October 27, 2008
The music industry is experiencing a quiet revolution. For decades, many great recordings have featured highly skilled studio musicians who were legends to industry insiders but unknown to the public. To record with these top pros, you had to make contact and then book studio time in a facility near them—or fly them and their equipment to your location. As a result, musicians outside of the major recording centers have relied on local talent who lacked the experience and skill of top session pros.
eSession is changing all that. eSession is the only professional service that allows anyone in the world, working in their own studio, to hire and collaborate with world-class musicians, engineers, and producers via the Internet.
The company’s new Virtual Glass™ software plug-in expands the service, providing real-time musical collaboration, so that, for example, an artist in Paris can connect to a studio drummer in New York City who uses different recording software and can monitor the recording session via audio and video as it happens, even remote-controlling the drummer’s software, all in perfect sync. This effectively creates a globally accessible music community.
In a traditional, commercial studio, the engineer operates the equipment in a control room while the musicians, separated by a glass partition, perform their parts. Virtual Glass™ uses the Internet as the high-tech equivalent to the glass partition between engineer and musician. Its 3D design depicts a recording console and a “virtual glass” partition that functions as a video screen, so even the least tech-savvy user feels right at home.
To use Virtual Glass™, users need a recording program, a high-speed Internet connection, a Web camera, and an eSession user account. Installation is simple, and there’s no copy protection. The software works with any Mac-compatible USB or FireWire camera for real-time video; the camera mic enables communication with the session players.
Virtual Glass™ is available for Mac OS X in RTAS, VST, and AU plug-in formats. Windows versions will be released in the last quarter of 2008. The new version 1.22 adds latency compensation so that new tracks are recorded and monitored in sync with existing tracks, as well as accurate ReWire synchronization for linking two sessions.
eSession CEO Gina Fant-Saez recently introduced eSession and Virtual Glass™ to the music industry in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan. In live demos, she recorded with renowned artist and technology guru Thomas Dolby, in real time, from his studio in the UK. Dolby is using the eSession application and Virtual Glass™ to produce his latest album with eSession talent, including drummer Pat Mastelotto, Grammy™-winning engineer Tchad Blake, and guitarist Kevin Armstrong. “Virtual Glass has pushed forward online collaboration technology to the point where I can work with another musician who’s thousands of miles away, while feeling the sensation that [the musician] is right there in the booth next to me,” says Dolby. “Now I can live and record somewhere safe, cheap, and beautiful and still have access to the world’s greatest musicians.
“Virtual Glass™ is free for eSession members until Q1 2009, after which it will be part of eSession subscription packages. A Gold subscription for eSession is $19.95 per month.
For more information, visit their web site at www.eSession.com.