Backup backup backup – part 3

In Audio Visual, Backup, Backup, Backup, Backup, Installation, IT, Networks, Sound
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Is it me or does it feel like 2016 is disappearing fast, where did February go ? I was never sure how long this series of blogs should be but feel that this week is the last one.



A common alternative word often used instead of backup is redundancy.
Redundancy the aspect I want to focus on in this post. When I think of redundancy I think of the phrase ‘just in case’. The whole reason we have backup systems is this whole reason of ‘just in case’. Many people get the reason to have a backup system for their IT system and files/data. Using the term redundancy sounds less thrilling and more of an expense for the ‘just in case’ situation.


Multicore to single cable

Large 50m+ audio multicores rapidly seem to becoming a relic from the past as more and more people swap their analogue setup for a digital desk needing a cat5/6 cable (some systems do require multiple cables).
In a recent conversation a friend mentioned that when the BBC do an install using cat5/6 cable they will generally put in 3 cables only if they need one. Although this may seem expensive the actual cost is relatively low. The big heavy multicore often provided redundancy solution. With a few converters you could turn inputs connections into outputs and vice versa a solution that has often saved a show. With this in mind it makes putting in a few extra cat5 cables more attractive.

A few considerations:

If you are planning a new install or refresh there are a few things I would say are well worth considering

1) Keep some analogue cables. It can be all to easy to rip out the old multicore and ditch it for a nice new cat5/6 cable. If you are wanting to remove it  instead either keep it or  renew it  but don’t necessarily go for the same size but have a mixture of around 8/10 sends and returns. If you need to run another console or need to get an extra feed to an already full stage rack this can be very useful.

2) Put in more cat5/6 cable. If you need to use 1 cable put in 2 spare, even 1 spare line will massively help.

3) If you cannot afford everything you want spend money on your infrastructure and cabling. There are lots of people who look at just the equipment, if your cabling is poor or if it is hard to put new ones in this can cause bigger issues.

These are just a few brief things, later in the year I hope to look at this much deeper and in depth.


Hard copy

Recently I saw a post on a Facebook tech group that someone’s speaker management unit had died, one question that was asked was if the person had the settings. It can be easy to program these units but often we forget to jot down any settings that we have. Even if you can copy the file do make a hard copy as if you need to use a different unit then you can enter much of these as is.

Hard copies although they might seem old fashioned provide a great backup. What ever device you have any settings stored in always try to take a backup/note of the settings. If your sound console has a hard drive even take a backup of that. Being able to input settings into another device or to swap a hard drive over could quickly save a show.


Final thoughts

In what has taken 3 posts over 2/3 months I hope that it has urged you to think about your backup solutions and what you do. So remember, backup backup, backup!

Anthony Lear

Anthony lives in Sheffield with his wife Fiona and there 2 daughters. He works for AVMI within as a Event technician. Anthony is the founder of Church Tech UK, an initiative designed to support, develop and equip those that work and volunteer within a technical capacity in UK Churches.

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