Collaborate Online with Other Musicians and Engineers
Recording engineers and musicians in different cities can work together on a common project by sharing files -- sending digital audio files to others in wave, mp3 or wma format.
For example, you can send a song mix to a studio musician in another city, who overdubs their part and sends it back to you as a wave file to import back into your multitrack project.
You could email mp3 or wma files instead. If you want to use those compressed-data formats, encode the mp3 or wma files at 256 kbps or higher, VBR, for best sound quality.
Sending wave, mp3 or wma files by email can be cumbersome because some email programs limit attachments to 10 MB. Also, the person receiving the file attachment will have to wait a long time for the email to download. A better arrangement is to upload the audio files to a file-sharing website such as www.yousendit.com, www.proaudiobus.com, or Apple's iChat AV. When the recipient is ready to download the file, they simply click on a link.
Rogue Amoeba makes Nicecast software, which broadcasts audio in real time over the Internet. That lets a musician or producer in another location hear your mix with high quality, and comment back to you via phone or iChat.
Finding Studio Musicians, Producers and Engineers
At many websites you can find online session work or find online session musicians to enhance your projects. Using their services, you can work with people all over the world from the comfort of your own studio. Some sites accept only musicians who are with major labels, or they divide their services into major-label musicians and minor-label or indie musicians.
For example, sessionplayers.com seeks major-label musicians, singers and engineers to join their group of available studio professionals. In their Player's Network, they also offer directories of professional but more affordable session musicians for recording work and musical collaborations.
Here are some websites where session players and engineers can do online collaboration and find musical jobs: www.sessionplayers.com, www.ejamming.com, www.esession.com, www.musiciansjunction.com, www.bandmix.com, www.studiopros.com, and www.shenandoahmusic.com. Also, search Google for these terms: music collaboration technology, musician finder, musician's forum, online recording session, online session musicians.
You can greatly expand your range of resources and customers by going online.
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A member of the Audio Engineering Society and Syn Aud Con, Bruce Bartlett is a recording engineer, microphone engineer (www.bartlettmics.com), gigging musician and audio journalist. His latest books are "Practical Recording Techniques 5th Ed." and "Recording Music On Location".