3 Ways To Start Collaborating On Music Remotely

Long gone are the days of having to squeeze multiple people into the same room or studio to jam or lay down a new track together. Like with most things in life, the internet has transformed music collaboration.

However, seamlessly streaming, recording or producing music with others remotely is easier said than done, and there are more challenges to doing so than you might think.

With that in mind, we’ve outlined three ways to start effectively collaborating on music remotely. Firstly though, what exactly are the benefits and potential pitfalls of collaborating with musicians online?

The benefits of collaborating on music remotely

Let’s look at the advantages of remote music collaboration more closely:

  • Collaboration wherever you are – Remote collaboration enables you to work with each other no matter where you are, even if it’s the other side of the world.
  • Greater scheduling flexibility – With no need to travel in order to play, record or produce music with others, remote music collaborations are a lot easier to organise.
  • Reduced costs – While you’ll have to spend money on essential equipment like microphones and headphones, remote music collaboration helps you cut costs as you don’t have to travel to and rent out a recording studio.

The challenges of collaborating on music remotely

However, remote music collabs don’t come without potential problems, including:

  • Latency and variable bitrates – Noticeable delays can make remote collaborations extremely difficult, if not impossible.
  • Poor sound quality – Similarly, not all remote music solutions have HD streaming quality, which is particularly problematic when it comes to producing and recording music.
  • Incompatible technology – Even if you have the best remote music technology in the world, it’s no use if it’s incompatible with your collaborator’s, which is a big risk with remote collaborations.

Because of this, it’s important to find remote music collab methods that work for your requirements. Here are three you might want to try for different purposes, from remote recording to production.

1. Stream your ideas live from your DAW

How to set up your DAW for live streaming

DAWs generally don’t allow you to stream audio to others, so you’ll need a plugin to achieve this. Audiomover’s LISTENTO plugin enables you to stream uncompressed audio from your DAW to anybody with a link, on either their web browser, LISTENTO mobile app or DAW. This allows you to share your music with collaborators no matter where either of you are.

All you need to do to stream audio from the LISTENTO plugin is:

  • Add the LISTENTO plugin to an audio or MIDI channel on your DAW
  • Prepare your stream and name it
  • Press “Start Transmission” to begin streaming

How to communicate with your collaborator during the live stream

There isn’t a LISTENTO chat function to communicate with your collaborator during a live stream. Because of this, we recommend using the plugin in combination with tools like Zoom, Teams and Skype.

Tips for making the most of live streaming collaboration

Our tips for making the most out of live streaming with LISTENTO include:

  • Although you can use the same session name for different sessions, we suggest choosing names that relate to the particular project if you’re jumping from multiple projects at a time.
  • Be sure to adjust latency and streaming quality so they’re in line with your preferences.
  • For extra security, you can add a session password.
  • Make sure to test the stream link before sending it to somebody else.

2. Record your collaborator remotely

How to set up a remote recording session

Remote recording is extremely difficult with most recording tools owing to the poor audio quality and frequent drops in latency. With LISTENTO, however, you can record real-time HD audio any time, anywhere, with almost no latency.

In order to set up a remote recording session using the plugin, you’ll need to:

  • Within your DAW, select the track you wish to transmit and insert the LISTENTO plugin.
  • Log in to LISTENTO, set the session name and send it to your collaborator.
  • Create an AUX track and assign the audio input to the AUX channel.
  • Add the LISTENTO RECEIVER plugin to an insert slot of the AUX track, and then open the LISTENTO RECEIVER plugin and paste the session link.
  • After pasting the streaming link, you’re ready to record. Assign the aux tracks’s output to an audio track to record into your timeline or use the LISTENTO receiver’s built in recorder.

What equipment you’ll need

You’ll need the following equipment to record a remote music session:

  • A DAW
  • A laptop or mobile phone
  • A microphone
  • Instruments
  • Headphones
  • Studio monitors

Tips for getting the best results from remote recording

To make the most out of your remote recording session, we recommend:

  • Recording in an appropriate environment – somewhere with no background noise or echo.
  • Investing in a high quality microphone. By buying a purpose-built mic for music recording, you’ll get much better results seeing as these microphones can deal with higher sound pressure levels, have fantastic frequency response characteristics, and are more robust than consumer-grade models.
  • Optimising your network connection to reduce latency and packet loss. You may even want to use a wired connection.
  • Turning off video playback in other tabs or browsers to minimise the network bandwidth use and CPU resources.
  • Monitoring your audio in real-time to check for issues like dropouts and distortion.

3. Stream and record MIDI in real-time

Getting Started

Our LISTENTO plugin facilitates uncompressed audio streaming to and from any DAW, enabling you and your collaborators to make use of your respective DAWs to record and edit HQ audio together in real-time. This makes it the perfect tool for remotely collaborating with other musicians to produce music.

Because our solution now supports real-time MIDI streaming, you and your collaborators are able to trigger and record each other’s MIDI-enabled virtual instruments remotely, facilitating collaborative music production.

You can also synchronise remote DAWs with transmitted or newly generate MIDI time code (MTC) through the LISTENTO app, opening up greater flexibility for mixing remotely and controlling your collaborator’s DAW with MIDI control surfaces, synchronising remote DAW’s playback and using the MTC generators to synchronise remote DAWs or video playback when streaming scoring sessions between studios.

What software you’ll need

In order to stream, record and sync MIDI using LISTENTO, you’ll need:

  • The LISTENTO Instrument plugin, as this enables you to transmit MIDI information from your DAW. It also comes with a sidechain input that allows you to transmit MIDI information and audio simultaneously.
  • The LISTENTO Receiver plugin. This enables you to receive audio and MIDI LISTENTO streams directly into your DAW session.
  • The LISTENTO App, this enables you to generate MTC to use when syncing remote DAWs.

Tips for making the most of remote MIDI collaboration

Some tips for best harnessing MIDI sync include:

  • To stream MIDI using LISTENTO, open an instance of ‘LISTENTO’ onto a virtual instrument/MIDI track, select your session settings, login and start your transmission.
  • An unstable internet connection may cause MIDI data loss when receiving streams, something that will lead to the MIDI integrity error message appearing. At this point, be sure to increase your MIDI latency with the latency slider.
  • Once you’ve pasted a streaming link into the receiver, you can check whether MIDI is being transmitted by looking out for the MIDI activity indicator flashing red. It will appear dark grey when not logged in or if your subscription doesn’t enable you to pass MIDI.

Remote audio collaboration made simple

Although there are many ways to collaborate with other musicians remotely, only Audiomovers’s LISTENTO offers the all-round experience of long distance music streaming, recording and production that makes it feel like you are in the studio together, even if you’re hundreds of miles away.

It’s easily the best way to collaborate with other musicians remotely, regardless of your requirements. Start your journey towards seamless remote music collabs by starting a free LISTENTO trial today.