The cloud is the way forward for music producers.

Apple just released their latest line of Macbook Pros after a much-anticipated wait. Although the new product line has a stunning display and a (somewhat) useful Touchbar, the Macbook Pro has four USB-C / thunderbolt 3 ports that currently don’t interface with any audio peripherals and older hard drives. To connect, you’ll need a dongle.

But there’s a way to future-proof your production workflow against the new hardware releases that threaten to disrupt it. It’s called the cloud. Here are four reasons it makes sense to move your workflow to the cloud.

1. Internet speeds are only getting faster.

According to Fast Metrics, United States has an average speed of 14.2 mbps in 2015. To put that in perspective, it will take you approximately 30 minutes to download 80 stereo files @ 44.1khz / 16 bit for a total of about 30GBs with that speed. Transferring 30GB of data into a hard drive, may actually take longer.

That said, internet speeds are just going to get faster with increasing expansions of fibre optic infrastructure and cabling across many cities in America. Moreover, you can get internet access easily at any major city in the world – and you don’t need a dongle to connect to the internet.

hard-drive-evolutionimage source: http://www.mygeex.co.uk/blog/historyofharddrives/

2. Laptops are getting smaller, and so are your internal hard drives. 

The latest Macbook Pros, come with 256GB of SSD storage as base. You can purchase additional storage from Apple, but that just makes an already expensive product even pricier. Gone are the days when you could buy your own hard drive and swap it out on your Mac. So, you most likely either already host your sample libraries and large projects on external hard drives or will need to in the future. And guess what — with the new Macbook, you’ll need a dongle for that. Unfortunately, today’s dongles usually reduce the performance of an external drive (ie: the read/write rate is slower than if you host your project files on your internal drive)

3. Cloud storage is getting cheaper. 

Over the years, we’ve seen a boom of cloud storage providers such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, Microsoft’s One Drive, even Apple’s iCloud. Pricing has been competitive and as a result, reasonable. A 1TB subscription costs only $9.99 a month on Google Drive, and the same goes for Dropbox – that’s about the cost of one lunch a month in NYC. There’s even cloud storage specifically for music projects — it’s our own product Splice Sounds.

4. A cloud-based workflow is an uninterrupted workflow

The biggest benefit of having your data in the cloud is the convenience of having an uninterrupted workflow. You can simply download samples, projects, and files from the cloud wherever you are, and you’re ready to go. No dongles or external harddrives necessary.

How you can set up for the cloud

setup-music-cloudimage source: http://www.real.com/resources/how-to-set-up-a-personal-cloud/

Here’s one way to rig your new cloud-based setup.

  • Use Splice Studio for free unlimited version backup and cloud storage for your projects.
  • Use cloud-based Splice Sounds as your sample library. Sounds is a subscription based service that allows you to download and delete any loop sample pack at any time. Download sounds locally only when you’re working with them.
  • Use Crashplan (or something similar) as a secondary backup. Crashplan is a cloud backup service that backs up all your files in increments of 10 minutes, and it’s versioned too. Their family plan is a good deal.
  • Save your dongle your audio interface, but don’t rely on it to attach devices that require really high bandwidth.

As you can see files, projects and samples don’t have to slow down your computer or your workflow — they can immediately be transferred directly from the cloud. Plus, a cloud-base workflow means you’re untethered — ready to produce easily on the go with nothing but an internet connection.  What do you think? If you have thoughts, please do share in the comments!