Less chaos, more collaboration
A lot of bands have the mindset that all bandmates have to live in the same place to thrive. But bands like The Postal Service showed a new generation of indie musicians that a long-distance relationship is possible. They found their workaround in 2003 by sending tapes through the mail (hence their name). Now, almost 20 years later, we have a multitude of tools to easily bridge distance or conflicting schedules.
We adopted Dropbox very early on as the place to store large files from our music sessions. To collaborate, we would email files and send voice memos to each other. But this became too scattered, and it was hard to keep track of everything. Over time, Dropbox moved beyond storage and became our primary way to share and collaborate on files in different stages of the songwriting process.
We tried lots of different approaches over the years and have learned that there is no one way to make music.
I typically write the initial skeleton of a song and record a rough demo of myself playing and singing through the initial idea. I’ll then share those ideas and song files with the band via Dropbox, and the collaboration begins.
Other band members take that skeleton and begin to add layers and fill it out so it takes on a life of its own. Dropbox is a shared storage unit we can all access and share progress on. One of us can download something, work on it, and upload it again with our changes.
Dropbox also has its own audio player, so I can listen to MP4 or WAV files without downloading them. It’s a place where I can interact with, comment on, and chat about files without wasting time texting or emailing back and forth. If any of us want to take a quick peek or make major changes, Dropbox gives us the flexibility to work with the files as we need to.