Online Music Collaboration: Best Tools And Services To Collaborate On Music Projects
Online music collaboration services allow you to play, rehearse and record music with remotely connected like-minded people from around the world. You connect with other musicians, vocalists, songwriters and even to your own music fans to create the music you like either in real-time or asynchronously. You can also exchange ideas, discover new music from other independent artists and experiment freely without the pressure coming from knowing that you are renting an expensive recording studio.
Photo credit: picpics
Unless you have decided to do a real-time jam with your remotely connected musicians, online music collaboration services work all pretty much in the same way: You record a music track with your own instrument connected to a computer and then you upload the track for others to work and build upon.
If you and your music partners already have a speedy broadband Internet connection, you can also use online music collaboration services to play in real-time without worrying about the typical delays that are characteristic of transmitting audio on the Internet. You just plug your instrument to your PC / Mac, find your musical buddies and you are set to play.
Collaborative music projects can be both public or private, depending on your production needs, and some of the music collaboration services I am showcasing here in this guide, also provide a direct marketplace for you to distribute and sell your songs.
Interestingly, DJs and creative people who are not musicians can use some of these music collaboration services to remix and mash-up old and new stuff.
In this MasterNewMedia guide you can find a comprehensive map of the online music collaboration services available out there, including some of their key characteristics and a comparative table that puts them through their paces. When reviewing each one of the services, these were the key items I checked:
- Supported file format: File types accepted to upload your music tracks.
- Public / Private sessions: Free or restricted access for musical projects.
- Distribution / Sales: Music tracks distribution on third-party websites or social networks.
- Rating: Mutual evaluation of musicians.
- Pricing: Basic starting cost and feature.
Best Tools And Services To Collaborate On Music Projects Comparative Table
Online Music Collaboration: Best Tools And Services To Collaborate On Music Projects
- eJAMMING AUDiiO
With eJamming AUDiiO you can create, perform and record musical tracks online and in real-time. The software (for Win and Mac only) allow you to connect to other musicians both by public or private chat and by creating or joining a session. Inside a session you get in touch with up to three other musicians for real time music collaboration, creation and recording. Or you can also play on your own and record your creation. All you have to do is plug your instrument to your computer and then configure the software with the instructions available on the website. You cannot upload your own tracks for the time being. Each musician has a skill level rated by the eJamming community, so you can decide whom you want to play with. Once you have recorded your tracks you can also send your music to a friend or jam-mate. eJamming AUDiio is priced either $9.95/month or $89.95/year.
Kompoz is a social workspace for musicians and songwriters. You can record a music track, upload it and then invite others to contribute to your song by adding other instruments or vocals. Public and private projects are available, so you can collaborate with anyone or specifically select the people to work with. Check the ratings of your selected musicians to choose the right co-author for your creation. Then upload a music track (MP3, AIFF, WAV, WMA, OGG), a PDF with tabs or vocal parts and meet your jam-mates to start collaborating together on your own song. To get feedback from the Kompoz community, you can use the forum discussions to share opinions and suggestions with other members. When your project is ready, share it via Twitter, Facebook or your own website by grabbing the embed code. Public projects are free and licensed under a Creative Commons license. Each private project you start costs $8.95 and you can choose either to share your music under a Creative Commons license or traditional copyright.
- JamNow ***DEAD
JamNow is a free online collaboration platform that allows you to play, record and collaborate with other musicians. You can host live shows for your fans or just play and record your tracks on your own. To use JamNow you have to download a free software (Win and Mac) on your computer. The software allows you to get in touch with other passionate musicians and supporters via chat or using a microphone. Your music projects can be both kept public or private and all members have a rating score, so it is easy to meet the people you need to perfect your songs. No exposure features to distribute your music on third-party websites. No info either on file formats supported to upload a music track.
MixMatchMusic is a free community where artists and music lovers meet to share their tastes or collaborate on music projects. You can connect with other members to create, complete or remix tracks using MixMatchMusic suite of audio tools. Then upload your own tracks to start or use a "stem", a music sample you find on the site. To find the right musicians look at their ratings from the community. Once you are satisfied with the results of your project, publish your music on the website. Each song costs $1 and for each track sold $0.85 go to those people who collaborated creating the music. To release your song on third-part locations you need either to have permission from the company or the co-authors of the song. No info on file formats supported to upload a music track.
- Tune Rooms ***DEAD
Tune Rooms is a free online service to create and remix music tracks with the help of other musicians. You can create your own music sessions (or "tune rooms") by uploading your own tracks in MP3 format or by adding existing tracks already on the website. Then allow others to contribute with their own song sketches to help you complete your songs. Tune rooms allows users to assign a Creative Commons license their works, featuring the license prominently on each composition. No ratings or distribution tools available.
- Oomix ***DEAD
Using Oomix musicians can collaborate online on their songs and even monetize their music without spending a dime. Record and upload a single-instrument MP3 track to Oomix and let others play their own groove and complete your track. Some others may want to remix different tracks and create a unique music piece using the Studio tool (Windows only). Each song perfected and created by a group of musicians is sold for a pre-determined price. Each musician or remixer assigns a percentage to her contribution that identifies the amount of work done (e.g. 30% bass guitar, 30% guitar, 20% drums, 20% remix). The money each contributor gets is calculated according to the percentage of work done and total earning made from the sell. You can rate each musician but not freely distribute the songs you create (only sell is allowed). Private projects are not permitted.
Jamglue is an online community for creating and sharing original music and audio. You can upload your recorded music (MP3, WAV and WMA formats allowed) or voice track, create mixes, and then share your creations on your blog or MySpace profile. You can either upload a track from your hard-disk, a URL, or use JamGlue library to mix different tracks using a Flash-based interface; no software to install on your computer. Once your mix is completed, you can download the song for free. You can also write mini-review or comments to rate your favorite artists. Private projects are not allowed. Free to use.
WeMix is a free online service where musicians can collaborate together and produce original songs. Co-founded by the rapper Ludacris, WeMix usage is simple: you sign up, create your page and upload your original songs, beats, vocals, riffs in MP3 format As a member you can collaborate on songs using WeMix Mashpit, offer feedback, rate your favorite artists and share ideas for new music with others. If you want to distribute your music you can grab the embed code of your published songs and paste it onto your social media pages or website. Top performers also get a shot to turn their songs into real records by collaborating with star musicians and the entire WeMix community. Your show might even be broadcast on TV.
- Indaba Music
The mission of Indaba Music is to foster a community that offers artists to connect and work creatively together on music projects. Create a free blog to share your music (MP3 is the only format accepted for upload) and photos or connect with other musicians to work on a project together using a web-based workspace. Each musician is rated by other members and has a personal profile page to facilitate your choice. If you are not a musician, you can also browse the Indaba Music library of Creative Commons-licensed songs and remix a song, even privately. Basic plan to join Indaba Muisc is free and you have all it needs to create, remix and share your songs. If you need advanced audio tools you can purchase one of the two premium plans starting at $5/month or $50/year.
MyOnlineBand.com is a network of professional and would-be musicians that want to share their music tastes and play collaboratively on music projects. Once you register to the network you can upload your songs (MP3 or WMA only) to share with others and use a live-chat facility to communicate in real-time with the musicians of your team. You also have a public profile page that works as a resume to help other people evaluate your contribution to their tracks. People can also support you economically through a dedicated link, though this is not compulsory to download a song. In fact, all you need to do is download tracks from the MyOnlineBand library, add your own audio contribution and then re-upload the song to the site. You can also upload document files to provide your jam-mates with chords, lyrics and tabs that will help you improve the songs. Both public and private projects are allowed. MyOnlineBand is free to join. No rating allowed.
MyBlogBand is a virtual jam room where you connect to other musicians, play and publish you recordings for free. You simply post your creation on the forum area of the website and let others add more instruments, give feedback, make suggestions, and collaborate on the song. If you like the additions made, you can then share the revised collaboration. You can also choose to work alone and open a private project or publicly release your creations. Audio tracks must be submitted in MP3 format and you can post lyrics, tabs and any other document that might help co-authors create songs. No rating and no ability to distribute your songs on third-party websites.
DopeTracks is a free online music collaboration network where you can record your beats and sing together with other vocalists. Just plug your microphone to your computer and use the built-in Flash application to record your vocals. Then upload your track to the service and provide lyrics so that your fans can sing along. Other users can also comment, "dope" (rate) and help you improve your beats participating to your vocal performances. Once you are satisfied with your beats, distribute your performance to Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or Xanga. No info on the file format needed to upload your vocals and no private projects allowed.
- Virtual Recording Studio
Virtual Recording Studio is an online music collaboration venue where musicians meet to work together on new music. All you have to do is upload an original music track in one of the supported formats (MP3, WAV, WMA, OMF, and MIDI) and then start a project to let others contribute to your song. Projects can be either public or private. In a private project you selectively control who can hear your music or collaborate on your songs. Ratings and comments are allowed, but you cannot distribute your finished creations on third-party websites. You can also install Virtual Recording Studio on your own web server to create your personal music collaboration community. Free to use.
- Online Jam Sessions
Online Jam Sessions is a music collaboration platform where musicians meet to jam together live, regardless of the distance. Jam rooms are manly designed to be public, but you can also hand-pick selected musicians to play with and start a private jam session. To start you need to register and choose an artist from a real-time updated list of people playing. Then you can chat (publicly or privately), upload an audio or video file to work on (any format allowed) or ask a musician to join her performance. You may both jam using just your audio or also your video. Ratings and comments are allowed. You cannot redistribute your finished songs on third-party websites. Online Jam Sessions is priced at $10/month or $100/year.
Originally prepared by Robin Good and Daniele Bazzano for MasterNewMedia, and first published on July 13th, 2009 as "Online Music Collaboration: Best Tools And Services To Collaborate On Music Projects".
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