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Hard Truths: You Need Collaborators To Do Your Best Work

Hard Truths: You Need Collaborators To Do Your Best Work

A great song can seem like it’s own little musical world.

When everything falls into place, a tightly produced track feels as if it must have come from a single artist’s imagination.

Create, collaborate, master and release your music in one place with LANDR Studio. Learn more

But the reality is much more complex.

Most music you hear is the result of many collaborators working together at different stages in the process.

If you mostly work on your own, you might not have considered how much this aspect of modern music workflows can impact your results.

Here’s my hard truth for today: you need good collaborators to do your best work.

That’s not meant to be discouraging. In fact, it’s never been easier for musicians to find the right collaborators and work with them online.

Here’s why collaboration matters, and how to make the most of it with online tools.

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Playing solo

You might be tempted to think that the benefits of working on your own outweigh the drawbacks.

After all, plenty of iconic artists are known for playing multiple roles in their work.

But there are a few reasons why this approach is so rare.

Working with collaborators lets you play to your strengths while leaving the tough parts to those with the right skills.

Doing everything yourself splits your focus and talent across several different disciplines.

Even if you have plenty of experience in a few key areas, you may have to start from scratch in others.

Learning these new skills is a great way to grow, but it also adds time, stress and difficulty to your workflow.

Working with collaborators lets you play to your strengths while leaving the tough parts to those with the right skills.

And the benefits of collaboration go way beyond workflow. Working with others breathes life into your creative process and helps create the right conditions for inspiration too.

You can easily lose perspective when you’re the only person making creative decisions on a project.

Your collaborators will challenge you and provide the important outside perspective you need to do your best work.

Not only that, working with others improves the quality of your experience making music.

Hitting it off with a new musical collaborator and creating something great as a result is an amazing feeling.

Don’t discount the benefits that enjoying your creative process and communicating musically with another person can bring.

Legendary collaborations

Looking back through music history, it’s easy to see that collaboration powers some of most enduring music of the last few decades.

Songwriters have always found inspiration by bouncing their ideas off trusted collaborators and working together.

Think of classic songwriting partnerships like John Lennon and Paul McCartney, or Bernie Taupin and Elton John.

Songwriters have always found inspiration by bouncing their ideas off trusted collaborators and working together.

Preview of youtube video


But it goes much deeper than that.

The right mixer, producer, or session musician is often the catalyst that turns a great song into a classic.

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Try to imagine Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” without Eddie Van Halen’s incendiary guitar solo. Or the early pop era without Phil Spector’s iconic production.

At times even the right manager has changed the game for an artist. Would the Sex Pistols have really had such a massive impact without notorious impresario Malcom McLaren on their side?

In all these cases, putting the right talents together achieved more than the individual contributors could have on their own.

That’s the power the right team can unlock for you in your music.

Modern workflows

Collaboration is only getting more important. Today’s musical partnerships are fluid, distributed and constantly evolving.

It’s not uncommon for collaborators to be thousands of miles apart, separated by time zones, or even working in different languages.

Modern tools like LANDR’s collaboration suite help creativity happen online.

Use Projects to organize your work and get essential feedback. Attach files, post tracks and leave time-stamped comments to keep the conversation flowing.

Work face-to-face in your DAW with perfect audio quality using Sessions video chat—for everything from mix advice to songwriting.

And if you’re feeling stuck, find new collaborators on LANDR Network to provide professional feedback or fill in the gaps on your track or album.

Remote collaboration and portable home setups mean more work happens outside of the traditional studios.

Remote collaboration and portable home setups mean more work happens outside of the traditional studios.

Just look at the credits of any modern pop album and you’ll see multiple songwriters, producers and featured artists.

And parts of the process that would have traditionally fallen to one or two key personnel are now highly interactive.

Just look at the credits of any modern pop album and you’ll see multiple songwriters, producers and featured artists.

With all that in mind, it makes sense to start thinking of modern big-budget productions more like a feature film.

The artist may be the star, but there’s a whole crew working together to make it happen.

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Collaborate anytime, anywhere. Chat, preview and add notes to tracks in real-time with LANDR Projects.

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Find your people

Large-scale collaborations like this might seem out of reach to all but the most serious projects.

But there are more and more options available for anyone who’s looking to start collaborative relationships online.

Here’s what I mean.

The kind of team that might be assembled for big track almost certainly includes a producer, mix engineer, songwriter, and session musicians.

In the past, hiring someone for any of these roles meant working with gatekeepers like labels, agents and managers.

Today, online platforms that connect musicians and industry pros are changing the game for up-and-coming artists.

And even if you did manage to make contact, there’s no guarantee they’d pick up your project.

Today, online platforms that connect musicians and industry pros are changing the game for up-and-coming artists.

LANDR Network is the best place to find the right team to make your project a success. Whatever role you’re looking to fill, there’s a talented provider on LANDR Network ready to work with you.

Preview of youtube video

Create, collaborate, master and release your music in one place with LANDR Studio. Learn more

Work better together

However you choose to find your collaborators, the benefits of working together are clear.

Whether you’re looking for a session bassist with the perfect groove, a top mix engineer, or a simple songwriting partner, forming good musical relationships is essential

Now that you know some ways to benefit from collaboration, go out and find your dream team of musical partners-in-crime.

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Various contributors from the LANDR team of music mentors.

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