An Open Source Music World for Collaboration

These days, it’s easy to feel like the music world is getting smaller. Personal listening devices, noise-canceling headphones, and proprietary file formats all value our individual experiences over the powerful, shared enjoyment of music. In particular, while technology has given us new ways to connect with each other, the way we create and consume music is drifting towards individual isolation.

Can this be fixed?

Software development once suffered from similar isolation. While most well-known start ups now rely on open source software (code open for all to see, modify and use), it was not always so. Companies once deemed giving away source code absurd and counterproductive, preferring to keep their lines of hard work under lock and key. Why give away such valuable technological and intellectual properties?

Companies slowly realized that writing code in the open was not only viable, but exponentially more successful. People could build on each other’s work, and ideas flourished while code grew more polished. Increasingly comfortable releasing their work to the community, skilled programmers gained the community’s respect for their contributions. In time, the free flow of community knowledge both lowered development cost and perfected code bases further.

Inspired by music of their childhood idols, artists continually borrow, mix, and enhance melodies and sounds. New ideas are tested, and old ones are revisited and reused. Like programmers, artists layer new work on top of old, pushing the boundaries of music with the help of previous knowledge and current technologies. Evolution in sonic themes comes from continual experimentation, evaluation, and inspiration from past and current influences.

Yet making music can still be a painfully isolated process, even though it thrives on collaboration and sharing. For example, components of songs, from melodies to samples to effects are slowly refined in an isolated studio for an audience of a select few present. Because we only see the end product, it’s hard to understand and improve the creation process. The feedback loop is limited, and the process is frustratingly antiquated.

The open-source phenomenon in the tech sector has not reached the music community yet. While collaboration and sharing has transformed the face of one world, the other is learning to open its own. Splice will bridge the two realms.

Managing and understanding music’s DNA – the individual tracks, clips, samples, synths and presets and how they come together – will give music creators new opportunities to understand music and learn from each other. From rich visualization to machine learning, Splice can offer new growth and possibilities in music.

Connecting musicians to their work and each other, Splice gives artists a home for collaboration, sharing, and education. Artists can choose to build together, and music production will evolve.

Join us – go beyond the individual sound, and push music to the next level.

October 9, 2013