Indaba Music Improves Collaboration Through Revamped Digital Music Workstation

Music collaboration service Indaba Music has launched a new version of its Session Console, which is a digital audio workstation that lets musicians record, mix and edit music together from different locations.

Indaba is a music community for musicians looking to share and collaborate with other musicians around the globe. The site offers artists a suite of online tools to help record and develop tracks in real-time. What makes Indaba’s newest version of its Session Console unique is that it brings high quality recording software to the web platform.

Built on Sun Microsystems’ JavaFX platform, Session Console 2.0 now allows users to add affects in real-time without effecting the audio. This feature makes changes appear seamless when testing out effects instead of creating breaks in a track. In addition, the console now includes a catalog of Creative Commons Commercial Licensed loops and audio clips that musicians can use and integrate into their tracks. Indaba commissioned professional musicians to create the sounds and then licensed the content to the community. The console also lets users remix and edit offline or online.

Thew new console is being launched in conjunction with a contest sponsored by the music group Weezer, where musicians on Indaba will have the opportunity to collaborate and remix a Weezer track that will eventually be recorded and produced. Indaba’s co-CEO and co-founder Dan Zaccagnino says that Weezer found the workstation compelling because of its ability to collaboratively capture the ideas of musicians in a rich format.

Previously, Indaba’s console was being powered by Flash, which Zaccagnino says wasn’t the right fit as a platform for audio production tools. After experimenting with other solutions, he found Java and JavaFX to be the optimal language and application to power and process (from any computer) the high-quality recording software that is now run on Indaba.

Indaba Music, which makes money through membership fees, has also updated its membership tiers to include a free account, a pro account for $5.00 per month and a platinum account for $25.00 per month. The paid accounts, which still seem pretty affordable for a fledgling musician, gives users access to higher quality sound clips, real-time editing effects and more.

Earlier this year, the site launched a number of news features, including a new Facebook-like chat system, enhanced commenting within tracks, and a recommendation engine that helps compatible artists find each other, effectively enabling it to automatically pick out potential bandmates. Since January, the site has steadily grown from 125,000 users to over 200,000 users. Zaccagnino says that while the basic focus of the Indaba has been to help musicians collaborate and remix music in innovative ways, but the startup also wants to help with the next step beyond just creating the tracks. Indaba is also looking into providing resources for musicians to distibute and promote music that has been created on the site.

Indaba competitors include Minimum Noise (covered here), WeMix, JamGlue and Indomite.