The shift to remote work becoming more and more the norm has put unique pressure on sound production teams, many of which are used to collaborating directly with musicians, performers, and producers within the walls of a studio.
Thankfully, with the remote work shift, there’s also been a huge uptick in collaboration tools built specifically for audio production and editing teams. You don’t have to try to stream REAPER over Zoom and count that as a productive editing session.
If you’re working in REAPER, there is a wide range of collaboration tools available to integrate into your workflow. In this article, we’ll break down the pros and cons of our favorites so you can figure out which tools are perfect for your team’s workflow.
Does REAPER offer a native collaboration feature?
Cockos Incorporated, the development team behind REAPER, has developed NINJAM, an open-source software platform that allows musicians to “jam” together remotely. REAPER has native NINJAM support via the ReaNINJAM plugin.
Pros and cons of NINJAM
- Integrates directly into REAPER
- Allows performers to jam together “live” without lag
- Enables producers and musicians to record their live jam sessions directly inside of REAPER
- Doesn’t include any communication tools to chat with your fellow performers
- While recording with NINJAM “feels” live, it actually achieves this by delaying the feed everyone receives by a pre-determined interval, which can take some time to adjust to.
NINJAM is an awesome solution if you’re looking for a native way to record audio remotely, but it lacks other collaboration tools that are useful during mixing and mastering.
Now, if you want to expand your ability to cohesively collaborate throughout the entire audio production process, check out these additional tools and collaboration platforms available for REAPER editors.
Tools that can help your team collaborate in REAPER
Tool #1: Evercast
Evercast is a video streaming and communication platform specifically built for creative teams that need to stream professional creation workspaces while chatting with their team.
With Evercast, you and your team can talk face-to-face while you jam, edit, brainstorm, and master in your REAPER session. It works seamlessly with any professional audio editing and recording software, so you’re never tied down to just one application. In fact, think of Evercast more like a virtual collaboration space that you can “rent” from anywhere.
- Ultra-low latency (less than 150ms on average) means that you’ll be able to chat in as close to real-time as possible.
- On-screen annotation and timestamped notes help you keep project notes organized and accurate.
- The platform allows for simultaneous video chatting, text chatting/note-taking, and workstation streaming, all under one clean interface.
- No additional software is required for participants just joining a meeting; they simply need to follow a link to join.
- Works with all creative software.
- Requires some setup time and configuration for editors and producers who want to stream their workstations (this is just a one-time setup).
- May be slightly more expensive than other tools.
Create together remotely, in real time
Tool #2: Frame.io
Frame.io is a storage, review, and feedback platform that you can custom-fit to your workflow. It allows you to share, annotate, and manage all of your media at each stage of a project and includes tools to help you manage multiple projects simultaneously.
The platform works exceptionally well for sharing new mixes and clips and getting instant feedback. It’s also a popular way to keep external stakeholders in the loop on their own schedule.
- One-click comment/task clearing.
- Version tracking.
- Works with any type of media exports.
- No video chat integration.
- You need to upload your project files to make comments and notes, which can take time for more extensive projects.
- Not designed for applying edits while notes are given.
Tool #3: SourceConnect
SourceConnect is a remote audio collaboration solution developed by the team at Source Elements. It was one of the first remote collaboration tools released for audio engineers, and allows you to record, edit, and review audio from anywhere.
- Ultra-low latency.
- Works with any professional DAW.
- Allows for remote direction as well as recording.
- You pay per license to use, limiting the number of people who can join a session.
- Does not include a native video chat feature (requires you to integrate with external clients like Zoom or Skype).
Tool #4: Listento
Listento by Audiomovers is a universal plugin that allows anyone to stream high-quality audio from their DAW. It’s a great option for producers and mixers who want to review track edits as they work and incorporate feedback live, all while the team works remotely.
- Works with any DAW, including REAPER.
- Basic plan allows you to stream to up to 10 people simultaneously.
- Boasts up to 32-bit/96 kHz streaming quality so you don’t miss a detail.
- No video chat option.
- No way to make visual or text notes through the program.
- Only allows additional collaborators to listen in, not make direct edits or record inside of REAPER.
Now you can collaborate from anywhere
The biggest benefit of all these remote collaboration tools is that you can source a team of music producers and sound designers beyond the typical hot spots in major cities. Drawing from a global talent pool means building the perfect team just got a lot easier.
Not only that, your current team members can now have much more flexibility in where they choose to work without sacrificing creative collaboration.
We could not be more thrilled to see how many tools are now available to help you build a remote mixing studio, and we can’t wait to see what they’ll enable you to create next.