If you’re a music producer or a beatmaker, your music files are your most important asset. They are your most valuable possession.
You don’t even want to think about losing the work you’ve done.
It’s stunning how often I receive emails from artists (and producers) requesting me to send files for a project again because they lost all of their files due to hard-drive failure. Some may have literally lost years worth of work.
Think about that for a second…
What if you would lose EVERYTHING you have on your hard-drive today? Honestly, I don’t even want to have to think about that.
Luckily, there is a simple solution to give you peace of mind so you never have to worry about that.
Yes, it’s as simple as taking backup copies of your files.
3-2-1 Backup Method
If all of your music files are only on one place, you’re on thin ice. Especially for producers with music production as a full-time job.
When we talk about computers and especially hard-drives, they can fail at any moment without giving a warning. One day you may wake up and it has stopped working.
The most simple and effective backup solution to keep your files safe is this: Always have 3 copies of your files on 3 different places.
- One copy on a computer hard-drive.
- One copy on an external hard-drive.
- One copy on a cloud storage.
It really is as simple as that.
If your computer breaks down, the files are still on two other places. If your external hard-drive fails, the files are still on a cloud storage.
Of course, it’s important to keep your backups up-to-date, too. It really is a habit, more than anything else.
There are backup software that allows you to easily make a backup copy of your entire hard-drive. It’s even possible to have a software running 24/7 that makes sure that every file on your computer is constantly saved to two different locations. But personally, I’ve found the easiest method is to just manually copy files between drives. When I finish a project, I manually copy the project directory to an externaldrive. For making sure I have backups of the current projects I’m working on, I usually copy the project files at the end of the day to an external drive.
What Files To Backup?
When you think about what files you should actually backup, ask yourself this:
What files do I need to recover to successfully get back to where I was?
As a music producer and a beatmaker, here’s a list of what files I need to have backed up:
- All songs, beats and projects I have done
- DAW project files (make sure they work!)
- Master files in .WAV
- Tracked out stems in .WAV (preferably dry and wet)
- Midi or sheet music if necessary
- All sounds, samples and loops
- All software and VST plugins
- Not really necessary because you can always re-download them. But a list of all the software and plugins would be wise to have.
- Website bookmarks
- Documents (e.g. accounting, contracts)
What Cloud Storage To Use?
There are a ton of cloud storage providers. So, how do you choose which one to use?
I think it all comes down to who you trust with your files. You’re essentially saving your work on their hard-drives and trusting them to keep the files safe and private.
I’ve used many of the major cloud storage providers and they all do their job. Some key differences can be found in storage size, pricing, privacy policies and encryption. Especially these days privacy and encryption are hot topics because after all, you don’t want anyone to snoop on your files.
In the end, it’s really matter of what you value the most in the cloud whether that’s pricing, storage or privacy.
And no, you can’t really get a free cloud that has enough storage for a lot of files (though MEGA has 50 GB of free storage!).
Here’s few cloud storage providers to check out:
When you follow the 3-2-1 backup method, you can always be sure your files are safe if anything happens. It’s very unlikely that all three storages will fail at the same time.
Make it a habit to always backup your files. When you finish a beat, song or a project, export all the files you need and copy them to the backup locations. It’s that simple. It’s a habit that will give you peace of mind.