This episode about online studio collaboration solution was previously published on the Profitable Musician Show.
The pandemic had different impacts on different industries. Some businesses were badly affected by the pandemic, while others reaped good outcomes. The pandemic helped boost Kevin Williams’ business by offering online studio collaboration solution, Sessionwire.
How it started
Kevin started playing in bands when he was young so he was often around studios. The more he was around studios, the more he liked that part more than the touring or playing part. He went on to do a lot of different things and wore a lot of different hats.
He enjoyed engineering and producing music. He wrote jingles and did other commercial activities. He worked on his own music then started a publishing company. Eventually he started teaching, developing his own curriculum and building courses as such. That evolved into starting his own college which he loved doing and did so for many years.
His studio evolved into Kevin partnering with Garth Richardson and Bob Ezrin to start Nimbus School of Recording and Media, which is an elite recording school. Years passed and Kevin moved on to start offering online studio collaboration solution through Sessionwire. It was his partner, Kevin Leboe’s vision to start the platform.
It had limitations back in the day in terms of internet and social media for promotion. It was in 2016 that they had their first MVP. It then evolved to the full-blown Sessionwire app and platform which continues to expand and do more things.
Offering online studio collaboration solution
Sessionwire is like Zoom for the music industry. Imagine you are on a call where you can see each other and you are talking, but connect your recording devices. What the app does is to connect workstations such as Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase and other DAW. They also have a bidirectional stereo channel that is of studio quality. It connects between workstations and allows you to record and work on virtually anything such as in a recording studio, but with people working remotely. It’s a game changer.
They did not do it because of the pandemic. What they saw was that record labels no longer have budgets to fly people around and put them up in studios. When pandemic happened, they started getting organic growth. People started to find them. They were not exactly sure what they were looking for but realize it is what they need.
The audio quality is of extremely high, and video quality is high. It feels like you are working with people in your own studio, except they can be located anywhere in the world.
Latency issue is a fact of physics. You can have people and people use Sessionwire all the time to co-write together. It’s going through the stereo channel and working on ideas back and forth. Maybe the other person adds something to that. That starts to become the basis of where the song grows from, which essentially is what you would be doing if you were sitting in a room with somebody working with them in that way. The new version is for Mac and Windows and has been built from the ground up. It uses plugins.
Hit play and everything that is in your recording software come to the app. It puts the plugin to receive it. It’s even easier. Automatically, the system detects if you have an audio interface and it comes to your audio interface. There’s nothing on the receiving side that you have to do. It’s that simple.
Things can also be controlled remotely from one computer to another. All you have to do at your end is make sure that your mic is plugged in. I would do all the rest on the computer. That’s one solution. It’s important to top producers that they have the ability to control the other person’s computer.
The whole goal is to make everything as simple as possible. It is a new world with bedroom producers or people who essentially have their own recording software and gear or whatever it is in a small location or office. It does not have to be a bedroom. There are millions of people doing that these days. It’s a different world. Instead of having these large studios, and there are much fewer people overall doing this now, it’s completely the other way around. Large studios still have a lot to benefit from a technology like Sessionwire. You can’t record drums in your bedroom.
What has been happening prior to Sessionwire and remote collaborative technologies like this for the last years is that people can’t afford to be flown around and do stuff like they used to. It’s not everybody but most people can’t. Sometimes technology is polishing it too much. The human elements got lost in all that. In Sessionwire, that is one of the biggest things that people are working with. They love the fact that you can have that vibe like you are in a session with people again. We are all excited about something and something magical comes out of it. That’s a huge thing that has been missing for a long time. We firmly believe that’s coming back with people connecting through technology like Sessionwire.
There are all these amazing plugins, equalization, compressors and pitch correction. What you don’t have is this heart and soul plugin. You can’t put it on the track. Maybe it’s perfectly in tune. It’s all timed right. It’s too perfect, “Put the heart and soul plugin on there. Make it sound like what I’m describing.” It’s not going to happen because it’s not there. I hope your readers get how significantly important that is.
If you had people all standing in a studio, you would be playing all together live off the floor in real-time. We have a solution for that down the road but not currently. That would be the equivalent of trying to jam as we discussed. It’s not realistic. The latency is a fact of life. 5G will help for sure. It will be more like what you would do when you go into the studio. You would start with drums and maybe the drummer playing a click track. It does not have to. There’s a whole other story about whether to use a click track or not which we won’t get into.
You can have mix engineers working with mix clients. You can do overdubs and collaborate on a song together. You have to have the Sessionwire version of how it works versus how it would work if we were in the room together. They are not that much different from the examples.
Sessionwire does dozens of things. A mix engineer was playing a mix for a client. No one is recording anything. It’s just a monitoring condition.
In the next iteration of the software, you will be able to call someone on the Sessionview call without being on the peer-to-peer call. That’s also a feature that has been requested that we have coming soon.
The price is $15 US per month for the Artist version. It’s not expensive. Also, keep in mind that we have other plans coming. There’s a Producer plan coming, which will be more expensive than that per month. It’s probably $29.95 to $30 a month but it will have other features that the Artist plan does not have and so on. We will have versions that are more geared towards audio posts. We talked about it a bit. There are certain feature sets that make sense for people doing dialogue replacement and sound effects that are unique to the post industry that music producers and content creators working on music would not care about. We will have other plans coming that are more geared towards other use cases and situations.
The way you get to create an account, the landing page is www.Sessionwire.com. That will take you to an account where you can register your free account. You need to put in your email and the display name. It will walk you through some basic information, which we feel is important for us to collect from you like where you live, what workstation you have and what interface. It makes tech support and us understand the user better for everybody. Once you do that, then the app will launch and away you go.
- Nimbus School of Recording & Media
- Pro Tools
- Studio One
- Sessionwire – YouTube
- Instagram – Sessionwire
- Facebook – Sessionwire
- LinkedIn – Sessionwire