Love it or hate it, but the term “The Cloud” is catching on. What is it? “The cloud is a metaphor for the way independent computers can be networked on the Internet so files can be conveniently viewed and worked on by multiple users, utilizing third-party servers and mirror sites as neutral storage and retrieval locales for exchanging and updating information,” according to Blair Jackson, writer/editor for Mix Magazine. Basically, and crudely explaining, it’s any site, software, or server you can store files on and access them from anywhere, such as Dropbox, MobileMe, or YouSendIt. It can eliminate the need for carrying portable hard drives around in your backpack.
I use “the cloud” daily. I keep some of my most prized sample libraries online so I can grab them from any recording studio (with internet access) that I happen to be working from, anywhere in the world. Gigabytes of sound files all stored on somebody else’s servers, for free, and I no longer have to deal with keeping track of which flashdrive I have which drum sample stored on, nor do I have to remember to pack a few extra mix demo reel cds to give to other producers, labels, or artists I may encounter. It’s all out there in the cloud. I just pull it up, even on my iPhone, and turn up the volume… there you have it!
When I am mixing, I will often bounce a rough mix of the song and upload it to the cloud, forward a link to my client, and ask them to download it and give it a quick listen. “Isn’t that just like email?” Yes, kind of. This method allows you to forward a download link to your file, even a hi res wav (too big for email inboxes), so that anyone can download it. No risk of having your email marked as spam or rejected because of any attachments.
Read my entire interview in the May 2011 edition of Mix Magazine, or online here: http://www.mixonline.com/recording/tracking/essay_cloud_collaboration/