Keith Everette Smith

Producer, Songwriter, Multi-Instrumentalist

Disc Space and Backups!

One of the biggest problems with modern hard disk recording is the subject of disk storage. As a recording enthusiast your hard drives are your security, they protect your investment. Good hard drives that are properly backed up are what allow me to sleep at night! Think about it, if a hard drive crashes and it is not backed up, you (and the artists/labels you work for) could be out tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of dollars! Believe me, there are horror stories. They all end with crying, gnashing of teeth, murder and broken friendships.

All that to say, it is VITALLY important that you…

1) purchase quality hard drives

The hard drives you purchase should run at 7200rpm (or higher) and have firewire jacks (firewire 800 is fastest). Western Digital Drives are fantastic drives.

TIP: purchase smaller drives (from 200-300gigs) rather than larger drives. Simply put, if a 300gig drive crashes you’ve only lost 300gigs and not 1000gigs. Got me?

2) back them up daily (if not more often)

When you purchase a new hard drive, you should purchase 2 identical drives. Mark one as a backup ONLY. Programs like Synchronize Pro X are helpful for backing files up. Synchronize pro will run backups on a schedule and it allows only updated info to be backed up. This allows the drives to spin less and thus lengthens a drives life span.

3) and archive to DVD.

Hard drives are not reliable for long term storage. Too many things can break. I recommend backing up sessions to DVD once a project is completed. Going through the process will take some time and you may need to consolidate your sessions and get rid of useless files. Don’t perform this kind of operation without having a backup on hand.

Protect your investment, your reputation and your rear end by heeding my advice. When a drive crashes and you’ve not lost gigs and gigs of date you’ll want to thank me by sending me a big check! ;0)

One other thing. I found a free program called Disk Inventory X. The program allows you to see graphically what files and folder are taking up the most space on your computer. This is very helpful when you find that your hard drive is full! Very handy… and it’s FREE!!