Remote Music Production – Working with artists nationally and internationally
Nowadays using file sharing applications like Dropbox, it’s possible to work remotely with artists all over the World on recordings. It creates great opportunities for musicians to work together—with people, equipment, time and even talent they may not otherwise have access to.
Here are some situations where this can be useful.
For solo artists or singer/songwriters who don’t have access to a real rhythm section on their songs.
For composers who need to have their music recorded using real instruments.
For musicians who already have completed recordings but they need them mastered.
If your track needs a vocalist or any other session musician on it.
If you have a complete track but need it to be mixed or re-mixed.
It doesn’t even matter which digital audio workstation (DAW) you are using as long as these simple rules are followed.
1- Let me know the tempo of the track, or if there are any tempo changes then send a text file or screen shot of the tempo change list for the track.
2- Export your audio tracks from bar 1 regardless of when the music starts. If the vocal doesn’t come in until bar 17 for example, it will be too complicated to export the audio from bar 17 as you would then have to send an instruction as to when the audio is meant to start in the arrangement of the song. If you export all audio from bar 1, including the gaps in between the audio, then all I have to do is import each audio tracks and place them at bar one in my arrangement window. Then everything you send will be in sync with my Logic Audio set up.
When musical parts are added here I then send the audio back in the same way, starting from bar 1, and you then will be easily able to sync the tracks done at Offbeat with your programme.
There are advantages to using the same software programmes but these days there are so many different programmes around that it would be very limiting so the above method gets around that effectively.
The first time I worked remotely was with producer Jon Cohen on the Spirit Of The Glen albums where we both used the same Logic programme. On the third album Jon wasn’t able to make the session in Edinburgh as he was working on another project in London, so he sent me a Logic file with his midi guides and tempo information on it for each song. I opened the file directly from our shared Dropbox folder – so that every time I saved the file I was working it automatically and immediately updated the file at his end too. If there were any issues he would contact me directly but otherwise he could monitor the session whenever he wanted to check on how the session was proceeding.