Spotify’s new Soundtrap capture app offers collaborative voice notes for songwriters

Acquired in 2017, Soundtrap more or less serves a similar role as Anchor under the larger Spotify banner — albeit largely focused on music creation, instead of podcasting. The company’s software of the same name is a cloud-based service designed to let musicians remotely collaborate on a song, track by track. It is, honestly, a perfect tool for this moment of social distancing.

Announced this morning, the new Soundtrap Capture builds on that idea, making it more mobile and addressing the earliest stage of the songwriting process. As someone who interviews a lot of musicians on my podcast, I can certainly attest to the fact that Voice Memo has become an increasingly important tool in songwriting. Being in a creative field is a bit of a double-edged sword, in that you’re often able to make your own hours, but inspiration can (and often does) arrive when you least expect it.

The smartphone has become a pretty necessary part of the process for many musicians, as an always-present blank slate into which they can sing or hum inspiration. That’s the underlying principle for Capture. At its heart, the app is a pretty simple Voice Memo tool, with an interface that is basically a giant red record button. Tapping that, the users sings a line, which is saved as a track that can be shared with others. They can then record an overlay. It’s a bit like Voice Memos meets Google Docs.

The app has been in development since last year and in beta since the spring, and honestly, the timing is pretty perfect for many musicians seeking ways to work in the seemingly endless era of social distancing. The app is really just meant for that initial moment of inspiration, which means the controls are pretty limited. You can, for instance, adjust the volume of the tracks, but can’t adjust other levels. You can’t create loops of your found sounds, either — that would be a fun and useful trick, I think, but co-founder Per Emanuelsson tells TechCrunch that Soundtrap considers it an aspect of the songwriting process that generally comes later.

The app features live storage for memos and will add integration to the main Soundtrap Studio app at some point later this year.