In March of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic brought all live music events to a halt. Not only was it unsafe for audiences to gather in clubs and concert halls to listen to musicians perform together, but lockdown restrictions prevented musicians from even meeting in the same room to rehearse. Many bands, who were like family to one another, were suddenly unable to be together and play together.
The aim of the Band Together initiative, with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts’ Digital Strategy Fund, was to foster human connection and collaboration between musical artists, within the technical limitations of digital connectivity and the pandemic-imposed limitations of physical distancing. Over the course of 2021, Wavelength united a core team of musical artists, curators and digital audio experts to engage in a series of online workshops and discussions to research and explore existing platforms for real-time, long-distance musical collaboration. In later sessions, the core team collaborated with other musicians to test the efficacy of a slate of identified software and hardware solutions, assessing them on the basis of a defined series of attributes.
The result is something of a “consumer guide” to remote musical collaboration which, even as the pandemic subsides, we hope will bring the musical world closer together.
Platforms assessed include:
syncspace.live (Best overall)
Bandlab (Best for beginners)
Jamstud.io (Best for bands on the road)
Pedál (Best for one-on-one spontaneous collabs)
Soundjack (Best for experimental tinkerers)