Does eavesdropping qualify as “an adjacency?” Sometimes it pays off. Last winter I found myself accidentally listening with greater and greater fascination to a conversation on the couch behind me at NeueHouse in New York. Finally I had to turn around and ask as Braulio Flores as gracefully as I could “what are you talking about?” He answered “Looplabs”, which happens to be the name of an organization where he serves as Director of Creative/Strategic Partnerships.
He described Looplabs as the ‘Google Docs’ of music — a free, collaborative cloud based music studio that would let anyone, regardless of technical skills or ability, easily make, share and discover music anywhere, anytime and with anyone – all from their web browser — including the kids at Niños de Cristo Orphanage in the Dominican Republic above, who made music with Swann and Zayas using Looplabs.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Looplabs co-founder and longtime digitalist / music innovator, Craig Swann, as he celebrated the launch of his music co-creation platform.
This has been a labor of love for Swann — a recognized thought leader in the interactive music space; His love of music is palpable. He’s been authoring books, speaking internationally, teaching, curating technology events and developing / licensing customized online music experiences for top global brands for decades that include Microsoft, Sony, Coca-Cola, HP, Vodafone, AOL, Bacardi, Heineken and many others.
For 20 years, Craig’s passion has been using technology to connect people and music – through innovative, intimate and interactive experiences. In the mid 1990’s Mr. Swann founded the award-winning interactive agency CRASH!MEDIA, and in 2001 developed the Internet’s first online music studio, Looplabs. Millions of people have benefited from Craig’s innovations, including Steve Jobs, who demoed Looplabs for the launch of the Safari Browser at an Apple Keynote.
“Everyone is now a creator.” says Swann. “Whether it’s blogs, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram, cloud-based computing, broadband connectivity and social networks have democratized the production and distribution of entire industries. We are witnessing a global transformation of consumers into creators that is generating an explosion of user generated content of the written word, photos and videos. Music creation, however, has been largely left behind. Until now.”
The Looplabs’ founders’ vision has been to enable anyone to easily make music online. That means you! You can try creating your very own “loops” here.
Swann has attracted a formidable team. He joined with Music Executive, Bigram Zayas, and Technologist Timothy Braun as Founding Partners to bring Looplabs to the world. Joining them are Grammy®-winning music producer Sergio George as Latin Ambassador and Music Advisor; MTV Co-founder Les Garland as Media Strategist and music technology veteran Jon Diamond as Advisor to the Company.
Designed for this new generation of creators, Looplabs’ intuitive interface automatically snaps more than 25,000 freely available royalty-free sounds into the same tempo and musical key, removing the complexities of musical theory and allowing anyone with internet access to easily create music for their YouTube, Instagram or Vine videos, drop in their next DJ set, remix artists, write songs and record vocals or simply have fun with their friends.
In the formal announcement Les Garland said “More people today than ever before in history are making music, more people than ever before in history are listening and sharing music. There are still unwired spots on this planet that are getting wired and this visionary concept is viral in nature. That a single platform allows anyone the chance to create, collaborate and share music is a new way of discovering the world, and that is extremely powerful, and that is Looplabs.”
By leveraging open web technologies and APIs such as HTML5, Web Audio and WebRTC; Looplabs allows for a “Google-Docs for music” like experience of remote co-creation and collaboration supporting messaging, audio and video chat and drag-n-drop sharing of musical ideas. More than a free, powerfully simple, browser-based music studio, Looplabs is a social music platform that connects people and music, fosters collaboration, enables education and empowers people of all ages to make music.
For Sergio George “The significance is Looplabs eliminating our current barriers to making music including equipment, knowledge and access and creating a space where very little stands in the way of imagination, intention, and creation.”
To paraphrase Harding on Medium, Looplabs makes writing a song a game everyone can play.
image credit: Looplabs
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Craig Swann is a recognized thought leader in the interactive music space; authoring books, speaking internationally, teaching, curating technology events and developing / licensing customized online music experiences for top global brands. These companies include: Microsoft, Sony, Coca-Cola, HP, Vodafone, AOL, Bacardi, Heineken and many others. Currently he is focused on developing new interactive music products and experiences that break down barriers to making music – while connecting the world. Swann has received special recognition at SxSW and has won the prestigious Webby Award. Follow him @CrashMedia