Essay: Cloud Collaboration
May 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Blair Jackson
IT'S NEVER BEEN EASIER TO WORK TOGETHER REMOTELY ON PROJECTS
LE NUAGE C'EST CHIC
“Nuage” is French for “cloud” and “Chic” is, in this case, English for one of the great R&B/dance bands this country produced in the late-20th century—and which is still going strong in the second decade of the 21st under the leadership of the joyous funktician Nile Rodgers. Rodgers has a third-floor studio in his beautiful home in Westport, Conn., and he and his keyboardist/engineer/right-hand man for the past 23 years, Richard Hilton, have been cloud denizens for some time now.
Hilton notes, “With respect to files like mixes—split-stereo WAV files at various sample rates—those always get delivered via some form of FTP or cloud. YouSendIt is very popular. We just finished a mix that was a collaboration between Chic and Kool & The Gang, and it went back and forth numerous times over the Internet as Pro Tools sessions. It started with them, it came to us, we kind of re-wrote it, sent it back to them, they worked on it for a few months, it came back to me and I ended up having to add to and clean up some things.
“Coming in my direction, Kool & The Gang would use YouSendIt. I tend to use, up to the limits of my storage, MobileMe—Apple’s cloud thing. The cloud-sharing aspects are really good and I use it all the time in that kind of work, and for distributing materials to other [Chic] bandmembers. A good example is just yesterday, a singer whom we’ve worked with many times before is coming with us on this tour of Japan, and she hasn’t heard the show in probably two or three years, and a lot of things have changed. So there were a number of materials I needed to make available to her so she could do the research she needed to show up for rehearsals prepared. They were already up there in my MobileMe files so I could send her links, the downloads come immediately, they unpack immediately, and it’s very, very easy at the user end.
“MobileMe also offers a lot of other features related to synchronizing all of your Mac-related or subscribed hardware to a single server. You can sync all sorts of cool stuff either automatically or on demand, and you can do screen sharing easily without somebody at the remote end. So I can sit here at home and look at my computer at Nile’s studio and do whatever I want on it basically.”
Much as he loves working in the Apple cloud, Hilton is aware that the new methodologies have come with a price: “We signed up for a business that was very social, where people would get together in rooms and make music, and other people would be in the control room recording them. We’d all have lunch together and it was a very social business. We now work in an extremely isolated business, so if there’s a downside it’s that the cloud-computing aspect facilitates something that’s a symptomatic byproduct of what is the problem, which is that we no longer work in a social business.”
Acceptable Use Policy blog comments powered by Disqus