The art of music production takes a little bit process and stress. And for that reason Data BackUp must be done for every studio recordings.
You pay big money for your studio recordings of a single, or more tracks. And happily return home with only the mixdown version of your song(s). Probably on WAV or MP3 format, either burnt to a CD or transferred to your phones storage.
After few weeks or months of promoting your song. You meet a sponsor or record label, who shows interest of working with you.
But on having professional ears preview your songs, certain errors are spotted or adjustments are seen to be made.
Re-making of the song will cost additional fees and stress. So the easiest way out is to use your Data BackUp of Studio Recordings, and with the same audio workstation make those needed corrections.
Your sponsor or label now tells you to go and get the Data BackUp for the Studio Recordings from your producer.
So you call or rush to meet your producer in the studio.
But on getting there and requesting for your data, he tells you the system crashed and they formatted it.
Yes! Producers are the ones to be blamed, because, so long as the artiste is not owing any production fees, he is entitled to keep his Data BackUp.
But supposing you are working with a new and inexperienced producer who does not know all this. As a learned artiste, even though upcoming, use this article as a guide, to understand what a Data BackUp is and the devices you should use to store them.
What is a Data BackUp?
A Data BackUp for studio recordings is a folder or file, containing all the sequencies (beats) and vocals of the production of a musical track.
All the instruments and plugins used are also included in the Data BackUp.
Archival is another term associated with BackUp. And so many people are confusing themselves on thinking Archival is the same as BackUp.
And for that reason, let us quickly look at the differences between these two terms.
BACKUP: This simply means copying a music production file into a device that will enable you offload and restore quickly when needed.
ARCHIVAL: Refers to a long term or off site storage of a data you don’t want to access in a short while or suddenly.
Thus, your recording session data should be seen as a BackUp and not archival. Because you might have a need for it at a time you didn’t expect.
The things you should BackUp
Everything that’s an integral part of the music production process needs a back up. And these includes:
- Instruments and plugins you are using on both the beats and vocals.
- Mixes. Both the rough ones and final.
- Mastered songs. Mix them down in all possible or available formats. Wav, AIFF, MP3 etc. Digital distribution companies will always require you upload a non-compressed file.
Data BackUp devices.
1. Hard Drives.
We have both the internal and external hard drives.
Internal hard drives are inside the computer, while the external hard drives are accessed through a plugged in USB interface.
Though hard drives have different storage capacities, and are easy to find. You must ensure you access it, at least every 3 months, or else they may freeze up.
Also ensure the computer you are plugging it on, when trying to retrieve the data, has antivirus installed. Otherwise, Trojans and other viruses may wipe off your entire data immediately you plug in your hard drive.
2. USB Flash Drives
These devices are in many forms and has varying storage capacities. The only problem is that they are not made for long term storage, and they also has low transferring speed.
Flash drives are also prone to virus attacks. So just like the hard drives, ensure you are plugging them to a computer that has antivirus installed.
3. Digital CDs
Digital CDs are capable of saving files as data. And the good news is that Data BackUp CDs cannot be played on CD or DVD players.
This therefore prevents you from playing the CD every now and then, and in so doing avoid it from cracking the play surface.
Care then must be given to where you keep the CD, in order to avoid your breaking or cracking the play surface.
Because if it does, you will find it hard to re-copy the BackUp files to a computer.
4. Cloud Storage
This is a cost effective storage and currently the best. Especially in this digital age.
There are several platforms offering this service. But the most trustworthy should be Google. Judging from their position in the world internet services.
Google call their cloud storage Google drive. And you only need to sign up to a Gmail account to get yours.
They assign 15 Gb space for every gmail account. But if you need more storage space, then you can opt for their premium offers.
They have a monthly plan of 100 Gb for 390 Naira. And 200 Gb for 780 Naira.
You can make an annual payment of 3,900 Naira for 100 Gb. And 7,800 Naira for 200 Gb.
The advantage this device has over the rest is that, you can access it anywhere you have an internet connection. And you don’t have to carry it about or worry about where to keep it safe.
Whichever of the above device you will choose for your Data BackUp. I want you to keep it in mind that, your data is never safe in any of these 4 device. Until you save it in at least 2 or 3 of them.
Also, you must ensure that you retrieve from any of the 2 or 3 to back up any of the 1 you might lost.
Finally, have someone who knows review your data to ensure it is properly copied. This is because most producers cannot copy a musical data.