Tonic Audio Presents Communities–Inclusive Space Specifically for Musicians
We started Tonic Audio with one mission: Help musicians complete more of their songs. We knew personally that having to use five different apps to collaborate remotely on a song was simply ridiculous. The inefficiency was holding us back from finishing our best work and our friends had many of the same complaints!
We thought that if we could just give musicians an easy, fast, and enjoyable way to collaborate on audio files, they could finish more of the music they had in their heads. If only they had an alternative to cobbling together Dropbox, SoundCloud, Discord, email, and text messaging, then almost certainly they would have more time to create art, tell stories, and connect with other artists.
Music is inherently social
What we learned along the way is that we were missing one key ingredient. The people! Virtually no songs are made in solitude from start to finish. However, finding like-minded collaborators turns out to be a huge challenge.
As it turns out, making music is both inherently social, and deeply personal. It is in fact so deeply personal that most musicians won’t even share their stems until they’ve completed the song. But also, mixed, mastered, and played it at least 463 times in a soundproof room.
Even moreso, it is not enough to have better workflow tools, time-stamped feedback, and cloud storage. Musicians need other trusted collaborators to bounce ideas off, get feedback, and simply to hang out with. The ‘hanging out part’ as it turns out is actually really important to the creative process.
Announcing our newest feature: Communities
Let me introduce you to our newest feature: Communities. Communities allows you to find like-minded folks, hang with them in channels, and collaborate remotely. The process works seamlessly inside of the channels themselves–using our cloud storage and workflow tools.
With Communities you can join existing communities or create your own:
–Enjoy a Discord-like experience with a musician-driven space. One designed to keep your files and feedback right in the conversation
–Discover, hang out, and collaborate with like-minded artists and friends
–All while having an audio-centric chat experience, with rich audio players and feedback right in the channel
Finding other people to collaborate with doesn’t have to be daunting or transactional like Fiverr and other marketplaces.
Members of the Community can get to know each other in channels!
One of the key features of Tonic Audio is the ability to create channels within each community. These channels can be used to organize conversations by topic or purpose.
Musicians thrive when they work together to make music
After we built our storage, share and collaboration tools, we took a deep breath and paused. We spent three months in the UK attending the Techstars London program, working with mentors and colleagues in the music industry trying to figure out how we could recreate what garage bands and recording studios have always known–that there is a magic you get from being in the same room.
It is the act of being together that makes for authentic, wild, and serendipitous moments that would have never otherwise happened. The accidental guitar riffs that turn into the band’s most beloved song. The lyrics that got spit out in a hushed tone became the hook that made their entire album take off on the charts.
How musicians can find like-minded people with similar interests
One of our early engineers, Ben, lives in a small East Coast town called Brattleboro, Vermont. He moved to Brattleboro to be closer to a niche group of musicians who play a very particular genre of folk music called ‘Old Time’. Here is a video of Ben playing fiddle with his friend Marco.
In the past five years music technology has become so good that musicians can now create high quality songs with just a laptop, a $100 microphone, their favorite DAW, and a couple software plugins. Earlier, you had to be in the same room at a recording studio to create something comparable. As a result of Communities, Ben and others like him can now make music at home and find like-minded collaborators from all over the world with whom to collaborate.
Trust is crucial to making music together
We learned that musicians need to find one another, spend time getting acquainted, then learn to trust them. They need to be able to be a part of one or more groups that are small enough that build relationships then lead to collaborations. The groups should center around a specific topic and should be fairly small (2-50 active members at a time works best).
All different types of music-related groups can create Communities on Tonic Audio:
Bands, Indie Record labels, and Genre-related Groups
As an illustration, a Bangladeshi hip hop group can create a Community that has channels for #lookingforcollaborators, #gearforsale, #bangladeshsamples, and #feedbackonsongs. They can even run a remix contest and share their stems with their members right in the #channels.
Alternatively, a project manager for a music branding agency can create a Community to empower her team to work together more efficiently. Because the workflow and storage tools are built-in, they no longer have to spend precious time losing feedback in text and email threads. Everyone with permission can have visibility into the project and see the latest version and related feedback.
In the music education domain, a music professor can create one community for all four of her classes for the semester. This might serve as their home base for chatting about the curriculum, sharing assignments, and sending over time-based feedback to their professor and peers.
Each Community has its own set of rules and guidelines to ensure that members feel safe and welcome. They can be ‘public’ or ‘invite only’. Additionally, admins have full control over how many invites they send.
You can start building your own community or join others
One thing you will notice is that when you log in you are immediately added to the Tonic Audio Community. We encourage you to stop in and say, “Hey!” in the #Lounge channel. Our team is around to chat, provide support, and help you achieve your own musical goals on the Tonic Audio app!
But you don’t need to just use our community! Feel free to create your own, join others, and even leave ours if you like. This is a platform for *you* and your music. We just wanted to have a soft landing for you when you first sign up, to get the idea of how communities work on Tonic.
We look forward to learning more about you and the projects you are working on, groups you’re a part of, and niche music-related subjects you’re utterly passionate about. I guess now you can say our mission has expanded: to help musicians finish more songs together. And…to have a ton of fun doing it!
Start building your new home for music, find some communities to join, or create your own! Let me know how it goes. I love hearing from y’all. You can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yours in music, Ethan