Soundation and Google+ Hangouts 

The Digital Frontier

Creating music digitally is not new. Without Apple's GarageBand and ProTools, much of EDM, hip-hop, nu-metal, pop, rock and even country wouldn't exist--or it would sound a lot less like it took an orchestra to record it. Software has also allowed musicians thousands of miles apart to work together. But making music that way requires notes, ideas and snippets of sound to be turned into the ones and zeroes of binary code and hurtled through the Internet via email and uploading--the sizzle of excitement that happens during moments of face-to-face collaboration is lost. PowerFX Systems, a Swedish music technology company, hopes its new cloud-based app, Soundation Studio for Google+ Hangouts, will land in the happy medium between old-school and new-school music making.

Soundation is a "Web-based sequencer application, with loops, effects and virtual instruments" that ranges in price from free for basic access to a still-reasonable price of $99 per year for premium access to storage, sound sets and the full library of loops and samples. The Soundation/Hangouts combo adds these high-tech tools to Google's video chat capabilities and allows up to nine people to get together and create music in real time. And while remixing a song is certainly an option--and could be a great deal of fun--Soundation's recording features mean a drummer in Denmark, a guitarist in Galway, a bassist in Boston and a singer in Singapore can jam without buying plane tickets.

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