Top 10 Music Studio Backup Solutions 2019

All hard drives will break and fail after years of use and abuse. It’s a fact. You need to have a proper backup system because God forbid your system breaks and your hard drives freeze in the middle of a project and you are on a deadline.

Proper backup practices might not be the most exciting part of being an audio engineer but it’s a necessary skill to have. Thankfully, there’s plenty of software available to help automate the process and once you have a plan in place most of the tasks become a force of habit with time. Here are 10 backup solutions we have found for you just in case.

1. LaCie – Rugged Mini External HDD

The Rugged Mini makes a great work/scratch volume and is perfect for on-the-go backups where bringing a larger drive array may not be possible. It comes in sizes of 1 TB, 2 TB and 4 TB, which is more than plenty to start. The model also comes in versions for connecting via USB 3.0, USB 2.0, USB-C and Thunderbolt.

2. Western Digital – My Book USB 3.0 External HDD

My Book is the best backup solution for home studios that don’t need the redundancy or complexity of a RAID system. It comes with software for automatic backup and it is compatible with Mac’s Time Machine software. It comes in a size of 4 TB.

3. Synology – DS418j 4-Bay NAS

The DS418j is a fully equipped NAS server. It can be used over a network via an ethernet connection or connected directly to a computer via USB and features RAID 6 for an additional level of data protection. The DS418j is ideal for anyone that needs to centralize backups from multiple computers or make collaborative projects accessible over a network. It comes in various sizes from 12TB – 40TB or you can get it just as an enclosure for your existing drives.

4. TerraMaster – D2-310 2-Bay RAID

The D2-310 is a small and simple RAID enclosure perfect for the average home studio. It allows redundant back-ups using RAID 1 and a straightforward LED display shows the status of the hard drives. It comes with USB 3.0 or 3.1 connectivity options via USB-C (for 3.1 only) and it is compatible with many SATA HDDs so it can accommodate up to 14 TBs. This is just an enclosure mind you so you will have to buy additional hard drives. Western Digital Caviar HDDs are always the best option.

5. OWC – Mercury Elite Pro Qx2 4-Bay RAID Enclosure

It’s rock-solid reliable and can be configured for RAID levels 0, 1, 5, and 10. LED lights show the status of each drive in the array. When it comes to Mac-compatible IT products and accessories, OWC is the way to go, but now it also supports PCs. It can accommodate up to 4 hard drives of various sizes and it has connectivity options via USB 2.0, USB 3.0, FireWire 800 and even eSATA.

6. LaCie – 12big 12-Bay Thunderbolt 3 RAID Array

This is a big one! If you’re looking for gargantuan amounts of storage to protect immense amounts of audio recordings and projects, look no further than this. Available with two Thunderbolt 3 and one USB 3.1 Type-C interfaces in capacities of 48, 72, 96, and 120TB, its overall capacity is shared between twelve SATA 3.5″ drive bays and its hardware RAID controller supports RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, and 50. Using Thunderbolt 3 it can achieve read speeds of up to 2,600 MB/s and write speeds of up to 1,700 MB/s in RAID 0, while a RAID 5 configuration supports read speeds of up to 2,400 MB/s and write speeds up to 1,200 MB/s.

When paired with USB 3.1, RAID o, read and write speeds can reach 400 MB/s while a RAID 5 configuration yields read and write speeds as high as 350 MB/s. One of the Thunderbolt 3 ports can also be used to daisy-chain a single 5K or dual 4K displays if you are using them. A must-have for any big studio that’s open 24/7.

7. Western Digital – My Book PRO 2-Bay Thunderbolt 2 RAID Array

It comes available in capacities of 6, 8, 10, 12, and 16TB and has two Thunderbolt 2 and three USB 3.0 interfaces, two hot-swappable drives and is compatible with RAID 0 and RAID 1. In case you aren’t looking for the performance boost or data redundancy you get with a RAID array, this drive also supports JBOD (Just a Bunch of Disks) in a linear configuration. It’s a step up from My Book USB 3.0 external drive and it is something that’s highly recommended for smaller home studios.

8. Seagate – Wireless Plus Mobile HDD

If you are a working musician on the move, a good solution is to have a small portable drive with large space to accommodate your projects. This is where Seagate Wireless Plus Mobile HDD comes into play and it is another great solution, just like LaCie Mini. Available in capacities of 1 and 2TB the drive is battery powered which can be helpful out in the field. Plus, it offers integrated wireless connectivity and can serve as a Wi-Fi hub which opens possibilities if you incorporate a tablet or your smartphone into your workflow. The drive also has a USB 3.0 port.

9. Glyph Technologies – StudioRAID

For a nice amount of space and more connectivity options, you should consider Glyph Technologies 8TB StudioRAID. This storage array has two 4TB drives and four ports: one USB 3.0, two FireWire 800 and one eSATA. It can be configured in RAID 0 or RAID 1 and comes with a hard-shell case which is a really good feature if you are traveling a lot while working.

10. LaCie – Bolt 3 External SSD

This one offers 2TB of storage at read speeds of up to 2,800 MB/s and write speeds of up to 2,200 MB/s in RAID 0. It has two Thunderbolt 3 ports so you can daisy-chain additional drives. Being an SSD it comes at a hefty price compared to a RAID array. If price is not an issue, it provides a rather quiet performance and lightning-quick data transfer.

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