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Where’s the collaboration?

April 3, 2005

MyVirtualBand playing MyVirtualMusic:

I’ve been listening to some of the music over on MyVirtualBand.com. Pretty cool. Here’s what it is: “MyVirtualBand.com is on a mission to bring together “virtual bands” comprised of musicians and recording hobbyists from all over the world to collaborate…

Okay – so I have to admit that this is pretty cool, but I don’t think I could ever do it. Now let me explain – I’m now an official recording artist (drummer on 5 tracks for Upside Down). It was a great experience, but a very different one. While you, the discerning listener, hear a cohesive band that’s pretty darn good (I’m biased, but we’re not bad either) in reality each layer of the song (individual vocal and instrumental takes) were recorded all on their own. I would lay down the drum layer while listening to a CD recording or a “scratch track” and a click “ping” to keep good time against. Then a guitarist would play on top of that, then a bassist, then a vocalist, then… you get the idea. This is where I can see MyVirtualBand working (assuming each of us has a recording studio at home).
BUT, I can’t see MVB turning out a viable solution for a band that never sees each other in person. You see, our group gets together every week to play 2 services at church so we were able to work out arrangements, tweaks, etc. to our songs before we recorded them. We also built a sense of camaraderie that has made us a “family”, if you will. While I can see MVB (in the right hands) being a platform to put out good music, I have a hard time believing that it can lead to a cohesive unit, nay a family, that enjoys close knit relationships. Music for me is a conversation amongst musicians through our instruments (can you tell I’m a jazz-trained drummer?) – it’s hard to have that conversation if you’re not all in one place playing live.

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