Get more Fans on Soundcloud by Collaborating
THE ART OF COLLABORATING FOR MORE FANS
NETWORK, COLLABORATE, GET FANS
Creating music takes hours swathed in walls of sound where the only interaction you have while creating new tracks is the occasional post to Twitter, or a quick snap of your laptop and studio to Instagram. For some, the isolation is where the real magic happens.
Let’s face it, though, sometimes your tracks, no matter how brilliant you think you they are, need a little something extra. You must have vocals, horns, or a guitar riff that you can’t duplicate, something that you just can’t generate on your own. When you’re creating on your own, sometimes finding a collaborator can seem impossible, but there are ways you can find other artists who want to share in your creative process, and maybe boost their own profile.
1. Networking is the Key
You’re already on Hypeddit and Soundcloud, so this is your best and first step. By being a part of both communities, you’ve opened yourself up to a wealth of would be contributors and collaborators. Take a look at who’s following you and who you’re following on Hypeddit and Soundcloud, obviously you are following them because you love what they’re producing.
When you are listening to their tracks, do you notice a vocalist they work with that would be perfect for a track or two you’re work on? Reach out to other artist and see if they can put you in contact with the vocalist or other musicians. Networking and sharing with other artists on venues such as Hypeddit and Soundcloud is absolutely key to finding creative partners and collaborators.
2. Beating the Drum of Social Media
You already know how important outlets like Facebook and Twitter are to getting your music out to your fans and potential new listeners, but it also might be one of the best outlets to discover possible partners in crime.
The process is the same as Hypeddit and Soundcloud, and chances are you’re connected to some of the same artists on Facebook and Twitter. But the major difference is that with social media platforms, you have access to your fans and friends who also might be musicians or vocalists, but aren’t on Hypeddit, or aren’t promoting their music and talents in anyway other than entertaining themselves and their friends.
…but if you start a conversation asking your fans if they play an instrument or sing, you could be uncorking a well-spring of untapped talent and potential contributors. Sure, it might feel like a painful version America’s Got Talent at times, but you also may find someone who can kick up one or two of your tracks to the next level.
3. Leave The Batcave
If you’re a nonperforming EDM artist, there’s a better chance than not that when you’re in full creation mode, you’re not getting out of the studio. Chances are you have no desire to leave your creative sweet spot, either. But sometimes you hit the creative wall, and you need to get out of the bat cave and roam around in the world, and getting out and seeing live music might be the ticket to getting the juices flowing. It’s also the best way to finding possible collaborators. Good old fashion pressing the flesh has a distinct advantage over social media mostly because you can actually meet face-to-face and gauge a possible collaborators personalities, see if your two (or group) creative juices gel, gauge their work ethic, etc.
So … Now What?
4. Distance Collaborating
Alright, let’s say your talent search went exactly how you planned. You reached out through Hypeddit, or you did the Simon Cowell bit on social media, and you’ve found the right voice, or the right musicians to fill the holes in your tracks. But, your new collaborators are hundreds of miles away. How are you going to lay down your tracks and then mix with that kind of distance? How are you going to make things work?
Twenty years ago, collaborating hundreds of miles apart was next to impossible, but, hey, you know, internet.
When you’re beginning the collaborative process, you’ll need to meet face-to-face, you’ll need to able to brainstorm and play against one another. The simplest way to go about this is a few simple Skype sessions, or a Google Hangout. Take advantage of free services that let you instantly connect one-on-one.
5. Recording & Sending Stems, Loops or Tracks
Next with recording and sending tracks and shuttling them back and forth between artists is just as simple and easy as your Skype session. When recording on your DAW like Ableton, Pro Tools, Cakewalk or Cubase be sure to save/rebounce/export your stems in WAV, or AIF formats on the 0:00:00 marker.
Audio file sharing tips
• Use consistent naming conventions between shared loops and stems (e.g. drum-loop-main-1.wav, drum-fill-1.wav, drum-intro.wav, guitar-main-1.wav, guitar-loop-1.wav, vocals-main-1.wav)
• Agree on the same BPM and KEY for collaborating before sharing stems for best musical mashup
• Apply a 3ms-10ms cross-fade to all loops start and end points to avoid unexpected loop-pops
• Agree on consistent file formats prior to exchanging (16-bit or 24-bit? 44.1K, 48k, or 96k? mono or stereo?) This will save you lots from time re-sampling or re-bouncing audio formats.
When moving files from artist-to-artist, Dropbox or Google Drive (or any cloud based file sharing service) are invaluable. With the free edition of Dropbox you have 2 GB of space, which is fine for everyday users who are moving audio-stems from one computer to another. Similarly, Google Drive Offers you up to 15 GB of free cloud storage.
6. Arrange, Mix, Share
The collaboration process can be both a fun and difficult one from inception-to-final track, but there are ways to soften it and make it 100% fun and creative. All it takes is little prep on your end and knowing what you want out of it and having clear expectations right from the get go.
I want to hear from you!
What ways have you tried to find collaborators that have been successful? What ways haven’t worked? Do you have any stories nightmare stories of working with diva musicians? Also, what are some of your favorite tracks where an EDM artist has used non-sampled vocals or instruments? What kind of collaborations do you think work or don’t? Just head down to the comments section and share your stories.