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Whats The Best Way To Collaborate And Make Music

Posts 1 - 25 of 26
  1. 1084997
    Aien : Mon 10th Mar 2014 : 7 years ago

    Hello! I never collaborated with other musicians, either personally, or through the network. It so happened that all my friends are passionate about everything but the music. I wonder, how do you work together?
    And I have a suggestion - try to work back-to-back", that is, for example, I make one-two loops, refer to the partner, he also adds from himself and sends me again. I think this is a productive way, because each time have a fresh view on track. And the spirit of competition is probably contributes to "do better". If someone has the desire-you can try something like that. I write mostly hip-hop, and a trap, 128 bpm, too. I will be glad to like-minded people. My email for your suggestions or immediately sketches -- and sorry to my English, i must bring to mind ever =)

  2. 847669
    EricMilligan : Tue 11th Mar 2014 : 7 years ago

    I have the same question. I have not collaborated with anybody yet. How is it normally done? I use Logic and my sense is that most Looperman members use FruityLoops, so exchanging computer (project) files that contain both audio and midi data is not likely to be an option for me. So, are most collaborations done by exchanging "stems"? I've never made a stem but it seems like it would be straight-forward.

    Also, what about applying effects, such as EQ, reverb, compressors, etc. Do you work mostly with dry tracks and then do this at the end of the process?

  3. 828980
    Burtsbluesboxes : Tue 11th Mar 2014 : 7 years ago

    I've done a few collabs here. "Stem" is just 1 track of the project rendered to an audio file. So if I have a track with drums, guitar, and bass, one stem would be just the guitar track or just the bass track. When put into whatever DAW the other is using the file will line up time wise with the other audio files(as long as the BPM is set the same) I've also exchanged Midi files. Your DAW should have an option to save Midi. The recipient can drop that in their DAW and select what ever vst to play it. Media fire is a good free (there's a pay account option as well) file transfer site where you can upload a zip file of stems or midi files to share back and forth, I've also done it through the chat window on Facebook. As far as work flow that's personal preference as to how you chooses to do the collab. For the looperman blues song I got the guitar loop and played bass to it, then sent the bass file along to the guy mixing it all. Communication is very important for a sucessful collab.

  4. 847669
    EricMilligan : Tue 11th Mar 2014 : 7 years ago

    Hi, Burton. Thanks for the explanation! I figured that's what a stem was, but haven't actually ever made one, at least not for collaboration purposes. I have bounced a track to audio on occasion, so I guess that counts. :)

    I hadn't thought about the saving MIDI option. Probably would work for virtual instruments like piano, horns, etc. I've gotten in the lazy habit of using programmed arpeggiated patches (not exactly sure how they do this), so I'm thinking this would be a bit hard to match up unless the virtual instrument was available for each collaborator. Stems would probably be the better way to go

    Well, I guess I'll just have to see if an opportunity for collaboration arises. Last night I watched the "In Your Dreams" film by Dave Stewart and Stevie Nicks on the making of her last album. Made me want to get some real instruments going in my stuff. May have to take a trip to the storage locker to get my guitars back in action. :)

  5. 998072
    InverSound : Tue 11th Mar 2014 : 7 years ago

    grab your guitar and go to your nearest street corner

  6. 630386
    JoeFunktastic : Wed 12th Mar 2014 : 7 years ago

    Find an artist you like or have similar music interests with and ask or invite him or her directly for a collab by sending a private message. Use the forums only as a last resort so as not to appear desperate. Keep asking privately and directly until someone accepts your offer, try not to concern yourself with rejections, people are busy these days.

    Before the first note is played, agree on a genre, tempo and who will do what. Also decide who will do the final mix. Try not to be bossy, pushy and demanding, be reasonable. The first few collabs are not meant to be open heart surgery so keep things simple and straightforward.

    Once you have completed the collab, post, publish and promote it here and then maybe Facebook or SoundCloud. You'll meet his friends and he will meet yours. Review one of his other songs and maybe he will review one of yours as a sign of mutual respect and courtesy.

    Plan at least one follow up collab. Okay so you still can't get a collab? Then grab a handful of Loops from any artist who makes them and that you adnire. Notify the loop artist you made and completed a collab track with their loops and ask if you can put their name as the Featured collab artist.

    Send them a copy of your finished work. If you are any good they may very ask if they can collab with you live in real time. When they accept, if they get pushy, try to keep your cool and make mention of the problem but don't turn it into an international crisis.

    Then if all else fails use the forums but highlight your strengths, skills and experience but don't over do it. Try to remain open to their ideas as you sell yourself but try to also strike a balance of some kind. Avoid confrontations or the collab dies right there. If trouble seems unavoidable, then thank them and just politely bail and accept another forum offer if still available.

  7. 944056
    Darkreine : Wed 12th Mar 2014 : 7 years ago

    The easiest way to avoid software conflicts is to send your Stems/Tracks (fluffy bits of music) to each other in .wav format as this is a good uncompressed format which retains excellent audio quality and is compatible with most DAW's. You can then add your vocals, fx whatever and send it back.

    I've done a lot of collabs here with musicians from around the world and can highly recommend it. You'll find that it will also help you grow as a musician yourself.

  8. 186161
    Spivkurl : Wed 12th Mar 2014 : 7 years ago

    Stems are generally the way to go, especially if you and your friend are using different software. Exporting midi files of any sections of interest can be beneficial as well, especially since this gives your friend an idea of your composition ideas.

    When you're exporting wav files, it's good to keep some things in mind. Stereo instruments should probably be panned to center (unpanned), to allow for the most flexibility. If you have some instruments that are monophonic, it can help to export a mono wav, or export and then reduce the file to mono in an editor. The main benefit of this is saving space and CPU cycles, as a mono file is half the size of a stereo, and a mono instrument would just be duplicated on both channels. It's often best to export your instruments pretty much dry of effects, though some EQ'ing can help focus the collab, I'm especially fond of cutting ultra low frequencies especially on instruments that don't use that range. If while composing the piece, you added some effects and they feel important to you, it's nice to export a "wet" stem for that instrument that includes the effects you like. This way your friend can include this effect in the final product. One more thing I can think of is that you want to check your stems after exporting and make sure they aren't clipping. Most editors will have little meters that change colour if the sample goes past 0 dB. If this is the case, you'll probably want to go back and export that section again with a slight reduction in volume.

    If you have freeware VST type stuff, instruments or effects, there's no reason you can't share the program with your friend as well, or link them up to where to download it.

    At the end, zip or rar it all up! Send it to your friend by email if you both have the space, or mediafire and those type of sites.

    It can be fun to exchange new stems that are spawned from the original set and build on those. Things can get pretty heavy.

    Enjoy collaboration! Good thread!

  9. 782612
    40A : Wed 12th Mar 2014 : 7 years ago

    i hate when people barbeque my stems.

  10. 847669
    EricMilligan : Wed 12th Mar 2014 : 7 years ago

    Wow! I'm really glad Aien started this thread. This is great advice. Many things I would not have thought of. I think maybe somebody should compile all this and suggest to Looperman that he post it in the "Help" area of the Forums. Otherwise, it will eventually get lost in the mists of time and need to be re-discovered. I'd be happy to compile it, but it would be more credible coming from somebody who actually has done a collab. :)

  11. 890922
    kjason : Wed 12th Mar 2014 : 7 years ago

    Honestly I have not had much success with online collabs, but better luck just making stuff with my RL friends here in my home studio. More than one producer involved can usually make music that is twice as good but I find online collabs extremely challenging and usually you don't know the person good enough before trying to work with them.

    This is just my experience though, I think others do a lot better with online collabs than me.

  12. 847669
    EricMilligan : Wed 12th Mar 2014 : 7 years ago

    kjason: Could you elaborate a bit on the kinds of things you experienced that made the online collabs challenging? This would give me (and any other readers of this thread) an idea of what not to do. The comments from other users (particularly the posting from JoeFunktastic) have covered this to some extent and it's easy to convert the "do's" to "don'ts" in other posts, but I'm very interested in hearing what didn't work well, as much as what did.

  13. 944056
    Darkreine : Wed 12th Mar 2014 : 7 years ago

    The trick is never to have more than one producer. Decide who is going to mix and master it and let them do it.

    As I said before, I have never met the people I have collabed with, but I had listened to their music and had a lot of respect for them before getting involved.

  14. 847669
    EricMilligan : Wed 12th Mar 2014 : 7 years ago

    That makes a lot of sense, Darkreine. Which brings up a related issue I've been wondering about. Would appreciate getting your advice. Companies such as Universal Audio and others often post videos to Youtube demonstrating their FX plugins. I find that I often can't hear the difference between wet and dry versions, particularly with compression. I don't know if that's a function of old ears, or untrained ears, or just a limitation of the audio that is produced by the videos. I had the same issue with online video courses on mixing. The instructor would apply an effect and say, "Oh yes, that's much tighter", and I couldn't detect any difference. Do you have any experience with this? Kind of a general question, I know. But it is relevant. If I can't hear important differences, then I should never be the producer in a collab project.

  15. 890922
    kjason : Wed 12th Mar 2014 : 7 years ago


    Online w/ other producers: I find that anyone that has a decent sound & is willing to collab with me, our ideas end up being too far apart to make it work. I just haven't found the right people yet for a good collab.

    With vocalists online, nobody ever wants to record something custom for me making things 100x harder to make a good song.

    When I spend a day with a friend in person and we sit here together and produce something, we're already friends and we know what we have similar tastes in and it works better for me that way for some reason.

    Having said all this, everybody is different. You will find what works best for you but don't totally exclude this as an option.

  16. 847669
    EricMilligan : Wed 12th Mar 2014 : 7 years ago

    Right. That all makes sense. One great thing about Looperman is the incredible diversity of music that you can find here. That's also a potential problem for finding a collaborator I guess. Also, it could be that the most experienced and skilled members are more likely to have firm ideas on what they like and what they don't. Your point about vocalists is right on target. The only person I've ever asked to do something custom for me was Shamoozey, but I made sure to keep it in his comfort zone and it was a traditional song that he already knew, not something really custom. I find that I'm wanting most of my tracks to include vocals, and not knowing where to go, or to whom, is a major source of frustration. Things sit unfinished for months. You are lucky to have friends that you can work with in person. Real-time interaction is certainly preferable I think. Not possible for all of us.

  17. 1
    Looperman : Wed 12th Mar 2014 : 7 years ago

    One thing to remember here is that if you want face to face just use skype or facetime

  18. 944056
    Darkreine : Wed 12th Mar 2014 : 7 years ago

    Speaking as a vocalist, who has written custom lyrics, it all depends on the music for me. If the music inspires me, the melody and the lyrics flow. If it doesn't then it is very hard to squeeze something out and I have had to turn collabs down with some amazing talent from here on looperman, because it didn't inspire me. It doesn't mean the music isn't good, just that it wasn't good for me at that time. So try not to blame the vocalist if he can't work with you lol.

  19. 847669
    EricMilligan : Wed 12th Mar 2014 : 7 years ago

    Yes, that occurred to me as well. Looperman is an excellent example of how technology has pretty much erased distance barriers for its members. Would be very interesting to hear about anybody using Skype or FaceTime for real-time collaborations.

  20. 890922
    kjason : Wed 12th Mar 2014 : 7 years ago

    Yes skype is amazing. And it high quality too, I use a studio mic for my phone calls with it and when the other person does too it works very nice.

    I have tried morphing vocals and stuff to fit the key of the instrumental and its just.. it's pretty hard to do .. to get an idea exactly right I feel like you may have to re-record different vocal loops many times until your mix down is how you really really want it. Once again, maybe just me or my setup, idk.

    @Darkreign: I everybody here not blaming anyone & your totally right about that ;)

  21. 847669
    EricMilligan : Wed 12th Mar 2014 : 7 years ago

    Pitch-shifting vocals is definitely a tricky proposition, I agree. I've been semi-successful with some acapellas from Looperman. Only works properly within a narrow band unless you are looking for a really extreme effect.

    Time-shifting vocals is also tricky, although I've done a lot more of that with Acapellas. I use the Flextime feature in Logic which works surprisingly well, up to a point. I've found myself wanting to have the vocal track re-recorded to get the phrasing I wanted, but I would never ask that of a member. I'm grateful just to have something to work with in the first place.

    Clearly, for a vocalist or instrumentalist, or producer who doesn't play an instrument, the music needs to "connect" for a collaboration to work. I think "inspire" is the right word. Some tracks here blow me away and I just want to listen to them over and over. Others inspire me and I want to contribute something musically to them and I think what I could offer might actually have merit. It doesn't mean that it is incomplete or deficient in any way. It just means that it has inspired me to make music. I think that is a really good thing for a piece of music to do. In both cases, though, the common feature is that I connect with the music.

  22. 828980
    Burtsbluesboxes : Wed 12th Mar 2014 : 7 years ago

    To find collabs just scroll through the tracks, there's always someone looking for a collab for whatever added :D I got a few songs to work on last night doing just that :P

  23. 585633
    topvega : Wed 12th Mar 2014 : 7 years ago

    Melodyne by Celemony is a powerful vocal editing program. It can do some crazy things, but I find the learning curve real steep.

  24. 890922
    kjason : Wed 12th Mar 2014 : 7 years ago

    @topvega: Yep. Same goes for v-vocal (I think they are almost the same thing?). It's all amazing to me, but you do really need to know what your trying to do before applying the morph though or it comes out weird (which makes sense lol).

  25. 828980
    Burtsbluesboxes : Thu 13th Mar 2014 : 7 years ago

    Melodyne is great! I use it to edit way files and turn them into midi, detect what key, notes stuff is playing. There's tutorial video on you tube explaining how to do things in it like editing vocals, pitching drums, creating an acapella track from scratch, creating a guitar solo like Tom morello (Rage against the Machine), and on and on :D It does take a little bit to learn, like any other DAW, but well worth it.

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