A free online DAW with social networking serving a userbase of over 18 million, BandLab is a cloud-based cross-platform DAW that works in-browser and via a standalone mobile app. BandLab’s intuitive ecosystem boasts features such as realtime collaboration, MIDI control mapping, video sharing and messaging. One key principle is ‘Forking’ which encourages you to share your sessions with the community for other users to remix and reinterpret your work. Free loops and samples are added regularly, and available to anyone outside the BandLab ecosystem with BandLab Assistant. BandLab also promotes working collaboratively with a Creator Connect feature for finding like-minded artists.
For more information, check out bandlab.com.
2. Audiomovers Listento
Designed for remote mixing projects, Audiomovers Listento streams the hi-res audio output of your DAW with low latency to listeners using a web browser. It also allows remote musicians to record their parts directly into your session from afar with a plug-in. While it doesn’t allow multiple users to take control of a single project, it is remarkably straightforward to use. It’s available in all major plug-in types (VST, AU, AAX) across Mac and Windows, and pricing is structured to let you subscribe a week at a time for as little as $3.99.
Tim Exile’s new platform encourages users to create short loops called Rifffs, which they can offer up to the community. What sets Endlesss apart is that there’s no pressure to create a full track. It’s all about building on the ideas of the user base. Its creator likens it to WhatsApp but for music – it’s a musical conversation. It’s gained support from the likes of big names including Imogen Heap and Flux Pavillion, and there’s a DAW-integrated version on the way. Read our in-depth review of the mobile app here.
For more information, check out endlesss.fm.
The Spotify-owned online DAW shares a lot of similarities with BandLab and Soundation (1 and 7 on this list) such as built-in loop packs and collaborative sessions, but has taken aim not only at the music-making market but also at podcasters. A feature-limited free version is available on web and mobile but paid subscriptions unlock key features such as a synthesizer and more attractive sounds. Where the software shines is in its lack of limitation on song duration and track count, as long as your processor can keep up. Monthly pricing starts at $7.99 for music-makers.
For more information, check out soundtrap.com
A social platform that allows musicians to share projects in source format, which supports most major DAWs. You can sort and browse projects by software and plug-ins used. The platform features tonnes of remix competitions with gear up for grabs. Offering components of your tracks for others to build upon is actively encouraged. You can build a following based on your output, and buy and sell stems and sample packs through its marketplace too. There’s still an active community but it’s not quite as bustling as it one was, but it’s still a great place to grab stems honing your remix skills.
For more information, check out blend.io.
Pushing the notion of a global artist community collaborating and building up songs, Kompoz encourages crowdsourcing of songs. It supports most major DAW file formats and enables public and private workflows. You can create a personal profile that indicates your musical leanings and aims, too, so you can connect more easily with your fellow musicians. You can also earn money from your work by signing up to pro service Kompoz Studio.
For more information, check out kompoz.com.
Another browser-based DAW, but this time with paid tiers, is Soundation. You can get started for free with this online DAW but many features are locked behind a paywall. For example, live audio recording, audio import, and MIDI controller support all cost extra ($24/year). Meanwhile, if you want to use a parametric EQ, you’ll need to go up to the Premium plan ($83/year or $9.99/month). Realtime collaboration is currently in beta but looks like it could be powerful.
For more information, check out soundation.com
8. Ohm Studio
A self-sufficient DAW for online collaboration, Ohm Studio may require you to adjust how you typically work in your DAW but this is balanced by a streamlined approach to music-making with others, which makes use of an integrated chatroom and gives you the chance to simultaneously edit the same project with others. Ohm Studio has a free tier, but for 24-bit audio recording, and various plug-ins and hosting solutions, prices start at 39 Euros.
For more information, check out ohmstudio.com.
Offering a different take on collaboration, subscribing to Audiu will allow you to upload your tracks for review and critique by industry pros and production experts, and adapt them accordingly. There’s also a general community-feedback section that lets other users critique your music too. This might be a brilliant way to discover your next new collaborative tag-team partner
For more information, check out audiu.net.
[Editor’s note: BandLab is owned by BandLab Technologies, which also owns MusicTech.net]
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