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Logic Pro: How to Back Up Your Work And Your Mac

Nothing is worse than having to go back to reproduce a song entirely because you lost the song project in a hard drive breakdown. I’ve experienced this, like many other computer based musicians, and I can tell you first hand: It hurts badly to lose an entire album’s worth of project data. 

This happened to me once. My band and I were just about to finish our second album. We got everything out to the producer, even drove out to California to work directly with the producer. After a few months of fine tuning, my backup drive that had everything on it failed. The album, for the most part, was entirely lost. I had to go back and try to reproduce hours of material within a very short amount of time. 

In the end, I think the album came out better because of it. My memory of what I thought each song was supposed to sound like made the songs much smoother. However, the original recordings were much edgier... I made lemons out of lemonade... What can I say?


Technology Now - Auto Backup

DAWs have grown up with all of us musicians, and have incorporated backup features that greatly reduce the risk of you losing your precious files. Logic Pro, for example, has the Auto Backup function, found in General > Preferences.

Logic Pro's Auto-Backup feature

Logic Pro's Auto-Backup feature.


This is an extremely handy feature that makes regular backups of your project file within the project folder associated with your song. My auto backup is set for the default amount of 10 project versions. But, you can up the amount to up to 100. This can be very handy if you’re one of those people that constantly modifies your songs, but would always like to go back and hear what you were doing an hour ago. 

[Remember a backup of your Logic project file is only created when you save your project - Ed]

Where the project file backups reside

Where the project file backups reside.


The only downside of the Auto Backup function is that it only backs up the project file to your project folder. How is this a bad thing? Well, what if you lose the project folder? 


Time Machine

A while back I was doing some house keeping on my system drive after a major Mac Pro Video series had finished up. Rendering videos takes up a lot of space! 

During this time, I accidentally erased a song that I was getting ready to release as a free promo MP3 of my band to regenerate some interest (we haven’t toured in years). 

I was about to load up the project file to do a render and much to my dismay, the project file was no where to be found. 

It's gone...

Time Machine to the rescue.

Thankfully, I had a Time Machine backup. I was able to go back to a week ago, before my flagrant spring cleaning, and get my project file back.


Conclusion

It’s funny how many people still do not keep backups, or even pay attention to data on their computers. Computers are just as infallible as they were yesterday... Macs included. Setting up a Time Machine backup can take some time in the initial backup. After it’s complete though, it’s a minor backup from time to time. Don’t let yourself be put in a position to have to recreate an album... Like me... Shudder.

G.W. Childs IV

G.W. Childs IV | Articles by this author

Sound Designer, Musician, Author... G.W. Childs has worn many hats. Beginning in the U.S. Army back in 1991, at the age of 18, G.W. began learning electronics, communications and then ultimately audio and video editing from the Department of Defense. Upon leaving the military G.W. went on to work for many exciting companies like LucasArts, Lucasfilm, Propellerheads, Cakewalk, Midway, MTV. With all of these exciting companies he's either worked as an editor, or sound designer, even sometimes as an actor. G.W. is currently working as an author for Cengage Publishing. He has written the titles 'Creating Music and Sound for Video Games', 'Rewire: Skill Pack', and 'Using Reason on Stage: Skill Pack'. As a musician G.W. has played for years in the band Soil & Eclipse on COP International Records. Additionally, he's worked as a remix artist for acts like Gene Loves Jezebel, Ray Charles, James Brown, Chiazm, Razed in Black, and more.

Comments

Nov 05, 2011
producer11
You are so damn right in what you write. Important to remind musicians to keep at least one external back up.

I also had a complete Crash of my hard drive in my Mac Book Pro, I had just finished my Master CD for my new album...boom the hard drive crashed and for 2000U$S I was able to get some data back :-(

I believe many people who do music do not see what it means if one loses all project data completely. A computer is nothing more than some digital digits, that means it is extremely fragile.

Nov 05, 2011
G.F. Big
I've got Time Machine running, but the same thing applies to the external HDD. Every so often, I make sure that the TM is working properly.
Nov 06, 2011
mi piace
Nov 06, 2011
Mojave
Command S, Command S and Command S

That should become the built in response to all edits.
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