Just a quick story about a little lesson learnt from losing your music.


Hey guys welcome to session number 12 of the trailer music composers podcast.  Let’s get started.

Music.  One with one microphone. Those cats are named after characters from film guy.  Welcome to the trailer music composers podcast.

Hey guys welcome to another episode of the trailer music composers podcast.  I say it’s going to be fun, I’m probably going to jabber on for ages again aren’t I.  This one, I wanted to tell you a little story, about a man and his computer.  Again, that’s my terrible accent, I’ll stop that, I’ll just do it in my normal voice I suppose.  I want to tell you a little story about myself, obviously and a lesson I have learned the hard way.  So here we go.

How long have I been writing trailer music for?  I’ve been in trailer music for a long time, and obviously I’ve been a composer for an even longer time.  So I have a computer that sort of has music files back to 2006.  So we are now talking, this was 2017, 2018 I think this was.  So 2018, so I had 12 years of music on my computer.

Now I have obviously backed up my computer onto hard drives, etc. etc.  So I had an Apple Mac time machine, you know not the kind of back the future time machine, but you know the kind of boring data recovery time machine.  I also had a hard drive with just drag and drop to put my files on. 

So here we go, it’s December 2017.  I was sat there writing music, I had just, I was in the middle of producing two albums for Elephant Music.  One was, oh blimey I can’t even remember, I can’t even remember what the albums were.  Akasha I think one of them was, about four tracks for Akasha, and another one, and also a personal album of mine which was for my project the shimmering sky, you know just ambient electronica stuff.  And there was another album which I forget the name of.

So I had these albums that I was working on at the time of December 2017.  So I backed up, right, I pressed time machine back up, then over the next six months, you know what’s coming don’t you, I was getting these flashes. Disc full, backup cannot be saved.  And you know the little voice in me was going Rich, you should do something about this.  Ok, you know I’ll do it another time.

This happened what, every single time I sat down at my computer.  Every single time.  And then in May we were in the process of organising a session to go record some orchestra in Budapest.  So it was at this point I started working on developing that album more Akasha I think it was.  And then one day I sat down and my hard drive failed.  So this was an SSD hard drive.  So the likelihood of this happening was pretty slim.  But my hard drive failed.  And I thought you know holy sherbals, what’s happened here, it’s ok, I’ve got a time machine back up.  And you’ll  never guess what I do here.  I accidently delete my time machine hard drive.  Some might say that’s huge self-sabotage at its highest, but I deleted my time machine back up.  Yup. 

And I’m sure there’s some IT wizzes who are listening saying so what, you could have done this, that and the other.  Well I’m not an IT wizz as you can tell by the fact that I deleted my time machine back up.  So I was in all fits of panic.  I went into my house, I said to my wife I just erased the last 10 years of my work.  You know completely sort of ghost faced pale you know.  Obviously she was wonderful and supportive and I took some time to think about how much of a fool I had been not listening to the little voice about backing up. 

And a couple of days later I went back into the studio, sat sort of poe faced.  The new hard drive had arrived, I thought great I’ve got to start this new hard drive, I’ve got to do all this stuff.   It’s  going to suck, starting from scratch and having to reinstall everything.  And then I saw this little lead plugged into my computer and I thought to myself what’s that.  I pulled it out and it was a hard drive, I thought oh what’s on this.  Opened it up and this was the drag and drop copy I had made in December.  So I thought oh my gosh.  Oh my gosh, this is amazing I recovered my stuff.  So I copied it across, I was like this it was amazing, I am the Don only to realise that I had still lost those last six months of work.  And those last six months of work were the recording, the files for Akasha, I had lost the files from the Shimmering Sky album, I had lost the files for my other Elephant album, and this sort of fourth album that obviously is going to have to remain nameless because I can’t recall.

And we were due to go to Budapest to record in a matter of days.  So I had to take the MP3s that I had sent to Vic, Elephant and remock them up with less of the samples because I had bought new samples for it and put it onto the hard drive, obviously I reinstalled them.  And go through that painstaking process. The tracks were never the same admittedly. 

And you know what I did immediately after that, I bought a cloud backup service.  And no there isn’t going to be an affiliate link down here on the podcast because I can’t be bothered to set that up.  What I want to do is communicate a massive, massive and important message to you which is guys back it up, mophos, you’ve got to backup your stuff, you’ve got to back it up because you don’t know when your hard drive is going to fail.  And I’m so thankful I only lost six months compared to gosh, it makes me feel emotional, 12 years of work.  It’s kind of like all your work being up in flames.  I have a cloud backup now, I have a time machine backup, and I have my hard drive back up.  Because that would suck so much to lose my work again. 

And I know this is  like for those of you who have probably got jobs other than composing who actually probably work in an office or do some other job that involves computers you probably hear this all the time, save your work, back it up, save your work, back it up, but I just want to reiterate because it was terrifying thinking that I had lost that amount of work and I want you to make sure that never happens to yourself.

Right now, I don’t say right now because you might be driving, right now as in ( when you get back to your computer ) make sure you’re backed up.  If you haven’t got a cloud backup service go and pay for one.  I mean jeez it’s so worth it just for the peace of mind.  And you know get yourself a spare hard drive, leave it on there.  You know I’m not this cautious, yeah I obviously need to lose more of my work to be this cautious, but save it on a hard drive and give it to your friends, give it to your parents whatever.  Back up guys, back up, back up.

Again I told you it was going to be a short one because I don’t think I could really talk about back ups for longer than however long I’ve been talking, for longer than nine minutes.  So yeah guys back up your stuff, backup your stuff, backup your stuff.  Backup your stuff.  Backup your stuff.

Thank you so much for taking these 10 minutes to listen to this little warning, some might say it’s a fable of kind, a dull fable, but a fable nonetheless of what’s the moral of the story, it’s to make sure you’ve saved and backed up your work.  Thank you so much for listening guys, you absolutely are rock stars.  Again if you want to find out more about trailer music or take some of my courses or join a community of like-minded composers, or want to get into the game, I mean trailer music, then please head on over to the Trailer Music School.  Take care.