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Looking for advice from online music collaborators

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Looking for advice from online music collaborators

Postby Mark AK » Sat Sep 06, 2014 7:48 am

Hi guys,

I'd love to hear from anyone who's attempted to or successfully worked with other musicians or producers that they've reached out to online.

About me - I'm a guitarist/pianist who's got a few tracks that I'd like someone to contribute to, and I have a few questions:
  1. How do people usually go about collaborating with other musicians online?
  2. What's the biggest challenges or frustrations you have when you collaborating tracks?
  3. Are your experiences collaborating with musicians online positive or negative? Can you tell me a story about it?


Thanks guys, I really appreciate it!
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Re: Looking for advice from online music collaborators

Postby Exalted Wombat » Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:01 pm

Collaborate as musicians, but don't both try to be engineers.
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Re: Looking for advice from online music collaborators

Postby M57 » Mon Oct 13, 2014 11:18 am

Exalted Wombat wrote:Collaborate as musicians, but don't both try to be engineers.

So you're saying only one engineer? ..or only one producer? I mean, at least on the front end of things, all parties are contributing their takes, right?
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Re: Looking for advice from online music collaborators

Postby Zack Burnet » Sat Nov 01, 2014 4:54 am

Better learn from someone has years of experience in this field .
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Re: Looking for advice from online music collaborators

Postby bjb » Sat Nov 08, 2014 8:26 pm

I've found online collaboration works well, but the person I collaborate with most is someone I've played with a lot in person too, so that may help.

I do think that there's a lot to be said for one person being in charge of producing the album and others simply recording their parts and giving feedback on the mix as to my mind things start to get messy if you're both trying to shape the mix with different ideas. It also means that you don't both have to the same software and plugins. In fact I record on Ardour under Linux and my main collaborator uses Logic on a Mac. We just send wav files of our individual parts and whoever is mixing imports them.

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Re: Looking for advice from online music collaborators

Postby Folderol » Tue Nov 11, 2014 6:32 pm

Similar to what I do - although I've never worked with my collaborators in person.

When there are three or four of you working together, we found it is best for each of you to keep your own 'local' mix. That way, you can increase the levels of parts you want to play to or harmonise with.

As for the final mix, with us it depends on the material. Mainly acoustic, James does it. Mainly instruments its Oren. Mainly synth it's me :)

... then just to confuse people we sometimes swap around :D
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Re: Looking for advice from online music collaborators

Postby 4TrackMadman » Sun Dec 07, 2014 3:36 am

I've done a few...there are plusses and minuses.

One thing I like is that everyone can work in the comfort of their own home and at their pace.
The file transfer thing is a nightmare for the most part, lots of uploads/downloads, especially when you're trying to communicate on how someone should fix a session.
So for highly technical stuff it is usually a mess, for more rock/bluesy thing I guess it is much easier.

I worked with a paid drummer that was delivering well the first time around. He took the project and turned too technical for him for the money paid, which was understandable, so we had to bump up the pay and he still wasn't quite making it, eventually he delivered but it was a painful process with a deadline looming. It worked out for the most part.

Did a few collabs as a joke on Groovezoo and for the most part they were trash for the quality I was receiving until finally I run into a really good guy that I just seemed to click with and he tracked some awesome drums on one of my songs. Didn't have any trouble delivering the tracks in the right format either.

Some of the non-professional guys (i.e. non engineers) make a huge mess of the process. I 'm working with one singer that sends me mp3 files to mix with, at different rates, they don't line up well, etc. I go back and forth with him a lot. So there is quite a technical requirement for this to work.
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Re: Looking for advice from online music collaborators

Postby chilli » Wed Jan 07, 2015 11:32 pm

My two pennies worth -

Its worth looking at all the different solutions out there for Online Collaboration and there are really quite a lot now!

Lots of them use the same sort of model though. i put a little website together - http://onlinemusicengine.org/

I list some of the different types of solutions and post news about new solutions.

I guess for you if you just want someone to contribue to tracks you have created theres many that will work for you like Kompoz or Emeraz. also there are more integrated solutions coming along that i prefer like Blend.i.o or Splice that work right out of your sequencer if you use Ableton live or a lot of the other popular sequencers out there.

Worth checking them all out and you might find one your drawn too. some are good because theres a community and you can find and discover like minded souls to hook up with. others are good because you have a partner / parners in mind and just want the best solution for you all to collaborate.

be great to hear what you go for in the end.. if any?
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Re: Looking for advice from online music collaborators

Postby 4TrackMadman » Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:46 pm

Since Groovezoo closed, I tried a few of the other sites for collaboration, liked the Songtree idea but no support for PCs only tablets and confusing on copyright matters, it is more about "sharing", so if you put the song on there then it can be tinkered with by anyone with no restrictions. I ended up using Blend.io and even though my DAW is not supported yet (Studio One), I just load stems. It seems to be very biased towards what I call the "non-instrument" genres, like electronica, hip hop, with some rare visitors that master an instrument, so with that in mind I haven't been able to work on anything on there as there are no interested collabolators.

I also used Sonoma Wireworks' Riffworld which works with their Riffworks software. It was a streamlined interface and as far as I remember it was a lot of fun as the website members did weekly jams, wrote songs, etc. with it. It was very simple to use but I had to stop using it when they switched to monthly subscription format.
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Re: Looking for advice from online music collaborators

Postby CS70 » Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:49 pm

4TrackMadman wrote:Since Groovezoo closed, I tried a few of the other sites for collaboration, liked the Songtree idea but no support for PCs only tablets and confusing on copyright matters, it is more about "sharing", so if you put the song on there then it can be tinkered with by anyone with no restrictions. I ended up using Blend.io and even though my DAW is not supported yet (Studio One), I just load stems. It seems to be very biased towards what I call the "non-instrument" genres, like electronica, hip hop, with some rare visitors that master an instrument, so with that in mind I haven't been able to work on anything on there as there are no interested collabolators.

I also used Sonoma Wireworks' Riffworld which works with their Riffworks software. It was a streamlined interface and as far as I remember it was a lot of fun as the website members did weekly jams, wrote songs, etc. with it. It was very simple to use but I had to stop using it when they switched to monthly subscription format.

Last fall, In a moment of creative stall (due mainly to unsual time constraints, with no more than the odd hour in the weekend to dedicate to music), I joined Kompoz and did a few single-song mastering jobs, as it's the only work that can be meaningfully done in an hour. It was fun, and the platform integration via Dropbox is flawless. Luckily now I'm back having a life and so I haven't used it much. But it's a good platform.

Otherwise, I've collaborated online with a rock organ player once - I met him in person in the city but he actually lives three hrs away, so I sent him the song base, we exchanged a few ideas on the arrangement bits I wanted and he sent me a few tracks of his Hammond which then I proceeded to mix. The result was great. I would be wary, however, to do that with someone with no understanding of recording (or even just audio file formats) whatsoever. I asked a bass player I was jamming with to send me a line once, and I got an mp3 recorded with an emulator. So YMMV.

Finally - nowadays, WeTransfer is the platform to go for moving large files, and works a charm. Just got several GB of video footage we shot a couple weeks back, with no issue whatsoever.
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Re: Looking for advice from online music collaborators

Postby 4TrackMadman » Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:41 am

Since the last time I posted I joined Kompoz and have been enjoying it. There are a lot of lyricists on there delivering good material for songs, something that I've always had problems with, so I am working on a few songs to see how they'll turn out. Most of the seasoned users know how to deliver files. Unfortunately, unless you go the paid route, you're only allowed to swap mp3s. Blend.oi doesn't have that limitation but the users on there are mostly into electronica, something that I can't relate to.

If anyone wants to collaborate, look me up:
http://www.kompoz.com/music/artist/AlexanderK
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Re: Looking for advice from online music collaborators

Postby CS70 » Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:40 pm

4TrackMadman wrote: If anyone wants to collaborate, look me up:
http://www.kompoz.com/music/artist/AlexanderK

Cool, I'm simply "Cris" there :)
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