As the world has changed due to the pandemic and making music in recent times has had to take place predominantly online, we’ve rounded up a list of tools and techniques that are perfect for aiding online collaboration between musicians. These tips and tools are great for making music with other artists when you can’t be there in the studio together. If you have access to the internet or a smartphone there are plenty of ways to collaborate so take your pick. You’ll probably be familiar with a few of these but we’re sure there are a few new tools, tips and techniques that will benefit your creative process. Dive into our roundup of the best tools and techniques for online collaboration below.
If you want to get to grips with making music in a studio, or need any further help with remote collaboration Point Blank’s courses in London, Los Angeles and Online are a sure way to kickstart your music career and help make your mark on the music industry. Until 30th April, we’re offering 25% off selected London, Online and LA courses using the codes LONDON25, ONLINE25 and LA25 – so now’s your chance to join the Point Blank family for less.
Software, Websites & Apps
Ableton Link – Link is a technology that keeps devices in time over a local network, so you can forget the hassle of setting up and focus on playing music. This is perfect for those quarantined together as it works using a local internet connection.
Splice – Although Splice is best known for its endless sample libraries and production perks, the website also hosts its own community where artists can search for one another and collaborate.
Endlesss – The Endlesss iOS app puts collaboration at the forefront of creativity allowing you to jam live with others from across the globe using drums, notes and effects. As well as creating killer tracks with your friends on Endlesss, you’re also able to browse its growing community of artists and explore their sounds for inspiration.
BandLab – The award-winning Bandlab will transform your phone or tablet into a studio with it’s 120 professionally created instruments, connect your own instruments feature, amplifier simulation, pocket recording, and more. The free software also syncs your work to the cloud and allows you to access your tracks on your desktop. Once you’ve laid down your on-the-move ideas you can revisit them on a larger scale.
Pibox – With Pibox, you’ll be able to upload your tracks and discuss them with other musicians in one window. There’s no need to switch between multiple programs and apps and will speed up the creative process tenfold.
Stems / MIDI – Once you’ve got some ideas down, bouncing those to stems and sharing them with your collaborator is a great way to start working on the next section of your song. Alternatively, bouncing parts of your track as MIDI will allow other producers to rearrange your notes and test your melodies and drum loops with different sounds and samples.
Project Files – Sharing the project will give immediate access to all parties involved in the collaboration. Trusting that you have the same DAW, plugins and patches this is a great way for everyone to make their mark on the track and send back for critiquing.
Video Chat – Firing up Skype, Facetime, Zoom or any other video chat software and jumping on a call with your collaborator can be a great way to share ideas in real-time. If you both have the project file loaded up along with the stems you can both take turns at playing different parts in and giving feedback. Additionally, the screen sharing function can be helpful for sharing production techniques live.
During collaboration communication and sharing ideas as quickly and easily as possible is key – and there is a number of different file-sharing services which can help with this. Everyone works differently so use whatever you feel helps the creativity flow more freely. However, if you need any ideas to get started these will help.
Wetransfer – Send large files either directly to email inboxes or create shareable links for downloadable project files. This is great for sharing with small groups or on a larger scale.
WhatsApp – We’re sure you’re familiar with WhatsApp already. The messaging platform can be a great place to share quick hooks, verses, freestyles and flows on the fly simply by using the audio note feature.
Dropbox – Dropbox works using the cloud and allows users to share large files and folders with each other. It’s free to use and will allow you to access collaborative work from your computer, mobile device or any web browser.
Google Drive – As well as allowing you to share your files and store them in the cloud, Google Drive gives you access to Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides which are all great tools for making and sharing notes about your projects.
Point Blank Music School
If you’re looking to join forces with other like-minded musicians from around the globe, Point Blank’s online courses can help. Not only will you be able to network with other musicians and artists, but our music industry professional lecturers are also on hand for 1-2-1 support, regular masterclasses, tutorials and personal feedback sessions. Check out Point Blank’s line of online courses here.
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