Remote collaboration - your experiences?

I mentioned my project Tonkyn Pearson happens over Slack and @sleepers mentioned using Telegram. Thought it might be worth a separate topic.

So, yeah, I’m using Slack for two different remote collabs actually. In both cases we just use them for text chat and sharing quick sketches as MP3s. We’ve found we sometimes want a spreadsheet (Sheets) and we use separate file storage (Drive in one case, Dropbox in the other).

We set up a channel per track in progress, and for me that’s the biggest plus over a messaging tool. We typically go back to whatever messaging tool if we want to talk / video chat, but, modern life being as it is, we actually do heaps just via text.

In one project we made music in the same place for years, and switched to remote. In the other we’ve never made music in the same place - we’re in 3 different countries and I haven’t met 1 of the trio. :slight_smile: So that makes things a little different, in probably predictable ways.

Ok, that’s heaps!

Finally, I’d call my stuff definitely … “asynchronous”, to use the business term for this way of working. As in we’re trading files over time, doing different things in our own time, etc. Never tried to work on something in real time.


Ooooh I like the channel per track idea, that’s neat!

As mentioned in the other thread, my friend and I have been using Telegram. The main advantage here is that we can send large files to each other pretty informally, so that makes things pretty quick. We used to use Drive for this, but we’ve been more in the quick sketch department than the ‘Full Mix’ one for the last couple years so the lack of any real structure to it has been kinda fun and kept things enjoyable. Generally, we tend to treat the files online as a kind of shared sample/ideas library to play around/look at for inspiration in our own time and then when we get together we can flesh some of the ideas out. My own approach has tended to be resampling that stuff and seeing what I can get out of it by using it like I would use more trad samples - cutting up ambient textures the same way I would chop breaks etc… Sounds a bit boring, but with the right source material it can work really beautifully.

Anyway, depending on how life goes over the next year or so (that’s a big ol’ “if” haha), we might take it more seriously later on, so I’m really keen to hear about the workflows of more organized folks out there :wink:


Not specifically collaborating but I’m looking at setting up a performance space using this Spoke by Mozilla


Nice, I saw this Auckland-based muso tweet about participating in that kind of environment recently.


I went to a party on mozilla hubs a while back that included some live sets and it was really great! A lot more fun than just watching a straight live stream, and I actually met a few people through it, too. Really cool idea do a venue style thing that way! It’s also neat that it takes music out of the context of alcohol.* I remember that was one of Blink’s big issues in the book about Puppies - it seems like alcohol sales are being relied on to prop a lot of music spaces up and I guess that doesn’t need to happen in a virtual space. (Although props to Pyramid Club and Audio Foundation for doing it IRL and not relying on drinks sales)

*to be clear: I’m not anti-alcohol, I’m just rubbed the wrong way by the idea music spaces are kinda forced into being drinking spaces too :woman_shrugging:


We did some shows at Club Isolation (swgbbo) during the worlds first lock down.
You make an avatar and enter the club, different artist stream through out the event, it’s super duper fun.
Sadly its closed at the mo but hopefully will be up and running again in the future.


I know some folks online who have jammed live using NINJAM. But I’ve heard you have to surrender any idea of being in sync, due to lag. I just don’t know if I’d find it a good time.

Since the inherent latency of the Internet prevents true realtime synchronization of the jam2, and playing with latency is weird (and often uncomfortable), NINJAM provides a solution by making latency (and the weirdness) much longer.

Latency in NINJAM is measured in measures, and that’s what makes it interesting.

The NINJAM client records and streams synchronized intervals of music between participants. Just as the interval finishes recording, it begins playing on everyone else’s client. So when you play through an interval, you’re playing along with the previous interval of everybody else, and they’re playing along with your previous interval. If this sounds pretty bizarre, it sort of is, until you get used to it, then it becomes pretty natural. In many ways, it can be more forgiving than a normal jam, because mistakes propagate differently.

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