Myna by Aviary: A 2.0 Online Audio Editor?

For several months now, and even more, a lot of new online applications are released every week, but here is a tool designed for the musicians that I’d never thought will exist one day. Myna from Aviary is an online audio editor that has the main functions of a standard audio editor, and provides access to a sound library (Myna website). I used it a little bit to test its possibilities and here is a quick and speculative overview. The social and community aspects underlying the Myna application could be the real interest rather than the sequencer tool.

A standard and clean audio editor though a bit limited.

The Myna’s interface is quite standard and intuitive as it is pretty similar to the Garage Band or Samplitude Music Studio interfaces. It has the main and necessary functions of a standard audio editor. I won’t go into further details, but the Myna applications will allow you to:

  • Record straight to the application.
  • Edit the audio tracks via menus and drag ‘n’ drop function.
  • Add several non destructive effects: Lo and Hi pass filters, Reverb, Flanger, Delay, Equalizer, and a few others…
  • Use the available sound libraries.
  • Store the recorded sounds and mixdowns online.

The free version of this tool offers the possibility to record 10 audio tracks in a mixdown. The timeline seems to go up to 3 minutes, however you can just record up to 1 minute audio if you use the record function. Needless to say that this is a limit for those who like to record one shot rhythm tracks for example. But to record loops, this limit will still leave plenty of time to do so. I tested the record function and this is totally ok as the guitar sound is not altered during the record process (I even wonder why or how it could be?). The effects are rather good and efficient, while the drag’n’drop function is quite precise and intuitive.

However, it is not possible to play the mixdown and record a track simultaneously (unless I just didn’t found the function) thus making it hard to use Myna as a real multi-track audio editor. Maybe the developers will implement this function in a later version. Actually, I don’t think that it is designed to be used as a nomad audio editor app, but who knows how the users will use it, and which direction will the Aviary developers will follow?

Here is a video that explains how to use Myna.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3-VWMKpQiI[/youtube]

A sharing platform?

I think that the sharing and community aspects are the core of this Myna application… The 2.0 dimension that cannot be ignored nowadays! This is allowed by the sound libraries available to the users. Indeed, beside the Quantum Tracks library, there is another sound library available: the Aviary library. Basically, the Aviary library is the collection of the audio tracks and mixdowns recorded by the Myna users. Then, it is possible to use these sounds created by other users in order to create new mixdowns: modified, completed, remixed, extended, sampled versions or anything else… Sky is the limit.

The free version doesn’t allow the users to control the sharing parameters of their creations, so any recorded mixdown will be shared with the whole Myna community. Upgrading to the pro license that costs $ 24.99 per year allows the subscribers to control whether they will share their creation or not, and which Creative Commons license they will apply. It also extends the Myna possibilities.

Registration is required to save the creations, even with the free version. Registration opens an account on the Aviary platform (which probably was pre-existing and related to the other online tools provided by Aviary). This platform has the must-have functions that any social media should have, and particularly the sharing functions and the bridges toward the biggest social media sites such as Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Stumbleupon et Tumblr. A single click will allow the user to share his creations on these networks.

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A new tool for musicians to promote their music online?

This maybe the most likely and most exciting fate for the Myna audio editor, and I think that people at Aviary do think so, if I rely on the contest they are organizing with the Major Lazer band (I reckon I don’t like the music that much, but the idea remains the same). In terms of musician’s promotion (either signed or independent musicians) this could open some very interesting doors here.

Sharing a creation with the Myna community should open some opportunities to musicians (or record labels) to promote their music. The basic principles are quite easy to get:

  • Share a creation under a Creative Commons license.
  • Invite the Myna users to revisit the tune(s) (via a remix for example, but you can imagine something else).
  • Offer some gratification to the users. For example: a creation will be chosen to be featured in the upcoming album, or several creations will be released as en extra bonus compilation with the album, and so on…

The are many potential benefits to such mutualist approach, and here are some of these benefits:

  • The musician get in touch and engage with his fans by sharing some creation, and it works both ways.
  • The average fan who doesn’t have an audio editor will still be able to take part in the creation process. It enhances his user and fan experience.
  • The fact that the Myna users can easily share their creation on the Aviary platform and on their own network can allow the musician to broaden its audience.
  • Musicians from different horizons or locations could also use this platform as a co-promotion tool. The benefit here is mutual because each musician will be introduced to the audience of its alter ego.

This social and community aspects underlying the Myna application could be very interesting because it puts the music at the center of the community, and it eases the spreading of the content within the Aviary platform and toward the Facebook-O-Twitterian networks of the user. You might predict that the growth of the Myna users community will enhance the ”viral” potential of the music. This could result in additional opportunities for musicians to broaden their audience.

Do you see some other potential use of this tool?

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