Make Your Own Music with These 8 Collaborative Websites
Making music is a collaborative exercise. Sure, we all know and love the musicians who produce, write and sing everything entirely on their own, but being able to do that consistently well is near impossible, no matter how creative one is or how long somebody has been at it.
Everybody wants to make their own music, but these days, it’s all about collaboration, and don’t start thinking this necessarily means what is produced at the end won’t still be yours —- it’ll just be better for the input you’ve gotten from strangers and new friends!
There are a number of great websites and platforms allowing musicians to meet new people in the same field, connect with others in completely different verticals where one might not have any experience, or even find the perfect person to finish a song that isn’t quite where it needs to be. Collaborative websites aren’t best for those who already have hits to their names or who are already privy to a wide network of connections, but rather for those who are just beginning their musical careers, or perhaps who are about to enter music school and want to up their songwriting game.
These sites can assist in beefing up your portfolio, or help you polish your skills and build artistic networks once you’re out of school. There’s a lot to be done before (and during) classes, and you’ll need all the help you can get, so why not look online for those who may be able to give you exactly what you and your future smash hit need?
Have you ever started on a piece of music and reached a point where you just didn’t know what to do next? No matter where you are in the many steps it takes to complete a song, Blend.io can help you out.
The company, which was acquired by well-known hardware manufacturer ROLI not too long ago (so you know they are onto something cool), is built to allow any artist to upload what they have so far and see what the internet has to offer. Sometimes this will come in the form of a written comment, while other times it will take on a different life, and there are plenty of Producers out there who may be willing to grab ahold of what’s uploaded and remix it, reshape it, and add their own flavor to whatever it was, making it completely new. You can choose who you want to work with (or who will have access to the beginnings of the song), or you can simply leave it open, letting anybody take a whack at your tune.
Sometimes a beautiful song only needs one writer with a pen, paper, a brilliant idea and the perfect words, but the majority of hit songs are written by several artists, with all of them sharing a cut of the proceeds and taking their fair share of the credit. Just look at any song on the charts today and see how many names are behind it —- you might be surprised. Many of them only have two or three, but there are plenty of massive tracks these days claiming eight to a dozen Songwriters, and if that’s how many hits are crafted these days, perhaps you should start thinking about finding another writer to partner with to boost your portfolio.
SongwriterLink is the rare startup that focuses on Songwriters, a group of people criminally ignored by so many different parts of the music industry. While schools, employers, and future artists will certainly be impressed you can write something wonderful entirely solo, it’s also important to learn how to work alongside others, especially since it’s the way the industry seems to be trending.
Collaborative websites aren’t best for those who already have hits to their names or who are already privy to a wide network of connections, but rather for those who are just beginning their musical careers, or perhaps who are about to enter music school and want to up their songwriting game.
Pronounced “compose” but spelled awkwardly (of course it is, this is a startup we’re talking about), Kompoz is perhaps the least organized of the collaborative tools listed here, but it is also a great place to get started in this world. The site allows anybody to upload literally anything and go from there, be it a vocal hook or a snippet of an instrument playing. Sure, you can go to the page with a fully-formed idea if you’re just looking for a little something extra, but if you only have a few seconds of something that has grabbed your ear and you’re sure is on its way to becoming special, head over to Kompoz and share it with the world. While you’re there, check out what everyone else has done and start adding your two cents to their contributions. You never know what will wind up working well!
I have already listed a number of websites here where any musician, either one just starting out or a seasoned professional looking for their next gig, can go to be inspired creatively and collaborate with people around the world — but what does one do after a song has been mashed up by several artists? If everyone that took part in the process is relatively new to the music industry or in school to one day enter our tricky business, chances are they might not know where to go or who to approach to potentially spread the newly-formed track across the globe.
Melboss can help when it comes to both parts of making sure a song is heard: both finding the musicians and the creative types, and then looking into the business world to see who can make the most of the music. The website allows users to search for anything they may need, from a guitar player to a Publisher, and everything in between. It can be difficult to sift through it all and find the perfect person to work with, but having choices can also be a good thing.
More a gimmick than a perfect place to find long-lasting partners, Hookist can still be a lot of fun for Songwriters, especially those just getting started who need to add a few co-writing credits to their resume. The recently-formed startup allows musicians (some well-known, others still on their way up in the world) to ask for lyric submissions. There is typically a theme or an idea put forward, sometimes with music, and from there, anybody and everybody can submit one line. The artist or band running the contest chooses their favorites, and in the end, a song has been written essentially by committee, only none of the committee members know each other!
Again, this isn’t the kind of space where you will meet collaborators you’ll stick with forever, and the chances are you may never even meet a single Songwriter from Hookist but if you’re in school for music or if you’re just beginning what you hope will be a lengthy and successful career, this is absolutely worth a try!
The company describes itself as “an online jobs marketplace connecting music Producers and vocalists,” and this seems like perfect phrasing. Many a Producer has been stuck keeping a track instrumental or working with a sub-par singer simply because they didn’t already know anybody who would be a good fit, or perhaps because they didn’t think they could afford to pay a talented vocalist to sing on a new composition. Vocalizr aims to end this thought process and the website is a perfect place online for singers and music makers to meet up and collaborate. Many of the Producers and singers are new to the game, so it’s not really about making or spending a lot of cash but rather about gaining experience and finishing what could go on to become a viral single highlighting the unique talents of both artists.
While schools, employers, and future artists will certainly be impressed you can write something wonderful entirely solo, it’s also important to learn how to work alongside others, especially since it’s the way the industry seems to be trending.
Splice is by far one of the most innovative (and coolest) startups in the music space, and while many musicians can make good use of its technology, the company is focused primarily on the electronic space. If you are creating, or if you want to create electronic tunes of any kind, this is a great place to get started and to find everything you could ever need.
The NYC-based firm allows musicians to get feedback on what they’ve been working on at any stage of the creation process and to collaborate with others. The site also features an enormous library of free samples, while others can be purchased one-by-one for a fraction of what a sample pack -— which could be completely bogus or could feature the perfect sounds or words —- would normally run. You can now also rent-to-own software and there is even a subscription model where those who use a lot of samples (likely because they are creating a lot of music) can have free reign over a ton of effects and such.
Much of the money poured into Splice from creators goes back out the door to those who actually made the sounds, synths, loops, and samples themselves, so even the youngest of artists can feel great about using Splice.
Of all the companies I’ve mentioned above, ProCollabs might be the broadest and the one trying to do the most. It’s a general platform the encourages collaboration between musicians, singers, and Songwriters of all kinds, but what really makes it worth at least checking out is much-needed transparency and info regarding licensing opportunities and publishing info. Making songs is wonderful and making new musical friends is certainly a bonus, but what about after it’s all done? Where does the money come in? ProCollabs seems to be focused a bit more on the business than the art, which might be helpful when it comes to earning a few dollars or at least learning how this side of the music biz operates.
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