Be creative and don’t worry about your sessions – First…

Be honest – how often do you think about the worst case while producing? What happens if your system crashes? Are all your data secured? What will happen to your sessions, after you leave the computer for an hour or two and you came back to see that your Pro Tools crashed and your current session file becomes corrupt and is unable to open?

As extension of our previous post about system back ups, it’s time to secure your Pro Tools sessions. You’ll get some tips and tricks to back up your sessions and start working without fearing a crash.Session File Auto Backup

Pro Tools has an integrated session auto backup option, which never should be turned off.This feature creates a backup of your current session time in intervals you can define by yourself.

Click Preferences –> Operation to change the settings. Enter the number of backups you want and the interval. Pro Tools can save up to 99 session backups.

If you’re making chick changes and edits in your session, set the interval to 2 or 3 minutes. This will guarantee a loss of at most 2 or 3 minutes.

If you’re working on big sessions where you are leaving the system for a while, set the time to a higher value, otherwise you’re not creating backups of your session, but creating another duplicate every few minutes.

Save As

Session file backups never should be your last resort against loss of files. If you’re working on bigger sessions over a long time, create copies with Save  As…

You can create a session copy for various milestones in your project, so you’re covered, even if the automatic backup fails.

Tip: Enter the current date and stat of progress in the file name, f.e. like ’12-11-01 – Project November Edit’ and ’12-11-03 – Project November with VO’’12-11-07 – Project November Final Mix Unmastered’, and so on…

Instant Backup

Keep an external backup drive ready for quick back ups of your current session and all the backup files. Using RAID-1 will solve this problem. RAID-1 will mirror you complete hard drive during work, but remember that writing on tow drives simultaneously might decrease your disc write / read speed, which might affect your session responsiveness.

Session Management

The way you’re treating your sessions can be essential for further saving and archiving. Here are some things you can do:

1. Clean up your session: delete unused tracks and regions. Deleting audio files might be less useful at this moment, but think of someone else opening your session in two years. Lots of unused extra tracks might confuse others or yourself after a while, so get rid of them. Correct naming of tracks will be a help in the future as well.

Deleting unused regions will clean up your audio files folder and lower the needed disk space for your session.

2. Use Save Copy In to get the final session in one folder with all the audio files, settings, fade files, etc. You have your whole session as one compact folder. There’s no more comfortable way to store your sessions.

Make sure to click All Audio Files under Items To Copy, to ensure you have all the needed audio files with your session.

3. Backup of additional non Pro Tools files: Things like scripts, videos, notes, plugin settings used in the session allow you to recreate any single part of your session and if it’s only that cool pitch effect you created in the middle of the promo.

4. Check the backup: No fancy backup will save you, if the backed up sessions aren’t working at all, so spot check your backups and try to open single sessions.

5. Be double safe: create a second backup of important sessions on another drive, to be sure.

Safety first :)!

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