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How do you handle losing DAW projects? DAW Software
Old 21st December 2010
  #1
Gear Nut
 

How do you handle losing DAW projects?

I'm about 99% sure I lost a music project today that I've been working on for 3 months. One track/song. I lost half the project and would have to re-create almost 50% over which is devastating for me because of the programming involved.

All I'm going to say is, I made a mistake. I do make backups daily, but regardless. Both copies are the same.

I feel terrible because I was attached to it emotionally and worked so hard. I would hate to see this happen to anyone else. You can't talk about it with your wife because she doesn't understand. You just sit and soak it up.

Please be careful out there guys, things can go haywire even with backup systems. Sometimes a manual backup, even though it old school, might save you.
Old 21st December 2010
  #2
Lives for gear
Well, for starters, you probably have not lost it, but the FATs have become corrupted, or something equally as goofy.

BTW, what ever happened to back-ups?
Old 21st December 2010
  #3
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Ernest Buckley's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by clank72 View Post
I'm about 99% sure I lost a music project today that I've been working on for 3 months. One track/song. I lost half the project and would have to re-create almost 50% over which is devastating for me because of the programming involved.

All I'm going to say is, I made a mistake. I do make backups daily, but regardless. Both copies are the same.

I feel terrible because I was attached to it emotionally and worked so hard. I would hate to see this happen to anyone else. You can't talk about it with your wife because she doesn't understand. You just sit and soak it up.

Please be careful out there guys, things can go haywire even with backup systems. Sometimes a manual backup, even though it old school, might save you.
I feel for you. I lost an entire albums worth of demos around 3 years ago. Nothing I was set on using but a lot of ideas were lost. Thankfully I had some mixes of those tracks so it wasn`t entirely lost but still, it sucks.

Do yourself a favor: buy two HDs for yourself. Create the same folder on each of them and your main HD. Use one HD strictly for backup. The other will be to work off of and your main HD on the computer you use will be another backup. Every time you work on something, save it to those 3 HDs. I know it sounds over the top but... you won`t feel like you`re feeling now.
Old 21st December 2010
  #4
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Unclenny's Avatar
After you get over that nasty sinking feeling in your gut........start over.

It'll no doubt be different than the original, but it might just come out even better.
Old 21st December 2010
  #5
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JoaT's Avatar
Saving with different names as the project proceeds, mirroring raid and DVD backups.

Never lost one single project in my life.
Old 21st December 2010
  #6
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api2500's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenny View Post
After you get over that nasty sinking feeling in your gut........start over.

It'll no doubt be different than the original, but it might just come out even better.
thumbsup.

I know exactly what you mean.

Mine is a bereavement councillor.
Old 21st December 2010
  #7
Lives for gear
 
The MPCist's Avatar
 

I let that sinking feeling run for able a minute or two, take a big breath, and start all over. As long as it isn't the artist's vocals ("Eh, yeah... can we record again? I lost the vocals...."), all's cool and can be done again.
Old 21st December 2010
  #8
Lives for gear
 
79_Limited's Avatar
 

How do you handle losing DAW projects?

To keep my spirits up I always ask the "will this matter in 100 years" question.
Old 21st December 2010
  #9
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NeedsMoreFuzz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by clank72 View Post
I'm about 99% sure I lost a music project today that I've been working on for 3 months. One track/song. I lost half the project and would have to re-create almost 50% over which is devastating for me because of the programming involved.

All I'm going to say is, I made a mistake. I do make backups daily, but regardless. Both copies are the same.

I feel terrible because I was attached to it emotionally and worked so hard. I would hate to see this happen to anyone else. You can't talk about it with your wife because she doesn't understand. You just sit and soak it up.

Please be careful out there guys, things can go haywire even with backup systems. Sometimes a manual backup, even though it old school, might save you.
I do a manual backup to a dedicated folder after every tracking/mix session, as well as regular full drive images. I also constantly use the "save as new version" command (in Nuendo) which creates an incremental version of the project --- yes, I normally end up with 20 consecutively-numbered project files, but they take up hardly any space, and you're decreasing the chances of not having at least a readable project file.

I don't wanna jinx it, but I've never lost a project yet. I do know a few people who have, and I really feel for you man. As Lenny says though ---- jump straight back in there and do it again --- you may be surprised just how much you'll like the "evolved" version.......
Old 21st December 2010
  #10
Lives for gear
 
badmark's Avatar
Ah, yes, it hurts. Badly. I lost a song in an unfortunate Atari floppy disk mishap years ago and the moment of numbed anguish when I realized what had happened still burns within.

Chin up!
Old 21st December 2010
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 79_Limited View Post
To keep my spirits up I always ask the "will this matter in 100 years" question.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeedsMoreFuzz View Post
You may be surprised just how much you'll like the "evolved" version.......
These 2 thoughts will help you keep your sanity. Loss should be character building. You've just got to suck it up and walk away, and come back the following day and start again .. Oh, and endeavour to learn from your mistakes too.

Cheers
Old 21st December 2010
  #12
Lives for gear
 
AudioWonderland's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by clank72 View Post
I'm about 99% sure I lost a music project today that I've been working on for 3 months. One track/song. I lost half the project and would have to re-create almost 50% over which is devastating for me because of the programming involved.

All I'm going to say is, I made a mistake. I do make backups daily, but regardless. Both copies are the same.

I feel terrible because I was attached to it emotionally and worked so hard. I would hate to see this happen to anyone else. You can't talk about it with your wife because she doesn't understand. You just sit and soak it up.

Please be careful out there guys, things can go haywire even with backup systems. Sometimes a manual backup, even though it old school, might save you.
If a single click or keystroke can delete both, you are not backed up.
Old 21st December 2010
  #13
Lives for gear
 

well.. the first thing I do stomp up and down a little.. I will perhaps throw something across the room... there's usually a lot of screaming.. sometimes a bit of crying... and then... i leave the scene of the crime.. pretend nothing bad happened.. I get the hell away from music making.. I go.. I don't know.. anything....

Once I've forgotten about it.. and don't feel pissed off at the world.. I come back.. and see if I can't use some kinda a program that will restore the directory of the drive.. retrieve lost stuff.. and.. usually that works.

My main drive.. as it turns out.. is actually 2 drives set up as a scary raid.. I also have a drobo.. which is very redundant.. once I'm done with a project.. whatever is important to be kept goes to the drobo.

So it turns out that I rarely loose work.. or.. usually if I loose work it's cause I was working for a little while without saving it. I'm also getting into the habit of saving iterations..

I'll be part way through a project.. and I'll decide that I have to radically shift my direction around.. maybe this means undoing a day's worth of work.. or who knows what.. and so.. I decide to save another version of it.. and so I can frequency go back that way as well.

I'll also say that from time to time I do burn disks.. DVDs.. and whatever... and my mac laptop is actually regularly backed up to a time capsule...

I have lost a lot of work in the past.. I surely don't like the feeling... can be like getting punched in the gut.. but mostly.. at this point.. I kinda feel like if there's nothing I can do then there's nothing I can do.. and I just go through whatever emotional reaction I have to.. and try and move on.

Philosophically.. I also figure if I have to redo work I've done in the past.. maybe there's away that in redoing it I can make it better.. cause I've already gone through the experience of doing.. I'll at least try and find a silver lining somewhere.. but.. you know.. sometimes you're just cursed.
Old 21st December 2010
  #14
Lives for gear
 
andychamp's Avatar
1) Manual backup! I find waiting for the copy to be finished is a good way to wrap up a day's work.
2) working on a Mac? Get Data Rescue II (or whatever is the current version). Best 100 bucks I ever spent, even if I only needed it once.
Old 21st December 2010
  #15
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api2500's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by andychamp View Post
1) Manual backup! I find waiting for the copy to be finished is a good way to wrap up a day's work.
2) working on a Mac? Get Data Rescue II (or whatever is the current version). Best 100 bucks I ever spent, even if I only needed it once.
Working on a Mac? Time Machine a Time Machine.

Thats pretty tidy.
Old 21st December 2010
  #16
Gear Nut
 
klak's Avatar
 

My advice would be to clone your hard drive to two separate external hard drives daily. I don't know what happened to you, but the Automatic Session backup in Pro Tools has saved my ass too many times for me to be proud about.
Old 21st December 2010
  #17
Lives for gear
 
The dman's Avatar
 

I backup at the end of every session and luckily because yesterday I had a project I was doing a lot of edits on and for some reason Pro Tools lost a couple of the files. I pulled up the backup project and I was in business again.
Old 21st December 2010
  #18
Gear Guru
 
Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoaT View Post
Saving with different names as the project proceeds, mirroring raid and DVD backups. Never lost one single project in my life.
I never lost anything either, and like you I save with successive file names:

Project01
Project02
Project03
...

It's also useful to close your project, then re-open again before copying it to a backup drive. This way you know the file you just saved is not corrupt and will open, before you overwrite the older version. Even better, have two alternating backup drives. Back up one day to the first drive, then next day to the second drive, then to the first etc. This way you'll never lose more than one day's work, and if something gets corrupted you'll know before trashing the second backup copy.

--Ethan
Old 21st December 2010
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by clank72 View Post
I'm about 99% sure I lost a music project today that I've been working on for 3 months. One track/song. I lost half the project and would have to re-create almost 50% over which is devastating for me because of the programming involved.

All I'm going to say is, I made a mistake. I do make backups daily, but regardless. Both copies are the same.

I feel terrible because I was attached to it emotionally and worked so hard. I would hate to see this happen to anyone else. You can't talk about it with your wife because she doesn't understand. You just sit and soak it up.

Please be careful out there guys, things can go haywire even with backup systems. Sometimes a manual backup, even though it old school, might save you.
It's a drag, no question.

But what you've created once, you can recreate. Or, you can make it better or do it better/faster because of things you learned the first time around.

If it's really important to you, roll up your sleeves while the music/project is fresh in your mind, resolve that what is lost is lost and that there's no use kicking yourself over and over (once was enough) and just push on.

Conversely, you could back burner it (maybe the frustration is just too great), work on something small, light, and fun (to make recording fun again) and come back to your big opus later. You never can tell, the distance and perspective might change and improve how you approach it.
Old 21st December 2010
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

I've always wondered, what is the difference between the "Save to New Folder" and just a standard "Save as" with a new name (in Cubase 5)? The only difference is the audio folder gets saved also right?

So, if I wanted to protect against a specific instance not loading (due to some corruption), either of these saving methods would work just fine right? Choosing "Save to New Folder" would just create more overhead as the audio files would be saved in multiple places.

I ask because I have a highly unstable system and versions are always crashing for me. I backup by creating multiple versions with different names with the "Save As" option but wonder if I am missing out on some protection by using "Save to New Folder".

Thanks!
Old 21st December 2010
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakeman1086 View Post
I've always wondered, what is the difference between the "Save to New Folder" and just a standard "Save as" with a new name (in Cubase 5)? The only difference is the audio folder gets saved also right?

So, if I wanted to protect against a specific instance not loading (due to some corruption), either of these saving methods would work just fine right? Choosing "Save to New Folder" would just create more overhead as the audio files would be saved in multiple places.

I ask because I have a highly unstable system and versions are always crashing for me. I backup by creating multiple versions with different names with the "Save As" option but wonder if I am missing out on some protection by using "Save to New Folder".

Thanks!
[bold added]

Jake

I can appreciate the don't-anyone-breathe-hard sensibility after somehow tinkering an unstable system into some sort of marginal workability -- and, I guess, if you're using hardware with quirky, unstable drivers that haven't been properly updated/fixed (and where you have determined that most others have the same problems with them), then I guess there may not be much you can do save buy new hardware.

But if it's the computer system itself, whether Mac or Windows, it shouldn't be necessary to settle for unstable operation. Even if it's a hinky piece of hardware in your computer, there's a good chance it can be replaced, perhaps even relatively cheaply, particularly on generic PCs, which are made to be modular.

If it's a software issue unrelated to hardware drivers for gear you can't or won't replace, then it's typically a matter of sorting out those software issues. That can be frustrating (wildly so at times) to be sure, but the chances are if it's happening to you, it's happened to others and some assiduous googling from a number of angles will likely find mention of their travails. (Don't find it at first, keep rephrasing, replacing nouns and verbs and switching terms of art until you get a tickle.)
Old 21st December 2010
  #22
Lives for gear
 
The MPCist's Avatar
 

No matter how careful you backup, you'll still run into a problem every so often. Sometimes PT sessions, even backed up, might be corrupt and can't be opened, etc.....
Old 21st December 2010
  #23
Lives for gear
 
cinealta's Avatar
 

My best solution, is to have a quick "gallows humor" laugh, and then immediately dive back into recreating it as closely as possible. This is crucial, the more time you spend wallowing in your sorrow, the less of the original vibe and creativity you will recall. Dive back in post haste!

btw, I run triple FW drive backups. I do frequent incremental backups with successive file names for each significant change to the project (almost like my own Time Machine). I don't mirror drives because if you have a corruption on the main drive, it could copy over to the backup. But I manually backup. Drives are almost disposable these days.

I really appreciate tape, even digital tape has had more "archival" reliability for me than hard drives.
Old 21st December 2010
  #24
Lives for gear
 
bobsandifer's Avatar
 

When I first moved over to a DAW from 2inch I lost a session for a pretty famous Gospel group. I sat for a couple of hours and came up with a solution that was expensive 10 years ago but is extremely inexpensive today.

Everything gets backed up at 4am every morning. A copy goes to the spare working drive in the mac pro. A copy goes to a raid and one to our off site server where it is backed up again. Like I said. It only took once. All of this is done with a free program from Apple called backup. Its in the mobile me folder.
Old 21st December 2010
  #25
Gear Nut
 

+1 for Data Rescue. Totally saved my ass.
Old 21st December 2010
  #26
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The MPCist's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cinealta View Post
My best solution, is to have a quick "gallows humor" laugh, and then immediately dive back into recreating it as closely as possible. This is crucial, the more time you spend wallowing in your sorrow, the less of the original vibe and creativity you will recall. Dive back in post haste!
+1 Keep the vibe! Think "I can do better" then do it! heh
Old 21st December 2010
  #27
Lives for gear
 

i think everyone can relate to losing a project, forgetting to record arm during a take, etc. I agree the best thing to do is to immediately start working again on it and piece it back together. sorry dude
Old 21st December 2010
  #28
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by clank72 View Post
I'm about 99% sure I lost a music project today that I've been working on for 3 months. One track/song. I lost half the project and would have to re-create almost 50% over which is devastating for me because of the programming involved.

All I'm going to say is, I made a mistake. I do make backups daily, but regardless. Both copies are the same.
Be very careful you are always opening the session on the working drive. Some people do a 'search' for their project and the search finds the backup first, they open that, do the work on the backup and later copy over it with the old original when they think they are backing up. This is a time when manual backup can be your undoing.

I exclude my backup drive from all search functions in the Spotlight privacy tab.

A wise man said if your file is not backed up in 3 places, it is not backed up.
Quote:

I feel terrible because I was attached to it emotionally and worked so hard. I would hate to see this happen to anyone else. You can't talk about it with your wife because she doesn't understand. You just sit and soak it up.
Take the attitude that everything happens for a reason. Maybe in the process of re-creating the song, you will improve upon it. Maybe the disaster you experienced will save you from an even worse disaster you would have faced in the future without this experience.


Or maybe:

Old 21st December 2010
  #29
Registered User
 
Rick Sutton's Avatar
 

manual, INCREMENTAL backup. to two storage devices. one offsite.

NEVER EVER OVERWRITE A BACKUP. ever
Old 21st December 2010
  #30
Lives for gear
 
weezul's Avatar
used to carry all my production work around on a 500GB external drive while I was studying, it contained all my uni work and projects I was working on privately. A girl came into the studio and knocked it on the floor and I lost LOADS of current projects. Lesson learnt, RAID set up. And then about a week after I set up my RAID, one of the drives died lol! I've had another die since too, about a year ago. There is no perfect solution I suppose, but RAID works well for me, coupled with creating copies to an external HD
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