Before you get started in backing up all of your creations, you should first ensure that you’re properly naming your files. This will not only avoid headaches for you but for your collaborators, engineers and even those A&R and business types within the industry. The clearer and cleaner your files are labeled, the more professional and the better.
Now, once we’ve cleared that up, let’s move onto storage. We aren’t talking about your computer as itself. We’re talking about that Plan B, emergency storage that knows to expect the unexpected. You never know when a laptop will succumb to going missing, or an unfortunate yet hefty liquid spill got the best of it one night while DJing - we must prepare for the unknown and this is where backing up your digital data comes in.
Wikipedia informs us that in “In information technology, a backup, or data backup is a copy of computer data taken and stored elsewhere so that it may be used to restore the original after a data loss event. There are different types of data storage devices used for copying backups of data that is already in secondary storage onto archive files.”
In our humble opinion, if you’re really serious about being on top of things - you’ll have more than one backup. Perhaps it’s in the cloud, as well as on two different external hard drives, in addition to the original source. This will ensure your safety not only for your artistic creations and financial future.
Izotope fills us in “Backup is what we do to copy our production data on a regular basis, and this copy is stored locally in order to quickly offload and restore files as needed. Archival is the long-term, offsite storage of data that you don’t need to access on a regular basis. Many of us practice a hybrid process, generating multiple copies of our data, at least one of which is in a secure location physically separate from the place where we work. For the purpose of this discussion, we’ll look primarily at backup and hybrid backup/archival solutions.”
So, what is one backing up anyway? Izotope strikes an ever-so blatant chord with “Anything that you ever want to use again. You may not need to back up your applications folder daily, but any content that you generate as a part of the creative process needs to be backed up regularly. For music producers and engineers, this includes: Session folders (containing all audio and session data) Mixes (roughs and finals) Mastered songs, Any other files that you need to recreate a session.”
It’s crucial to not forget that you have to treat your files like gold. These could be future GRAMMY wins or just a love song that you wrote for one special person’s ears. Either way, it’s a very tiny investment to purchase the devices when digital data and what we do with it - can transform the navigation of your entire life.