View Full Version : Project Collaboration - What are your biggest gripes and breakthroughs?

02-03-2010, 03:41 PM
Hey everyone,

So, I don't know what percentage of people on here have collaborated digitally on music projects, but I think this applies both to people who have and people who haven't. I'm doing a little personal research about the difference among desktop musicians' workflows.

So, for those who have collaborated digitally:
- What would you say were the biggest obstacles in the process? What were your solutions to these obstacles?
- Was there any part of your process that you feel worked particularly well?
- How do you feel the process could be improved?

For those who haven't:
- Other than lack of interest in collaborating (Which is a very understandable circumstance), what has kept you from collaborating on a project over the Internet?
- How do you feel it could be made more accessible?

Feel free to answer any or all of the questions that apply, or just voice your opinion. If you wouldn't mind, also mention your preferred DAW.

Hoping to hear some interesting feedback.

02-03-2010, 04:18 PM
I'd say I've got two collabs worth mentioning. One failed, one worked fine. The one that failed did so because we couldn't agree on what we wanted to do with the track. The one that worked did so because we divided the tasks between us before starting, and we were both pretty much ok with how the other one was doing his tasks (with occasional exceptions that we discussed and compromised with). the biggest problem during that collab was deciding on a name we both liked. :D

What we did in both cases as we were using different DAWs was to send the midi back and forth with additions and changes. The successful collab was written by my collaborator (he sent me the midi once, no back and forth there), and I did the sound and mixing. There was a few of my sounds he wasn't happy with, so he bounced wavs with his sounds on those and sent them to me to mix with the rest.

The biggest obstacle is human. The solution is to compromise somehow, whether by dividing the tasks up beforehand (whether those are tasks, tracks, or parts (as in write/mix, guitar/drums, intro/B-part) or by discussing and making a decision when you find yoruselves disagreeing.

Meteo Xavier
02-03-2010, 04:20 PM
Don't you forget about our collab now, Rozovian.

02-03-2010, 04:51 PM
Don't you forget about our collab now, Rozovian.

Oh right, but I don't count it as a collab yet, haven't done the choir parts yet and have barely started mixing it.

02-08-2010, 01:02 PM
I've done two collabs so far and am starting another.

- What would you say were the biggest obstacles in the process? What were your solutions to these obstacles?

With the exception of some samplerate shenanigans at the beginning, everything went fairly smoothly. One of us (Matt) was in charge of the sequencing, so all I needed to do was supply raw audio. This kept DAW issues out of the picture entirely. Frankly, I don't even remember what he uses, just that it's not the same thing I use.

- Was there any part of your process that you feel worked particularly well?

Setting roles at the outset will save you some grief. Determine who's going to do what part (instrument-wise as well as production-wise) and let it grow from there. Get a rough sketch down and pass it back and forth to let other creative ideas emerge ("what if we did this at this section?"). Tweak and refine, pass back and forth more. Refine again. Don't be satisfied with the first draft. Challenge yourself. Don't be afraid to mention if you think a part isn't working as well as it could or should. Communicate. Most of all, have fun--if you don't enjoy what you're doing, stop and figure out why. If you can't find a way to enjoy it, save yourself the grief and don't do it. Your enthusiasm will show through in your music. It's not necessary to love the source material, but it helps.


02-08-2010, 06:45 PM
Every collab I've done has been very successful because I make sure to let the people I'm working with know that they're no more or less important than anyone else on the song/album. Once we establish a mutual respect we delegate the roles out and make sure we all have a way of communicating musically. Also, the only people I really collaborate with are a very close bunch of friends I have in the community and we all just happen to be using the same DAW, but even then you can run into problems because of plugins and whatnot, so we force ourselves to stay with the stock plugins until we finish an arrangement, and then we each go off and record our parts to all be sent back to the producer (usually me) to mix the song. In the case where I'm working with someone who doesn't use the same DAW as me, we stick strictly to GM until the song is written.