News & Analysis

Cloud technology is helping musicians produce entire albums without ever meeting each other

- June 4, 2015 2 MIN READ

A number of Australian musicians came together at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art this morning for a talk on ‘Cloud Sounds’, looking at how new technology has helped them create music.

The event, presented by Dropbox as part of the Vivid festival, saw Augie March’s Glenn Richards, Mikah Freeman and Vance Musgrove of The Aston Shuffle, and James Lyell of Flight Facilities explain how Dropbox has enabled them to collaborate remotely with other artists and producers from around the world.

It seems that no one works on the same continent anymore – a phenomenon many startups know well. The artists told of how anything they work on is uploaded to Dropbox for their partner or another collaborator to work on and add to before uploading it again for yet another person to contribute to.

Like an app can be developed and launched by a team spread out across the world, almost entire albums can be produced without two people ever having been in the same room for the process.

Richards, who moved to Tasmania a few years ago and rarely comes up to the mainland, said having a storage facility in the cloud, accessible by collaborators wherever they are, has “revolutionised” the way he produces music.

Though the panel largely spoke of how technology has made everything easier for them, they also had some advice that could be useful for the tech founder: don’t forget the human connection.

“Even working remotely and through different time zones, try to have as close a real time connection as you can…try to keep it as human as possible,” Richards said.

Lyell agreed, saying it was important to combine the tech element with the human side for balance and emotion.

The panel also agreed that artists must try to ignore the vast amount of noise in the space and focus on their own work before worrying about social media and marketing. Though marketing can often be just as important – if not more important, sometimes – than the music, the product must come first.

Again, sage advice for startups. With the tech scene bigger and busier than ever, it’s easy to get caught up with what the competition is doing: how much they’re raising, which big name they’re adding to their team, or what new feature they’ve come up with.