Why Musicians Need Dedicated Video Chat In 2021

Musicians interacting on a dedicated video chat (photo: LANDR)

photo: LANDR

Video calls became a regular part of everyone’s life this past year.

The following comes from LANDR, and proud partner of DMN.

With non-essential work deemed too risky to conduct in person, video communication exploded in nearly every industry.

BusinessofApps.com reports that videoconferencing newcomer Zoom had over 300 million meeting participants per day in 2020.

Music creators followed suit and made working together online part of their new normal. 

But even as much of daily life moved online, musicians were left to struggle with clunky, uninspiring video chat apps.

Remote music collaboration is here to stay, and musicians need a dedicated solution to continue creating the songs and releases that get us through tough times. 

The problem with online music collaboration.

Each digital music creator relies on a unique set of tools to build their musical vision.

For many producers, the entire process—from songwriting to mastering—takes place within a single DAW session.

This single production environment is what makes DIY music so accessible, but it’s also why it’s so hard to collaborate online. 

With dozens of third-party plugins in use on any project, DAW users are locked into their own ecosystem of apps, plugins and samples.

Musician and educator Anthony Albanese explains the importance of specific tools:

“I really need all my plugins and sample libraries to work the way I want to. Using someone else’s DAW and apps feels very unfamiliar and limiting.”

Issues like this are the reason sharing work online used to mean a complicated back-and-forth of incomplete session files, bounced audio tracks and long emails.

Traditional video chat made it possible to talk face-to-face, but there’s still nothing that comes close to working together in the studio.

Despite these roadblocks, musicians need a solution to stay in step with trends in the industry.

According to the Economist, collaboration is on the rise in the industry with nearly 40% of the Billboard Hot 100 featuring some kind of feature or guest spot in 2017.

Why Zoom doesn’t work for music.

Connecting multiple users with their own DAWs and plugins is a nightmare for video apps built to host business meetings or basic chat.  

Musical inspiration is a spark that can die out in an instant.

Connection issues, frustrating setups and confusing options are huge obstacles to the creative flow musicians experience while working together.

But the biggest blocker comes from the audio itself.

Traditional video chat prioritizes the video experience over all else. That means your audio quality gets compressed, reduced, or flattened into mono at the first sign of a poor connection.

When you’re trying to decide if your vocal track is a keeper, or if your mix is complete, bad audio is unacceptable.

Albanese says, “I used to avoid collaborating with people over video chat. The audio quality is immediately uninspiring. I find that it leads to poor decisions creatively, or mix wise.”

A high quality audio feed streaming directly from the DAW to any number of collaborators is the only option for real musical interactions online. 

What you really need for remote music collaboration.

To collaborate remotely, creators need a video app built specifically to tackle these issues head-on.

Between audio quality, DAW access and ease of use, it’s no wonder there hasn’t been a real solution until now.

Video calling for music needs to effortlessly coordinate webcams, headphones and voice mics with robust DAW audio and screen sharing.

And it needs to do it all while preserving the organic feel of a studio session.

It’s a tall order, but there’s no substitute for the immediacy of the experience when it comes to making music.

How LANDR Sessions can help.

LANDR’s platform of artist tools is expanding to make remote music collaboration as seamless as real life.

Sessions, LANDR’s musician-centric video chat app, integrates perfectly into the core workflows creators need to make music together online.

That includes pristine audio quality, ease-of-use and a singular focus on the creative experience.

Sessions completes a set of collaboration tools that are baked into the LANDR platform.

Upload tracks, leave time-stamped feedback and now communicate with collaborators in real time via Sessions.

Making music work anywhere.

Music collaboration can take any form.

Sessions is ready for a huge range of applications that suit the diverse needs of creators.

Teaching and learning, giving mix feedback and sharing inspiration are all possible with the addition of Sessions to LANDR’s platform of artist tools.

It’s too early to tell when the musicians of the world can gather together again to collaborate in person.

But even then, creative relationships will continue to flourish online. 

LANDR is here to support them and provide the tools they need to succeed — from idea to release.