If there’s one good thing to come out of the pandemic, it’s a huge leap forward in the technology available to record, edit, and mix audio remotely. Never before has it been so easy or accessible to collaborate with other artists from around the world and create unique compositions from the comfort of your home or office.
We’ll walk you through some of our favorite tools that are making online music collaboration possible, whether your team is spread out across the country or across the world.
Can music producers, engineers, and artists record together remotely?
Thanks to advancements in remote recording and broadcasting technology, it’s possible to record high-quality audio with other artists from anywhere in the world, and create a smooth production workflow.
With the right hardware and software, you can perform with a bandmate on the other side of the world in real-time while your audio engineer tweaks the mix.
Hardware for remote music recording
Here’s a list of equipment that you’ll need to properly set up your personal recording “studio” that you’ll work in during your remote recording sessions:
- A high-quality microphone: This is a must-have for everyone recording music remotely. Even if you’re not a vocalist, you’ll want a high-end microphone available as an option for acoustic instrument recording as well as to communicate with your fellow collaborators.
- A quiet place to record: Ideally, this should be a soundproof booth designed specifically for high quality audio recording, but at a minimum, you should be in a quiet, small room with very little reverb. You can also buy affordable sound-dampening panels online to help cut down on any echo in your room.
- A computer or laptop: You’ll need an internet-connected device in your performance space that is capable of running remote recording software as well as receiving input from whatever recording device you’re using to capture your audio.
- Cords or adapters for your microphone or digital instruments: Some microphones or electric instruments will require additional hardware to connect them to your online recording device, so make sure to research what you may need to connect your specific device.
You’re likely familiar with most of this hardware already if you’ve done any digital audio recording. However, the most critical tool to recording music remotely is software that enables you to connect with other collaborators at a distance.
Software for remote music recording
To be able to run a successful remote recording session, you’ll need three kinds of software (ideally).
First, you’ll need audio recording software that’s capable of capturing audio in a remote location. Second, you’ll need collaboration software that will allow you to communicate with your remote team members easily and effectively. And lastly, you’ll need some sort of file-sharing software so you can share audio files between each other.
We’ve compiled some of our favorite tools in each of these categories to help you jumpstart your remote recording toolbox.
Remote audio recording software
SourceConnect is still a favorite among audio professionals for any and all remote audio recording. It works with any DAW and allows the mixer and talent to communicate and record in real-time.
- Ultra-low latency streaming
- Ability to record and monitor simultaneously
- Works with any DAW
- Multi-track across multiple time zones
The Listento platform from Audiomovers allows you to stream and record audio from any professional digital audio workstation (DAW), making it perfect for ADR sessions.
- Hi-resolution audio (32 bit/96 kHz)
- Multi-channel (supports mono, stereo, quad, and surround sound)
- Built-in recorder
- User-selectable latencies to match their internet connection speed or external video conference
SonoBus is not only a multi-user audio streaming platform; it also allows you to record audio from multiple remote users simultaneously. It operates similarly to SourceConnect and Listento, and allows each member of the remote connection to control their own latency settings and mix.
- Low latency streaming
- Multi-user playback and recording
- Individual users have control over the latency, quality, and overall mix of the streamed audio.
- Works on desktops, DAW’s, and mobile devices
IPDTL is a web-browser based remote broadcasting program designed for on-the-go media professionals. It not only allows you to record up to 6 different remote connections simultaneously, but it also allows you to broadcast live either through a browser or a radio station.
When we’re looking at the future of music production, the ability to give live shows where each musician is completely remote is likely going to become a prominent need for many music producers.
- Low latency streaming
- No ISDN line required
- No software download required
- Ability to save multi-channel WAV files of each session
Soundtrap by Spotify
Soundtrap is a newcomer to the remote music production world, but it presents an intelligently designed UI combined with powerful features that make it an extremely attractive platform for young musicians looking to DIY their music production with their friends.
It allows you to record and edit on any device and gives each collaborator total control over their sound.
- Works on PC and mobile
- No ISDN line required
- Automation tools included
- Built-in loops and presets
- Easy-to-use UI
Remote collaboration software
Evercast is a remote editing collaboration platform that allows creatives to collaborate in real-time on recording and editing sessions. Also, at the same time, video conferencing and utilizing built-in notation features to make notes and suggest changes.
While you’ll still need audio capture software, Evercast can make communicating with your talent and refining performance much easier.
- Ultra-low latency streaming
- Ability to stream both live performance and pre-recorded edits
- Ability to stream editing software workspace with other collaborators
- Full-spectrum audio
- Video conferencing built-in
Create together remotely, in real time
Zoom has become a household name in video conferencing, and many creative teams still use it to coordinate meetings via video chat. One big drawback to Zoom is that it doesn’t include features that allow for HD workspace streaming and annotation like Evercast.
- Unlimited free 1-on-1 calls on all plans
- Voice and video call options
- Available on desktop and mobile
- Built-in chat and screen sharing features
File sharing software
Filestage is a content review platform that allows you to share files and provide feedback on all sorts of projects.
- Unlimited file storage
- Unlimited users per project
- One-click approvals
- Collaboration tools like @ mentions to keep everyone in the loop
- Downloadable assets with download permission controls, so only the users who need the file have access
- No software installation is needed; the platform works directly from the web browser
Google Drive is a cloud-based file storage platform that you’re likely already familiar with. Basic access is included with every Google account, and upgraded storage is available at relatively low prices.
- Affordable storage plans
- Can easily send files over email
- Works on desktop, browser, and mobile
QuickReviewer is a feature-packed review and approval platform that’s designed to keep large creative teams on-task while including file-sharing capabilities.
- Review window that allows reviewers full control over commenting, playback, and much more.
- Easy approve/reject buttons
- Organize projects by folder or campaign
- Controlled access
Remote recording technology is changing musical collaboration
With so much new technology enabling remote music creation in ways that have just never been possible before, we’re excited to see how the music being produced may begin to change.
Though it may have started due to social distancing, collaboration across borders is now possible, and with it comes the opportunity for new ideas to mix and create new beats, sounds, and phrases.
We heavily encourage you to invest in the tools that make working with your collaborative partners seamless. Unlock the full benefits of being able to work with whoever you want, whenever you want, in your pursuit of that next perfect track.