're right. Yeah, totally. No. Right.
Benedikt: [00:07:56] Like I swear, I'm going to be saving like a thousand bucks next year or so with [00:08:00] all those subscriptions that I'm going to replace.
Malcom: [00:08:01] So good idea, Benny. I, I did buy or like buy a year of my CRM, so that's good.
Benedikt: [00:08:08] That's cool. Yeah. Yeah. But that's basically like my recommendation for people listening would also be to basically ignore black Friday, except for the stuff that you really need. Like now's the time to buy all this things that you really need and didn't do throughout the year.
That's for sure. But I would highly suggest not to buy things just because you can now, just because they're cheap, like people waste so much money on black Friday, but yeah,
Malcom: [00:08:32] nothing you buy here is going to make you make better music. Honestly, it'll make it funner, but for sure more fun. Yeah. Okay. All right.
We should actually talk about something. We just really went down the rabbit hole of gear there for a second.
Benedikt: [00:08:49] Absolutely. Absolutely. But I gotta, I gotta ask because like it's black Friday week, people ask all the time what we, what people get and like,
Malcom: [00:08:56] Yeah, it'll be interesting because this week we're both like, Oh, we're doing good.
We haven't [00:09:00] really, there's only a couple of things we're interested in and haven't really bought anything. And then next week it'll be like, Oh no,
Benedikt: [00:09:07] I bought another thing. I bought the gratifying, um, Amika, earthworks, scruffier plugin from new neural DSP, which is, which is. Absolutely. And I absolutely can say that it is the best Epsom that I've ever used.
I used to say a couple of days back, I used to say it's top five and one of the best, but now after like two, three days with it, I have to say it's the best period.
Malcom: [00:09:29] Wow. Okay.
Benedikt: [00:09:31] So, so amazing. Like it's insane really.
Malcom: [00:09:34] Okay. Are old a mastermind, a member. From how Betty and I originally used to hang out with a mastermind group and we had a fellow named Diego in there who just did a post saying the exact same thing, saying it's like the best amps he's ever used and he's got a camper.
So like, I always pay attention to the guys who own campers and say that stuff. I'm like, I
Benedikt: [00:09:54] own two campers, man.
Malcom: [00:09:58] Yeah, but you're an anomaly. [00:10:00] Nobody does that. That's true. Um, and then, uh, nobody makes that mistake twice and, but, uh, yeah. And then we also had Steven Ward who is like the neural, uh, face. He does all their YouTube content and stuff like that.
So, uh, Surprisingly though he never like pumped his products to us. Uh it's true. Obviously he would like mentioned that he was excited about stuff coming up and like, stuff's going really well. And we knew that his stuff was good, but he was never like you guys you've got to, like, this is like the best thing ever.
Um, I think he cause he wanted to talk about other stuff in the meetings, but, uh, it's cool seeing that his company has come up with something so amazing. I'm going to have to try it out.
Benedikt: [00:10:42] Totally. Shout out to Steven. He's amazing too. So. Um, yeah, I'm stoked for him to be that he got this job and I'm stoked for neural that they got him on board because like he's amazing.
So, yeah. Yeah. Let's jump into the episode now. Like, uh, we've probably lost 50% now because if we talk [00:11:00] 15 minutes about it, anything but not the left gear. Yeah, exactly. They do. So maybe it's not that bad. Okay. But, um, how do we segue into this episode maybe? One of the subscriptions that we've been talking about, that I should look into, if I can replace it is back please.
And Backblaze is a backup software. And this episode is about backups and archiving because it is important. And. We want to talk to you about, we want to talk about and show you why backups and proper archiving systems are important and how to actually do it, how we do it, why we think you should absolutely take the seriously and pay attention to it.
And it should be a pretty practical, pretty tactical episode because it's not like it's not a complicated or like abstract. It's a pretty straightforward thing to do, but it's super important. And I think. A lot of people don't pay enough attention to it. So this is all about backups. Archiving. Let's go.
Malcom: [00:11:58] Yeah. There is nothing worse than the [00:12:00] feeling of losing some session files. It's so painful. And, uh, and there's just like, no hope. It's not like, uh, Oh, maybe if I it's just like, Oh, that drive is dead. We're done. Um, and that's what we're trying to avoid. There's. Right now, if you, if you're recording in the modern era, you are almost definitely recording to a hard drive.
I mean, you definitely are recording to a hard drive either inside of your computer or an external one, which I guess we've never really talked about. Quick little tip. Most people recommend recording to an external drive that is fast and, and kind of like used, uh, just ideally just for your approach or, I mean, your dos sessions, um, to keeping those separate from the, the drive that is holding your dock itself.
So in my case, I've got a computer that has ProTools on it, but all my sessions live on an external drive. Um, so anyways, you've got all of your files living on this hard drive, and now if that thing. I mean, you drop it or it just dies from this malfunctions, you know, they, they only [00:13:00] last like 10 years on average, um, which is not a long time.
Yeah. Especially, yeah. It's just not a long time period. Uh, or,
Benedikt: [00:13:08] you know,
Malcom: [00:13:09] you, you lose it. They're small, whatever. Like now all of your work for potentially a decade is gone. Right. And that will really be defeating. Uh, Benny you've mentioned in the past that like there's people in our. Self according band community that have been recording like projects for over a year, like working on the same, the same music for over a year.
Even imagine if they lost their hard drive and they didn't have a backup. That's like, it would never happen. They would give up anybody would just be like, no, that's that, that music is dead. We're moving on to other stuff. Yeah. Um, yeah, it's truly a horrific thought to think of losing all of that work because you put in more hours than you could imagine into this stuff.
So we're making an episode about how to stop that from happening.
Benedikt: [00:13:55] Absolutely. And not only do hard drives fail, and it's not a quick, like, the question is not if [00:14:00] they fail, but when they all fail at some point, so after, at least after. Like 10 to 20 years, uh, that at some point that just won't work anymore.
But like, uh, yeah, they've just, it just, they just don't work. It's just how, and so you will, you, you will lose all your files eventually, but it's not only about that, but it's also about, um, you could make mistakes, Andrews files, even though your drafts are intact. Like, I always remember that horror story from Brian Hood, like the.
It's he's an engineer and, um, kind of, uh, a coach of and I, and like we did an online course that he put out there and he told a story in his podcast a couple of times now where he recorded with a band and he didn't. Uh, backup files properly because I don't know, back then files, um, hard drive space was more expensive than it is now as I wanted to save some money.
And then he started deleting older projects and project files to save hard drive space, [00:15:00] and then he accidentally, it didn't delete the session he was working on with a band, but he deleted, uh, the. I think he deleted the source folder of another session. And the files from the current session were also in that folder or some of them, at least.
So he removed all the source files. The session was still there, but the, like, it was just blank tracks because the source files were gone. It just made a mistake and didn't properly back it up. And. Like even, so you could even lose files just because you you're making a mistake and that can happen to everyone.
And if that happens, it's obviously a nightmare. If you're working with clients and you've got to make that call and tell them that their album is gone, you know? Yeah. So awful or your band mates or whoever it is. And even if it's your own project, as Malcolm said, imagine working on something for a year and then realizing it's all gone.
Like you won't start again. It's a status thing.
Malcom: [00:15:48] So yeah, I mean, In, in my case, the only time I've lost something, it was for clients, not myself and which is probably worse. I think that's [00:16:00] way worse. But most of the people listening to this, it's going to be dealing with your own files. Um, but that, it's still terrible.
I mean, especially if you have bandmates, you have to explain you wasted all their time and lost all their work. So it's not a good feeling. We really want to avoid this guys.
Benedikt: [00:16:14] Yeah, totally, totally. And I get it a couple of years back, like. 10 years, 15 years back, our space was more expensive and the backup system weren't as good and all the cloud backups and everything.
So it was, it happened often more often back then probably that people lost files and like, it's a totally big, it just can't happen. But nowadays this really not, no excuse because those cloud backup services are cheap and hard drives are cheap. Hardware space is really, really cheap. There's no need to delete anything, just archive it.
And, um, yeah, there's no excuse anymore. I just bought a four terabyte, external hard drive for like 60 bucks. Like yeah. It's a lot of sessions, you know, and it there's no excuses.
Malcom: [00:16:54] There's no excuse. Yeah.
Benedikt: [00:16:56] So, okay. And the thing is, so we've been [00:17:00] talking about the frustration part and like, That you want to save yourself the frustration of having to start over and, uh, th that's one part of it, but there's other aspects of it as well.
And this is, this is going to get, uh, exciting now in an interesting, when we talk about this, because Malcolm and I kind of have some different views on this topic. I think, I think that. I really care about every single file and it, this might be over-complicating it, and it might never be the case that anyone ever needs these files.
But I really think that it's about the art you're recording, even the raw files and that you should just archive it and, um, like protect it and preserve it for the future because you never know. And it's, I think. I have this feeling. I owe it to the art that I'd take care of it and protect it. Even if it's a bad take or anything.
I just keep those things. I just document all of that and I keep it because you never know. Um, but especially the final takes like the multitracks to a session. I keep those it's it's like [00:18:00] a moment in time that will never happen again. It's art, you created it. It's important. It means something to people.
At least the final product does. And. The raw version of it is just as important to me as well. I dunno, it's just, you've probably heard that phrase before when someone says band or a song, uh, X Y saved my life, you know, and this really happens. Art is so important and so powerful. You might be saving lives through your work.
You never know in the future, so you need to protect and preserve it. It's art. It's so important. And I really feel that that way. So that's, that's probably the biggest reason for me to back up and archive everything basically, and never want to lose anything. It might be too much, but that's the way I feel.
It's not just about the frustration. I just feel I need to do
Malcom: [00:18:44] that. I definitely don't keep the bad takes through bad day. So, um, yeah, I generally keep the mix session. So like the final multi-track performances that we actually use in the mix, I generally keep, but really at the [00:19:00] end of the day, I only care about that final mix file.
Like the mix that is approved by the band, um, both the pre-master and the master of that. So like two files. That's what I absolutely want to make sure still exists. Um, just in case I don't even know, even that's not really rational because that's like if Spotify would have to like go up in flames or something and iTunes and all of these distribution services at the same time, and even then somebody would have it saved to the computer, you know, that's probably the
Benedikt: [00:19:29] reason why I care so much about the multi-track because I don't think the masters will be lost ever or not as likely.
Malcom: [00:19:36] I mean, yeah, it's totally not likely at all. Or the pre-master is something that could easily be lost. I think, cause bands like that's what people are always asking me for. Hey, like, do we have to still I'm like, well, why don't you have it? I gave it to you. You paid me like a lot of money for it. Do you think he would value it, but they don't.
Um, so, but anyways, definitely want to hang on to that. But I, I do like having the multi-track people [00:20:00] invariably want to come back and do. Uh, like get stems for live performances or, you know, like if it's been like a really long time, maybe they want to do a re-release and change it up or something, you know, do a remix or add some stuff and you have to have the multi-track to do that.
So that's, that is nice. I get it. Um, I mean, you see all these old Zeplin and beetle remixes and stuff like that, um, that have come out over the years and that wouldn't be possible if they hadn't stored all those files. So there is something to be said for storing it. Um, I think. Where you and I maybe differ is like the feeling of responsibility.
Yeah. I like, I kind of do it just because I like to have it, but if I lost something that was like recorded five to be, even over three years ago, I'd be like, Sorry. Like, I didn't keep it. Like you didn't ask me to keep it. You didn't pay me to keep it. I was trying to keep it, but it got lost. So like, I don't feel responsible because that's not what you hired me to do.
I made the song kind of thing.
Benedikt: [00:20:58] I agree that I need to [00:21:00] maybe, um, rephrase that because it's not your responsibility and people shouldn't expect that from a mixing engineer. It's not your legal responsibility or anything like to keep those files forever. In fact, I always, um, I have. Okay. Just that I think a mastering engineer that I'm working with, he has on his invoices and in his emails, he has the sentence where he says like, uh, I'm not like responsible for your files.
I won't back up them. Please take care of that yourself. Like, you know, uh, so I should probably include something like that somewhere in the proposal or anywhere, like, because. Um, it is true. It's not your responsibility. I just personally feel that responsibility. It's not that I'm really responsible for it, but it's an emotional thing.
I feel like I owe it to the art in a way it's like a very emotional, irrational thing, but I just, it just, I dunno, it's just the way I feel. And there's an interesting perspective here. If you guys know Steve Albini, he's a legendary. Uh, engineer and mixer and producer and everything. And he only works like exclusively works in the analog, the main, he only works on tape and with [00:22:00] analog consoles and everything.
And not because he thinks it sounds better. In fact, he hates the way like these things sound or that the problems that you have with it, like he doesn't. Like the hiss and the hum and the saturation, everything. He just, he tries to keep it as clean as possible. It's not for nostalgic reasons because of the medium it's for the pure, simple fact that he doesn't trust digital technology to preserve the art.
He says like, if I have it on a reel, I can put it in the can put it somewhere. I can store it somewhere. And if it doesn't the house doesn't burn down and like you could keep two copies separately. Then those fi those readers, those tapes would be. Um, you could play those back in like a hundred years without any issue.
And if they're stored correctly and, uh, like if no computer, as we know them exists anymore. And if all the software is different and nobody could open any files or any sessions anymore, um, then you could still find some schematic built a tape machine and run [00:23:00] those tapes if you needed to, you know, so like, That's a super simple thing to do compared to like building a computer that was out there back then, you know?
So, um, so that's the reason why he does it. And I kind of understand it because as we said, who knows how much art will be lost in like 50 years, if people don't back it all up properly, or I don't know. And even if we keep all those files who would be able to play them back, I mean, it's very tribal, try to play back a session from like 95.
What we use for that. Like it's. Yeah,
Malcom: [00:23:31] no. Yeah. A lot of people don't realize that is that our doors are not as backward compatible as you think they are. Um, so in fact, saving the sessions is I told the. Useless task in the longterm. I mean, it'll work for a number of years, but a lot of the plugins aren't supported anymore.
So if those weren't rendered the mix, isn't the same. If I opened it up again now, um, so the only real effective way to store all of this stuff in a digital medium is to commit of your [00:24:00] processing under every file and then make sure they're all consolidated to the same length. And then the store that dumped wave file bundle is somewhere.
Um, the session itself will not. Be future-proof under any circumstances.
Benedikt: [00:24:12] Yeah. And I got to say that I'm guilty of not doing that for every session. So I need to do that more because it's exactly right. If you store the multitracks, there's at least a way you could get close to the mix. It's not going to be the same, depending on if you use parallel stuff or whatever, but do you think.
At least he can get close. And I think the very least you should do is consolidate the takes the final takes if you're doing the sessions. So not leave them in like weird comped folders, playlist, or whatever in the session, but just consolidate the way files, even if you don't come into the plugins, everything, but just the final takes.
So you could, you could at least do a mix from scratch with those.
Malcom: [00:24:49] Yeah, that, that's kind of where I end up is like all of my way files are usually. Uh, consolidated. Uh, so that, yeah, exactly what you said, but I don't always commit all the plugins. And [00:25:00] if I just figured it, like my mind, my thought with that is if I need to reopen something and I'm missing a delay, I'll just dial in a new delay.
Like, you know, I'll just make it happen. Um, but, uh, maybe, I don't know. Maybe we should be more strict about that. Yeah.
Benedikt: [00:25:13] Yeah, totally. Yeah. It's like, it's a, it's just a. I don't, I I'm certainly not gonna go back to, um, working on, on analog or learn that, like how to, I don't know. I don't want to, I don't want to know how to sync tape machines and all that stuff.
I've worked on tape machines, but I'm like far from, from being experienced with that. So I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna go that route. Definitely not, but there's, it's just an interesting perspective. And I think some of what he says is that it's at least worth thinking about, so. Yeah, that's that's one part.
Um, I don't know how it, what, what do you think about the, the part where like remixes features, licensing, stuff like that in the future, because that's also, you never know if you need a certain file or a project file or anything, like, again, in the future
Malcom: [00:25:58] that that's like the [00:26:00] main reason I do hang on to the multitracks is, is just in case stuff like that happens.
And it does. Um, you never know when a song is going to catch on or you just might be the hero if somebody's never released it. And you know, you can't keep track every, when you work with hundreds and hundreds of artists. Um, so I just save it in case those situations happen and then it, it does, and I can be the hero.
It feels nice kind of thing. And like I said, hard drive space is so cheap that it's like, it's pretty easy to do. Um, and it's not really any more work for me cause I'm backing up. Well, I'm working on the project anyways. Yeah. Right. So it's already part of the system it's happening automatically in a way.
Um, so, so yeah, it's nice to happen.
Benedikt: [00:26:41] Yeah. Yeah. So, okay, cool. Yeah, I agree with that. So it's yeah, you never know. And then one, one more thing is that's one or two more things and that's more of the short term backups that are relevant for that, for that. And that is the first thing is. You might have like a perfect take a [00:27:00] perfect moment in time.
That just happens once and you record it and it's perfect. And you want to have it on the record and then. The hard drive dies, or you make a mistake and that it wouldn't be the end of the world. If you had to do it again, like it's just maybe just one take. Um, so it wouldn't cause the cost much time or there's no money involved and like there's not a big deal, but maybe.
You'll never be able to do it the same way again, and it's never going to be as good again. So that could also happen. It's just a, that's just one of those situations where it's not the end of the world, but it's very sad if you had like this magic moment, this magic take and it just, yeah, it just lose it.
Malcom: [00:27:36] Yeah. Invariably, this mistake happens to people that are new to the industry. Um, because I don't know. Well, it's just because they have never had a reason to like, Backup stuff. So redundantly, you know, most people with the personal computer don't do any backups other than like maybe having some Dropbox or whatever stuff.
Um, you know, where they accidentally backed it up.
Benedikt: [00:27:57] Yeah. This conversation with my wife a hundred times, like, [00:28:00] but like
Malcom: [00:28:01] hard-drive seems like this really advanced piece of tech to somebody that's never used one before. They're like, Whoa, like you've got like data on this little physical. It's like, ah, it's hilarious.
Um, but it's so true. And like the call-out, uh, my, my good friend, Chris Erickson who's. Who does a lot of assistant assistant engineering for me these days, he comes in and assist me all the time on sessions. He got busted twice with this in like one year had drives, fail on him and he lost files for good.
And I like both times I was like, dude, get back plays. Get back, please get back. And now he's finally got it. After the second one, he was like, never again. I was like, yeah, that's, it's almost like you either have to be lectured by somebody who's been doing this for longer than you, which we're doing right now.
This whole point of this episode is to try and save you before it happens to you or it has to happen to you. And then you finally realize that you got to, you know, spend that 200 bucks on a hard drive and feel better about yourself.
Benedikt: [00:28:56] I agree. I agree. Yeah, it's good. It has to happen too. [00:29:00] Like I, I think to most people, unfortunately it has to happen.
Yes. Not if you're smart and listen to,
Malcom: [00:29:05] so should we talk about our systems?
Benedikt: [00:29:07] Um, yes. Um, yeah. Yes we can. Yeah, we can't afford it. Like the other one that I wanted to say about the short-term thing is just in case you are working with. On projects with people where there's money involved, the contracts or everything, anything like that.
Um, in that case, you are responsible for the data, at least as long as the project is going on. Like after it it's a different conversation, but as long as you're working on it, and if there's deadlines and more people involved and like all that, you just gotta make sure you can deliver on time. Even if a drive fails, you've got to make sure that everyone's files are safe and there is a responsibility and it can become expensive actually to not do that.
So, um, Yeah. Also. Yeah, it's just, it's just the way it's, it can really become expensive, especially when labels are involved and all that. So. You just in that case, absolutely want to make sure you have some sort of backup. That's just, yeah. Okay.
Malcom: [00:29:57] Is if, if my house burnt [00:30:00] down, it would be a really, really terrible day, but it'd be even worse if I had to redo or refund all of the work that I was currently working on.
So because my computer and all my physical drives would go up and smoke in that situation because my studio was in my house. Right. I don't have like a separate location for that. Um, so that would be everything. Except for my online backup. So then I would be saved. It would be my little miracle leg
Benedikt: [00:30:25] told you
Malcom: [00:30:25] that at least I'd be able to make some income while I searched for it.
Benedikt: [00:30:29] Yeah. And excite note, I don't know how it is in Canada or the U S or wherever you are, but I actually asked my insurance company or various insurance company companies and. Um, like people I know about this stuff, I asked them if it was possible to like, get protection for that sort of scenario, because they would obviously obviously pay for computers and the hardware and the drives and like the whole house, if you wreck, if it burns down, but the intellectual property, like what, the stuff you've been working on, [00:31:00] it's hard to, almost impossible to like put a number on that and like, Get compensation for that.
So I tried and I asked because I was curious, but they said like, not really. I mean, you can get a new computer, but whatever's on there.
Malcom: [00:31:14] So brutal, brutal.
Benedikt: [00:31:16] Yeah. So that might actually really be verse then like losing your house as long as nobody gets hurt. Um, you might get a new house from your insurance company or like the money for it, but you never get those, this art back and the work of your clients or.
Malcom: [00:31:29] Yeah. Oh God that'd be. So that, that nightmare keeps me on, on path. That's all I have to think about it. And then, um, my lazy bone goes away and I start backing up. Exactly. So
Benedikt: [00:31:40] before we talk about the actual systems, we need to say, like, we need to divide it into like, um, two categories and then two other categories.
So the first two are physical backups and by cloud backups, most people think, um, I think, no, what, what this means physical backups is you store it on a drive. Somewhere near you, like on a physical device and only [00:32:00] you have that. And the cloud backup is also saved on a hard drive, but not where you are.
Like you save it, like with a service on the internet. So it's stored at some server, some drive somewhere, and they need to take care of the security there at the safety there. So those two solutions, and then we need to talk about like short term backup solutions and like long-term archiving and like, You know this, I think there's yeah, I look, I always look at it from, from that perspective.
I always have short-term backups and then archives that I check every now and again and make sure they're still alive, right?
Malcom: [00:32:35] Yep. That's a pretty similar to what I've got going on.
Benedikt: [00:32:39] Cool. Okay. Now let's, let's start. Um, yeah, I, I'm curious to hear yours, so start because I'm always over-complicating and if I start, like people will turn two and a half.
I think they tune out too.
Malcom: [00:32:50] All right. Well, I mean mine's yeah, it's pretty, I think mine's pretty generic. I've got a working drive, which has we're recording on two right now. It's just where all of the sessions I'm currently working on or have worked on [00:33:00] recently. I like everything that I'm working on there.
Gets backed up every day to a master drive. That's like my master backup drive and it's a big eight terabyte beast. Um, that holds everything, uh, that I've, uh, like all of my work everything's backed up onto the same terabyte drive, um, ever kind of thing. And then I've got another redundant, uh, archive line that gets backed up to less frequently, but still happens.
Okay. So essentially working drive, which is backed up constantly to my main backup drive. And then I've got, uh, an archive drive that is just got everything again, but I'm less vigilant about getting to that one. It's just as long as it makes it on there. Like normally when I'm cleaning something off my working drive, that's when it also goes to the archive drive.
Um, and then it, uh, always exists in two physical places for me. Some people say three, I've got two. Uh, and then, I mean, I've kind of got to, I also have, I mean, like if I recorded it at another studio, it's probably still on their computer as well [00:34:00] and stuff like that. Uh, but at least two physical ones for me.
Um, and then, and then I've got my digital backup going all the time as well. For all of those drives, all three of them are being backed up to the cloud.
Benedikt: [00:34:14] Cool. Do you do it manually like the physical drives or do you, is it a process? Okay.
Malcom: [00:34:19] Yeah. So this is what I was curious to see what you're doing. Uh, but I do manually drag and drop them one by one for, for each thing, just because I need to have, like, they don't match perfectly.
My working drive is a lot smaller than my main backup, so it's just easier for me to do it that way. I can't do like the time machine thing, because it would try and make them the same thing. I think, um,
Benedikt: [00:34:39] am I wrong on that? Yeah.
Malcom: [00:34:40] Excellent. All right. Your current, tell me, teach me.
Benedikt: [00:34:44] It's pretty similar to what I do.
I just do more of the same thing, but it's basically the same thing. And, um, some, some parts of it are automated. Um, so in my case, I have a working graph just as you do. And then I have time machine, um, which is a Mac backup system. I don't know what the [00:35:00] windows equivalent is, or if there is one. Like, if you're on Mac it's time machine, it's built in a backup backup software type of thing.
So it's just an external drive. That's, uh, connected to my computer and it automatically copies everything I do on this computer or on the working drive onto the time machine. And my time machine is I think four terabyte and my working graph is just one. So there's no problem. They don't try to make it the same.
In fact, you need a bigger one because if you want to go further back in time, because time machine doesn't replace. Files, if you do a new version of it. So it just adds the new version to the old ones. So the, the time machine drive will become much larger than the working drive pretty quickly. And it will get, you will get an error message when it's full.
And then it says, okay, we have you backed up until six months ago or whatever. If you want to go further back, you need to connect a bigger drive now. Um, or a new one, an archive, this one, basically. Um, so, uh, yeah, like you can. [00:36:00] I don't think there's a limit to how big a time machine draft can
Malcom: [00:36:02] be. Right. I mean, that's interesting, but it's more like a short term in a way it's kind of a short term backup because it's like, yeah.
Backing up to moments rather than like I've got literally a decade ago on my backup drive.
Benedikt: [00:36:16] Yes. I mean, you could, if you're always switched to a new time machine and archive, the old ones. Then the oldest one you have is the one that the, yeah. You can go back to that. So if you just keep adding new ones, eventually in 10 years, you'll have a 10 year old type machine.
Malcom: [00:36:32] Right. Are you seeing a new drive for each time machine or like, is that like as soon as inside of time machine?
Benedikt: [00:36:38] No. As soon as it's full, you've just replaced the physical drive. With a new one and then back up from there and just archive, like put it in a shelf, the old one and continue with the new one.
And then once that is full, you put on your intake, a new one and
Malcom: [00:36:51] you just sort of backup that archive.
Benedikt: [00:36:54] Yeah. You need to, you need to make, if you want to have it secure, like you need to just do a copy of [00:37:00] that drive basically, but that's easy and quick to do, but yeah, it's, it's I agree that time machine is a short-term backup and it's also very convenient because it just opened the software and you say, Oh, I want to go back to.
Tuesday three weeks ago. And then your whole system is where it was at Tuesday's three weeks ago. And then you can go back so you can open it. You can literally like go to the finder and like open a file. That's not here anymore. That was there back then. You can open it, copy paste it, and then go back to your current version of your system and then just paste it there.
So it's super easy. Um, yeah,
Malcom: [00:37:32] it sounds cool. It kind of does the same job as backblaze in a way. Um, because backwards is also like day by day. Uh, I mean, you have to, so we should talk about cloud or Backblaze Backblaze is an online backup service that you subscribe to and it backs up your entire computer and any drives that are connected to it.
Pretty much anything that's touching your computer, that you said that to be allowed to download it'll back it all up, [00:38:00] which is really great because it can work in the background automatically. Um, and, and it has saved my butt a couple of times, which is super awesome. And it's so affordable by the way.
It's like, it's so cheap. You just got to do it. Um, I pay for like the little add on that. Lets it, keep it for like an extra year or something, all the data. So even if I deleted it off of my drives, it still lives somewhere online for about a year. Um, which is totally worth it in my mind. Uh, I did also save my butt once.
Cause when you accidentally delete something, you don't know you did. Yeah. It just happened. And then you find out later that you did so definitely awesome. Uh, but yeah, it kinda does. What, what time is she does, but just not in a physical location. So I guess it's, it feels less trustworthy because of that.
Benedikt: [00:38:44] Yeah. It's quicker I think with how machine, because you don't have to download anything or like browse through the servers and stuff, but it's the same thing. Yeah. So I do, I do that. The time machine thing. And then, um, I have two additional, like external drives connected to my computer at any [00:39:00] time. Um, those are kind of the archive or like backup drives that, um, that are just connected to my computer.
And every day, after every working day here at my studio, everything I've done that day, I'll just drag and drop just as you do on to both of those files, uh, drives. So every song, every session, every podcast, everything I do, I'll just grab and put it there. It's just, it takes a minute or so, and then it's there and then I'll take one of those drives home with me and I leave one at the studio.
So separate locations. Um, yeah. Then there's this thing where London obviously still lives on my computer as well. Uh, so I have it like in, at this time on four different drives. So the time machine, the computer itself, and then the two external ones that I, one of them, I take home with me, um, then, uh, on my working drive, the folder that I'm actually recording too, is happens to be a Dropbox folder.
So I record into Dropbox, which is in theory or like it is an additional backup because [00:40:00] Dropbox, just, if your computer dies, you still have it in your Dropbox. So. That is technically an additional backup. I'm just careful with that because, um, it totally depends some labels and some like things you cannot, um, put their work on Dropbox because they are afraid of like safety.
Security issues. They don't allow this very rare, but I I've seen, and I've had contracts with people where they say, please don't use Dropbox to store our files or transfer our files. Please do this and that. And I've talked to mastering engineers to do a lot of major label stuff. Like one mastering engineer that I'm working with.
Uh, he actually has like a safe deposit box at a bank. Where he puts his hard drive after every, like every day. Uh, he goes to, yeah. Yeah, because that's the only way he can guarantee to not lose any of the sensible, like major label data. And he has contracts where he's supposed to pay huge amounts of money if he loses [00:41:00] any, like now if he loses the files, but if the, uh, if the files.
Get like leaked, you know? So that's, that's the issue here?
Malcom: [00:41:08] Like a legal responsibility with them.
Benedikt: [00:41:09] Yeah. That's stressful. Yeah. The, in that case they are some, some people are not allowed to use like Backblaze or Dropbox or anything. Like they only are allowed to have physical drives and they need to make sure they are safe.
So that's a whole other conversation, but I usually, um, record into a Dropbox folder. So that's another backup. And then I got backblaze running as well. And what I do to ensure that in the long run, everything, I keep everything is. Once those two drives are all are full. Those two external, physical hard drives that I have once they are full.
Um, I put them in a, on a shelf. I get two new ones. Um, and like I have a reminder on my calendar that every, I think every two years or every three years, I don't know. Um, I just take those drives, connect them to computer, see if they still work. And if any of those takes a little longer or [00:42:00] like gets a little weird or anything, I just immediately buy a new drive, make a copy of that and archive for that.
So I just periodically check the old archive drives. I like to once a year, I don't know what my reminder is. I just, when the reminder reminder pops up, I just do that. I take every single one of my heart of my archive. Hard drives. Just check them real quick. And if one acts weird. Then I just replace it and I'll keep doing that for years.
And I think, I hope that this way it can keep this stuff for longer than like 10
Malcom: [00:42:29] years. Yeah, my, I do it like at least once a year. And my theory with that is that it actually is good for them to move, like getting the hard drive up to speed, because we're not talking about solid States with our, with our archive ones, usually on they're actually spinning desks in there.
And I find that if they move every once in a while they survive.
Benedikt: [00:42:47] Yeah. I think, I think that's true. Actually. I think that's true. They last longer than SSDs, by the way, SSDs still don't live as long. Uh, but the physical drives. Yeah. They have to move every now and again. And also I think there's something [00:43:00] you can do.
Like, I never done that, but people told me to do it. It's like a data refresh thing. You can run a software on the drive that kind of refresh all the data, but keeps it on the same drive. So every, like there, I don't know, I'm not, um, technically savvy enough to know why that is. It's just that you can. Make your drive last longer.
If you do that or the files on the drive less longer, if you do that.
Malcom: [00:43:24] Cool. Yeah, it definitely, I want to wake that up and make sure it's all working still and yeah, if you notice it being weird, replace it. It's definitely. Just the smart call. Um, you don't want to be caught with. Yeah, well, like one of the situations we've been describing by the way, the situations I was describing Backblaze saved me each and every of those times.
So I've never actually lost the files or one time I did, because it w it was kind of a Brian Hood thing where the audio wasn't living, where I thought it was, and it got deleted and it was something that couldn't be tracked down. Um, I mean, maybe if I looked harder with backblace, but, [00:44:00] uh, it was just like, uh, a tuned vocal, like the vocal had been tuned by a guy.
I hired the tune it and the tuned file. It wasn't living in the session. Like I thought it was. So I just had to retune the vocal and
Benedikt: [00:44:11] we were good. So no damage has been done to the client or their project. That's important to, to point out because I don't want people to think that are responsible hero, like losing data.
Malcom: [00:44:22] Yeah, no, no, we got it. Now, the only thing I have lost is my own band stuff. That stuff didn't do as well. And it was because we, I just like, we weren't organized at that time and it, you know, it's like, Oh, this is just demos, but now I wish I had those demos for sure. I totally wish I had them. And I don't know why I didn't value them at the time, but Oh, well,
Benedikt: [00:44:43] yeah.
That's one. That's the main reason I wanted to do this episode, actually not to tell you like how it's technically done. That's the, the, obviously also a helpful part of it, but. Just to, um, raise awareness for this whole thing. And just to make you think about it, because it's [00:45:00] not only the work you're doing for clients or your band or whatever, it's, it can be like memories that you just want to keep.
It can be family photos. It can be like, as you said, demos, or it can be a song idea that you just like in the middle of the night, you woke up and like you sang something into your phone and it was the greatest thing, never. And you know, it can all those things and like, It's just a good habit to do backups of everything that could be important to you, or that is important to you.
Uh, and if you start with the most important stuff, you'll work and stuff, that's actually like that could be, could end up being frustrating and expensive. You might adapt that same habit to other areas of your life and just make, yeah. Make backing up things, a normal thing for you. And I think that's really important and it's going to be even more important in the future.
And there's, there are still a lot of people who don't think about that stuff at all. Like when people get a new phone, they just dump the old one and then all this everything's gone, you know? And then just start over again. And I'm like, you never know when you, if you want to see those [00:46:00] photos again, or if there's anything important on it.
And like, I don't know. I'm just that kind of person. It's just, yeah,
Malcom: [00:46:06] I get it. I definitely get it. Um, Yeah. Yeah. It, it is a shame to lose that stuff, especially since you don't have to, uh, one thing that's still a little bit of a concern for some people, but it's becoming less because potentially I'm talking about, uh, like file space and like how much space you actually have.
Like it, you still can fill up these massive drives, but these drives are getting bigger and bigger and cheaper and cheaper, which is great. Um, so it's becoming less of an issue, but. I always clear out everything other than like the final takes and that removes, like what could be like a 20 gigabyte session, two, like a two gigabyte session.
And then, then space has no issue. It's just like that step of kind of cleaning up the session before you archive it. Um, really, because otherwise you're going to end up with like 18 archive drives eventually. And like right now I literally just have. Like my main backlog and then another archive. So I managed to fit a [00:47:00] lot of work into there and they're not full
Benedikt: [00:47:01] yet.
Yeah. I agree. I need to clarify maybe because I, yes, I do not only keep the final takes, uh, but I don't keep like the very bad ones as well. What I do is I save versions of takes that could be. Cool. So we always commit obviously to one final take, but I still keep some of the ones that we considered, or that are alternative versions of a harmony or a melody or stuff like that.
But the, obviously like just the bad takes of a thing that we chose in the end. I don't keep those. So, like, it's not the bad takes, it's just versions that we didn't choose that. I keep, because you never know if you want to go back to them, but like bad takes of the same thing. I don't keep those as well.
Because as you say, the 20 gigabytes session could be brought down to five or something and then yeah, yeah,
Malcom: [00:47:46] yeah. Quite, quite small once they're cleaned up.
Benedikt: [00:47:50] Yeah, absolutely. You're right. You're right. Absolutely. Sometimes I think there's no need to delete anything because our space is cheap, but yeah, in that case,
Malcom: [00:47:59] It does add [00:48:00] up.
Benedikt: [00:48:01] Yeah.
Malcom: [00:48:02] And also like, you know, like the session just runs better without all that stuff in there. So like a mixed session, we'll just run better with only what we need in there. So it cleared out, um, you know, stuff like that. So that I'm not going to go back and add that back into my final session.
It's redundant data. Um, yeah. Now what is the steps that people need to make? Like, like what do we need to drive home? We've we've told them all what they needed to do, but like for me, step number one is get. Backblaze or, uh, what's the other one called there's there's like an, a main competitor crashplan.
Benedikt: [00:48:33] Crash plan. Yeah, exactly.
Malcom: [00:48:34] That's the other big one. I tried crashplan for months and months. And in all of those months it never finished backing up my data. Um, it was so slow. Uh, and then I got Backblaze and it was done in like a week or something, um, much quicker. So I stuck with that place.
Benedikt: [00:48:54] Cool. Yeah, me too.
There is, I just looked it up. There is another competitor that I came across [00:49:00] recently that I found pretty interesting and it's called lifedrive. Okay. Um, they have a comparison chart with like Backblaze and they claim to be much better. Of course they do, but, uh, it really sounds interesting. Um, so yeah, there, there are a couple of services, but.
Malcom: [00:49:15] Yeah, yeah. Look into them. See what one looks like. It'll work for you. I really have no idea complaints with Backblaze. Um, it's really awesome. Uh, and affordable and just does what it says it's doing and seems to work in the background without affecting my computer's performance, which is. A good thing.
You don't want your computer getting bogged down by trying to save the data and causing your protocol session to crass, crash and lose files that way, like, you know, it'd be kind of counter productive. Um, so it seems to just run smoothly in the background, no issues. And it's always seems to work whenever I need to go look for something.
There it is.
Benedikt: [00:49:49] Yeah, I totally agree. Um, the first backup we'll call will take a lot of time, but if it's like very smooth and I don't even notice that it's there, so,
Malcom: [00:49:59] yep, [00:50:00] totally. And the sooner you look into it, the better, right? Like the quicker it'll be the easier it will be to get done.
Benedikt: [00:50:06] Yeah. So yeah. Step number one, get a cloud backup.
I will do that immediately. Um, it's the first thing. And then you got to
Malcom: [00:50:13] like, you've got your, whatever, you're recording two plus the cloud. So you've got two backups and, and that second backup doesn't live in a physical location that could like your house. If your hosting gets burnt down or robbed or something, your laptop gets stolen.
That's how a lot of people lose the work as they keep it all on their laptop. Something like that happens to it. You're still covered.
Benedikt: [00:50:32] Yeah. Yeah. And the cool thing about Backblaze and like time machines, stuff like that, compared to just the Dropbox is also, or the archive drives is also. That you're not only archive the session files or the masters, but the whole system X basically.
So everything in there. Um, yeah, it's, it's just cool to have everything there and not just the, but you never know, you know? And, um, it could be settings, it could be shortcuts. It could be whatever you want to, whatever. It could be a [00:51:00] pain in the ass if your computer dies, uh, to recreate that you have it there.
So every single folder be. Yeah,
Malcom: [00:51:05] pretty awesome. Yeah. And then I think second would be an additional physical backup.
Benedikt: [00:51:10] Yes, I would say maybe first, if you use Dropbox or anything like that, just maybe try if you can record into Dropbox folder and make that a habit because you own it. You already have that.
And many people don't know that this works. I didn't know it for a long time, actually, that you can just record into a Dropbox folder and while you do it, it will upload and you immediately have the backup there. So that's an easy solution.
Malcom: [00:51:34] So does your Dropbox folder live on an external drive for you on your working dress?
Benedikt: [00:51:37] Nope. You can do that. My work and drive is on my computer, which I know many people don't recommend to do. Yeah, exactly. I never had issues with it, so, but yeah, but I've, I've looked into that and you can set up Dropbox on an external drive. I did that for my second laptop that I have, I have a small laptop at home for like office stuff and, uh, I [00:52:00] have.
Dropbox on an external folder because otherwise my hard drive is constantly full, right?
Malcom: [00:52:05] Yeah. Yeah. I can't. It would, it just wouldn't work with me about, like, I think my computer only has like 500 gigs of space or something. So like plugins alone are taking it up.
Benedikt: [00:52:14] Yeah. I mean, with smart sync, if you have one of the better Dropbox plans, you can select which files are on a computer and which ones are not.
So that's cool. Yeah. And I do that definitely, but still like sometimes I forget to check that thing and then it downloads it automatically. And then I get error messages because the drive is full. And so yeah, I have it on an external drive. Um, so that works. So if you want to do that, that works,
Malcom: [00:52:36] it would require a paid plan to be effective.
Just a heads up.
Benedikt: [00:52:40] No. Yeah, no, not necessarily for it. If you want to just have it on an external drive. Not really. You can just select,
Malcom: [00:52:48] just to have enough space in Dropbox. Cause like the free plan is isn't is tiny.
Benedikt: [00:52:54] Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah, of course. Yes, of course. You mean that? Yeah, totally. Totally. Absolutely.
[00:53:00] Yeah. Then, uh, yeah, in yours they were number two. Make sense for everyone, regardless if you have Dropbox or not, and that is just get an external backup drive, right? Yeah. So
Malcom: [00:53:08] just make it a copy of your other one. And you'll now have, if your main drive goes down, you've got a backup again. It's just all about having redundance.
Yeah. Um, and, and if you're in a situation like Benny, where you can keep it in a different location, that's even better. Uh, but like, even if it's just sitting on the shelf beside your other one, that's better than nothing.
Benedikt: [00:53:27] Yeah, totally. And I'm sure there are better. And that's what I was, what I would be curious to hear from you listeners.
I'm sure there are better ways to do those manual backups. So, I mean, I have the time machine, but I still do the drag and drop manual thing. Maybe there is a way that I'm sure there is some software or some way where you could automate the additional backups in a way that makes sense. I don't know if, how that would work because it's just specific files that I want to archive.
But anyway, um, maybe there's a, there's a way maybe there's an alternative to time machine. [00:54:00] Maybe there's some cool software that can do clever backups or whatever. So if you happen to know if any of these things and want to educate us, please do.
Malcom: [00:54:07] I mean, there's people that use like the raid systems, um, which is definitely an effective way to go, but it's, it's again, it's just like, not as specific as I like things to be.
Um, so I just do it manually. It doesn't take that long and yeah. Just think about your house burning down and you'll feel motivated to, to back it up. Yeah,
Benedikt: [00:54:26] absolutely. Yeah. Um, Yeah, that's the number two. And then everything else is basically optional. Like, if you want to get a second one or a third one, or like, you can do that, but if you have to at least one physical backup and then a cloud backup, that's the minimum I would go with.
So the working drive one physical one. Yeah.
Malcom: [00:54:44] You know, what you also want to back up is also your mixes. Um, like even the rough mixes, because if you do lose your session, Uh, and this like, again, going back to my assistant, Chris Erickson, losing his stuff, he lost a song entirely, but he did have a pretty good [00:55:00] mix.
Um, file. It's like an MP3 and he's just like, ask me what I'm gonna release it. So you like actually did it is like, you know, I think maybe mastered it or something, but he, he, he released it and it was like, it was all he had left of it. It was either redo it or use that file and he decided to use it.
Benedikt: [00:55:15] That's such an important thing. I'm glad you brought that up. So one last thing to it that this could be an entire new episode, but I just, it makes sense to mention it in this episode. Um, the way you save your records, uh, your, your sessions and your mixes is important to, so just do every time you start working on a project, just do a save.
As I think we covered that in some other episode, but, um, just do a save as, and also if you like, you've, let's say you've done a mix and then you show it to your bandmates or, uh, you've done, you, you've done a version of your song producing it, and then you show it to people for feedback before you do the next round of whatever.
Just after that round of feedback or after showing you two clients, bandmates, whatever, when you start working [00:56:00] on it again, immediately do a save as, and not continue working in the same session and then saving that because you want to go back to whatever you did before, because sometimes people say after like three additional versions, they say, you know what, whatever we had two weeks ago in that version, that was the best thing.
Let's go back to that. And if it didn't do the save ass, You, you lost it. You, you know, you, it's hard to, to get that back. So just do save as versions all the time. Uh, and ideally not just that, but maybe copy, like copy the folder from that day to separate FA drive or whatever so that you not only have the save as, but the whole project with all the files from that date.
So just make sure you can go back to previous files like that. And then also, like, obviously if you do balance mixes or rough mixes, just keep them and just label them properly. So, you know, this is the first one, this is revision one, revision two, whatever it is. [00:57:00] So proper labeling and stuff. Yeah. Yeah,
Malcom: [00:57:04] yeah.
Save your, like, I, I'm a big fan of saving with dates in the title as well as versions. Um, the, I mean, I use dates until mixing and then from mixing, I use versions because there's generally just like only a couple of versions. Uh, and, and that's been pretty effective for me. Um, but also make sure those names reflect in the file names of whatever you bounce out of the session.
So if you do bounce a mix, it should have the same. Uh, like identifying maybe date or version number as that session safe. Um, so you know that they're kind of linked up to the same thing. If you want to go open mixed version two, you got to go find mixed version two sessions. Yeah. I think should correspond,
Benedikt: [00:57:42] just come up with a system, define it once, write it down somewhere and then always follow it.
What we do here is we have like, we have the name of the song. The name of the person working on it. So it's either me or Thomas, like just the first like letter, B age, in my case, you know, you have just the [00:58:00] person working on it, the name of the song, the date and whatever it is we're doing like mix master, edit, whatever, um, and the version.
So, and that's always the same order, the same. It's always the same. So I immediately know when I look at something, what it is and, um, yeah, just come up with some sort of system like that and it will make life much easier. Yeah, definitely. I also love, like, I don't like it, um, when people lose files, but I also kind of love hearing those horror stories just because they remind me that how important it is.
So if you have any of those stories to share could be funny. It could be a really sad story. I don't know if you want to share anything like that. Just, uh, posted in the community or write an email. I just want to hear, uh, and, and if you find a solution for what happened or what you ended up with, it would be of course also interesting.
So. Just to share your stories here. And I, I'm probably, I'm very sure that anyone working for like a certain amount of time has encountered either an issue or like a scary moment. So,
Malcom: [00:58:56] yeah. Yeah. Like I said, it's like, it only has to happen to you once and then [00:59:00] you get on board with this it's it's like, yeah, you just learn quick.
Um, one story to live with everybody is the Alf story from the URM podcast. Uh, I don't know if you remember hearing this one, Betty, but he had all his drives plugged into a studio in Atlanta, I think. Or maybe it was when he was in Florida. Maybe. I can't remember. Uh, but, uh, lightning struck. And it fried like the entire studio, like lightning, like electrical sparks were coming out of here.
Like that kind of situation, like direct hit, uh, and fried his computer and all of his drives cause he had backups, but they were all connected to power sources to a computer. So it actually fried all of them.
Benedikt: [00:59:43] Uh,
Malcom: [00:59:44] and then he had to code to the bands, you know, and he's, he's a big producer working with major like metal bands.
And he had to explain what happened. And I guess they like one band didn't believe him. He was like, sure, dude, no, really like [01:00:00] all of my gear has gone. Like, this is the worst. And he had to like, you know, redo the work and, uh, you know, reputations are damaged. I think it's terrible, terrible story. But, uh, I guarantee after that he started unplugging one of those drives every day.
So I I'd probably take him one out of the studio, you know? So like Benny's thing, removing it from the studio. That's awesome. But if, if it's going to live in one spot, just unplug it at the end of the day. So it's like isolated. Oh yeah. I unplug it and then put it up high in case I got a flat or something.
Benedikt: [01:00:29] Oh, that's actually a good one too. I mean, I have it up high, but I didn't think about that. Yeah. Totally. Yeah.
Malcom: [01:00:34] My studio is like partially underground. So it's a concern for me.
Benedikt: [01:00:37] Yeah. I mean, of course. And you could always have like water leak out of wherever in your house, you know, so it's on the floor is really a good place to store those things.
Malcom: [01:00:48] Cool. All right.
Benedikt: [01:00:50] Cool. Then, uh, yeah, hope this motivates you to finally get some sort of backup and we'll see you next week. Thank you for listening. Bye. Bye [01:01:00] .
TSRB Academy Waiting List:
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Malcom's and Benedikt's websites:
Outback Recordings (Benedikt's Mixing Studio and personal website)
Outback Recordings Podcast - Benedikt's other podcast
Stone Mastering (Malcom's Mastering Company)
Your Band Sucks (at business) - Malcom's other podcast
Gimme The Beat (The Netflix Documentary Malcom is involved with)
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