Pro Tools Tip Of The Day: Know Your File Structure

file structure.jpgIn celebration of Musformation’s Data Loss Prevention Week, we will be giving you a very basic but important lesson today. A key point to avoid DATA loss is to know how to properly backup and point your file to the right places. The first lesson is to learn that Pro Tools, and many other platforms, store their files in a specific hierarchy. Many people make a huge data loss mistake when they simply backup the Session File. You have a few other folders that need to come with it:
Session File- This is the actual file you click on to open your song.
Audio Files- This where the actual recorded Audio is located. A common mistake, especially for people coming from Garageband, is to think your Audio Files are stored within the session file, when in fact they are in this folder.
Fade Files- These are the files that join two Audio Files together to make a seamless transition between the two files and help avoid clips and pops. In most audio software, Fade Files are stored in a separate file than the audio.
Session File Backups- These are files that help you recover from a crash. Your Audio Software can be set to make a safety backup in case of a crash or you wish to go back past the number of Undos you are allowed.
Bounces/Rendered Audio/MIDI/Undo Data- All of these may also be in your session folder. Essential files for your project to play back properly are contained in these folders. Make sure you also back these files up for future use.

Jesse Cannon is the editor of Musformation. He produces records at his studio Cannon Found Soundation. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseCannonMusF. For more info please visit his website.