Making Music In The Cloud
There was a time – and not all that long ago – when the only options for musicians to create together involved enclosed spaces, physical isolation from the world and, above all else, physical proximity to each other. This physical proximity is the subject of many a dramatic “Behind the Music” meltdown anecdote, and has led to innumerable arguments, physical confrontations, and band break-ups over the past sixty years. I can attest to the strain that such intense and constant contact between creative individuals places on an artist’s ability to create calmly and productively. Making an album is a volatile process, and one that is a paradox of physical, emotional, and artistic elation and exhaustion. This paradox is something that every band that has ever tried to make music for an extended period of time has come up against, but it is this paradox that has been summarily solved by the existence and evolution of cloud file sharing.
Since 2008, DropBox has been steadily making a name for itself as one of the most efficient ways in which individuals can share and collectively edit files over the internet. As one person uploads files into a folder designated as shared, those with whom the folder is shared have immediate and unlimited access to the files being uploaded. For anyone who has ever worked in a group setting, the benefits to remote file viewing, downloading, and editing, are obvious. That immediate access means that musicians, engineers and producers don’t have to be crammed in a sweaty, smelly recording studio for weeks on end. Rather, those people can be comfortably creating both in the studio and at home, yet still have access to all the same vital information.
This revolutionary concept is even further changing the face of a nearly unrecognizable music industry. Not only can people make music together in home-based recording studios; people can now make that music and instantaneously make it available for cloud collaboration via Dropbox. There are similar file sharing services (MediaFire, YouSendIt, GoogleDrive), but none of them allow for the same unique and pivotal real-time interface that Dropbox allows its users. Folder sharers can literally see the files and their progress as they are being uploaded into the folder. Short of remotely accessing a desktop, we as computer users and musicians have never had this sort of unbridled ability to communicate and collaborate virtually.
By Jacob Hyman