online collaboration

How to make online collaboration work

Many of us haven’t been able to see our bandmates and colleagues in person for obvious reasons, studios became inaccessible, but it doesn’t mean that we have to stop making music. The Internet allows all the participants to work on the track from the comfort of their homes. The Internet makes online collaboration not only possible but also very convenient. However, there are problems you may run into during your online collaboration sessions.

 Some artists have to expand their home recording studios and buy new equipment to accommodate new requirements, and music producers realize how difficult it is to give direction to someone when you can’t communicate with them in real-time. The situation we are all in does require getting used to, but it doesn’t mean that it is hopeless. We still can collaborate and help each other get the best results possible. Our studio is not an exception. It was hard to figure out the way to work online, but in the process, we have learned a few things that helped us be more productive in our current settings and we are ready to share some tips. 

1.Agree on the file format

Many artists who are not used to recording in their home studios are not familiar with different file formats and may end up providing the wrong file format. Sure, a producer can spend some time converting your file into his desired format, but he would rather save time and do something productive instead. So if you are an artist, don’t be afraid to ask your producer about the file format, he would appreciate it if you do, and if you are a producer communicate your needs clearly and make sure the artist understands them.

2. Organize your takes

Don’t ever send your collaborators short takes that have to be adjusted manually. To make everyone’s job easier, deliver takes that are the same length and that can be dropped into the session and edited right away. If you are a producer you can leave a couple of bars empty, and if you are an artist make sure that the takes you send are the same length as the mix you were recording to. 

3. Name your tracks correctly

When you record your session make sure to give your tacks proper names. If you send in a session where all the tracks will be named as track 1,2, e.t.c., your collaborator will never work with you again. This is especially important if you work with instruments recorded with several microphones.

4. Provide clear directions

Don’t expect the artist to know or guess what you wanted to say. Be very precise and clear about your desires, needs, and final vision. It’s a good idea to include BPM written in the name of the mix you want your artist to track to. Some musicians also prefer written directions such as song structure and chord charts. Communicate with your artist and find out what they need to make the recording session as comfortable as possible. 

5. Provide several takes

This point is important for artists and musicians. If the producer doesn’t have any particular requirements and gives you the freedom of action it’s a good idea to record several takes ranging from safe ones to more risky ones. Play around, see what you can come up with. But still, all your takes should be organized in an orderly manner and be easy to work with. 

6. Do some noise reduction

Nowadays, there is a lot of noise reduction software available online, and many producers appreciate it if you remove silent parts of the recording. However, some producers prefer to remove silence themselves. As usual, you should always ask your producer for guidance and direction. 

We hope that this article helped you find some useful tips to make your collaborations better and more productive.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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