Crowdsourcing, Jamming and Remixing: A Qualitative Study of Contemporary Music Production Practices in the Cloud

In 2014, music creation in the cloud is defined by access to sophisticated production tools aided by a number of social networking options. This enables interaction between global communities of musicians across transcultural and transnational spaces. Examining practices within contemporary music production enables a new perspective on remixing and studio jamming filtered though the lens of crowdsourcing. There are multiple challenges associated with this mode of work, and while acknowledging them, this paper argues that there are numerous benefits of engaging in crowdsourcing within the context of Internet-based music production. Drawing on my creative practice and work with three online systems (Audiotool, Blend, Ohm Studio), I analyse the various characteristics of production practices in the cloud engaging international collaborators in a transcultural, transnational space. By examining phases of user-instigated collaborative asynchronous project development, this paper traces how shifts away from traditional studio settings have redefined notions of remixing and jamming, and how new technologies have impacted on interaction between users of remote music collaboration software. In doing so, it makes broader points about how social networking combined with cloud-based music production technologies can lead to new and alternative approaches to music production in international contexts.