Whenever people tell you about the importance of creating backup files for presentations and essays or even backing up your computer or phone, we tend to shrug it off; at least, I did. But let me tell you, sometimes learning a lesson the hard way is the only way the message gets through. Here’s what we learned two weeks ago:
Always record a backup file when producing a podcast!
A couple of weeks ago, we hit a snag in our recording schedule. We had the brilliant Alex Ellsworth come in to share his thoughts on working as an emerging film composer. He was kind enough to drive in from Santa Clarita to join us for our podcast and was eager to get the interview under way.
After welcoming him to our studio and giving him a short tour, Emily Hibard showed him into the booth where the interview would be conducted. As always, the rest of us took our posts by the Allen & Heath ML5000 console to make sure the levels were good, there wasn’t any feedback, etc.
Once everything was checked and double checked, we hit record and welcomed Alex to the Music Industry Insiders podcast.
The interview was going swimmingly. All of the interns kept themselves busy with other assignments such as social media coverage, taking pictures, keeping an eye on Logic, etc. After about a half hour, Emily called for the end of the interview and Julia Antonio of APU, our sound engineer for the night, cut the recording and let Emily know that they were clear.
However, when Julia turned back to her computer to make sure the conversation was recorded, everything was gone.
It was as if we had never started recording the interview at all!
In the .5 seconds it took for us to realize what had happened, panic, sheer panic set in. All of us exchanged looks, hoping someone else would have some kind of explanation! We had no idea where this went wrong, so we had no clue as to where to begin in the hopes of fixing it.
Everything happened in slow-motion as we tried to figured out what to do. Alex emerged from the recording booth, closely followed by Emily and we knew that we’d have to come clean.
Julia explained what happened and that she didn’t know what had gone wrong while Natalie and Connor looked through Logic in the hopes of finding an “undo” button or perhaps an automatic backup file. They didn’t find anything like that. Alex offered his help and even brought up his own laptop to see if he could figure out what had happened and if there was a way to correct it.
Eventually, it became apparent that there wasn’t any hope of saving the interview. Due to shortness of time, we had to reschedule Alex’s interview.
This past Friday, I set up a phone call with Alex to make up for the lost interview. Rather than ask him to drive all the way back out for a second interview in the studio, we decided that it would be best to do a phone interview and record it from both ends.
This time, we wanted to make sure that nothing would go wrong.
Our original plan had been to host a Skype call and record on Logic from there; but, due to feedback and a rather vocal computer fan, we decided that a phone call would be our best bet. After about a half hour of trying to figure out the logistics of recording this interview, we settled in for our conversation.
Alex is an amazingly talented musician and composer. He’s worked on 25 different projects and is currently providing assistance for film composers Darius Holbert and Megan Cavallari while also working on a VR project. He is a soft-spoken artist who is as passionate about storytelling as he is about his music.
While most composers will come from a classical back-ground, Alex comes from a primarily performance background with several years experiences touring Singapore, the Philippines and Indonesia with various bands.
Once our interview was complete, I thanked Alex for agreeing to speak with me and for recording the interview from his end so that we would have a backup file. I asked him to send me his copy of the interview when he had a spare moment and that I would be getting them to my fellow intern, Natalie Chan, to be edited within the next few days.
Within 24 hours, Alex had sent me his copy of the interview and I had the files uploaded to Idle Tuesdays shared Google Drive ready for Natalie to work her magic.
I am very excited for you all to hear Alex’s informative and captivating interview; be sure to check out this interview on iTunes and Google Play.
Alex is an amazing musician and fantastic person who is always happy to share his thoughts.
So, get on your computers, iPhones, Androids and tablets and head on over to iTunes and Google Play to listen and subscribe to the Music Industry Insiders podcast! And don’t forget to check out Alex’s website at www.alexellsworthmusic.com and follow him on Instagram @alexellsworthmusic.
Now, even though I know being given advice on how to avoid making a mistake is never quite as effective at getting a person to take precautions against slip-ups, I’m going to leave you with this piece of advice: learn from our mistake and always, always, always backup your important files.
Be it an essay, an interview, a video project, a PowerPoint or a handwritten bit of poetry scribbled on a napkin: find a way to back it up! Trust us, you don’t want to experience the panic that we did that night. Sure, we were able to remedy it eventually by rerecording the podcast, but I’m pretty sure I woke up the next day with a few gray hairs that weren’t there before.