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How Do You Manage Your Song Files (and Clients)?

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  • How Do You Manage Your Song Files (and Clients)?

    Just wondering how you guys manage your song files and those of your clients? Hopefully you have a backup hard drive (or two) as well.

    Normally I record a song on my iMacs hard drive, then save that file over on a backup HD. In an ideal world, you work on a song until its finished but thats not always the case. It`s normal for for me to have 2-3 projects going on at once: producing a track for a songwriter, recording something for my church work, record vocals for another writer, mastering...

    I know Apple has Time Machine which a friend of mine was using for a while but he said it didn`t work as well as he had hoped... I have not given it a try yet. Has anyone else?

    If not, how do you manage your files?

    After I finish a project for someone, I give them the files. In years past, I would store everything for clients but storing DATs, ADATs, Hard Drives got to be a little too tedious and ate up valuable studio space.

    Do you store your clients files? How much do you charge? etc...

  • #2
    I have 2 big firewire backup drives hooked up to the audio system. After every session I drag the folder of whatever I worked on over to backup drive A. When a client finishes a project it goes on backup drive B. When backup drive B is filled, I pull out the actual hard drive and put in a new one. So backup A is for ongoing sessions, backup B is for recently finished projects, and all the drives that get pulled out are cold storage. With the cost of hard drives these days I count on backup storage costing about $5/client- something that I'm willing to pay, because people are pretty happy to come back 2 years later and find I still have everything just as we left it. You can find terabyte SATA drives now for under $100... that means ten cents a gigabyte!

    However I'm planning to move to Amazon Glacier for cold storage in the next year or so... when i get around to getting high speed internet over at the studio. Financially I think it will make sense, although I haven't crunched the numbers yet. It would be nice not to have to deal with piles of hard drives.

    I don't charge clients for storage. It's much easier to be able to quote an hourly rate and say no hidden fees, no extra charges.
    Silk City Music Factory: A Connecticut Recording Studio


    • #3
      This isn't how I'm currently doing my media archive... as with philter, I am planning on putting that into Glacier and keeping a local copy on HDD (hopefully I will never have to get into the glacier backups).

      However, I have gotten a little paranoid about securing my info from loss... so here's my setup:

      I have a synology ds213 (diskstation) on my local network (which is a pretty cool little device). It has 2 1tb drives in RAID 1, with several network shares.

      One set of shares is time machine for my and my wife's computer, but I have not a lot of space on there (we only keep ~200gb on the machines).

      Another share is an rsync of my working projects directory... that share is about 40gb and the diskstation automatically backs that up to Amazon S3 storage, which is costing around $5/mo. I am still working out setting up the rsync so it happens automatically, but that's the plan.

      (for the geeks) I don't worry about backup version control on the projects that I work on, as this is handled by git...

      All of my large video and audio projects are currently on a pair of 1tb disks that is hand sync'd. Eventually I will send one of them off to Amazon-- for $80 they'll ingest a disk into glacier and store it for relatively little.
      My Business: Media Production in the Texas Hill Country


      • #4
        I dedicate an exteral HD to a project. That way I can pull it out of the case and store it. On that HD will be the indvidual tunes, one folder per, containing all files for that tune as orginized by PT.

        A seperate folder for mixes. In the mixes folder will be nested the various permeatations of any given mix. And a clear FINALS folder. That one will contain only one file per tune. Every mix is named with the tune name, the date, and any post porcessing. Like so...



        That way, at a glance I can see and know that there are Saved As versions of that mix without the limiter, the MB, or HarBal. In that order. In the mixes folder.
        Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
        Dad is great and all but he never could sing -


        • #5
          I usually wipe my projects off my 16-track's hard-drive after a while

          I just keep mp3s of my tunes on my laptop's hard-drive and also on my mp3 player. Oh, and on my Soundclick page
          works | smoke | forum


          • #6
            I don't charge for storing client files, which I back up on an external HD. I do, however, recommend that they bring their own external hard drive if they want to make absolutely certain their files are safe.
            Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven


            • #7
              For music that I've downloaded (generally radio programs), I just delete the files after I've listened to the shows. Occasionally I'll hear a song that I might want to hear again, so I'll save that in a folder on one of my computers. If it blows up, no big loss.

              I let my clients take care of their own files. I'll usually keep working files on my hard drives for a reasonable (or sometimes unreasonable if the drive isn't filling up very fast) length of time in case they want to re-work something, but when the project is declared finished and I get paid (or not), they get a copy of the files and the responsibility of being able to produce them should they be needed again.

              Nothing is permanent, and nothing that I have recorded is so important that I need to preserve it.
              "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
              Drop by http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com now and then


              • #8

                Quote Originally Posted by MikeRivers
                View Post

                Nothing is permanent, and nothing that I have recorded is so important that I need to preserve it.

                That`s sort of my attitude. When a record is done, including my own, I want to let it go and move on. My friend/co-producer has all the original tracks from my first record and I don`t even want them because I know if I had them, I would open them up and start working on them on a slow day. (Its just in my nature to do that something like that and then get really frustrated with it a few days later and drop it, wasting 3-4 days in the process when I should have been working on something else)

                Its fantastic to just let these things go when you`re done with them.

                I had ADAT XTs lying around my studio up until last year because I had every intention to re-mix my old bands songs. Finally one day, I just decided to let it go. I felt so much lighter knowing that was no longer on my shoulders.


                • #9
                  Current projects are on my audio drive. I have a huge external USB 3.0 drive that is used for backup of both the audio drive and the system drive. I
                  Chris 'Von Pimpenstein' Carter
                  Mixer | Producer
                  Three international #1 hit radio singles


                  • #10
                    My best solution for backups are compress files ( lossless format) and put in a DVD, i have a collection of maybe 900 CDR and DVDRs since year 2000.

                    Before that : ADAT & DAT tapes.

                    Before that: 1/4 open reel master tapes and cassetes......

                    Before that:.....memories only.