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22 l March 2012 studioreport WORLD Ahead in theCloud

‘Working in the Cloud’ is fast becoming the component for a new generation of creatives concerned about file security, writes Paul Watson

“IS THERE anyone in this room who can honestly say they’ve never lost a file?” The question comes from Gobbler CEO Chris Kantrowitz and is being directed at the 200-strong audience at the company’s Hot Zone seminar at NAMM, held in conjunction with online distribution platform SoundCloud and Blue Microphones. A murmur at best and perhaps one or two half-raised arms is a satisfying enough response for him to continue: “With Gobbler, you’ll never lose a project again. On top of that, file organisation is a big problem for people recording audio files, and media management isn’t something creators of music are particularly keen on prioritising. The reality is digital media creation is so fast when you’re using the right software, and working in the Cloud, we can make it easier.” Essentially, Cloud computing is the delivery of computing as a service rather than a product, whereby software, shared resources and information are sent to computers and other devices over the internet. Cloud is becoming more important in today’s industry as companies such as Apple and Microsoft continue to invest heavily in their respective iCloud and SkyDrive applications; and audio

technology is becoming more accessible via mobile devices. Gobbler uses Cloud technology to back up, transfer and manage audio project files and assets. Kantrowitz says it solves many of the most frustrating problems that musicians and producers face on a daily basis, without compromising workflow. Used by mixer/producer Steven

Slate, who describes it as “a lifesaver”, Gobbler integrates with most DAWs to keep files secure, expedites the process of sending and receiving; and provides access to them from anywhere with an internet connection.

SoundCloud, not surprisingly,

employs Cloud technology. The website has, Kantrowitz claims, “reshaped music enjoyment over the past few years by building a social community around music sharing”. It boasts 10 million users worldwide. “Once you’ve finished a project,

you can post it on SoundCloud or a variety of websites, and people actually talk to each other about the music,” Kantrowitz explains. “It is taking the concept of distribution away from the more traditional places; and the concept of sound isn’t limited to music either – news reporters and poets are doing the same thing. The theory is that sound may even become bigger than video.”

PreSonus (not present at the seminar) launched its Studio One DAW software two years ago with the innovation of a SoundCloud export function built in. Blue Microphones specialises in desktop and portable USB microphones as well as iOS devices for studio and live applications. According to Kantrowitz, the manufacturer “saw the coming of the digital revolution very early on”. This, he suggests, has led to the company’s development of several products for mobile workflows. Blue’s PR and events

manager, Hilary Money, presented the manufacturer’s new products, one of which is Spark Digital, the digital version of Blue’s Spark microphone – a cardioid condenser studio microphone aimed at entry-level recording applications. “We’re excited to be at the start

of the creative process: getting the sound into the iPad, that’s where we come in. We digitised the [Spark] mic for the iPad so you can get that high-fidelity sound straight to this platform,” she enthuses. “SoundCloud and Gobbler live and breathe the software, and we’ve provided the microphones.” Blue also introduced Mikey Digital at NAMM – a new tool

Hilary Money explains how Blue mics take advantage of Cloud-based music creation

Blue’s Spark has been digitised for the iPad

SoundCloud enables users to store and back-up tracks online

for mobile recording direct to the iPad, iPhone or iPod. It features three gain settings, a line input, and uses two custom-built Blue capsules for stereo recording. “This is a digital plug-and-

play for more on-the-go applications; and it has the capability of getting audio into that device so you can then use programs like SoundCloud and Gobbler to upload it, back it up, organise, and then publish from these extremely mobile platforms,” she explains.

The notion of losing a hard

drive fills all composers with dread. Working in the Cloud allows users to create recordings anywhere in the world and store them safely.. Add to that the thought of doing this via a mobile platform: it’s even more appealing. It shows just how far musical

creation has come – and where it is heading.

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