Tag Archives: Private Sharing

Adams How To Improve Your Band’s Collaboration: An Insider’s Guide

“In the long history of humankind those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.”

– Charles Darwin

Okay, so that quote might be a bit strong, but quite fitting for this post, an insiders guide to collaborating on SoundCloud.

SoundCloud makes it easy for audio creators to collaborate in new ways and across geographical borders. It can be used from the initial stages of sharing a demo, to getting feedback, to tweaking ideas and producing a collaborative piece of music. As well as working at SoundCloud, I also play in a band and SoundCloud has become an important part of our creative process. Here’s a step-by-step guide on using the site to create a track with others, it will focus on five aspects of SoundCloud –

  1. Audio Storage
  2. Private Sharing
  3. Advanced Privacy Settings
  4. Follow/Following Options
  5. Timed Comments

Let’s say you have the original demo you want to share to the rest of your band…

The first step is to set up a platform to then discuss and develop the original track. You probably don’t want your demo out there for the whole world to see so remember to set the track to private. The best way to do this is create one set where ideas can be built on top of each other. When creating the set, go to the privacy settings and select the set to be private. All the tracks now added to this set will be private too.

To allow for interaction it is great to have all of your collaborators set up with SoundCloud and to follow each other on the Cloud. Once you are following your fellow collaborators you can invite them individually into the set via the privacy options.

Now you are all set up, every time you want to put up a new set on SoundCloud to collaborate over you can quickly select who gets access via the ‘Add/Remove People’ option in the Private bar in the edit of a track.

Use the following/followers tab and click on the individuals you wish to grant access. You can even use the ‘Lists’ tab to create a contact list for your band. For more information on private sharing check out this blog post.

Once you have shared a track you of course want to gain opinions and feedback. The timed comments option on SoundCloud works well to pinpoint an area for discussion around a track. Say you don’t like a certain drum fill in the song, anyone who is invited can leave a comment.

From here you can build up a conversation based around this pinpointed section of a song by replying to this timed comment. A great point of interaction arises from here to allow to collaboration and discussion from the the most minute to the most obtuse opinion of a track.

De­pending on how much you want to share with the others, you can make the comments public to all the collaborators or just to yourself. By going into the edit of a track set you can go down to ‘Advanced Privacy Settings’ and  ‘Hide Comments’ or ‘Make Comments Private’.

So you have your first track up on your privately shared set and everyone is giving their input to the new demo. As an idea grows remember you can add newer versions or ideas to the set. Say for example you have recorded a new idea for a guitar riff, by going to the edit of the set you can continue to add audio tracks to the set, by either clicking on ‘add new tracks’ or ‘add existing tracks’.

Eventually as your song grows you will have a set full of the ideas leading to this point of creation and all the feedback on the tracks. Remember you can change the order of the tracks in a set too, so as some ideas and versions of a song become more finalized in how a track is progressing you can go into the edit of a track and change accordingly.

This is a personal use of SoundCloud and I have been able to connect my own music creation with those I wish to create and collaborate with, you can check it out here. Below is an example of how one of my own tracks has developed by creating a platform to discuss and share new ideas –

Being able to store this information in one place, then comment and collaborate to grow an idea is just one way you can personally use SoundCloud. Some of the advanced privacy features attached to our premium accounts have been mentioned in this post, for further information on these please check out our premium features. If you have any other tips or examples we’d love to hear in the comments how you are collaborating using SoundCloud.

Dave What you always wanted to know about Privately Sharing your music (and weren't afraid to ask)

SoundCloud is great for putting up tracks and sharing them across the web. But sometimes you want a little more privacy right? You want to send your music to a journalist or pitch some tracks to a music supervisor. Or maybe you’ve got an unfinished track that you need your vocalist to hear but certainly isn’t ready for primetime.

supermegasendfile

And most of the ways people currently use to share music privately are broken, cumbersome or plain ugly. FTP is fiddly and long. And generic file sharing services mean that the recipient sit through spammy ads, whilst waiting for the link to even become active. These links aren’t secure either, often expire and can hide viruses. Not nice!

SoundCloud is easy for the recipient, easy on the eye and let’s your music take center stage. And of course, we can also help you keep it private and secure.

HOW DO I SHARE A TRACK PRIVATELY?

1. Upload your release

If you want to send a release, showreel or playlist then upload all the tracks at the same time. This will create a ‘set’. Complete as much or as little metadata you want. The great thing about using SoundCloud is that you’re not just sending files, you’re creating a beautiful page on the web that can include cover artwork, video links and full descriptions or promo text.

2. Mark as ‘Private’

This will make the track completely private and secure. It won’t show up on your public SoundCloud page and can’t be searched for either. No one can get to the track unless you have given them access.

3. Select who has access

There are 4 different ways that you can give people access to the track or set that you just created.

i. add their email address(es)
ii. add their SoundCloud username(s)
iii. add a previously created Contact List
iv. create a ‘secret link’

SoundCloud Private Sharing

4. Mark the track for download

Now you can decide if you want the track(s) to be downloadable by the recipient or if you want to give them streaming access only. If you mark as downloadable the recipient can access the original file (WAV, MP3, AIFF etc) as well as the preview quality stream that SoundCloud creates.

HOW WILL THE RECIPIENT GET THE TRACK(S)?

Once you have given someone access to the track they will receive an email notification that you have shared the track(s) with them. Inside the email there is a unique link that takes them directly to the track page that you created on SoundCloud that includes all the information you added. They can also download the original artwork or view any video links that you included.

If you marked the track for download then they simply click to get the download. There are also direct download links in the email notification (they’ll need to be logged in to download of course).

email notification

DOES THE RECIPIENT HAVE TO SIGN UP?

Yes, and no. If the person you’re sending music to doesn’t already have an account then we automatically create them a temporary account and all they need to do is put in a password, known only to them. This has to be done in order to make sure your track is only available to those you’ve given access. But it’s an extremely quick process for the recipient and they don’t have to create a full account on SoundCloud or spend anytime inputting their details. Also, they can use this same password the next time you send them a track.

signup to get track

If you want still want your tracks to be private but you don’t need this top level of security then you should use our ‘Secret Link’ feature which is available for anyone with a premium account.

YOU MENTIONED IT WAS SECURE?

Yes, you control exactly who has access to which tracks. Recipients are sent a unique link which is tied to their own account. The link is secure and can’t be accessed by anyone else unless they also know that persons account details. You’re also able to see stats on your track. How many plays or download it has had and even who listened when.

Of course no audio on the web is completely secure. But we make it as secure as possible without making the user experience totally suck. And if you’re only making a stream available this is a lower MP3 quality file encoded at 128kbps.

If you have any questions on using SoundCloud for private sharing then please feel free to get in touch or leave comments below.