Best way to Archive files, notes, settings, session and personnel

Hi All,
Since I’ve been a professional in the music production industry for so many years I’ve had to come to grips with how and what to save for posterity and my financial stability. I’d love to start a discussion with anyone who’s dealing with it and determine if there’s a few standards we can create. Or perhaps best practices.

This could be very useful for the whole industry. Consider all the work you’ve done on session files and know almost none of the work will be saved or usable. Of course you had to print stems but that’s not the full picture.

Any thoughts?



Hi! What are your recommendations for audio students?

Hi Arturo,
Please clarify; with regards to Archiving or regarding mixing, engineering, production etc?
Look forward to your response

Hi Tony, thank you for bringing this up.

Without going into my own setup, a trusted friend has the Synology NAS and Backup and this is his workflow:

I’m using Synology for storage, but I also have an external HD (LaCie Rugged) that holds my external sample libraries. Items like East West, Drum Libraries, Native Instruments, etc.
From a project perspective, I also have a “working drive” that is also an external. I work off of this, and backup to Synology at the end of every session. I can work if the Synology if I want, but I leave the Synology at home so I have that off site backup.

I’m also using Backblaze to have a cloud backup of Mac OS, and those two external drives.

The Synology Workflow goes like this:

  • In Studio:
  • Create a Session on Working Drive. Do work.
  • At the end of the night I’ll back up to Synology.
  • Backblaze also gives the cloud backup as well as the macOS Backup


  • Connect to Synology Drive and sync whatever project I want to work on.
  • Bring the external sample library drive home (if the project calls for it)
  • Save > the studio is all synced
  1. CMD+S in Pro Tools and the file syncs immediately. Think of Synology like Microsofts OneDrive.

I love it for sharing, etc. You can share right from the NAS, set expiration for links, etc.

He is a pro and I can put you in touch for a consult if you’re interested.

Hi Dereck,
Very helpful stuff. I use the Synology server as well and it’s saved my life, with regards to back ups and archiving material. I’ve got two that I use. One for current working sessions and another for archiving.

I’m also wondering how folks are planning on keeping track of the data, obviously, we can print stems and there it’s embedded in perpetuity, However; in the event you (or some future engineer producer) need to open and re-work something for say; a movie or alternate release of some kind five or ten years down the road, it’s probably not going to open up as it was, even if you have the session ptx and all the audio. The complexity of the plug-in data is also not something that can be captured in a screen shot anymore.

Also missing is any kind of standardized naming and sorting of the stems we create. I’ve only been thinking about this stuff because I know the current consolidation and sales of master rights is a big thing now. Labels are buying up masters without even seeing them. Of course they may have the final mastered version of the song, but the stem files or mix data is not necessarily well documented or archived. I often get my legacy clients asking if I have pro-tools files for 15-20 year old songs I mixed.

Of course the labels are just now creating departments responsible for collecting the data, but I’m not aware that there’s any kind of standardization.

What’s the best way to create one?

I really don’t have anything else to add here except that I was hoping that exactly what you are describing would have been covered in the Producers and Engineers Wing Technical Guidelines (Producers and Engineers Wing Technical Guidelines | which looks like its been started but does not go as in-depth as you or I would like. Definitely should be something the P&E steering committee should be thinking about or working on.

1 Like

Hi to all.

I usually save to hard drive and dropbox, making sure the client takes with him everything afterwards. I only guaranty to have it for 2 years . Funny that i’ve had to open a session from 2008 the other day and all good.
Now, i tend to print a wet file to go with the dry (the recorded file). I use bounce factory from Scheps. Regarding the client taking the session, it’s fine for me, I think there’s no secrets and most don’t understand what it’s being done. I tend to mix hybrid and use session recall and photos to save the mix, if needed to open later.


1 Like

Hi Vasco1, Great idea and info. Thanks much,

A friend of mine keeps and old Mac g4 just so he can open old projects he produced and mixed. :man_shrugging: