The pain of deletion

When one creates media, one ends up with giga-tera-petabytes of data.  Client projects, personal projects, student projects fill several hard drives and I so wish to keep them all, but it’s just not possible.  Client video projects that have long been delivered and data transferred to their drives or DVD media and follow up with “Is it all there?  Did you play it to be sure it works?” And then the final threatening, “I’ll be deleting this off of my hard drive within the year, so please be sure you’ve checked and double-checked.”  Because, as we know, once it’s gone, it’s gone.  Hundreds of hours of work – POOF – like a puff of smoke.  Empty space appears again and one can now fill it with more data. I really don’t delete the data for, like, 3 – 5 years which is why I keep buying new hard drives. Last week, a 4TB Raid showed up on my doorstep.  I let her in and asked her to work quietly in the corner of my desk.

Naturally, I keep a copy of all finished work and even back that up onto two different drives and now I’ve got a cloud server as well in both DropBox and YouSendIt.  Though they are really for temporary sharing of files with clients and students.

It’s just so hard to let go of the actual project work. The 20+ tracks of a band’s recording and mix session complete with elaborate plug-in punctuation, the 40 tracks of the D, M, and E of independent short films, the SD footage and the HD footage of various projects…

Alas, I must make that crunchy sound of the trash can chewing up the ones and zeros and spitting them all into the ether…

Duplicate-data-deleting illustration by Tom Fisher for 1/12/13 article in the Toledo Blade on deleting extra data

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About danaj33

I have been teaching in the Broadcast Electronic Media Art department at City College of San Francisco since 2001. I was a part-time faculty member until 2009 when I became full-time. My career as an audio engineer spans 27 years since the first day I began to record and mix songs on my Tascam PortaStudio (cassetter 4-track) in the early 80's while attending college at UC Berkeley. I formed a couple of bands and sang lead (sometimes playing rhythm guitar) until 1988 when I discovered that the "behind-the-scenes" tech realm was much more to my liking. I love how an audio engineer controls the ENTIRE sound mix, and not just one's own instrument. I then began a career as a live sound engineer in earnest and have toured extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe as front-of-house sound engineer for a multitude of bands on various record labels (most notably "Medicine" on American Recordings) and have been a staff engineer at the venerable Bottom of the Hill nightclub since their inception in 1991. The club and its staff are like family. I have maintained a live sound production company since 1989 called dcj Productions that has provided sound to the Bay Area community (mostly in the non-profit sector) in both large outdoor sound events as well as nightclubs and music halls. In 1991, I started recording bands on an 8-track Tascam TSR-8 analog tape recorder and moved into the digital realm in 1993 to 16-tracks of Alesis ADAT connected to a Soundcraft Ghost console in my home studio. In 1995, I advanced to Pro Tools and have been recording exclusively digital ever since, combining audio skills in sound for film as a location recordist as well as an engineer in post-production sound design and mixing. I remained "strictly analog" in my live sound mixing until just this past year (2012). Now that one can obtain a decent, live sound digital mixer at an affordable price, it was high time to check out digital for live. I now have a Presonus StudioLive 16.4.2 to work on with my students to give them much needed hands-on experience with a digital console. I co-owned and ran APG Records & APG Studios, an SF record label and recording studio, from 1999 - 2004 which had a distribution deal through EMI. The company folded in 2004. I continue to record music and engineer live performances at many Bay Area venues in addition to full-time teaching at CCSF. In 2001, I was hired to the part-time faculty at City College of San Francisco in the Broadcast Electronics Media Arts department where I have taught many of the classes including Digital Media Skills (BCST119), Basic Audio Production (BCST120), Digital Audio Production (BCST124), Sound Recording Studio (BCST125), Sound For Visual Media (BCST126), Advanced Sound Recording (BCST127), Sound Reinforcement (BCST128), Audio for the Web (BCST135), Video for the Web (BCST136), and Field Video Production (BCST145). I have also taught classes in sound design, audio for animation and games, music video, and computer applications at Art Institute of California-San Francisco, Globe Recording Institute, and Laney College in Oakland, CA. A few CCSF Projects: - Produced a promotional video for the Math department Bridge Program titled "Quadratic Rap". - Produced a new employee orientation video for the Human Resources department at CCSF - Coordinated audio for camera - SF Mayoral Debate, Fall 2011 - Coordinator of Audio Industry Advisory Panel for BEMA, Fall 2011 - Co-Coordinator of Video Industry Advisory Panel for BEMA, Spring 2012 Outside Affiliations: - past Vice President and Interim President Board of Directors - Bay Area Girls Rock Camp - past volunteer/contributor to Women's Audio Mission - past member Bay Area Women in Media and Film - current member of Audio Engineering Society - current Board of Directors for Camp Reel Stories
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