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Microphone Month

Obsolescence Protection

Q: I saw where one of the DSP audio processing platforms has recently been discontinued. I guess I’m just looking for some reassurance. What happens to my tracks if the software or hardware I use are discontinued?

A: It’s a fact of modern life that nearly every product will be discontinued or replaced at some point — especially those that are technology based. However, that doesn’t mean that if you own that product you must stop using it if it is discontinued — it will still function just as it did before. Having said that, some product categories face other complications, such as changes in operating systems and expansion slot formats, and so on. Even analog tape hasn’t been exempt from this.

To truly make your digital tracks “obsolescence proof” the best option is to bounce the separate tracks with any processing you use to new audio tracks. Use a “universal” audio file format such as WAV, at the highest resolution possible. Save both the raw, unprocessed tracks and the final processed tracks, along with careful notes on how you got from the raw tracks to the final tracks.

Now, even if everything changes from your hardware/software recording platform to the plug-ins you use, you can still load in the audio tracks and either start over or pick up where you left off with the final tracks. This practice also makes it easy to go back and remix or rearrange an older track.

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