Yes, we all know we should backup. We also all have friends (friends, right? Not us, that only happens to others, right?) that have gotten caught with computer problems and no backups. But we backup regularly. I’m not just going to talk about digital backups, just a few words, then I’ll talk about the most important backup we need: jobs!

So, you are working in Pro tools (or any other DAW), you’ve checked the « Automatic Backup » option in the « Preferences » panel and are keeping the 50 latest backups done every two minutes. That’s not enough though. At the end of your session while others are updating their Facebook status or going out for a smoke, you need to save a totally independent copy of your work (« Save Copy In… » in ProTools, check the « Audio Files » box in « Items To Copy ») that includes all the audio files. Just to be safe. Especially if you are working with BaseHead or Soundminer as they use sounds located on a network or other external hard drives. The network could go down, the hard drives could be temporarily, or worse, permanently unavailable.

Hard drive space is so cheap there is really no excuse not to do this. And you could get a chance to look like a hero when you open a problematic session (corrupted, missing audio files, etc…) in front of the production team and revert to a usable backed up session. The other option is you looking like the weakest link in the team; « what? you can’t save correctly? And you call yourself a pro? ». I’m pretty sure we all want to be heroes. Keep in mind that sound guys are often the first to arrive and the last to leave, that’s how you recognize the professionals.

For your job it is the same thing too: if things go sour where are you going to turn to? I’ve seen colleagues in dismay when the job they’ve had for 10, 15, 20 years or more is on the line all of a sudden and they have lost contact with the reality and necessity of networking.

I’ve never had the fortune of staying in the same job for so long so it’s second nature for me and others from the younger generations to have a backup plan. The world economic situation is not at it’s best right now and the sound industry is a pretty competitive one where there is a lot of pushing and shoving, where there is plenty of eager talent ready to work for less than what you charge. Once, when I worked in a post-production studio I had a boss who would remind me that he gets CVs like mine every week. So there was no way I was going to get caught fooling around on Facebook when there was down time, I’d sweep, change light bulbs, make coffee for clients, and learnt to do it all with a smile. Just being connected on Linked In is not enough. You must regularly, actively, interact with potential employers, and do so before you need to ask them for a job! Find excuses for dropping by and chatting, let them know that you are working, let them know who you are working with. I’m not talking about bragging and name dropping. Chances are they have more reasons to brag and name drop than you. You just want to let them know you are active. You’re just a pro, working in the sound business. And that is something to be proud of by the way…

Questions or comments should be sent this way:

Skip to content