Remember the Res Rocket Surfer project? From this 1,000-member strong jam association sprang the Rocket Network and their mission to bring interactive jamming out of the basement and onto the internet. Born in the halcyon days of hi-tech, stock options, and venture capital, the company was eventually purchased by Digidesign, and vanished from view.
But lurking in the underground was a rabid cadre of inveterate jammers who refused to let the idea of world-wide jam domination fade away. Some of those stoic web musicians have created dawSYNC. DawSync is a free tool that allows project synchronization and audio compression / decompression between DAWs on both Windows and OS X platforms.
The software client allows for FTP transfer of multitrack session information created by software such as Cubase, Logic, Sonar, and so on. The idea of the site is free jamming, and the site doesn’t save data on its webspace — basically what you’re getting is a communication system with a graphic user interface.
Here’s how it works: Someone starts a multitrack session and uploads it using dawSYNC. Someone else can then download it, add parts, and re-upload it, after which others can download, add parts, and so on, until the song or jam session is finished. The dawSYNC software “locks” the session so that only one person can download and work on it at a time — everyone has to take their turn in this jam session.
The clients have currently been tested with Cubase VST, SX 1, SX 2, and SX 3, Logic 5.x/6.x, and Sonar 1 and 2. The software currently runs on Windows 9x, ME, NT, 2000 XP, Mac OS X and most flavors of Linux.
Want to work on your mixes, but lack good multitrack files to get you started? Raw-tracks.com may be just what you need. The company provides the raw source tracks for a complete song for download or on CD — each track is a separate audio file in either WAV or MP3 format. You can also download a “demo” mix of the song, as well as a track sheet.
The songs contains up to 22 tracks; up to 10 drum tracks, as well as guitars, vocals, keyboards, percussion, and bass. Load the audio files into your DAW of choice, and create your own mix. If you want to discuss your work, log into the Raw-tracks discussion forums. There’s also space to post your mix for others to hear and critique. (Be nice! Or…not.)
Prices aren’t too bad: $12 (plus shipping and handling) for the tracks on CD, $10 for WAV download, and $8 for MP3 download. There are also free “demo downloads” that contain 30 seconds worth of each song, and a free, multitrack drum download.