As I was getting ready for my posting here and I was getting my information all ready I was able to experience a wonderful event that you may have already experienced or someday WILL as a musician,performer, studio engineer or producer. Something that has no mercy or is not a respecter of persons, locations ot has any regards to who you are, the envitable system crash or blue screen of death!!
Luckily I have had some previous experience with this demon of destruction and I was a little bit prepared but none the less was not happy to see again for the third time or so. In my last dealings with this monster I learned that to back up everything is the key,”Not to get caught with your pants down” Which brings me to this little letter of instruction and warning to which you better heed or suffer untold loss!
I lost everything once to this beast of the computer realm. I was in the process of creating a big production for a small film I was creating the score for. I had all the warning signs given to me from above,…well maybe from friends of mine with warnings such as this humble one to you. I thought it would neverr happen to me because I never have those sort of things happen, and besides I would always be able to fix anything if it happened. Well just like the rest of them I was beaten down in humility of destruction.
At that time I did NOT have the wisdom to have saved everything and I mean everything , so I lost it ALL. I was fortunate to have had at the very least my discs to re install my software but that was it. All my saved info,songs,demos,records,contact info everything gone! I was very sad and to say that my client was not to happy either. I cannot imagine what would have happened if I was in a larger project where some one was paying me thousands of dollars more and I did not save all of their stuff and I lost it?
So here I am a few years later and hopefully a little wiser. I had purchased fairly cheap two seperate hard drives. One is pretty large about 1000 GIGS, and the other is about 500 GIG. So you can tell I was packing. I like them because they are both USB for easy transporting in case I need to go to another studio for mastering or a special place to record, I can bring everything.
I was working on a session for a very prominent cable company and BAM!! my computer decides to not co-operate with me and go solo on me and crash with a very nasty virus. Luckily I saved EVERYTHING this time. Because of my tennacity from the last mistake, I saved almost every little thing. Even though it is a hassle re installing every thing I am happy to say I only lost “time”
I would like to add in saving files, remember to save al the little incedentals that you may need to install those things, like WIN RAR, Media player,Un packing tools and virtual drives. Here is a small list of things you should save in a folder on the drive , almost like a swiss army knife or emergency roadside kit;
sequncer back up programs (I use Sonar Producer 8, so I save the install of this)
Mastering software tools Back ups of WAVE bundles, ADOBE AUDITION
Un packing tool,winrar,winZIP I also have saved virtual drive components such as a great free tool DAEMON Tools lite, your sanity.
So if you think before hand of everything that you might need to restore your system from a catastrophic disaster you will be in good shape before it happens. To think that it will never happen is absolutly foolishness. If you thinkl you are way ahead of that and your system will never crash , think what would happen if you lost stuff from a flood or theft,fire or coffee spill? Do not be silly prepare. We musicians are notorius in thinking that it is all good man just chill out, but when it happens and if your prepared it will not be so bad.
You should also make it a habit to save multiple copies of sesions before you close stuff down for the day? Like what I most like do is save one version on my hard drive and another copy on my back up so I will always have it. You will be very happy that you listened to me when it does.