By Keith Nelson Jr.
Record 12th take. Get frustrated. Save session. Ride bus. Get inspired. Add effects to the bass from your phone. Return home. Listen to phone rough draft in the saved session. Read comments from collaborator. Repeat. JamHub, the makers of a silent rehearsal studio product line, aim to make this reality with BandLab, the first digital audio workstation (DAW) completely based in a cloud storage network.
The ability to upload and/or edit multitrack sessions to BandLab’s cloud storage network enables musicians to work on the go with mobile devices and tablets in addition to computers. Additionally, the cloud storage backs up all files and reduces the the disk space on one’s computer. The BandLab software is compatible with any audio interface and JamHub promises an automatic file syncing feature by mid-2013. BandLab operates on an open platform with its own app market to allow developers and technical artists to create personalized vocal effects, widgets, and a variety of other tools.
The crux of BandLab’s auspicious potential lies in its central emphasis on expanding the breadth of collaboration. BandLab allows for users to choose who is linked to their sessions for closed collaborations and private listening sessions. Similar to music streaming mainstay SoundCloud, BandLab allows users connected with a session to infuse comments on certain aspects of songs into the session. Individual mixes of sessions can be performed over the cloud and stored with others instead of replacing the previous mix with the new one. When a comment, mix or upload is completed each connected user gets an instant notification through email, tweet, post and/or in-app update. Essentially, a band can make their own individual mixes of changes on a session they have made without affecting each others and compare to find the perfect balance even if they are countries apart.
Five account types (Friend, Player, Musician, Writer, Producer) offer varying amounts of song uploads and mixes as well as BandLab editing features. The monthly price for these accounts range from free (Friend), to $.99 (Player), all the way to $14.99 (Producer). For users who do not want to use BandLab after the one-year subscription is up, JamHub offers them a Hibernation option for $10 which preserves all of the users’ audio for one year. The platform is currently raising money via Kickstarter, though as of this posting, still has a long way to go to reach it’s fundraising goal of $53,000.
Grammy-nominated R&B singer/producer Ryan Leslie had to redo his latest album, Les Is More from scratch after losing his laptop in Germany over two years ago. As cloud storage further pushes the music industry into a digital landscape (Google Music, iTunes Cloud, etc) BandLab is as pragmatic as it is inventive.
Stay creative, people.