Backing Up Projects

Support and feedback for Acoustica's Mixcraft audio mixing software.

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Studio 919
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Backing Up Projects

Post by Studio 919 » Mon Sep 07, 2015 10:08 am

Hey Y'all,

I tried to make a backup of all my MC projects (songs) to a flash drive. It appears I'm doing something wrong because all of the project files are not showing up in the backup folder. Here's what I did.

1. Open MC, then open the project (song) that I want to backup.
2. In the File Menu, choose "Copy Project Files To" and select "File".
3. Make a new folder on the flash drive.
4. Proceed with backup process.

Here is a screenshot of the original project folder contents.
Original File Content.PNG
Original File Content.PNG (19.04 KiB) Viewed 3104 times
Here is a screenshot of the backup project folder contents.
Backup File Content.PNG
Backup File Content.PNG (13.46 KiB) Viewed 3104 times
I thought the backup would be an exact copy of all the original project folder contents. Please let me know if I am misunderstanding the backup process. Or, please give me direction on what I did wrong.

Thanks in advance for all replies.

Barry
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aj113
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Re: Backing Up Projects

Post by aj113 » Mon Sep 07, 2015 10:44 am

This is why I keep saying that 'copy project files to' is not a good way of saving or backing up projects, in fact it is quite dangerous.

'Copy project files to' will only copy the files that are utilised in the current version of the project that is open in MC.

MC doesn't care about backups of the project or variants of the project saved under 'Save as...' - these will all be lost when you use 'copy project files to'.

So I'll say once more at the risk of sounding repetitious:

If you want to save a project in its entirety including all backups and all 'Save as' variants:

1. Make sure that all sounds are recorded to one single folder.
1b. Make sure that 'Save as' project variants are saved to the same folder.
2. Make sure that all imported sounds (e.g. samples, reference tracks etc.) are saved to the same folder too before importing.
3. To back up the project, copy (or move) the entire folder to its new location
4. To actually open the project after backing up, double click on the project. MC will find all the files, no problem.

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Studio 919
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Re: Backing Up Projects

Post by Studio 919 » Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:19 am

Hey aj113,

Thanks for the quick response.
aj113 wrote:If you want to save a project in its entirety including all backups and all 'Save as' variants:
This was my objective. The way I see it is this - if it ain't complete, it ain't a backup. It's just "select" files that are backed up.
aj113 wrote:'Copy project files to' will only copy the files that are utilised in the current version of the project that is open in MC.
That's what I was wondering. I'm no software guru or even close to it. Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought a backup was supposed to be complete, meaning it includes everything. Let's think about it this way - if you buy a new computer and want to backup your operating system (Windows) to a second drive, do you want the "backup" to only contain some of the folders/files? Or, do you want everything in the backup?

I'll try doing this again, but this time use the "Save As" function and see what happens. I also wonder (and I'll try this also) what if I just click on the Project folder and then copy/paste to the flash drive, thus creating a backup.

I'll post my findings once I've tried these other methods.

Again, thanks for the quick response.

Barry
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Studio 919
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Re: Backing Up Projects

Post by Studio 919 » Mon Sep 07, 2015 12:47 pm

Hey aj113,

U P D A T E . . . .

First, let me say that all my MC projects (songs) are on my D drive. It looks like this:

D:\Mixcraft Songs
Song 1 Folder
Song 2 Folder
and so on
(Note: Inside each of the song folders shown above are that projects .wav's, audio, sounds, etc related to that project)

So, here's what I did.

1. Opened Windows Explorer
2. Selected D drive (my default location for saving projects in MC)
3. Right clicked on "Mixcraft Songs" (I could have opened this folder and selected individual projects to copy)
4. Selected "Copy"
5. Right clicked on E drive (which for this test I used a flash drive)
6. Selected "Paste"

Results, all folders, files, .wav's, sounds, and so on copied correctly from the D drive (original location) to the E drive (backup location). Everything was organized in the same manner as the D drive.

Then, in MC I opened one of the songs from the E drive (backup) and played it in MC. Everything seemed to work flawlessly.

I guess sometimes even a blind hog can find an acorn. :lol:

Thanks again for your quick response and the information you shared.

Barry
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aj113
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Re: Backing Up Projects

Post by aj113 » Mon Sep 07, 2015 1:59 pm

Yep, works every time Barry, furthermore, try opening a few of the projects in the backup folder - they should all open flawlessly too.

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Studio 919
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Re: Backing Up Projects

Post by Studio 919 » Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:05 pm

aj113 wrote:Yep, works every time Barry, furthermore, try opening a few of the projects in the backup folder - they should all open flawlessly too.
aj113,

Did that too. Worked like a charm.

Thanks again for the advice.

Barry
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Acoustica Greg
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Re: Backing Up Projects

Post by Acoustica Greg » Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:49 am

Hi,

"Copy Project Files" copies all the files that are actually being used in the project. If the files are not part of the project, they won't be covered. So, if your goal is to back up unused files, along with the files in the backup folder, you need to copy those as well.

The power of the "Copy Project Files" option is that it will copy any files that you might have added from another folder on your computer. If you used a guitar lick from a different project, or if you used a MP3 file from some other location on your computer, the "Copy Project Files' option will gather everything you need to open the project together in the same folder.

Greg

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Studio 919
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Re: Backing Up Projects

Post by Studio 919 » Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:47 am

Hi Greg,

Thanks for the clarification.

Barry
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banzailoco
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Re: Backing Up Projects

Post by banzailoco » Sat Dec 10, 2016 1:25 pm

This is a reminder to save all your project files on a backup drive.

:shock: So... when I copy the Mixcraft project folder I'm only saving information about the project, not the files needed for the project. I found this when Mixcraft could not load the .Wav files because they where missing. It also was searching for them at the old folder.

"Copy project files to" doesn't save everything about the project.
Copying the project folder from the documents folder doesn't either.
When you record, it's save as a .Wav file. Why does Mixcraft saves the .Wav files in a different folder?

This may sound stupid, but how exactly do we achieve a complete backup of the project. What folders and files do we need to copy and save to the backup folder.
1. Make sure that all sounds are recorded to one single folder.
1b. Make sure that 'Save as' project variants are saved to the same folder.
2. Make sure that all imported sounds (e.g. samples, reference tracks etc.) are saved to the same folder too before importing.
They should be a big pop up reminder when saving the project to backup all your files.

(-_-) V

Anorax
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Re: Backing Up Projects

Post by Anorax » Sat Dec 10, 2016 2:39 pm

banzailoco wrote:This is a reminder to save all your project files on a backup drive.

:shock: So... when I copy the Mixcraft project folder I'm only saving information about the project, not the files needed for the project. I found this when Mixcraft could not load the .Wav files because they where missing. It also was searching for them at the old folder.
If the files needed for the project are in the Project Folder, then they will be copied. If you used drag-and-drop to put audio into a Mixcraft project, then the file is still in its old location and not in the project folder, so it won't be copied when you copy the folder.

Disclaimer: I could be wrong about the next two paragraphs.
The reason Mixcraft tries searching the old folder is because Mixcraft usually uses absolute file locations to search for files, not relative locations (it's trying to find the file at "C:\Users\Me\Mixcraft Projects\This Project Was Moved\audiofile1.wav", not "the-folder-you-opened-the-mixcraft-file-from\Audio Files\audiofile1.wav"). If Mixcraft used relative locations, then you wouldn't have a problem when you copy the folder.

When you move the folder, Mixcraft doesn't recognize that it was opened from a new file location. It simply tries to do its job of finding its files in the last known location, which is why there's the Find Files... dialog. Once the project opens up and finds all the files, you can simply save the project right away and it should correct the file locations.
banzailoco wrote:"Copy project files to" doesn't save everything about the project.
Correction, it saves everything about the project that the project file is aware of. If you deleted a clip, then the file is no longer aware of that audio being used, and so it won't be copied, only because "Copy Project Files To..." looks for files that the current project uses.
banzailoco wrote:Copying the project folder from the documents folder doesn't either.
When you record, it's save as a .Wav file. Why does Mixcraft saves the .Wav files in a different folder?
It shouldn't. It should save recordings to the root project folder.
banzailoco wrote: This may sound stupid, but how exactly do we achieve a complete backup of the project. What folders and files do we need to copy and save to the backup folder.
1. Make sure that all sounds are recorded to one single folder.
1b. Make sure that 'Save as' project variants are saved to the same folder.
2. Make sure that all imported sounds (e.g. samples, reference tracks etc.) are saved to the same folder too before importing.
They should be a big pop up reminder when saving the project to backup all your files.

(-_-) V
To prevent further confusion, here's some complete steps you should use for backing up a project, including the automatic project file backups and unused audio.
  • Find the project folder
  • open the latest version of the project
  • Copy Project Files To > Folder
  • Select the folder that your project is currently using. All audio files being used by the current version of the project (this includes files from the Library) will be copied to the project folder and Mixcraft will create a new project file that uses the new file locations.
  • You can now back up the entire project folder to an external drive.
If you want to use the Copy Project Files To > ZIP File, that might only be good for projects that you know are complete and you probably won't be editing constantly in the near future—at that point you know what audio you will/won't be using, so the unused files aren't necessary. The ZIP file copy is best for archiving finished songs that you might only ever pull back up for reference or copyright claims or the likes.

Going off topic a little bit, but we're starting to delve into the problem of "what should I keep?" when it comes to audio and projects. A stereo WAV file at 44.1k/16bit takes 10mb of data per minute of audio. No big deal for one single track, but if you have a big audio-based project with a lot of tracks and a lot of takes, most of which you don't use, you might be looking at a very large project folder, only because of the audio files. It's up to you to decide if the unused audio is worth keeping or not, especially when it comes to long-term archiving. Granted, file storage is improving all the time, but it's still something to consider. Mixcraft basically uses the "the audio isn't in the project so it's not worth archiving" method, so it's up to you to include a few extra steps in order to get everything.

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banzailoco
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Re: Backing Up Projects

Post by banzailoco » Sun Dec 11, 2016 3:41 pm

Recently I mess up my system, when reinstalling, it didn't go so well. Managed to find some files using a software.

.mx7 and .wav.mpk file extension.

Most of the .mx7 files that use Mixcraft loops or instrument work but the ones that were recorded display a message of missing the .wav file(s).

I cannot open the .wav.mpk files.

When you mix from midi or loops there's no .wav file. When you record, there's a .wav file.
I didn't see the .wav files on my previous backups that were copy from the Documents project folder. Because I use loops and midi to make them, hence that is why I wrote "Copying the project folder from the documents folder doesn't either."

My bad Anorax :oops:

But they should be a reminder to backup your Mixcraft files.

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