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Creating remote collaboration platform for school, need input from target audiance

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Creating remote collaboration platform for school, need input from target audiance

Postby MidasM » Tue May 19, 2020 11:42 am

Hey peeps!

I'm new on here but I'm currently working for a school project on a music platform where people can collaborate and create music together! So in order to get in touch with people who know a lot (more than me) about music would be a great idea! So you might see me around more often on this forum :wave:

I'm going to build a music audio editor where you basically can combine and sync up different tracks (like a guitar and a drum track) in order to create one song.

Now is my question, what do you need as a bare minimum for tracks to sync them up correctly and mix them together in an audio editor?

Thanks in advance for the help!
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Re: Creating remote collaboration platform for school, need input from target audiance

Postby The Elf » Tue May 19, 2020 1:22 pm

You need a common starting point and sample rate. As long as everything starts in the same place and runs to a common clock then it should line up.
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Re: Creating remote collaboration platform for school, need input from target audiance

Postby shufflebeat » Tue May 19, 2020 4:52 pm

I'm not 100% sure what you're asking so this might be irrelevant but I'm setting up a little project at the minute and this workflow plan may be of interest:

* Construct a backing track in Garageband, Sessionband or iReal Pro
* Email to participants
* They listen on headphones from one device while recording video/audio to another
* They email their track to me
* I mix their tracks either with or without backing track as appropriate.

This is not for pro work and is only for a short track so drift will be negligible so long as Elf's spec above is observed.
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Re: Creating remote collaboration platform for school, need input from target audiance

Postby MidasM » Tue May 19, 2020 6:34 pm

The Elf wrote:You need a common starting point and sample rate. As long as everything starts in the same place and runs to a common clock then it should line up.

Thank you for your swift response! Especially the sample rate was something that I did not think about yet and was very helpful. I want to make it possible to have multiple starting points, so that you can combine a shorter track with a longer one.

Would it be to limiting to do this based on the bpm? So lets say that you have a song that has 60 beats per minute, this means that you have one beat per second. The system than allows 4 starting points per beat, this means that a track can start after 0.25 sec, 0.5 sec, 0.75 sec etc.
Do you know if this would work given that the BPM is correct or will this be too limited?
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Re: Creating remote collaboration platform for school, need input from target audiance

Postby The Elf » Tue May 19, 2020 8:23 pm

MidasM wrote:
The Elf wrote:You need a common starting point and sample rate. As long as everything starts in the same place and runs to a common clock then it should line up.

Thank you for your swift response! Especially the sample rate was something that I did not think about yet and was very helpful. I want to make it possible to have multiple starting points, so that you can combine a shorter track with a longer one.

Would it be to limiting to do this based on the bpm?...
Well, I wouldn't want to have to muck about lining things up manually, but... yeah, it should work if you find a solid reference to hang it on.

Personally I think life's too short. Just get contributors to left-align their audio and there's no question about it being in time.

To be clear, they only need to align the audio they *export*. If, for example, it's a guitar solo in the middle 8, they should record it in that section, but when they export the audio, export it left aligned to the reference track with a big pad of silence to the left. You'll receive a much larger file than necessary, but once it's aligned you can chop off the silence. Job done!
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Re: Creating remote collaboration platform for school, need input from target audiance

Postby Martin Walker » Wed May 20, 2020 1:45 am

The Elf wrote:To be clear, they only need to align the audio they *export*. If, for example, it's a guitar solo in the middle 8, they should record it in that section, but when they export the audio, export it left aligned to the reference track with a big pad of silence to the left. You'll receive a much larger file than necessary, but once it's aligned you can chop off the silence. Job done!

That's exactly what I ask for when musicians submit performances to me for inclusion on an existing track. In fact I received one just a couple of days ago, and it slotted in perfectly, and then as The Elf mentions, you just chop off any preceding silence. Yes, the larger files took a little longer to download, but everything was in place within minutes.

The previous time this very talented guitarist submitted some solos, he did so in 17 smaller sections, each labelled with the starting bar number. I had to keep comparing my project audio to the dummy MP3 mix he'd sent, to make sure every part started at the intended place, and in the process discovered a couple of small sections that he'd omitted to send, and several duplicated parts.

Overall it took me a couple of hours and a few emails before I had everything in its proper place :headbang:


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Re: Creating remote collaboration platform for school, need input from target audiance

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed May 20, 2020 7:46 pm

I'm doing this with a couple of different people, what I've done with the drummer (a complete technophobe) is set up a dropbox folder with a Reaper project saved in it, including a guide track and a drum track awaiting a part. He just opens the project in Reaper, presses 'rec' and plays the e-drums along to the guide track. Then he just clicks "save project" when he has a take he's happy with and I can come back to the project later and copy/paste his drum track into the original. It's helps to have the tempo for the 'drum' project matching the tempo of the main project.

When the bass player and I get around to doing some stuff I'll probably do similar but share the main project as I can probably trust him not to mess it up :D
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Re: Creating remote collaboration platform for school, need input from target audiance

Postby adrian_k » Thu May 21, 2020 9:00 am

I’m doing the same thing at the moment and one thing that caught me out was that it possible to write tempo information into the header data of a wav file. Some DAWs make use of this (Studio One in this case), but mine doesn’t. Took a while to work out why a bass track exported from S1 was shorter in my project than in someone else’s who imported to S1. Confusingly it was shorter by almost exactly the ratio 44.1/48 so you can see where my first thought went. But it turned out it was the ratio 110/120, and brought about by the bass player changing the project tempo from 120 to 110 after he’d recorded his part (he wasn’t using a click anyway).

So to the OP it might be worth spending a little time becoming familiar with the various file formats and what’s in the metadata.
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