The Top 10 Collaborative Audio Editing Tools for 2021

Evelyn Trainor-Fogleman

6 min read time

Thanks to the rapid development of software and hardware tools designed to make remote audio collaboration possible, you and your creative team are no longer bound by geographic location when you want to work together to create some sonic magic. 


With the right tools, you can record, edit, and publish new audio projects with your guitarist in Bangor, your singer in Boston, and your mixer in Budapest. This kind of technology was nearly unthinkable just a decade ago, so we could not be more excited to think about the incredible collaborations that may be born when artists are no longer limited by where they live. 


Without further ado, let’s dive into our top 10 most impressive audio editing tools that allow teams to collaborate from across the city or across the world. 



Top 10 Tools for Remote Audio Editing and Collaboration


These programs pack a serious punch. From allowing live multi-instrument recording to face-to-face editing sessions, each one is designed to break down the barriers created by distance and allow your team to seamlessly collaborate. 


AVID Cloud Collaboration

If you’re a Pro Tools editor, AVID has your back with its Cloud Collaboration tool. This allows for multiple editors to work on the same Pro Tools project remotely, and all changes are automatically saved to the cloud. 


Pros:

  • Available for both Mac and PC
  • Includes a built-in chat feature for real-time communication
  • No file transfers needed


Cons:

  • While you can text chat in real-time, working in real time via cloud saving can be problematic
  • Only works with Pro Tools


Evercast

For editors that miss the real-time collaboration of being able to sit down in the studio together and swap ideas face-to-face, Evercast has the perfect solution. Not only are you able to stream your full workspace in HD with almost no lag, you can do it while video chatting with your entire team and making notes in real-time. 


Pros:

  • Works with any DAW or other editing software
  • Built-in video chatting
  • Timestamped chat notes and on-screen annotations
  • Ultra-low latency


Cons:

  • Not a file transfer platform, so you’ll still need some sort of file transfer system to share edit files and final exports
  • Only one editor can share their workspace at any given time

Create together remotely, in real time

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Ableton Live

Ableton Live now includes Ableton Link, which allows for multiple electronic instrument inputs to all stay in sync and record simultaneously while connected to a local network. While this isn’t quite as “remote” as other programs on this list, it’s a huge leap forward for digital recording collaboration. 

 

Pros:

  • Available for Mac, PC, and iOS
  • Integrates with dozens of electronic music devices and apps
  • Allows collaborators to leave and re-join recording sessions at any time


Cons:

  • All collaborators must be on the same local network


Soundtrap

Soundtrap is a collaboration platform built by streaming giant Spotify. It is a DAW (digital audio workstation) that is purpose-built to allow for remote recording collaboration via its cloud-based platform. 


Pros:

  • Available for Mac, PC, and iOS
  • Allows seamless project sharing via automatic cloud uploads
  • Tracks recorded through the iPhone app can be automatically synced with the Soundtrap desktop app for easy editing


Cons:

  • Not yet available for Android devices
  • Does not allow for simultaneous live recording


Ninjam for Reaper

One of the biggest challenges facing musicians who want to record jam sessions remotely is the huge differences in latency between their connections and devices. Ninjam is an ingenious solution to this problem. This plugin essentially increases the latency so that you’re playing along “live” with the previous interval recorded by your collaborators. It sounds weird, but once you get used to it, it’s as close to a “live” jam session as you can get over the internet. 

 

Pros:

  • Available for both Mac and PC
  • Works with both live and digital instruments
  • Allows each participant to tweak their own mix


Cons:

  • While it is open-source and technically can be reworked to work with other DAWs, it works best with Reaper


Satellite Session

So in most cases of remote collaboration software, all participants need to be working inside the same DAW in order to collaborate. The creators of Satellite Session wanted to further break down the barriers preventing remote collaboration, and that means getting rid of cross-compatibility barriers. Satellite Sessions works with most popular DAWs and allows for live collaboration even if one participant is using Ableton while another is using Pro Tools. 


Pros:

  • Available for both Mac and PC
  • Works with most popular DAW platforms including Ableton, Logic Pro X, FL Studio, Cubase, Studio One, and Pro Tools
  • Automatically backs-up all data to the cloud


Cons:

  • Doesn’t allow for simultaneous recording
  • No built-in chat features


Frame.io

So while most of the programs we’ve covered so far have an emphasis on live collaboration without filesharing, there are still plenty of applications where you’ll need to send large files between participants for feedback and other purposes. Frame.io is an excellent platform for approval requests, filesharing, and feedback between collaborators across the globe. 


Pros:

  • Available for both Mac and PC
  • Includes time-stamped notes on feedback
  • Provides enterprise-level file security
  • Fast upload and download times


Cons:

  • No video chatting for live face-to-face feedback
  • Doesn’t integrate with editing programs for live editing sessions


Filestage

Similar to Frame.io, Filestage allows for remote filesharing and feedback on creative projects from anywhere in the world. It is heavily focused on making the review and approval process as simple as possible, with a clear and structured file review process that keeps everything organized. No more wondering what stage of client or producer approval your audio project is at! 


Pros:

  • Available for both Mac and PC
  • Clean, minimalist UI
  • Automated review requests


Cons:

  • Does not allow for “live” collaboration


Amuse Pro

So we’ve talked about the editing process, but what about that tasty reward at the end of all the editing? The release of a new song is an exciting moment, and one that you should be able to share with your co-collaborators. Amuse is a music publishing platform that allows you to release new music to multiple platforms at the same time. With their Pro membership, you can add all your team members to your profile so you can collaborate on the release together. 


Pros:

  • Makes publishing your projects to Spotify, Apple Music and other platforms simple. 
  • Allows to you easily split royalties between team members


Cons:

  • Platform takes a small cut of royalty payouts


Dropbox

Ok, so why are we mentioning a relatively old filesharing app in our collaborative audio editing tools lineup? Put simply, it’s because this standby is affordable and it works. When you need to send files back-and-forth without any bells and whistles, Dropbox provides enterprise-grade security and stable uploads at a fraction of the cost of many competitors. 


Pros:

  • Available for Mac, PC, Android, and iOS
  • Allows automatic syncing of files
  • Includes two-factor authentication for added security


Cons:

  • No additional collaboration features



Technology is making working together when you’re apart easier than it’s ever been. That being said, remote collaboration isn’t always easy, but the right tools can make all the difference when you want to work smarter, not harder. Hopefully, this guide will help you start your creative journey out on the right foot with the right tools and enable your audio editing team to find the magic of collaboration, even if you’re worlds apart.

Evelyn Trainor-Fogleman

Evelyn Trainor-Fogleman is a writer based in New York City. After over half a decade in the film industry, she came back to her Journalism roots to write for a variety of media outlets about subjects including technology, business, marketing, and social and environmental justice.

The Top 10 Collaborative Audio Editing Tools for 2021

Evelyn Trainor-Fogleman

9/13/21

Thanks to the rapid development of software and hardware tools designed to make remote audio collaboration possible, you and your creative team are no longer bound by geographic location when you want to work together to create some sonic magic. 


With the right tools, you can record, edit, and publish new audio projects with your guitarist in Bangor, your singer in Boston, and your mixer in Budapest. This kind of technology was nearly unthinkable just a decade ago, so we could not be more excited to think about the incredible collaborations that may be born when artists are no longer limited by where they live. 


Without further ado, let’s dive into our top 10 most impressive audio editing tools that allow teams to collaborate from across the city or across the world. 



Top 10 Tools for Remote Audio Editing and Collaboration


These programs pack a serious punch. From allowing live multi-instrument recording to face-to-face editing sessions, each one is designed to break down the barriers created by distance and allow your team to seamlessly collaborate. 


AVID Cloud Collaboration

If you’re a Pro Tools editor, AVID has your back with its Cloud Collaboration tool. This allows for multiple editors to work on the same Pro Tools project remotely, and all changes are automatically saved to the cloud. 


Pros:

  • Available for both Mac and PC
  • Includes a built-in chat feature for real-time communication
  • No file transfers needed


Cons:

  • While you can text chat in real-time, working in real time via cloud saving can be problematic
  • Only works with Pro Tools


Evercast

For editors that miss the real-time collaboration of being able to sit down in the studio together and swap ideas face-to-face, Evercast has the perfect solution. Not only are you able to stream your full workspace in HD with almost no lag, you can do it while video chatting with your entire team and making notes in real-time. 


Pros:

  • Works with any DAW or other editing software
  • Built-in video chatting
  • Timestamped chat notes and on-screen annotations
  • Ultra-low latency


Cons:

  • Not a file transfer platform, so you’ll still need some sort of file transfer system to share edit files and final exports
  • Only one editor can share their workspace at any given time

Ableton Live

Ableton Live now includes Ableton Link, which allows for multiple electronic instrument inputs to all stay in sync and record simultaneously while connected to a local network. While this isn’t quite as “remote” as other programs on this list, it’s a huge leap forward for digital recording collaboration. 

 

Pros:

  • Available for Mac, PC, and iOS
  • Integrates with dozens of electronic music devices and apps
  • Allows collaborators to leave and re-join recording sessions at any time


Cons:

  • All collaborators must be on the same local network


Soundtrap

Soundtrap is a collaboration platform built by streaming giant Spotify. It is a DAW (digital audio workstation) that is purpose-built to allow for remote recording collaboration via its cloud-based platform. 


Pros:

  • Available for Mac, PC, and iOS
  • Allows seamless project sharing via automatic cloud uploads
  • Tracks recorded through the iPhone app can be automatically synced with the Soundtrap desktop app for easy editing


Cons:

  • Not yet available for Android devices
  • Does not allow for simultaneous live recording


Ninjam for Reaper

One of the biggest challenges facing musicians who want to record jam sessions remotely is the huge differences in latency between their connections and devices. Ninjam is an ingenious solution to this problem. This plugin essentially increases the latency so that you’re playing along “live” with the previous interval recorded by your collaborators. It sounds weird, but once you get used to it, it’s as close to a “live” jam session as you can get over the internet. 

 

Pros:

  • Available for both Mac and PC
  • Works with both live and digital instruments
  • Allows each participant to tweak their own mix


Cons:

  • While it is open-source and technically can be reworked to work with other DAWs, it works best with Reaper


Satellite Session

So in most cases of remote collaboration software, all participants need to be working inside the same DAW in order to collaborate. The creators of Satellite Session wanted to further break down the barriers preventing remote collaboration, and that means getting rid of cross-compatibility barriers. Satellite Sessions works with most popular DAWs and allows for live collaboration even if one participant is using Ableton while another is using Pro Tools. 


Pros:

  • Available for both Mac and PC
  • Works with most popular DAW platforms including Ableton, Logic Pro X, FL Studio, Cubase, Studio One, and Pro Tools
  • Automatically backs-up all data to the cloud


Cons:

  • Doesn’t allow for simultaneous recording
  • No built-in chat features


Frame.io

So while most of the programs we’ve covered so far have an emphasis on live collaboration without filesharing, there are still plenty of applications where you’ll need to send large files between participants for feedback and other purposes. Frame.io is an excellent platform for approval requests, filesharing, and feedback between collaborators across the globe. 


Pros:

  • Available for both Mac and PC
  • Includes time-stamped notes on feedback
  • Provides enterprise-level file security
  • Fast upload and download times


Cons:

  • No video chatting for live face-to-face feedback
  • Doesn’t integrate with editing programs for live editing sessions


Filestage

Similar to Frame.io, Filestage allows for remote filesharing and feedback on creative projects from anywhere in the world. It is heavily focused on making the review and approval process as simple as possible, with a clear and structured file review process that keeps everything organized. No more wondering what stage of client or producer approval your audio project is at! 


Pros:

  • Available for both Mac and PC
  • Clean, minimalist UI
  • Automated review requests


Cons:

  • Does not allow for “live” collaboration


Amuse Pro

So we’ve talked about the editing process, but what about that tasty reward at the end of all the editing? The release of a new song is an exciting moment, and one that you should be able to share with your co-collaborators. Amuse is a music publishing platform that allows you to release new music to multiple platforms at the same time. With their Pro membership, you can add all your team members to your profile so you can collaborate on the release together. 


Pros:

  • Makes publishing your projects to Spotify, Apple Music and other platforms simple. 
  • Allows to you easily split royalties between team members


Cons:

  • Platform takes a small cut of royalty payouts


Dropbox

Ok, so why are we mentioning a relatively old filesharing app in our collaborative audio editing tools lineup? Put simply, it’s because this standby is affordable and it works. When you need to send files back-and-forth without any bells and whistles, Dropbox provides enterprise-grade security and stable uploads at a fraction of the cost of many competitors. 


Pros:

  • Available for Mac, PC, Android, and iOS
  • Allows automatic syncing of files
  • Includes two-factor authentication for added security


Cons:

  • No additional collaboration features



Technology is making working together when you’re apart easier than it’s ever been. That being said, remote collaboration isn’t always easy, but the right tools can make all the difference when you want to work smarter, not harder. Hopefully, this guide will help you start your creative journey out on the right foot with the right tools and enable your audio editing team to find the magic of collaboration, even if you’re worlds apart.

Evelyn Trainor-Fogleman

Website
Evelyn Trainor-Fogleman is a writer based in New York City. After over half a decade in the film industry, she came back to her Journalism roots to write for a variety of media outlets about subjects including technology, business, marketing, and social and environmental justice.

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