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Backing up your final project

From: Audio for Film and Video with Pro Tools

Video: Backing up your final project

When we work with digital media, there are few constants we must consider. Number one, hard drives fail. Number two, a project is never finished even when you think it's done. In this movie, we'll work through a few simple ideas about how to back up your Pro Tools sessions as you work as well as how to archive your project after its completion. The best way to back up a Pro Tools session is to copy the session folder to another hard drive. This can be managed by software which keeps track of any changes and syncs these changes in a future backup. There are a number of low-cost softwares that do this such as SuperDuper on the Mac platform or for Windows you have Backup and Restore as part of the Windows platform or Norton 360.

Backing up your final project

When we work with digital media, there are few constants we must consider. Number one, hard drives fail. Number two, a project is never finished even when you think it's done. In this movie, we'll work through a few simple ideas about how to back up your Pro Tools sessions as you work as well as how to archive your project after its completion. The best way to back up a Pro Tools session is to copy the session folder to another hard drive. This can be managed by software which keeps track of any changes and syncs these changes in a future backup. There are a number of low-cost softwares that do this such as SuperDuper on the Mac platform or for Windows you have Backup and Restore as part of the Windows platform or Norton 360.

As you can see here SuperDuper is really useful for doing incremental backups. But you can also back up manually. The first time you back up your session, you want to copy the session folder to another hard drive. So here in my Exercise Files in 10_01 I've copied this whole session file over to another disk under _BACKUPS. So I did that yesterday when I was done working and here's my session from yesterday. Now today, as you can see I did some changes and I added some audio files and I've already done a Save As and I've named it 10_01.2. So that's the second version of this session.

But remember, I also have added some audio files. So to make my today's session backed up into that backup location I would open up _BACKUPS folder on the right, and I've got my original session here on the left. What I want to do here is just go into that session and I am going to take a couple of things. I am going to take my new session file and just drag that in there. That's really small. I am not sure which of these audio files are new, but the Mac Finder will help us decide this.

So if I select all of them and go ahead and drag them all to the Audio Files folder and drop them in there, it will give me this dialog box. It will say, Do you want to replace any old files with the ones you're moving? And we're going to say Apply to all and say Don't Replace. So we are only going to be adding any new ones we've added. It brings in the three new files and then we're done. So we've backed up our newest session file and any new audio files and we can be finished with backing up for the day. Now, the other question you'll ask is what to do with old projects? I always give my clients a copy of the Pro Tools session for their archives.

That said I still like to archive the old projects myself. So I'll copy the whole session to a completed projects folder when we are done working. After maybe six months I'll think about consolidating the projects a little for space. So let's say I wanted to consolidate this project that we're working on here. It's been six months and it's been sitting on my backup drive, but I'm thinking I need some room on my drive. I don't need to keep everything. What can I get rid of effectively to still have the things I might need later? Number one, fade files.

You can get rid of any fade files. You just can grab them and you can even grab the whole folder and just Command+Delete, toss in the trash. This is pretty non-destructive because the next time I open this Pro Tools session, Pro Tools can regenerate any fades. There weren't that many in this folder. But on a larger session there could be megs and megs of just fade files that you can effectively get rid of. Another thing that's usually safe to get rid of are your video reference files. Believe it or not, they are just scratch files here. The filmmakers themselves are going to have the actual real video files which you can always get back for them if you need it.

It's usually somewhat safe to get rid of video files and the other bonus about this is that video files are usually very big compared to audio files. So they're good thing to get rid of. Next, you can go into the session itself. So here in the session and if I look in the Regions file list over here, I can select anything that's unused. So here I have a lot of unused files that are not being used in the current timeline. Now, you have to be really careful that you opened up the final version of your session and you can select these unused files and if you're feeling pretty cavalier that you're ready to dump some stuff here, you can go to Clear.

Then you can delete any files not used in the final version. Again, I qould say this is kind of a last resort. You definitely don't want to get rid of stuff that you might need later. One other thing you can do is you can select all the media in your project that's being used, and you want to actually just do like a Select All and maybe take the all group and drag across your entire project. So you get all your regions that are being used in the timeline. Then you can go up to that same pull- down menu and here you can say Compact. Again, this is a pretty destructive thing.

What it does is it looks at all your different regions and it truncates them. So it cuts off anything beyond the region boundaries. You can give yourself one second or three seconds handles on the end of each region, but other than that, it's going to knock off anything outside the region boundaries that are being used in the timeline. So again, that's kind of a last resort type thing. If you're really out of drive space, you can do that. But it is a way that will conserve some space on your archived projects. So a couple of other things that we should think about when we're talking about archiving is definitely name your archives and your sessions meaningfully with the dates, so you know what they are 5 or 10 years down the road and also you want to migrate your archived data to new hard drives every few years because hard drive failure is no joke.

These techniques have saved me a lot of time. So if you do this long enough, you'll inevitably have to go back into a session you thought you've finished and pull something out. So be careful about what you get rid of and remember these days hard drive space is cheap. Your work is worth it! So keep track of what you do and archive responsibly.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Audio for Film and Video with Pro Tools
Audio for Film and Video with Pro Tools

51 video lessons · 8808 viewers

Scott Hirsch
Author

 
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  1. 6m 13s
    1. Welcome
      1m 3s
    2. Using the exercise files
      40s
    3. Using this course with Pro Tools 10
      1m 57s
    4. Relinking audio files
      2m 33s
  2. 18m 37s
    1. Understanding the new audio for video features in Pro Tools 9
      5m 17s
    2. Exploring the hardware requirements for Pro Tools 9
      5m 19s
    3. Understanding the audio components of a finished video
      5m 22s
    4. Understanding the audio production workflow
      2m 39s
  3. 25m 10s
    1. Understanding video formats, SMPTE timecode rates, NTSC, and PAL
      6m 21s
    2. Understanding video formats, codecs, and pull-up/pull-down
      5m 16s
    3. Setting up your Pro Tools session for video
      8m 44s
    4. Exporting OMF and AAF files
      4m 49s
  4. 32m 14s
    1. Importing OMF and AAF files
      8m 8s
    2. Importing and the DigiBase browser
      4m 0s
    3. Conforming the OMF import to your template
      6m 51s
    4. Setting up groups and windows
      6m 2s
    5. Spotting film and using markers
      7m 13s
  5. 52m 55s
    1. Organizing the dialog tracks
      5m 0s
    2. Optimizing the dialog in the first pass
      4m 30s
    3. Using room tone
      4m 10s
    4. Creating fades to smooth out audio edits
      5m 4s
    5. Understanding sound effects, ambiences, and backgrounds
      7m 12s
    6. Sweetening and hard effects
      6m 52s
    7. Processing tips for sound effects
      8m 46s
    8. Bringing emotion to the mix with music tracks
      5m 33s
    9. Leveraging clip-based gain in Pro Tools 10
      2m 51s
    10. Exploring AudioSuite enhancements in Pro Tools 10
      2m 57s
  6. 15m 29s
    1. Preparing the session for foley and ADR recording
      9m 19s
    2. Recording ADR and editing with VocALign LE
      6m 10s
  7. 45m 5s
    1. Noise-reducing hums, rumbles, and buzzes
      8m 11s
    2. Eliminating crackles and digital clicks
      5m 30s
    3. Taming plosives and sibilance
      6m 10s
    4. Reducing broadband noise
      9m 26s
    5. Conforming to video changes
      8m 36s
    6. Pitch shifting for effect or utility, TC expansion
      7m 12s
  8. 56m 19s
    1. Setting up for stereo mixing
      5m 11s
    2. Calibrating levels using an SPL meter
      7m 2s
    3. Mixing with automation
      11m 4s
    4. Advanced mix automation
      8m 0s
    5. Automating plug-in parameters
      9m 22s
    6. Mixing with reverb
      7m 20s
    7. Ducking techniques
      8m 20s
  9. 42m 4s
    1. Setting up a surround mix template
      11m 14s
    2. Calibrating for 5.1 surround mixing and bass management
      9m 2s
    3. Mixing and spatial techniques for 5.1 surround
      14m 9s
    4. Downmixing, encoding, and using Neyrinck plug-ins
      3m 38s
    5. Automating techniques for 5.1 surround mixes
      4m 1s
  10. 10m 6s
    1. Print mastering and stem mixes
      5m 47s
    2. Mastering delivery levels and dynamics
      4m 19s
  11. 5m 29s
    1. Backing up your final project
      5m 29s
  12. 18s
    1. Goodbye
      18s

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