Feature Article in The Line Magazine

“There’s about to be a new way for amateur and professional musicians to collaborate on original music without regard for geography — and it’s made in MSP.

Record Together, an innovative recording and idea-sharing platform developed and promoted by MSP brothers Scott and Mike Bishop, is nearing the launch of a completely revamped application that allows multiple musicians to collaborate on the same song, no matter where they live or whether they have access to sophisticated instruments and recording equipment.

Think of Record Together as a virtual, remote music studio that connects musicians who’d otherwise never even hear of each other, let alone meet up for a recording session. Users lay down one or more tracks — anything from an isolated piano line to a four-piece band’s guitar, bass, drum and vocal tracks. They then “draw in” outlines for other tracks (for instance, a vocal harmony to accompany the piano line) using automated music software and publish to Record Together’s online marketplace. Once published, other users record their own tracks to replace the drawn-in outlines and create a whole (or at least more complete) composition.

Record Together is intentionally designed for musicians of all ages, abilities and levels of seriousness. “We cater to professional jazz musicians with mindblowing musical skills and years of experience,” says Mike Bishop, “along with high school kids just messing around with a guitar or saxophone in the basement.”

The Bishop brothers fleshed out the revamped Record Together platform with non-technical, cost-conscious users in mind. According to Scott Bishop, Record Together isn’t the only cloud-based music recording solution that empowers cross-border collaboration. But musicians would be hard-pressed to find a simpler, more cost-effective option.

“Access to a professional recording studio is a major barrier to entry for most musicians,” he says, “due to the high cost of reserving studio space and the limited amount of space available.” Musicians who record demo tapes or digital imprints on their own solve the cost problem, he adds, but sacrifice collaborative potential and sound quality.

“Our objective with Record Together is to reduce recording expenses and remove every possible barrier to enjoyment and creativity,” says Mike Bishop. “We want to move users closer to their end goal — making great music.”

The updated Record Together app replaces a legacy platform born in 2011. The legacy platform was built around “opportunities” — calls for single-track contributions to unfinished songs. For each opportunity, users submitted recordings that fit the stated requirements; the opportunity’s poster then selected the winner and paid the creator an agreed-upon sum. The new platform is still transactional — “We want users to get something back for their contributions,” says Scott Bishop — but the “draw in” feature allows for a more seamless and expansive collaboration process.

Although the Bishops are coy about when the new platform will roll out to the public, they’re not shy about their plans or ambition. The brothers are currently putting out feelers for a seed funding round, says Scott Bishop, in the hopes of scaling the platform and ensuring that “everyone who wants to use it will be able to from day one.”

After that, the sky’s the limit. “We believe that Record Together has the potential to do for music what YouTube did for video,” he says.”

Full Article by Brian Martucci: http://www.thelinemedia.com/innovationnews/recordtogether09222015.aspx

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