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Company Review: Indaba makes jamming global

A different kind of studio session

Technology trends and news by Aylon Steinhart
September 22, 2008
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/425

The music recording process is constantly evolving. No longer is music production and distribution in the hands of big name studios. Rather, thousands of musicians in their basements can record their works and deliver it directly to an audience. With advances in recoding software and equipment, essentially anyone passionate enough about recording music can set up home-studios. With more convenient and affordable ways to record, suddenly every aspiring artist can show off that new CD.

But most musicians know that making music is not so easy. Making music involves dealing with many people of different backgrounds and mindsets. Getting an entire band together can be hard. And,meeting up with that perfect jazz flute player for your next track can mean flying halfway across the world.

Indaba Music, an online social network and production application for musicians, attempts to solve these problems that most musicians know all too well.

Indaba Music, which has an email subscriber list of some 75,000 and works with artists such as Third Eye Blind and Mariah Carey, integrates two necessary aspects of recording in order to create an online community for musicians interested in producing and recording music. The first feature that Indaba offers is a way to find and communicate with other musicians worldwide through the social network.

The Indaba network aims to provide musicians with the ability to show who they are to other musicians in order to promote relationships based on common musical interests and mindsets.

Each user has a personal profile on which he or she can upload songs, show off the session currently in progress, share photos, blog, and get feedback from the community. Through the profile, other users can add you as a contact, rate your music, and even invite you to their recording session.

But how is this practical? If a user from Florida connects with a user from California and wants him/her to play on a track, how exactly can they coordinate a recording session when they are 3,000 miles apart?

The solution: the Indaba Music community. The second feature that Indaba offers to its users is the online production application, which enables musicians to record sessions, mix the tracks, and publish the results.

The Indaba sessions are similar to traditional recording sessions: musicians can communicate about the recordings, exchange session tracks, and figure out compensation for involvement in the project. Because the entire process is done online, it offers convenience and flexibility for the members. Also, sessions can be set as public in the Indaba community, allowing for musician to audition to play the parts needed.


After the recording is complete, the Indaba Session Console is used as an online digital mixer. This feature allows collaborators to mix and edit the tracks on their computers at any time. The mixer includes standard digital audio workstation features such as looping, panning, cropping, and mixing down.

Lastly, the Indaba Community hosts competitions for the users. By entering their original music into the Indaba competitions, users increase exposure and get the chance to be recognized. With prizes, publicity, and chances to record with major artists, the Indaba competitions help to reward users and promote their music. 

Although the profound connection one gets from playing with other musicians cannot be so readily substituted through online communities, the Indaba Music objective is both practical and innovative. Indaba does not try to replace face-to-face interactions between musicians, but instead to enable music to thrive even when personal interaction is nearly impossible. The convenience and organization of the Indaba Music community promises to offer a great opportunity to many musicians across the world.

By enabling musical interactions through social networking and online recording, Indaba Music may soon be changing the way we think of the title “studio musician”.


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