Soundwhale is a remote collaboration solution for audio post and music production that allows users to create content and exchange ideas. It’s meant for clients and collaborators that cannot be in the same room. Users can connect over the network and listen to the same audio, communicate, and make changes ...
Soundwhale, a remote collaboration platform for audio post and music production, has joined forces with independent music and licensing platform Jamendo. The goal of this union is to combine Soundwhale’s knack for fostering smooth collaboration and post-production processes with Jamendo’s licensing services and large community of artists. Soundwhale will provide Jamendo’s artists with remote studios to boost collaboration, while offering its sync buyers tools to preview how...
Soundwhale, a remote collaboration platform for audio post and music production, has joined forces with independent music and licensing platform Jamendo. The goal of this union is to combine Soundwhale’s knack for fostering smooth collaboration and post-production processes with Jamendo’s licensing services and large community of artists. Soundwhale will provide Jamendo’s artists with remote studios to boost collaboration, while offering its sync buyers tools to preview how a particular track will work with their video material.
Though Soundwhale leaped onto the remote collaboration and audio production scene before the pandemic, its services have proven especially vital at a time when production teams have found themselves unable to operate in-person. As teams working to produce shows for Netflix and Amazon had to go remote, Soundwhale met those urgent customer demands. The synchronous, real-time communication and live sessions afforded by this service via iOS and macOS acts as a bridge between digital audio workstations (DAWs). Soundwhale also provides quality production tools of its own, fostering creativity and a more efficient audio production experience.
Soundwhale’s capabilities have proven useful for audio engineers, voice actors, and producers working on films and shows remotely. As a music producer and audio post professional, Soundwhale CEO Ameen Abdulla saw how powerful these tools could be for artists and saw the perfect partner in Jamendo. “Our services complement each other well,” he said. “Soundwhale is great for the technical side of music production, but we want to offer a way for artists to network, too. Jamendo offers direct access to artists and the social side of the process. It’s also great to have access to people who use a range of DAWs, since we’re capable of bridging across different devices and DAWs.”
Jamendo, a service that supports artists via promotion, distribution, licensing, and rights management services, also sees potential in its linkage with Soundwhale."This partnership is good news for the entire Jamendo community, both musicians and video producers,” said Jamendo CEO Alexandre Saboundjian. “In Soundwhale they will find a space of continuity to work together in mixing and synchronizing.”
Both Soundwhale and Jamendo see a future for artists with increased audio production technology alongside networking spaces and increased opportunity for realizing their career goals. “We're delighted to partner with Soundwhale, as we aim to provide the best quality services and tools to our community of artists and filmmakers,” Saboundjian said. “This software is definitely going to make their jobs easier.”
Abdulla agreed, adding, “We want to focus on a community of artists and cater to their needs at every step in the music production process. We have all these virtual rooms that are happening at the moment, but it’s hard to cover all aspects from, say, finding bandmates, to synchronous collaboration and recording, to post-production and licensing. Nailing both the tech and social aspects is hard without a good partner. Jamendo’s strength is not just this licensing platform, but it’s also getting involved with their community and finding creative ways to get the resources their artists need. Joining forces with Jamendo was a no-brainer and we look forward to growing together.”
Remote audio post-production software Soundwhale has completed its first collaboration with a production in Brazil. This is the first South American market for the app, which has a growing user base in Japan and North America.
“More and more productions are facing increasing budget constraints and shorter timelines, yet high expectations from platforms and viewers alike,” explains Soundwhale founder and CEO Ameen Abdulla. “As more work moves around the globe, and as more markets struggle with quarantine restrictions on top of already challenging conditions, remote collaboration has become the norm, not the exception.”
In Brazil, Soundwhale was selected as part of Netflix's Partner Help Program. Its easy to use interface and flexibility made it a great choice for audio engineers like Rodrigo Noronho at Lagoa Acústica studio, who found himself in lockdown with several productions to finish. The Netflix original he was working on, a comedy featuring a major Brazilian star, required additional audio post-production and the team behind it was looking for a solution.
Soundwhale provided it, letting them get the feature into great shape even though the director could not safely join Noronha at the sound stage for a final review of the audio. They still managed to have a productive live session remotely. “At the beginning of quarantine, I did a show where I could only get notes from the director, instead of doing a live session,” recounts Noronha. “It was more time consuming,and I had to revisit things I would have solved on the spot. With live remote collaboration via Soundwhale, we captured the spirit of the moment. We could try different things. It went faster and was more creative.”
“Soundwhale was recently listed on Netflix’s Partner Help and Covid Post Production pages as a solution for remote mixes with picture and for ADR,” Abdulla notes. “We’ve worked very closely with our new partners in Brazil to help fit Soundwhale seamlessly into their workflows. Different markets around the world have different environments and a solution should be flexible enough for the various network conditions and machines that are available. In Brazil, we proved our solution can work.
Appeared in Hypebot
Over the last decade, music’s geographic siloes have started to disappear. Tracks are more likely to go truly global as content has become easy to share and more accessible to people around the world. The once undisputed centers of pop culture production--the Anglo-American major labels, say, and the celebrities they broadcast to the world--are being challenged by a constellation of cultural hotspots, regional styles, and local sounds. The future of globalized music is collaborative, thanks to the tech tools that have become part of our daily lives.
Social video platforms like YouTube, TikTok, Triller, and Instagram Stories have shown us how content from one place can create its own cultural resonance in other parts of the world, even in once remote or marginalized communities with limited infrastructure. Now thanks to the global pandemic, these social and messaging platforms have become lifelines, not only for personal communication and entertainment, but also for keeping our connection to the broader world.
This worldwide desire to maintain and discover meaningful connections with people elsewhere is putting new tools into people’s hands. It’s pushing up the production quality of content as better technology is accessible to more people, thanks to mobile software, better small devices, and lower price points for everything from data to mics and lights. On top of that, the pandemic is also mainstreaming ways to collaborate remotely.
Music collaboration across the globe has been happening for millenia, of course. But with limitations of time, money, and cultural differences, international or cross-cultural collaborations faced serious obstacles compared to domestic or local collaboration. However, we now use versions of remote tools to collaborate out of necessity, to keep our jobs and maintain our lives. At the same time, our communication and interaction is becoming globalized through social platforms. The combination of these social forces and tech tools puts us at the cusp of a new breakthrough that will globalize music collaborations. Where everyone, no matter where, will feel local, with access to the technology that allows us to work together effortlessly.
There are a ton of great tools that allow this already, everything from streaming remote recording sessions to cloud collaboration, and they are only getting better and more refined. Long after the pandemic is over, we will be left with improved tools and workflows while being accustomed to cross cultural, global interactions. This will give new meaning to the globalization of music, a collaborative framework that will allow more opportunity of equal input and a wider knowledge of each other's culture.
Professionals that are making music can connect with up-and-coming filmmakers from different countries that need high quality content for their productions. Independent musicians can connect with larger filmmakers or gaming companies to score the music directly for picture in virtual sessions. Musicians from different parts of the globe will be collaborating easier with effortless tools and virtual spaces to connect and work. This time is giving us the opportunity to make these tools second nature, and the convenience will continue long after the pandemic is over.
Artists, engineers, and producers from different parts of the world can also document the ‘making of’ content with their fans, adding value to their brand while creating content at the same time. Fans love the mystique of this kind of background video, when they get to play fly on the wall to the creative process. Artists can use remote collaboration as part of this content.
With tech quality increasing and becoming cheaper, these tools will be available not only to professionals but to almost anyone with an idea. This will lower the entry barrier to creating high-quality content for the first time as social platforms are exploding. People will not only be using tools to create high-quality content, but creating it together, after connecting online with like-minded people.
While there’s a lot to be optimistic about, sometimes we need to halt before we progress. A shift in momentum and dips in the economy can expose bigger problems, and we need to solve not only current problems, but work to create what will put us further ahead once times are better. It’s ironic, but this short halt in globalization and physical global travel may actually bring us closer to a true global culture. We cannot fight our nature of curiosity and connecting.
After the pandemic, when in-person life resumes, we will have more opportunities and new tools that allow us to approach old problems with fresh perspectives. And we will have more experience and comfort with working with people who aren’t in the same room, building, or city.
Appeared in TVTechnology
If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the past few months, it’s that the cloud is a great tool for teams working in post-production. Teams need to make creative decisions and need a central location for media where everyone can see updates and time-stamped feedback of creative work. Cloud computing allows teams to stay connected remotely in virtual rooms where they see and hear the same media content at the same time and can discuss creative changes and then reconnect when new changes are made.
The discussion part of this process is where things in the cloud can get dicey. Cloud-based solutions may not be enough for all the decisions you’re trying to make that require immediate feedback. You’ll likely find a hybrid approach--one that combines cloud-based applications and streaming media--keeps the creative conversation moving and boosts productivity. Build your content castle in the clouds, by all means, but use streaming to keep the creative flow moving along as you get instant changes.
First, let’s glance at the clouds to better understand why hybrid approaches work so well. There are many solutions that have some sort of cloud-based system for media. Two that stand out are frame.io and Avid's ProTools Cloud Collaboration. Both function a little differently, in that Pro Tools Cloud Collaboration is software where people can open the same session and make changes. The files then get updated for all parties. Frame.io is a web-based approval and review process and offers plugins that directly link to your editing software, which allows for fast media transfers. Both give access to media files that are updated on a server and show changes to all invited parties. The process is very slick, takes no bandwidth once the files have been uploaded, and makes for a really smooth collaborative process, especially when internet speeds and work environments can’t be standardized.
Recently, more involved post-production cloud services have come on the market. They feature self-contained tools where people can do picture edits in real time and have the changes updated on the actual files, without having to upload or download. Services such as Avid’s Media Central are highly efficient and allow real-time viewing and editing while linking to all of the assets that are available for that project. Their recent partnership with Microsoft Azure will bring on a dedicated team for entertainment media, along with added security and other high-level services. Adobe also ups their cloud services by automatically converting hi-res archived assets to low-res copies, or proxies, which are readily available for editing at all times, eliminating time caused by processing and copying large files. The smaller proxy files are directly streamed onto their editing platforms and link directly to the cloud for near real-time edits and previews.
However, fully cloud-based approaches have their problems. One drawback is the time it takes between creating the content and sharing that content. Often, the software used to create may not be the same software used to share content. Post-production audio teams have to wait for users to create a recording, then wait for them to upload that file before we can see it or comment on it. In many collaboration scenarios, and especially in audio, you need live feedback or direction.
That’s because audio sessions have always worked differently than other production tasks. They require performances or feedback that you only can only give and get on instinct, in pursuit of a particular vibe. The cloud can make this cumbersome. Remote sessions need real-time streaming because you need to witness the live changes to see if it met your immediate creative thoughts. This feedback keeps talent creative and engaged, helping them find new approaches when what’s happening isn’t working.
The speed of this feedback matters. Muscle memory demands we make and break habits swiftly. Any lag or latency, even just a few moments, changes the dynamic completely. The collaborative energy gets lost, and the session can feel like a ‘solo’ project.
Mixing requires a similarly lively back and forth. Many times, directors will want something different but don’t know exactly what that is until they are in the room with an audio engineer who has the tools to adjust and change things at their fingertips. Going back and forth on creative concepts can be a nightmare in the cloud and it usually ends with compromises no one feels completely happy with.
When you can combine a central location for your files and also provide real-time feedback using the same tools used for creation, then you have the ultimate package for flexibility.
Cloud-based approaches have another potential weakness: security. Security has become an issue with major studios. Many people in the industry feel hesitant to upload content because of:
Because of this, many people want to use their own servers that are well protected and fully controllable and secure. Another option is streaming the content as raw data, so it doesn’t live on a server, or streaming from personal servers and having security measures tied to that. Once again, combining clouds and streams may be the right answer for your project.
Before the cloud took off, we only had very big and expensive ways to collaborate remotely on post-production projects, with price tags running in the six digits. Cloud computing completely revolutionized this. Cost has become less of any issue, even when multiple software environments are involved. Streaming solutions are also reasonable in price, making a hybrid approach easily accessible for many professional studios. For example, Sohonet’s Clearview Flex requires a dedicated hardware box and one-time installation fee ($500), as well as an annual platform fee ($1200) and $1430/month subscription. Evercast does not require hardware, and runs $1,000 a month. One of the most affordable streaming options, Streambox, costs $2,000 for the hardware and $500/month for the software service. For users on the audio side, Soundwhale may be a good fit ($29.99/mo subscription) as it streams uncompressed audio from any source and offers video sync as well.
Cost-effective solutions that are easily accessible by everyone are what will stick not only for the pandemic but also long after it’s over. Whether it’s cloud based editing, live streaming, or remote desktop control, we are going to need solutions that don’t put a wrench in our creative workflows as we try to work around distance and the limitations of technology. That may mean creating our own hybrids of these software approaches to keep our serenity and creativity.
Remote audio collaboration platform Soundwhale is announcing an exclusive partnership with Media Integration, Japan’s largest distributor of professional production software and equipment. Japanese professionals can now enjoy lifetime Soundwhale licensing and combined customer care as they continue to adjust to remote collaboration.
Soundwhale delivers a much sought-after solution for Media Integration’s diverse ‘Rock oN’ and ‘Rock On Pro’ clientele, from musicians to audio post engineers, and every production need in-between. Soundwhale makes synchronous collaboration, communication, and recording a reality in an easy-to-use, cost-effective suite. Media Integration customers can utilize a comprehensive platform that covers most recording studio scenarios, from remote mixing and mastering to remote recording, including synchronized video sessions. In addition, Soundwhale and Media Integration will offer perpetual licensing opportunities, combining their technical teams to provide customers greater coverage and a lifetime of support.
The two companies will also join forces to help customers discover additional solutions and tools for their changing needs. Soundwhale will be utilized as a demonstration platform by Media Integration dealers across Japan. Customers will have the opportunity to view third-party software demonstrations, acquire training on new systems, and receive invaluable technical support.
“We are extremely proud to partner with Soundwhale because many of our customers have been searching for high-quality remote recording and post-production tools,” says Media Integration’s Ryuichi Kitaki. “We look forward to building a strong relationship and developing the Soundwhale brand in Japan.”
“Soundwhale’s mission will never change: to remotely capture the creative sparks and moments of clarity as if you are next to someone,” explains Soundwhale founder Ameen Abdulla. “Reaching an incredible market like Japan, which is known to produce some of the most trend-setting, forward-thinking, tech-savvy minds, especially when it comes to sound and music, will be an incredible opportunity for us to grow.”
Soundwhale is a remote collaboration solution for audio post and music production that allows users to create content and exchange ideas. It’s meant for clients and collaborators that cannot be in the same room. Users can connect over the network and listen to the same audio, communicate, and make changes during the creative process in real time.
Soundwhale is geared towards all users. Users with little or no audio experience can connect with voice talent and musicians and record them directly in Soundwhale. More experienced users that want to edit, mix, or produce can connect and stream from external software like Pro Tools. Communication occurs through audio, video, or text chat. Post production mix reviews can occur from a distance as the client will receive a live audio mix that’s locked to picture. Any changes to the mix will happen in realtime as the client gives direction to the mix engineer.
About Media Integration
Media Integration, Inc. is Japan’s largest distributor for professional audio and creative equipment. Founded in 1989 as a retail store, Media Integration now consists of three divisions focusing on distribution, sales, and media respectively. Rock On Pro, their system integration division, offers full support for building a wide variety of studios, from commercial studios to person production rooms. Their deep knowledge of the latest technologies comes from numerous successful collaborations with such respected brands as Waves, Apogee, iZotope, Focal, Focusrite Pro, and ROLI. Media Integration’s focus on customer culture is globally admired in an constantly evolving industry.