Mixed in Key is a plugin company offering everything from compositional tools to harmonic mixing software. Recently, they have developed ‘Satellite’, a plugin solution to the issue of remote collaboration. Satellite offers an alternative workflow to Splice’s Studio platform, by containing the session within the DAW as a series of plugins.
Like Splice Studio, the platform is also free to use, but eventually there will be a paid “Pro” level, though they will retain a permanent free tier with a few limitations.
How does it work?
Register and download from their website and setup as you would any other plugin. Three different plugins will appear, Satellite ‘Sessions’, ‘MIDI’ and ‘Audio’. Sessions is inserted onto a new MIDI channel, and acts as a portal to the online session. To begin, choose the ‘Create New Session’ option. To add tracks to the session, use the MIDI and Audio plugins on your chosen tracks; you can decide to upload every track to the session, or groups and buses as stems.
The process works by recording the selected tracks as audio and MIDI stems; simply arm the tracks in the session and hit play. Collaborators are then able to access the stems through and invite ID. A setup process is required on their end, adjusting the DAW and using the sessions plugin. They can now drag the stems out of the session and into their DAW and use the same process to upload their work.
Sessions are saved online and accessible through the ‘Sessions Dashboard’ option.
Sessions Dashboard lists all sessions, with last opened and last changed data.
Name the session / stems and add key; BPM and meter is extracted from the DAW.
Mixed in Key offers an alternative approach to remote collaboration to Splice. The benefit of this method of sharing is that cross collaboration works more effectively, by keeping the sharing of stems internal to the DAW, allowing for creativity without the worry of external plugin usage. However, the downside is that the stems are committed audio which may only lend itself to certain styles of workflow. One drawback is that you need to wait until the song is played out in order to have it recorded in the Session plugin.