Technology is having profound effects on the fundamentals of our society. While some of this isn’t so good for the music industry, there are aspects that do benefit musicians.
Composers can write entire scores on their laptops, and people use websites such as SoundCloud to share their music across the whole world. Working in a remote fashion, bands have been able to record songs across entirely different continents! With the advent of cloud-based data transfer, online collaboration with studios and producers around the world is becoming more common.
As this trend progresses, we are seeing more artists working with remote mixing and mastering studios. As a staff member of Digital Bear Entertainment, a mixing studio in Cambridge MA, I have noticed that it is becoming less common for clients to be present in the studio while we work on their music. Of course, we welcome the Artist to come in, but are finding that even if that particular client lives fairly close by, they do not always come in. This means that regardless of where the client lives, the vast majority of communication takes place over telephone and emails. Distance no longer matters. Mixing this way is a lot simpler and more productive than it may seem.
Initially, I think both we, and our clients, were squeamish about this loss of face-time. After all, music is such a personal connection. Yet, music is really all about making that personal connection in a way that spans time and space. Using technology to our advantage, we have found that we are able to span time and space, and maintain that connection!
There are some side benefits of working this way too. Streamlining the studio workflow can save a lot of time spent in the studio. As we all know in this industry: time is money and any reasonable cost cutting is helpful! Time and money is also saved when you factor travel into consideration, and it is possible to have a record mixed or mastered without taking time off your day job.
Perhaps one of the most important benefits of working with a remote studio is getting the right people to helm your project. Not only are the talents of individuals no longer locked to their location, but the political influence they can bring to your career is available even if you are nowhere near them. We certainly get involved with our clients beyond just the mixing; providing management consulting and career development that you can’t get wherever you may be.