A How to Guide to Collaborating Remotely.

 

Successful collaboration has always been a key component to the creative process no matter what realm of the arts you reside in. Now that we are at the grip of a worldwide pandemic and forced into isolation, it has never been so important that we continue to innovate and push the boundaries of how it is possible to collaborate using the technologies we have at our disposal.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” – Helen Keller.

I would like to explore a few of these areas in which we can use this period to show solidarity with the rest of the community and continue to make great art:

Why should we be collaborating?

Who should we be collaborating with?

What tools are out there we can use to collaborate remotely?

 

Why should we be collaborating?

I have been in the fortunate position of both being a creator and a facilitator, first as a published songwriter in my teens to my early twenties; and then moving into the administration of recording studios and creative communities.

When I was writing and producing songs in my bedroom as a young boy, I had no one within arm’s length to tell me what I was doing wrong (or right), and a very limited pool of (quite prodigious – lucky for me) talent to collaborate with.

Looking back on this now, this was both as liberating as it was limiting; I was able to grow and evolve my own voice without critique or condemnation, however I very quickly realised I had hit a barrier to my evolution.

Then, when I left school, I moved into a creative community in the heart of Shoreditch called The Fortress Studios. I very much see my time here as ‘college’, living in a rabbit warren style multi studio complex led to many successful (and unsuccessful) collaborations with people of various backgrounds, disciplines and genres.

This is why we should be collaborating; we only grow if we feed ourselves the nutrition available from the myriad of perspectives and experiences that we have access to through interacting with other creatives!

 

Who should we be collaborating with?

One of the consequences of lockdown is that we can’t collaborate so easily with the people we normally do in person. I see this as a unique opportunity to expand our field of view! I have always asserted that the best collaborations happen when you are working with folk whose cultures and tastes are in somewhat of a contrast to your own. Fusion often begets new ideas and even, new genres. The friction that occurs in these collaborations is often the secret ingredient that makes the sauce sing.

Now more than ever, we must show solidarity with the global creative community. We need to reach out, connect and push beyond the arbitrary barriers that have kept us in our isolated pockets of expression, it is pure irony that isolation from a pandemic is what could be the catalyst for this expansion in creative bandwidth!

 

What tools are there we can use to collaborate remotely?

We live in the era of digital media. Social networks and visual/audio streaming services have made it very easy to identify talent to work with. Having said that, workflow is king. So, what can we do to make this process as seamless and hassle free as possible?

Remote collaboration isn’t something new, even before the digital age. Tapes and even tape machines have been flown around the world, and classic albums like Gun’s’n’Roses “Use your illusions” were recorded simultaneously across 3 studios!

Fortunately, we don’t have to rely on snail mail right now in order to achieve similar results. There are many great tools out there not only for workflow; but also, fantastic communities to help you identify collaborators, get feedback on your work and even sell your content!

 

Audiomovers

 

Recommended by one of our very own resident members, Audiomovers is an excellent tool for collaboration. You can stream high quality, low latency audio directly from a bus output of your DAW.

It creates a link that you can send to people so they can hear the audio in a web browser, but more importantly, it allows you to record directly into another DAW via the listen to component.

The unique thing about Audiomovers is you can set the latency to a variable of your choice, so you can create sync over the network and thus record a musician or perfmormer in real time remotely. This is a superbly powerful tool!

 

Kompoz

 

Flying the banner of “crowd sourced music production”, Kompoz is a growing community of producers, artists and engineers that allows you to upload your projects to be available for collaboration across multiple DAW’s.

Kompoz studio allows session musicians to make money from their home by contributing to people’s projects around the world.

Kompoz also run a platform called Soundblend, which is “the first and only music store dedicated to crowdsourced music”. Soundblend also allows to create seller agreements and split sheets so you can sell your music with piece of mind!

 

 

Splice

 

While splice has revolutionised accessibility to sample libraries and sound generators. It also has a wealth of careful curated content and tutorials, as well as a vast network of artists and producers to collaborate with!

 

Bounce Boss

 

Bounce Boss enables people to collaborate intelligently so they can focus their energy on progress and be more successful. It does this by simplifying the organization of collaborations and providing powerful features to help ensure positive progress.

Bounce Boss minimizes human mistakes. Having all your files and comments in one place means you’re less likely to miss something important.

Bounce Boss also helps your collaborators be more efficient and specific with some really useful commenting and tracking features.

I highly recommend this platform to any creator who needs a very intuitive and organised file sharing system within the world of audio!

 

Per aspera ad astra

Through hardship to the stars! Although no soundbite or catchy phrase is likely to blunt the edge of this sword that has fallen upon us all, great art has always been forged in the depths of human privation. So with that in mind, please, I implore you all to continue creating and pushing the boundaries of what is possible through the virtue of technology – we are not yet in the vestiges of the golden age!

 

 

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