My own ******** moves:
I've only lost something to my own fault twice:
1) Forgot to disarm the conga track I'd JUST overdubbed when I switched to punch another adjacent track. The conga player had not yet even gotten into the control room, so when he got in I simply told him I needed to punch one more time and he walked right back out there without question.
2) As a second I was working on a tracking session for a local artist. We were working on tape and the studio was out of leader tape. So I left as significant an amount of time between songs as I possible could, about 15-20 seconds... The day after basic tracks with hired session musicians, the producer returns with programmed tracks he'd sequenced the night before, synced to a rough mix to Pro Tools I'd slaved to the 2". As I'm transfering the second tunes' programmed parts to tape I started looking working at the other end of the board, and not watching the locator or listening much to playback. Suddenly I was snapped back to reality by the sound of the the next song's drum fill intro blaring from the right room mic, over the continuing programmed tracks. (He'd simply looped out the outro for a while, past the end of the tune...)
As I slammed the stop button I immediately realized what I'd done and damned near shit myself. Fortunately, the only thing that probably saved my job (and kept me working with the same guys for some time) was that the only thing that had been recorded over was the drums tracks (!!), save for the right room mic, so I spit the rough mix out of the PT session to the console and we performed an automated crossfade on the desk right before the band kicked in.
As for others' dumb moves in situations where I've been involved (but not at fault):
1) A young engineer I'd worked with had been put in charge of mixing a series of live concerts recorded to ADATs. He transfered the ADATs digitally into a Pro Tools HD and mixed in the box. After countless days of mixing, he told me that several others had listened to the mixes and thought they sounded "dull" and the drums lacked "snap". I listed and immediately asked what session he was running at. "44.1," he responded. I then asked what sample rate the ADATs were formatted for. His response... "What?"
We imported the files into a 48k session and he started over.
2) On another session several years ago, a five piece vocal group came in with orchestral tracks that had been recorded in New Orleans with a full orchestra. All they brought with them was CD-Rs, and one was scratched and unreadable. A few minor tracks were lost, we moved on, and kinda chewed them out for there not being ANY other backup of the data. Shortly later, the group flew back to New Orleans to record a bunch more tracks, at the cost of thousands.
When they returned they brought a hard drive. We hooked it up, loaded up the tracks to verify everything was there, put away the drive and moved back to working on the other tracks. The very next morning we hook the drive up and the folder that held the new tracks was MISSING. Everything else, there. That folder, GONE. We called the engineer to find out if there were any backups and he said since there was so much data "he didn't want to have to charge them the money for spending the whole night making backups." They spend close to $2000 with a variety of recovery firms to no avail, nothing was recovered. They spent thousands more again to go back and record it again, with the same engineer. At least they made him keep a copy on his hard drive until they got it back here.
Heck of a first post, I guess...