Why I Always Record Backup Audio

Today I was reminded of why I always record backup audio for my solo demonstrations. 

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That's an entire take of a solo demonstration I just shot for my next set of lessons. You'll notice that the audio overlay is very.......well it's almost invisible. That's because it's not there.


Because my audio goes through a Beachtek DXA-SLR Pro before it enters my camcorder. The DXA-SLR Pro has no AC Adapter, it runs off of a 9V battery, and when that battery dies, so does my audio. 

Usually I'll notice that the power light has gone dark, but this time I didn't. So I happily continued shooting.

Fortunately this is not the first time I've continued shooting after the battery died. The first time it happened I was quite frustrated, but I put in place a practice that has saved me from this same predicament several times since.

Whenever I record solo demonstration takes, I'm playing along with the backing track that I've assembled in Logic Pro. The guitar audio was previously recorded directly through the DXA-SLR Pro into the camera (for easier syncing in FCPX). That audio would later be taken from FCPX, imported to Logic and I'd mix the demonstration audio as if I had recorded the guitar directly into Logic.

When I missed the dead battery the first time, I changed my signal routing to go through my Mackie Onyx mixer first, then out of the auxiliary sends to the DXA-SLR Pro. The Onyx mixer is also a Firewire audio interface so I create a new track for the guitar in Logic and set it to record from the channel the guitar is connected to. Then, as I shoot my takes, I'm not just playing the backing track in Logic, I'm also recording take after take of guitar onto that track, while I'm shooting take after take on camera.

So today, when I discovered that my battery had died during shooting, and the very best take has no audio whatsoever, I just found the matching file in my Logic project folder, imported it into FCPX, and aligned it with the video.

The backup audio recorded into Logic saved me from having to shoot these takes over again.