You have probably heard the old adage, “Two is one, one is none”. Or maybe another thing my mom used to say to me, “better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.”
How does that apply to the recording arts? And what does it mean?
I have had the pleasure of getting to know, and learn from, some excellent engineers over the past few years. Backing up computer data, and audio files, is always on their minds. File management, and being able to FIND the audio you’ve recorded, and avoid unnecessary duplication of tracks is a large topic. For the engineers I’ve learned from, it all starts with the initial capture at the live concert or session. Both Christian Amonson and Mike Ducassoux have different systems, but they both serve the need to stave off any visit from Mr. Murphy very well.
So, after listening to these gentlemen for a good amount of time, I decided it would be prudent to incorporate some of their methods in to my own workflow. So, I took their advice and developed my own backup system.
A backup system is, simply, a 2nd recording that runs in parallel to the primary recording equipment. In my case, my microphones run into both my laptop, as well as a Zoom 8-channel SD recorder. Why does this matter? Well, in case of catastrophic laptop failure, the Zoom captures the source audio, even if my laptop is turned off completely.
So, when you book an engineer to record your concert, ask them, “do you have backup”? If their answer is “no”, give me a call! ;)