With millions of users all around the world, there are huge potential benefits for musicians who collaborate with Ableton. New ideas, exceptional performances, unique skillsets and the magic that happens when creatives combine… collaboration often proves that the sum is greater than the parts. But, the path to great remote collaboration was full of obstacles. Until Satellite Plugins came along.
There are endless reasons to seek online collaboration with other artists and musicians. We’re fundamentally social creatures, yet music production can be a lonely endeavor. Hours whiled away in bedrooms and studios perfecting snares and kick drums can leave us a little isolated. And that’s before the pandemic hit!
It’s not even as simple as saying that Covid has created a thirst for human connection. While it has certainly intensified this need, it’s always been there. And, indeed, we often find the greatest inspiration comes through sharing ideas.
In more fundamental ways, we need collaboration to make hits. While there are plenty of ‘lone wolf’ artists as well, we see time and again how a good collaboration can turn a good song into a great one. Think Drake, Ed Sheeran, Sia, David Guetta, Rihanna, Eminem… the list goes on and on.
Collaborating is an art in itself. We need to be able to take correction, even rejection, and have our input critiqued. You may encounter disagreements or even argue with your collaborator. Navigating these waters is a skill that will help you develop important relationships throughout your career. For some, collaboration is the norm. If you live in hip cities full of likeminded artists, you may have your pick of people to work with in person. But for many, the magic has to happen online. And, unfortunately, that hasn’t always been as easy or fun as we’d want it to be.
Collaboration with Ableton should be fast and fun. You should be able to think of an idea, play it to your collaborator and get instant feedback. They should be able to hear what you just played and respond to it, come back at you with something new and develop your ideas.
File-sharing sites, upload/download speeds, rendering stems individually (and trying to remember what you called them) are a buzzkill at the best of times. When we’re in the creative zone, it’s downright disheartening. And anyone who has received a bunch of stems at a different sample rate than you are working in will know how frustrating remote collaboration can be!
Even if we could engage our inner zen and deal with these irritations, we still had trouble. To collaborate most effectively, both parties needed to be using the same DAW on the same platform, with (hopefully) pretty similar plugins. Which, as you can imagine, shrinks the available pool of collaborators greatly.
Thankfully, all that has changed.
We are rightfully proud to have solved all these problems and provided the world with the first cross-platform, cross-DAW and (virtually) real-time collaboration tool! You don’t ever have to leave your DAW, render large files or worry about sample rates again. Satellite Plugins ensures every participant is working at the correct tempo and sample rate, is in the correct key and scale, and that every recording is perfectly in time. You can record any audio or MIDI tracks at any point in the insert chain, or share bus mixes, send/raturn channels, FX strips or any other channel in your DAW. PC or Mac? Doesn’t matter!
Satellite Plugins and Ableton go together perfectly. Simply add the Satellite Sessions plugin as an AU or VST plugin to a blank, new MIDI channel. This is now your hub, where all the recordings will end up. All participants in the session upload to the same hub, so no matter what DAW or OS they are using, everyone sees the same thing.
Anyone in the session can add Audio or MIDI to the Satellite Sessions hub. Just add Satellite Audio or Satellite MIDI to any channel and press play in your DAW to start recording. Precise instructions can be found here.
Once audio and/or MIDI tracks are uploaded to the session, anyone in the session can download them to their own DAW for further work. Then, repeat the process as many times as you like. It’s superfast and intuitive.
There’s only one setting you need to change to ensure Satellite Plugins captures everything perfectly. Just go to your Preferences > ‘Record/Warp/Launch’ and disable ‘Auto-Warp Long Samples’. Then get back to your collaboration with Ableton (or any other DAW).
No more sharing .als projects, Satellite Plugins actually stores your recordings (including collaborators’) in the Session History. So you’ll never lose a session again. You can work with anyone, anywhere in the world, either simultaneously or at different times. There are no limits to using these plugins, and they’re completely free!
So if you want collaboration with Ableton, your life just got a whole lot easier.