I should clarify, in case you’re worried, that nothing was actually lost forever. What was erased was Glenwood’s copy of the ProTools multitrack sessions for the 3 songs. On one of them, I am already happy with the final mix. Bill was going to make small tweaks to the other two by recalling the mix we did (matchning up faders, EQs, outboard settings etc), making the changes, mixing down to 1/2″ tape, then transferring back to 96khz digital stereo. Without the ProTools sessions he’s unable to do that. The PT sessions still exist on my drives in Suffolk, so I have to back them up once more and send them to LA, in the hope that there is a studio day available soon at Glenwood Place that also coincides with Bill being able to fly down from Northern California. They total several gigabytes, so I can’t risk doing a digital transfer, because I have a weak broadband signal at home and it may be Tuesday before I find out the transfer was corrupted or interrupted. So the fastest way may be ‘sneakernet’ ie sending a hard drive to LA Monday morning via FedEx. I’ll probably do the transfer as well for safety.
The standard procedure is for studios to keep a copy of all work on their drives until the producer/artist/lable gives them the green light to erase it. The tapeop knew that I was flying back to the UK with my drive, so he certainly shouldn’t have erased the studio copy, because had something happened to my drive in transit, theirs would be the only existing copy. What I would have expected to happen is the tape op would ask the studio manager, who would contact me or Bill to ask. We would of course have said no, especially as we’d just booked another day to recall and remix the songs! So it was a dunderheaded decision however you look at it, and totally against industry norms, and–as has been pointed out–pointless in an age when terrabyte hard drives cost a hundred bucks.
It may mean fans on my web site have to wait a few days or even a week longer for the Amerikana EP. But they’ve waited so patiently for new music for the last 18 years, another week ain’t gonna hurt too much.