How The Cloud Is Making Music Production Easy For All

Phil Morse | Founder & Tutor
Read time: 2 mins
Last updated 24 March, 2018

Tracks, instruments, samples... the cloud is turning scarcity to abundance for DJs and producers. And that, we say, can only be a good thing...
Tracks, instruments, samples… the cloud is turning scarcity to abundance for DJs and producers. And that, we say, can only be a good thing… Pic: M Hirst

It was, probably, inevitable. I mean, streaming music is now the norm for consumers, and increasingly so for DJs, as Pulselocker and similar services bring the idea of storing and accessing your DJ tracks from the cloud to the mainstream. And now it’s happening in music production, too…

Back at the NAMM Show in January, Roland was excitedly talking up the Roland Cloud, a place where you can subscribe to all kinds of virtual instruments for a fixed monthly fee, to use in your DAW of choice. The company was claiming that as most producers can’t afford the high prices of the best synths, this was a great way to offer everyone the very best instruments.

Loopcloud is promising to let DJ/producers choose, audition and keymatch samples for their productions in the cloud, much as it is becoming possible to do the same with music tracks.

Also back in January, sample pack leader Loopmasters announced Loopcloud, a way to keep your local sample library in the cloud, access samples you’ve bought from Loopmasters from the same place, and also – eventually – seamlessly audition samples right in your production software. Basically, the company is hoping Loopcloud will become a kind-of “endless-samples-to-choose-from” service to help producers come up with bags of ideas easily.

And just last week, Pioneer DJ announced a related type of idea for its Toraiz SP-16 hardware sample player. In conjunction with Splice, the online sample service that lets you choose individual sounds from sample packs and audition them on the web, Pioneer DJ now lets you download these directly to the SP-16, for seamless cloud-to-local music performance.

The opportunity for producers, especially new ones…

We think that for producers and wannabe producers, the idea of samples being accessible from, stored in and auditioned via the cloud is particularly exciting. After all, samples are the currency of dance music production, and having pre-licensed, high quality samples, already tempo, genre and key-matched, that you can access in near-infinite numbers as you’re planning your productions, is something truly exciting, which can only help to open up production to more and more people, particualrly those who aren’t able to play instruments or don’t have formal musical training.

The Pioneer DJ Toraiz SP-16 is a simple to use, self-contained sample player for DJs, and is now cloud enabled. Making music is getting easier and easier, and we think that’s great.

This kind of thing is partly the reason why we’re launching our Dance Music Formula free production training in a couple of days: To help show complete beginners who nonetheless have great ideas that they, too, can make music – and quickly and successfully at that! Online services like these can only help to further bring down the barriers to entry, which is to us a great thing. Remember when sample CDs used to cost £50 each? How much easier, cheaper and more fun “cloud composing” may turn out to be.

And while all of these technologies are in their infancy, is it really going to be too long before the whole idea of purchasing, downloading, and storing sounds (or DJ tracks, of course) locally appears archaic? Probably not…

• Ever wanted to make a track, but not known where to start? Grab your free place now on our Dance Music Formula video training course, coming in a couple of days…

What do you think about music production companies beginning to offer services from the cloud? Is it a good thing that the financial and technological barriers to entry are reducing for new producers? Or is there more value in the old ways of doing things? Let us know your thoughts in the comments…

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