Backing up N track songs

What do you use ?

Hi Everyone :D

I need to get a little more religious aboout backing up my tunes that i’m recording. I would like to find out what everyone else is doing that works well for them.

My criteria would be like this:

1) easy to implement, no steep learning curves ( i don’t have the time )
2) something that is native to N track preferably.
3) Something that you have tried that works well in your own experience.

I have a Cdr/rw burner to use in conjunction with N track.
I would be backing up multitrack recordings as they develop. I would also be backing up completed multitrack projects.

Thanks so much Everyone

Ted Roberts

firewire drive

Just copy the entire folder for the song to a CD - one CD per song project. Copy the whole folder, including the .wav files, the .sng file, and anything else in there, such as mixdowns or MIDI files. I’m assuming that you DO put all of the files for one song in its own folder. If you don’t, use “Move/Rename Song” in the File menu to move the files to their own folder. All this can easily be done within n-Track and Windows XP. You can also use any CD software such as EZ CD Creator. Good luck!


I have 2 hard drives and use the second as a backup. I’m currently using “Karen’s Replicator” ( ), it’s old, but does the job for me.

I also have some nice CD-Rs (—archive-gold.html ) that I backup really important stuff to.

Sloppiness will reach up and bite 'ya…

Get religious about storing your songs in a easy folder structure and naming your takes (in the Preferences>Options, click “ask for filename”) in an easy to understand format.

When it’s all in one folder you can easily back it up with Nero or EZCDcreator to a data disk or pop it over to another harddrive.

Thanks Everyone,

I appreciate the replies. Yes, I do save all the contents of a new song to its own folder.
Has anyone had any experience with the song zip feature that is in N Track ?

Thanks Again,

Ted Roberts :D

Quote (Ted Roberts @ June 01 2005,08:00)
Has anyone had any experience with the song zip feature that is in N Track ?

It has worked fine for me (try it! :) ), but make sure you slide the “Compression settings” slider to the far right to where you see “No compression” if you want to avoid losing any audio data due to lossy OGG compression.


More importantly, you may want to think hard about using this as a backup format. Though it’s nice sometimes to have everything bundled in a single file, just remember that n-Track is currently the only program that can open up its packed (.sgw) files. Also, if part of the packed file on the CD-R is corrupted, you would likely need lots of help/info from Flavio regarding the file format in order to salvage the non-corrupted data in the .sgw file, whereas if a single .WAV is corrupted, you can copy the uncorrupted files to your hard drive, then deal with that one bad WAV file separately, and there’s plenty of free info on the WAV file format out there (though you may need special services/software to get the corrupted file off the drive in the first place).

Just some things to think about…



Excellent info Scantee thanks.

:D Ted

What Scantee said – exactly. Don’t pack 'em, just archive the folders.

If you have a tower or mini-tower, get a swappable drive bay – one that allows you to swap hard disk drives without pulling the cover off the tower (you do have to power down, though). Then periodically scan ebay or your source of choice for inexpensive hard drives. A replicator program like mentioned above is probably ideal – I need to check it out. (I wrote my own program for the purpose-- it dos the job but it sucks.)

Not only is this the most convenient, it also promotes keeping your archives on current formats.

About ever 3 years, I find I can find a cheap backup drive that’s 4 times as big as my last one. I copy all my old archive data to the new drive and still have over 75% of it free – plus I keep the old drive just in case. Since I’m using the 2nd drive to archive what’s on my main drive, I always have at least 2 copies. And I always have my backups on media that work with the current technology.

(Well, that’s not exactly what I do, but it would be if I had a tower rather than a laptop.)

Be sure to store any programs you use on the drive as well – such as the install file for the version of n-Track you’re using, dBPowerAmp for any APEd files, etc. This isn’t as future-proof as the wave files themselves, but it’s still useful.

Whenever the technology changes, you still have your old stuff on line and can uprev the formats if you want. During tech changes, we generally find we can support both old and new formats – but often, not for long.

BTW, I have lots of songs that don’t fit onto a CD. I might even have a few that won’t fit onto a single DVD. The cost per GB is a little lower for these media than the HD, but not much, and the difference in convenience is significant.


Thanks Lear ! Very informative. I have raid on my motherboard maybe I should consider setting it up to mirror my recordings onto two drives. That replicator program sure looks nice also.

Ted :)

I use a portable Phantom 120G drive…I think I got it here:
Tiger Direct
Cost me about 70 U$ I think in 2002. It has firewire but never did figure it out. I just transfer the wav.s and song files via USB, doen’t work so good in real time but OK for archiving.
Not only that, I can take this baby anywhere, and I do alot of collabing with other musicians and their DAW’s. Along with pro-studios, the tracks usually get replaced but it saves time and in a pro-studio time is money.
Since USB is a comon standard I just load the drivers I saved on a disk and walk into anyones house and share files, and take some home as well. :)
I’ve had two computers crash in three years, buth this drive always let’s me pick up where I left of…as soon as I can afford a new DAW, in the mean time I can always use someone elses with the same or better results! :blues:
I ocasionally use CdR’s just to have all bases covered, but that’s more for preserving an idea than the actual files since I think you lose some quality or punch as I like to call it whenever you ripp, and then extract a file back…I could be wrong, and I’m shure it has alot to do with your computers settings…something I don’t like to mess around with, I always do more damage than good in that area! :D

keep shinin’


Right – I have an external firewire/USB drive for my laptop. But, if I had it to do over again, I’d get a firewire/USB cage that I could pop standard drives into. A few more bucks for the first drive, but a lot cheaper for the subsequent ones!

My firewire drive just worked – I plugged it in and it showed up as a drive. Nuttin to it!

Yeah Jeff,
Only problem is…I can’t see a plug on my computer that looks like it would fit!
Plenty of USB inputs, I wouldn’t even know were to look for a firewire, or what it will look like when I find it!

Guess it’s time to take a course in “Computers for Dummies 101” :laugh:

keep shinin’ Jeff you are a valuable asset around here and if I were Flav. I’d put you on comision for the time you’ve saved him over the years! :D


No applause, please. Just send money. :;):

Thanks Jeremy for your Great answer to my question. i appreciate the time you put into it.

Ted Roberts :D