Around the turn of the millennium, it became common for professional musicians to collaborate on recordings over the web. Not only did it save on air fares, but the technology meant artists could in essence pick and choose the session musicians they wanted from anywhere in the world.
The concept of long-distance collaboration has come on in leaps and bounds since the days of George Michael and Aretha Franklin performing a duet in 1986. These days, anyone with a solid web connection and the necessary musical inclination can make a holy racket online.
Soundjunction.org offers the means to create your own music. You don't need to be a trained musician - plenty of advice is given on how music ‘works', as well as the various musical tastes and genres.
The site offers interactive tools that dissect audio and help you understand how the elements fit together. Such training will help you work out how best to put together your own compositions.
Soundjunction's two main applications, Composer and Note Canvas, run in Shockwave. Composer is a sampler that allows you to mix audio files into new tracks. Note Canvas is a sequencer that allows you to build up tracks by adding any variety of individual notes.
Note Canvas uses the musical instrument digital interface (Midi) to generate a particular set of sounds from your sound card. This tool is fast-loading and very flexible - you can even create your own music from scratch. All that's required is some imagination and a willingness to experiment. The results can then be shared with the Soundjunction community.
Over the next few pages, we'll guide you through using Note Canvas to create your own compositions. It's also worth exploring the collection of articles and tutorials provided on the company's website - not simply for additional tips on how to use this and other applications, but for advice from the experts on what makes great music.
1. We'll be using soundjunction.org to create music over the following pages. Before we begin, however, it's worth mentioning that the site offers far more than this. The Explorer tool, for example, breaks down different types of music and helps you prepare your own sounds.
2. Although it's not required, we recommend that you register with Soundjunction. Doing so will allow you to save, upload and share your work. Click the Register link at the top of the screen, enter details such as your name, username and password, then log in once you've finished.