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The Pro Audio Suite

A must listen Podcast if you're in audio or voice over. Our panel features industry professionals, George 'The Tech' Whittam, Robert 'Source Connect' Marshall, Andrew 'Realtime Casting' Peters and Darren 'Voodoo Sound' Robertson, plus special guests.

Each week we dive into topics that will resonate with Professionals and home studio owner alike...

Feb 12, 2024

This week, Robbo, Robert, George, and AP dive headfirst into the digital abyss of archiving audio sessions. It's a showdown of practices, preferences, and pure paranoia that none of us want to miss.

We're slicing through the magnetic tape of mystery to answer the burning question: To archive or not to archive? That is the question. Especially for voice actors like AP - is digital hoarding a necessary evil, or just a fast track to a cluttered hard drive? We're peeling back the layers on why every beep, click, and voiceover session might just be worth its weight in digital gold.

Robbo, with his trusty naming convention stolen from his days at Foxtel, shares his vault-like approach to keeping every sonic snippet since Voodoo Sound's inception. That's right, folks - for a mere $25, Robbo will keep your audio safe from the digital gremlins, guaranteeing that not even a rogue magnet could erase your audio masterpiece.

Then there's Robert, with his tech fortress of JBODs and RAID arrays, ensuring not even a single byte goes awry. It's like Fort Knox for soundwaves over there, proving once and for all that redundancy isn't just a good idea; it's the law in the land of post-production.

But wait, there's a twist! Robbo shares a cautionary tale that's straight out of an audio engineer's nightmare - precious recordings lost to the abyss of DAT tape oblivion. A horror story to chill the bones of any audio professional, reminding us all of the fragility of our digital (and not-so-digital) creations.

As for AP? He's the wild card, questioning the very fabric of our digital hoarding habits. But when push comes to shove, even AP can't deny the siren call of a well-placed backup, especially when clients come knocking for that one session from yesteryear.

We also get a deep dive into the eccentricities of backup strategies, from George's cloud-based safety nets to the analog nostalgia of reel-to-reel tapes. It's a journey through time, technology, and the occasional Rod Stewart office painting gig - because, why not?

So, gear up for an episode that's part backup seminar, part group therapy for data hoarders. We're dissecting the digital, analog, and everything in between to keep your audio safe, sound, and ready to resurface at a moment's notice.

Don't miss this electrifying episode of The Pro Audio Suite, where the backups are plentiful, and the stories are even better. Who's backing up this podcast, you ask? Well, let's just hope someone hit record.

A big shout out to our sponsors, Austrian Audio and Tri Booth. Both these companies are providers of QUALITY Audio Gear (we wouldn't partner with them unless they were), so please, if you're in the market for some new kit, do us a solid and check out their products, and be sure to tell em "Robbo, George, Robert, and AP sent you"... As a part of their generous support of our show, Tri Booth is offering $200 off a brand-new booth when you use the code TRIPAP200. So get onto their website now and secure your new booth...


And if you're in the market for a new Mic or killer pair of headphones, check out Austrian Audio. They've got a great range of top-shelf gear..

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“When the going gets weird, the weird turn professional.”

Hunter S Thompson

In the latest episode of the pro audio suite, we dive into the world of audio archiving and discuss the various approaches and philosophies toward preserving our work. We're joined by industry professionals including Robert Marshall from source elements and Darren 'Robbo' Robertson from Voodoo Radio Imaging, as well as George 'the tech' Wittam and Andrew Peters, who share their personal strategies and experiences with archiving voiceover projects.

The conversation opens with a discussion about the importance of having a naming convention for files, with insights on the methods adopted from professional entities like Foxtel. Listeners will learn the value of archiving everything, as shared by Robbo, including the practice of charging a backup fee to clients to cover the costs of maintaining archives.

George introduces his once-a-year protocol of transferring data to an archive hard drive, emphasizing how affordable data storage has become. However, he also highlights the importance of staying current with technology to avoid the obsolescence of media, sharing anecdotes about DA 88 tapes and the need to keep track of archival materials.

The episode touches on practical voiceover tips, like not necessitating a workstation at home and utilizing a laptop as a backup plan for voiceover recording. We also cover the worst-case scenarios such as dealing with corrupted audio and the advantages of modern backup solutions.

The discussion moves on to cloud storage, specifically iCloud, and its benefits for voice actors who might otherwise become digital hoarders. The team debates the challenges of booting up from an external drive on modern Mac systems like the M1 or M2, offering insights into the workaround solutions which may require additional purchases.

Listeners are reminded of the great offers from our sponsors, such as Tribooth for the perfect home or on-the-go vocal booth and Austrian Audio's commitment to making passion heard.

The episode comes to a close emphasizing the professional edge of the podcast, all thanks to the contributions of Triboof and Austrian Audio, and the craftsmanship deployed using Source Connect, with post-production by Andrew Peters and mixing by Voodoo Radio Imaging. The audience is invited to subscribe to the show and participate in the conversation via the podcast's Facebook group.

#VoiceOverTechTips #TriBoothTales #ArchivingAudioArt

(00:00:00) Introduction: Tributh Vocal Booth

(00:00:42) Archiving Discussion with Robbo

(00:07:34) Talent Experiences with Archiving

(00:13:17) Digital Media Frailties

(00:18:48) Tape Transfers Before Auctions

(00:21:27) Backup Plans in Voiceover Work

(00:27:39) Importance of Redundancy

(00:31:04) Apple Silicon Booting Limitations

(00:35:25) Podcast Credits & Reminder to Subscribe

Speaker A: Y'all ready? Be history.

Speaker B: Get started.

Speaker C: Welcome.

Speaker B: Hi. Hi. Hello, everyone to the pro audio suite. These guys are professional. They're motivated.

Speaker C: Thanks to tributh, the best vocal booth for home or on the road. Voice recording and austrian audio making passion heard. Introducing Robert Marshall from source elements and someone audio post Chicago, Darren. Robert Robertson from Voodoo Radio Imaging, Sydney. To the Vo stars, George the tech Wittam from LA, and me, Andrew Peters, voiceover talent and home studio guy.

Speaker B: Learn up, learner. Here we go.

: And don't forget the code. Trip a p 200 and that will get you $200 off your tribooth. Now, Robbo and I were having a bit of a chat the other day about archiving, which is something I strangely do, and I don't know why I do it, but I do. But there are different reasons for archiving, and mine is obviously completely different to Robert's. And of course, it's completely different from Robo's. So how much do you archive and how far back do your archives go?

Speaker A: Well, as I said in the conversation yesterday, I actually archive everything. I could pretty much pull out any session I've done since voodoo sound existed, which is fast approaching 20 years. But I do charge a backup fee to my clients, so they pay $25 for the privilege. And, look, to be fair, whether they pay it or not, I do archive it, but it's a built in cost covering for me to be able to go and buy a couple of hard drives every year. But I reckon if you're going to do it, the most important thing for me anyway, is having some sort of naming convention. So I actually pinched mine off Foxtel when I used to freelance there. The channels had a three letter prefix. So I give all my clients or podcasts a three letter prefix, and then I use an underscore, and then it'll be what the thing is, whether it's a program or imaging component or whatever, and then the name of it, and then the month, and then an underscore, and the date the day of that month, and then an underscore in the year, and then usually. Sometimes after that, if it's a revision, I'll do underscore r two, r three, r four. And then each year is on its own hard drive or hard drives. So if I need to go back and find something, I've just got an external hard drive player, shall we call it? I can't think of what you call them, but you just plug your hard drive in and it turns up on your Mac, and I can just go through and find what I need. But, yeah, I've got clients that are sort of expecting me to do that. As you and I were talking about yesterday, I don't know whether maybe voiceover artists are expected to or not, but as I said, I kind of thought it would be nice to be able to.

: I do it only on occasions if there's any chance that they're going to come back and want to do a revision or they're going to lose something, particularly if it's a massive session or something, that I've actually done the edit myself. I'll keep it, because you can bet your life that they're the ones who are going to come back and say, have you still got that thing? Because we've lost it.

Speaker A: Yes.

: It's like, no, I haven't, actually. So I keep all those things, but I was keeping day to day stuff and it was like, what's the point? It's like that stuff's already been on the air and it's off the air, it's gone. So why am I storing that for other people? But, yeah. Interesting. What about you, Robert?

: I have a couple perspectives on this, I guess, from just sort of a mix operation point of view. What we have is what you call, it's a JBOD, just a bunch of drives is what it stands for. And it's controlled with the raid controller. So there's eight drives in this one, and it's not that big, actually. It's only, what is it? Like maybe two terabytes or something? And across all eight drives are all of our jobs that are sort of current, essentially. And the way the JBOD works is that it's an array. And so you can literally lose any one of those eight drives can just completely go to crap and we won't lose any data. You just slide a drive back in there and it heals.

Speaker B: A raid five or a raid six.

: Raid six, actually.

Speaker B: Right.

: So you can lose two out of the eight, I believe, is what we are. And we've had it over the last ten years. When we bought it, we just bought a whole stack of the same hard drives. And we've only had to use like two in the last ten years. So that's like kind of our live job. And then what we do, we would have all of our live jobs on that drive. And then if we ran out of space, we would peel out whatever, we would just go for the jobs that aren't active. So some of these jobs that we have were on that drive and have never been. They just keep on coming back, essentially. So they're always on the active drive. Meanwhile, the people that come in and do one thing and then they're gone, you never see them again. They get moved off, and then we would make two copies of that. And what we've been doing now is like, I'll go home with one and Sean will go home with the other. But however it goes, they're just basically on dead drives, or they're not spinning anymore, they're just sitting on a shelf so we can access those and then what we have. So last for a backup of the main drive. Ray, if the building was to burn down, I was using time machine and then taking a drive home every now and then. But we started using backblaze, which is just a really good service. It's like cheap for the year, and it just backs up. As long as the drive is spinning, they don't charge you. I think by the size, it just has to be an active drive. So that's our off site backup. And then we just have a database, which is really just a spreadsheet where a job comes in. We have like a naming convention, and we name it by the job name and then a job number, and there's a database that has basically every time that job was ever touched. So to us, these are all like a bunch of little rolling snowballs that get bigger and bigger and bigger and jobs come back and they get added to, or they just never go away. And they're always on the active drive. And that's how we do the post operation, the music operation. When I'mixing a band, I just have like a hard drive that sticks around with me for a while and then eventually it gets put on a shelf. And I have a lot of these drives that are sort of just dated. And I've used source zip a lot back in the day when I was low on hard drive space. But the problem is some of these drives are 40 pin ide drives, and I keep around a one firewire case that has a 40 pin. Like I can plug in any one of these hard drives. And then others are SATA. And those are really easy with the USB slots or the USB docking for the SATA drives, but it's looser. I just basically go by date and the client will say, hey, I did something with you, and I'll just go rummaging through my hard drives and hopefully find one from that date. Every now and then you may do two hard drives in a year, but those are my two systems. One is very stringent and good. And the other one is loose.

: So George, do you know any other talent who know archive their sessions?

Speaker B: I think the vast majority barely are functional on a computer that I work with. So they have extremely minimal protocol.

: I know a lot of talent that don't even make a backup to be honest.

Speaker B: Yeah. As far as they're concerned, once they got paid they could care less, it's gone. Some people are more data processing type people like me and they like to keep everything they've recorded. So what I would tell people, which almost never comes up, but my protocol is I have an archive hard drive that I will dump things onto about once a year. So I'm basically clearing space off of my local drive, cloud drives. I use Dropbox, Google Drive and iCloud. So stuff's in different places for different reasons. My business is on Google Drive, right. So every single client folder is on Google Drive at all times. And there's something around a terabyte or so there. And that's not that much because I'm not doing multi track productions or in most cases any video. Right. It's just small numbers of files. But my client media folder is on disk anyway because it's bigger than what's on my disk. But what's on disk is about 250gb and there's roughly 32,000 items in that folder.

: Wow.

Speaker B: And then it's funny, I just have 26 folders, ABCD and so forth. And the biggest folder is the letter C. So statistically there are more people by the name of C and I go by first names, right? So first names with c are the most common. Then s, then j, then a, then D, then m. It's kind of funny, I have all these weird statistics about names because I have 4000 clients. So it's really interesting to see some of the names that are so common.

: I've got stuff. This is how stupid it is. I think I'm actually an order. I've got files here. Like I keep a folder for each client and then every session gets put into the folder, right? I look at some of them and even looking at the folder go, God, I haven't worked with those guys for years. And then you open the folder and look at the date of the sessions. It's like that was like 15 years ago. What the hell am I keeping that for?

Speaker B: It's amazing, right? Well, data is cheap. It's really cheap to store data. I mean it's never been cheaper, so it's kind of like there's no harm in doing it you just have to eventually clear house. You're eventually going to fill your cloud drive or your local drive. So you have to have some kind of protocol to then move things.

: You eventually have to take it into your own domain and not have it up on the cloud.

Speaker B: Right.

: And there's an old thing with data, though, which is you don't have a copy unless you have two copies.

Speaker B: Right. True. This is what I think is interesting. So all these cloud storage scenarios have not changed price or capacity in many years. They're all still $10 for a terabyte or two terabytes. And that hasn't changed in a long time.

: The meaning of a terabyte hasn't changed.

Speaker B: Right. So what they're doing is they're making progressively more money per terabyte over the years. Yes, because their cost of storage is dropping, dropping, dropping year after year, and they're just keeping the price the same.

: But they are continuously having to reinvest. Because another thing about archive and storage is that any. And this is the problem I have. It's like an archive is not a static thing. It must be moved and massaged, and you have to keep it moving with the technology going forward. Because if not, you end up with things like, I've got archives. I mean, I've got analog reel to reel tapes, plenty of those with stuff on them. And I can dig up the deck to play it back. But once you don't have that deck anymore, you just don't have it. And I've got dat backups and exabyte backups. Remember those, robo?

Speaker A: Yeah, I do.

: And CD Roms. And then. How about this one? That happened to me. I did a whole huge. One of the biggest albums I ever did, and I backed it up to a stack of dvds, dvdrs, dvdrs, like four gigs each. Four gigs each, I think. Were they four gigs each? Is that how much they were? I think so, yeah, four.

Speaker A: And then dual layer were eight or something, weren't they?

: Eight, right. Okay. And these were some crappy ones. Within three years, I went to play those things. And basically. Data rot. Yeah, it's gone. That's when you learn the lesson. And so if you don't keep your data moving, you don't know what's going to happen to that physical device that's holding it. And not just what happens to it, but what happens to the ability to even use that type of device or that type of software that reads it.

Speaker A: Here's the interesting thing, right? I dragged out an old laptop case that I used to store all my dats in when I used to sort of freelance. And I always had dats, especially for radio imaging of bits and pieces that I would drag around with me. And I had to pull it out the other day. And this thing's been sitting in my garage, right? So not temperature controlled, not dust controlled, nothing else. There's about 60 dats in this thing. And I've got an old. It's not even on a digital database. It's an old sort of folder that's got like each dat has its own master and all that sort of shit. So I pulled this out, right? This is stuff that I recorded when I was still at AA in Adelaide. So we're talking 1996, right? I dragged this dad out and my trusty portable Sony Walkman, the TCD D 100, dragged that out, put some batteries in, plugged it into my Mac, chucked the dad in, going, there's no way this is going to work. Hit, dialed up the track number, play, bang, spun up to it, played it back. Pristine. Absolutely pristine.

Speaker B: No glitches, no static.

: I've had the same thing happen where the DaP machine has been completely screwed. And then you have to get a new DAP machine, but at least you can get those. But when the dat tapes go, you're kind of sol. Exactly your sol. Maybe you can find a read pass that works, but for the most part, that part of the tape is just like screwed. But that kind of thing happens even with files. I had a road. No, not a road. A zoom road. You'd be happy to know it's a zoom. And it was like a zoom recorder. Recorded the files, full concert, got home to play it. Files, complete silence. And it turns out that basically the zoom didn't like the little SD card. It was too slow, it was too this. And every indication was everything was fine until that file got big enough for the SD card to freak out. So all these mediums, even the new ones, still have their frailties. And I know dats are really known for being frail. Like, look at it wrong and it's never going to play back.

Speaker B: Well, they're really pro media, right? The pro devices that use media like solid state media usually have redundant disks. They all have two slots, whether it's SD or CF or some other high speed. They'll always have a double slot because they have redundancy that's totally pro level. That's for doing like.

: Because if you don't have two copies, you don't have one.

Speaker B: Yeah, that's like when you're doing mission critical. You cannot afford to lose what you're doing. My daughter's a work at.

: Exactly.

: Yes, indeed.

Speaker B: The oldest media I have still in a crate in my parents basement are DA 88 tapes, which were high eight digital tapes, and I don't have a machine anymore. I really don't recall telling my dad it's okay to sell my remaining Tascam Da 88, but apparently he did happen.

: So I was just at La studios, and they still have their PCM 800 in the rack, which is a Sony version of a D 88. I still have eight at's around. And then.

Speaker B: Yeah, I have no idea if those D 88. Some of them will work somewhat don't. I don't have a machine. I don't have any ide drives anymore. Everything's SATA. But one day I pulled up this Corboro box with like, 15 SATA drives, and I realized I could just go to Costco and buy $100 hard drive and literally put that entire box into one hard drive. And I could probably do that. In fact, I think three or four years ago, somebody said, hey, do you have this thing? And I went, I think I do. And I pulled out the archive drive and it wouldn't mount. I was like, okay, this is going to happen.

Speaker A: But here's the other thing, right? And this is the thing that annoys me, and I've made this mistake, is you've got to keep a track of this stuff because you're always trying to sort of downsize your archives, I guess. And this is the classic mistake that I made. For years, I carried around these 15 inch reels of analog tape, right? Stereotape. My first demo of commercials and stuff was on this stuff. And when I finally landed this place called take two, which was my last sort of full time post production gig, they still had a quarter inch machine. And we're talking 2001, 2002. And I thought, right, this is probably the last time I'm going to see one of these. So I transferred it all carefully, professionally onto dats and all that. I had about three dats of stuff. And about two years later, I went looking for them. Do you reckon I've ever seen them again? I've lost them somewhere. But whereas a 25 inch reel. Sorry, a 15 inch reel, that's pretty hard to lose, you know what I mean? So it's like, you got to be careful.

: Yeah, well, it's funny, when I was a kid, this is slightly off topic, but I suppose archiving in a strange way. But during summer holidays, a mate of mine, we used to go and try and get jobs. And his brother was a painter and decorator and he used to get us out, know, doing a bit of labouring for him. And he said, oh, do you guys want to earn some money? It's like, yeah. Yeah. So we jumped in his transit van and we took off down to London and ended up working in a recording studio. And we were painting Rod Stewart's office.

: What, pink.

: And he had above this. I can tell you exactly what color it was. Mission Brown and burnt orange.

: I knew there'd be something like pink or orange. Yeah, there you go.

Speaker B: Brown and orange headphones right here.

: Yes, that's right. Yeah, it was pretty funny. But the recording studio downstairs, they just used to bin all this quarter inch tape, just throw it away. So it was bins full of. My dad was in electronics, so I thought I might just help myself to some of those. I mean, they're throwing them away after all. And it was just seven inch reels. So I just grabbed a whole bunch of seven inch reels out of the bin, took them home and didn't play them for some peculiar reason. We just recorded over the top of them.

Speaker A: Right.

: God knows what was on those tapes.

Speaker B: Can you imagine?

: So check it out. One of the studios that I freelance at one of the gigs they had was transferring before auctioning off these tapes that this janitor got out of a recording studio in New York. It was CBS or something. Turns out it's like the masters or some early tapes from Dylan's first.

Speaker A: Wow.

: So they auctioned them and then in order to prove, like, they had to have one playback, I don't know, they ended up supervising the transfer. But literally, it's, know, these tapes, they were supposed to go through the bulk erase, but not all of them would make it to the bulk erase. And this guy apparently was kind of into folk music and just happened to pull these out. And they just passed around for years and years until finally some grandparent or somebody is like, we're going to auction these.

Speaker A: Do you reckon they stuck them in the microwave before they played them back?

: Well, it's not the microwave. You put them in the dryer, in the dehydrator.

Speaker A: I've heard stories and stories. It was always the microwave for me. We always used to nuke them. And you'd get one playback, but. Yeah, I haven't heard of the dryer.

: But that's getting that tape. Because you ever seen one that does it, that you don't do that to? Yeah, well, it peels like it peels. It's the scariest thing. It goes through that pinch roller. One piece of tape comes into the pinch roller and two pieces of tape come out. One is the original tape. The other one's the oxide that briefly looks like a piece of tape until it crumbles into dust.

Speaker A: Yeah. And the other is the back.

: And you're just like, because it's playing. And you're like, okay, I should just let it play because this is the.

Speaker A: Last playback should have been rolling on this ever. Yeah, it's crazy, isn't it? But going back to the Rod Stewart thing, was it Steve Balby on this show that was talking about. Steve was the bass player for noiseworks and his next band was what was greedy people, electric hippies. And they needed multi track to record their album. So they snuck into the archives and stole a couple of the noise works ones.

: Yeah, they stole some multi track tape from somewhere.

Speaker A: Yeah, it was noiseworks. They went and stole.

: Over some band's archive.

Speaker A: Well, his first bands. Yeah, the previous band, they stole their previous band's multi tracks and used those to record on.

: Okay. At least it was theirs.

: Bad archiving there.

Speaker A: I know. I guess the other thing that this whole subject leads to, and I guess, George, this is more up your alley, is the thing that always terrifies me is if I've got a remote session, I'll set it up the night before and I'll test everything and I'll save it and make sure that I don't really shut anything down. I'll just leave it all working. But the thing that terrifies me as I'm walking back into the room, know what's gone wrong overnight when the computer's gone to sleep? Has something ticked over or something gone wrong? And I'm going to open up the computer and I'm just going to get into this panic that something's not working. Is there anybody out there in voiceover land, George, who has a plan b? Or who's ever thought about having a plan b? Like, okay, so if my main computer, for some reason just cocks it and I can't get a sound out of it, what am I going to, pushing a broom? Yeah, what am I going to do?

Speaker B: I mean, the plan b is most people have a desktop and a laptop, so the laptop is the plan b. That's pretty much it. Home studio voice actors systems are pretty, let's face it, low end. I mean, you don't need a workstation, a $5,006 workstation to do voiceover at home. So you really just need another computer. And for most people, that's going to be the laptop.

: It's the travel rig. Isn't the travel rig the backup rig, too?

Speaker B: Yeah, I mean, I've had clients run and grab their travel rig when something completely goes haywire with their Apollo or whatever, and they're panicking, and I'm like, just pull out your MacBook, plug in your Micboard Pro, plug in your 416, and get the job done and move on. And the client will be happy because you're in your studio, which sounds amazing, so don't worry.

Speaker A: Yeah.

Speaker B: So that's the backup plan for any really true busy professional voice actor.

: When I used to really panic about capturing audio that it wouldn't go wrong, I would actually have two microphones. I worked at two microphones, one going to the main computer and one going to the laptop, and I'd have them both recorded.

Speaker B: Yeah, that's like BBC, remember? Wasn't like the 70s where they would literally duct tape. A second mic was for the television show and one was for the film.

: You would see that many microphones. Exactly.

Speaker B: That's true, because they didn't have distro boxes and splitters and stuff back in those days, I guess. But, yeah, we've never gone to that extent. In the beginning of my career, I did have clients running pro tools that had a DAT backup. That was definitely protocol. Pro Tools was so glitchy.

: Yeah. You would run a dat backup with a dat tape. In fact, the way we ran the DAT backup was that you would record the talent in stereo, and then you'd put the clients on the left side so that you had both sides of the conversation. But the talent was always at least isolated on one channel. If you ever needed just the talent.

Speaker A: There you go.

Speaker B: Yeah, I retired. Dat backups were my clients 15 years ago. But Howard Parker had one. He had a Dat recorder, and he would just hit record every time he'd walk into the booth on the dat and rewind it, because we just didn't know if he'd walk out in a half hour later. And pro Tools had a 61, whatever the hell it is. Buffer.

Speaker A: One of those fun errors that pop up that you got to go google what it means. Yeah.

Speaker B: As a voice actor who's solo working at home in their closet or their booth. And at those times, we didn't necessarily have a second monitor, keyboard, and mouse in the booth. So you don't want to lose a session. You don't lose in a half an hour, an hour or 2 hours narration. That's the worst. The worst ever is when there's a nonsensical glitch during a two hour session and you don't know what's happening. You have no idea. And meanwhile, the audio is basically garbage. It's like static.

: That's why sometimes in a session it is a good idea when you're like, okay, this is good. Stop and record a new file. Because computers like, if something's going to happen, it's more likely to happen to a big file. Back in the day, it wasn't uncommon for a file that was really big to be more likely to get corrupted, essentially.

Speaker B: Well, I have set up a modern equivalent to the DAT backup which is getting like $100 task cam, flash recorder, real basic one. And then plugging an output from their interface or their mixer into that and then saying, listen, you're doing a phone patch. It's a two hour narration. You do not want to lose that work. Just hit record on that thing over there. Now you have a backup. You'll almost never, ever need it. But the one time that you need.

: That freaking backup, if you don't make the backup, you'll need it. If you do make the backup, you won't need.

Speaker B: It's like if you don't bring an umbrella.

: Exactly.

Speaker B: It's going to rain.

: Exactly.

Speaker B: That is an absolutely dirt cheap and extremely simple. You can even have a scarlet two I two. And as long as you're not using monitor speakers plugged into it, you can just use the outputs, put it in direct monitor mode and it'll just send whatever you're saying straight out the back line into your Tascam. Like I'm saying, $100 recorder. The basics, the really basic one. And record.

: Yeah, it might be through like a little 8th inch connection. It might be mono, it might be analog. But you know what? It's going to be something compared to nothing. It'll probably be. No one will even know that it wasn't necessarily a digital copy.

Speaker B: Yeah, it can be a 16 bit 44 or 48 wave. It's fine. I've set this up for a lot of people and when I go to their studios or I talk to them, they almost always say I haven't used it in a long time because they're so used to it being reliable until.

Speaker A: It doesn't work, until the day it falls over. Yeah, exactly.

Speaker B: And that's why I have clients that hire me and I work with them on a membership and like a contract and I check their systems out on a regular basis. Like, I do maintenance. I check. How much drive space do you have? Are you backing up? Is the backup working? Oh, crap. The time machine backup hasn't worked for six months. And you had no idea you filled.

: Your time machine drive. Exactly.

Speaker B: Or you filled your time machine, or whatever it is. It can sometimes just corrupt, get corrupt. What's my time machine right now say? It says cleaning up. I don't know how long it's been saying cleaning up. Maybe for a month. I have no idea. I just clicked on. It says cleaning up. So redundancy is really important for those big jobs that, where you're the engineer.

: Essentially, the thing that starts to separate really pro operation from. It's like if you're there with a backup when someone needs it, and they're like, I didn't even expect you to have it, but you have it, you're delivering, and I think there's.

Speaker B: Yeah, of course. I'm keeping everything I ever do. It's all in the cloud. At any moment, someone will email me and say, my computer crashed, I lost my stacks. I also can't find the email you sent me with the stacks or the email you sent me with the stacks. The links don't work anymore because it was another cloud based system that I don't use anymore. Right. I'm like, no problem. Within, like, ten, I can literally be on my phone, go to Google Drive, put in their name. We would just right click on that thing, and we would get the share link email to the client. I'm like, here's your folder. Here's literally everything I've ever done for you. And they're always grateful, and I never charge for it because I feel like we charge a pretty penny for what we do, and it's just one of those things that's so incredibly simple. It's not like I'm trying to keep online. I'm not trying to keep an online storage of, like, two terabytes for a client. These are not big folders. A big client folder is 2gb.

Speaker A: You got to be careful what you keep, though, too, don't you? Because you can become a bit of a hoarder very quickly. You really can.

Speaker B: Data hoarding, what's the problem? It's digital. Data hoarding is like, I could care less. Again, I'm not dealing in video, and I'm not dealing in big projects. So I can keep thousands of folders, which I do, and I don't care. It's no skin off my back.

Speaker A: See, I used to back up all my video, too. All the videos that came in for tv commercials and stuff and the revisions. And I used to keep every video back, all that up. After a while, I just went, man, this is crazy. So I keep it for, like, it ends up two years now because I basically have two hard drives that I rotate. So when one's full, I'll take it out, stick it aside, get the other one, put it in and erase it and go again. So, I mean, I figure two years is enough.

Speaker B: I feel like for any voice actor, it's an absolute no brainer to use some kind of cloud storage iCloud or Google Drive. ICloud is essentially automatic. The second you put anything into your desktop or your documents folder on any modern Mac, it is in the cloud. It just is. And so it's kind of a dirty trick to get you to upgrade your cloud, because it will fill up very quickly. But if you're not the kind of person that wants to think about another service and pay for another service and shop for one, and then think of a way to just use the dang icloud. It's built in, it's automatic, it's cheap, $10 a month for two terabytes. It'll take you a long time to fill that thing up. Just to me, it's a no brainer. And if you're on windows, there's an equivalent in the Windows side. I just don't know what it is. One drive, I think.

Speaker A: Yeah, I heard you mention time machine before. Can I give a shameless plug to someone who's not a sponsor of the show, but something I've used for years and I love is carbon copy cloner, which is.

: Yes, I love carbon. I use the Jesus out of that.

Speaker B: I used to use it. I don't use it anymore.

Speaker A: Such a good piece of software.

Speaker B: Yeah, no, the beauty of that was you could have a secondary disk that was plugged into the computer that was literally an absolute copy duplicate of your computer. So you could literally have the system drive crap out, hold down, and you.

: Can use that as your targeted backup. I used to point my hard drive at home to the hard drive at work so that it could get onto the back blaze at work.

Speaker B: Oh, wow.

Speaker A: Yeah, wow. There you go.

Speaker B: That's a hack. Well, yeah, I mean, just to have. That was a nice thing. Now, here's the thing. Here's a little gotcha for all us Apple people. If you're on an m one or any of the silicon macs, they can no longer boot with a dead system drive. So if your system drive in any silicon Mac is toast. You cannot boot to an external USB drive.

Speaker A: Oh really?

Speaker B: There you go.

Speaker A: I've got one running. I've got a backup running, so that's no good to me.

Speaker B: If the internal drive system is blown away, it's unaware of any external drive.

Speaker A: Why did they do that?

Speaker B: I don't know. Ask Tim Apple.

: It's Macintosh. That's why they did that.

Speaker B: Yeah, Apple. Apple.

: Because it's the slow progression of your computer into an.

Speaker A: Yeah, yeah, right.

Speaker B: Yeah.

: That's annoying. I mean, I live and die on option. Booting the computer and having like some.

Speaker B: I'll check. I will re verify that. But when the silicon Macs first came out, this was a bonus contention. People were talking. So here's just what the first search result on Google says. If you're using a Mac computer with Apple silicon, your Mac has one or more USB or Thunderbolt ports that have a type c connector. While you're installing macOS on your storage disk, it matters which of these ports you use. Okay, well, that's totally irrelevant. It has nothing to do with the answer I'm looking for. How do you start up your m one or m two from an external drive? There's another thing. It's not easy as it used to be and likely requires that you purchase.

: I mean, you used to be able to boot up a Mac from the network.

Speaker B: Yeah, I'm reading this article from Mac World. I'm just skimming through it. Awesome. I don't want to say something that's untrue, but this is what I recall day one when it came out. This is what somebody said.

Speaker A: That's really annoying.

Speaker B: So yes, you have to have a certain type of drive. Actually, this article mentions Bombich's carbon copy cloner.

Speaker A: So we'll boot from that.

: No, it just mentions carbon to copy your drive probably.

Speaker B: Yeah, they're explaining the entire process. But that external drive has to be formatted in the correct way. Let's say you buy just a random hard drive, like a western digital, and you plug it in and then make that your clone. It will not work.

: You have to be. You always had to make it like guide partition. I think it was something like that. It changed over the years. It used to be even like hfs plus. And then it's.

Speaker B: Yeah, now it's apfs.

: Yes, the container.

Speaker B: Yeah, it's apfs. So I know we're going down a rabbit hole here, but yeah, this is the kind of thing you have to think about if you're really wanting to have redundancy and have a system that can essentially crash and be online within a minute. And for most voice actors, that's going to be just too frustrating and difficult to maintain. And for them just to have another computer that can plug in and go is really the most practical thing to do.

: That is kind of like the ultimate backup.

Speaker A: Yeah, I was going to get rid of my Mbox pro and my 2012 Mac Pro, but I think I might hang on to both of those and they might just be my backup.

Speaker B: Well, if it's easy for you to plug those in and get back, right back to work, then it's worth keeping.

Speaker A: I reckon that's the thing. I might just sit them in the garage, put them away in a box and seal it up and I can just grab them when I need them.

Speaker B: Yeah, sounds good.

: Sounds good to me.

Speaker B: Sounds good to me.

Speaker A: Well, who's backing up this podcast then?

Speaker B: Oh shoot.

Speaker A: Did you hit record?

Speaker B: Well, that was fun. Is it over?

Speaker C: The pro audio suite with thanks to Triboof and austrian audio recorded using source Connect edited by Andrew Peters and mixed by Voodoo Radio Imaging with tech support from George the tech Wittam. Don't forget to subscribe to the show and join in the conversation on our Facebook group. To leave a comment, suggest a topic, or just say good day, drop us a note at our website,

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