Indaba Music

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Indaba Music
Type Privately Held
Launched February 2007
Founders Matt Siegel, Dan Zaccagnino, Mantis Evar, Jesse Chan-Norris, Chris Danzig
Headquarters New York City
Area served World
Industries Music and Technology
Employees 21

Indaba Music is a web-based company that lets musicians collaborate and make music online. Indaba has a mixing console that lets musicians edit their music in private and public sessions. The site also hosts remix competition with popular musicians. Its members span all genres and live around the world.


Company info


The company's website contains a social network and suite of collaboration technologies for musicians. The site makes it possible for musicians in different places to find each other and make music online.[1] Indaba also launches remix contests with prominent artists including Mariah Carey, Yo-Yo Ma, and Third Eye Blind, and others.[2][3][4][5] During the summer of 2009, Indaba launched their Session Console 2.0, which allows musicians to collaboratively record, edit, and mix tracks online. The relaunch coincided with a new library of Creative Commons-licensed audio loops and sounds that Indaba solicited from its community.[6]

Membership on Indaba Music is free, however Pro and Platinum levels are available and include increased storage and enhanced functionality. [7]


Indaba was founded in 2005.[8] Indaba's website,, was launched in February 2007.[9] Indaba is a Zulu word for community and collaboration and was chosen because the platform is designed as a way to meet new people and share ideas to create music.[10] The founders came up with the idea for Indaba after starting a non-profit label in college as a means to provide new opportunities for student artists and give them greater exposure. That experience led them to two ideas that were 1) the way the connectivity of the internet has given artists increased access to fans (and vice versa) and to each other, and 2) the spread of cheap digital production technology (in the form of inexpensive but high quality software and hardware).[11]

Networking and Collaboration

Profiles and Search

Indaba users have profiles that describe their background, tastes, and interests (meet people, collaborate online, get hired, gig/jam offline, etc.). Featured sessions and a search function allow users to find each other. Messaging and comment boards are available for communication.


Any musician can start a session and invite members of the Indaba community to join. A session provides musicians with a space and platform to collaborate with others. Members of a session can upload and download tracks, as well as do basic editing and mixing with the Indaba online console. Communication is possible through messages, a discussion board dialogue, a live chat feature and a conference call hosted by Indaba. Sessions can be public (open to anyone in the community) or private (only open to those invited).[12]

The session owner can search for other users to join the session by using metadata such as influences, crafts, instruments and the types of collaborations they are interested in participating in (paid only, etc). Similarly, members can search for sessions to join by entering information about the types of sessions they are interested in participating in.[13]

In-Song Commenting

When a user selects a track on Indaba, a music player pops up on the bottom of the screen. The music player displays a waveform and members have the ability to comment along the waveform in order to refer to specific moments in time. Members use this feature both to give feedback to other musicians as well as to make comments on their own tracks such as still working on these harmonies or to mark key and time changes.[12]


Using a technology from EchoNest (an audio company out of MIT Media Labs), Indaba recommends its musicians to one another based on their listed skill levels, influences, instruments, location, and previously recorded content.[14]

Creative Commons License

When Indaba members upload tracks to an Indaba session, they can choose to reserve all rights, OR they can select a Creative Commons license for the track. The Creative Commons license they choose determines how other musicians on the site are allowed to creatively use their music.[15] This may, for example, mean that artists are allowed to creatively use another work as long as it is not used commercially or that a musician may use another work but only in its original form.

Remix contests and sessions for artists like Rivers Cuomo (Weezer), The Crystal Method, and Carmen and Camille are creating new material that is often licensed under Creative Commons.[16]

Assorted Press

Artist Collaborations
Indaba Music has been noted in the press for collaborations with popular artists including John Legend, Rivers Cuomo, Mariah Carey,[17] Third Eye Blind,[18] and Yo-Yo Ma. During these collaborations, users can access the stems from songs of these artists without paying for licensing. Time Magazine's website featured a video with cellist Yo-Yo Ma in which he discusses many of his duets including his duet contest hosted by Indaba Music.[19] Rivers Cuomo of Weezer was quoted in an article in July of 2009, stating: “It’s [Indaba Music] like a simplified version of any of these complex professional recording programs that no one like me knows how to use,” said Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo, who agreed to endorse the program although he says he normally refuses such requests. “It’s going to open the door for a giant population of musicians out there.”[20]

Assorted Press and Music/Tech Coverage


See also


  1. "Nettwerk Music Group and Universal Music Canada Tap Indaba Music for New Crowdsourced Album Model - International Business Times". Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  2. "Mariah Carey Remix Contest". Indaba Music. Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  3. Downs, David. "Yo-Yo Ma Brings Remix Culture to Music's Ivory Tower". Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  4. Reuter, Annie. "Third Eye Blind Comeback - Stephan Jenkins Interview". Marie Claire. Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  5. "Indaba Featured Programs". Indaba Music. Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  6. "Indaba Music Continues To Grow". Creative Commons. 2009-09-14. Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  7. Rao, Leena (2009-07-09). "Indaba Music Improves Collaboration Through Revamped Digital Music Workstation". Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  8. "Incompatible Browser". Facebook. Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  9. "Indaba Music Announces Digital Audio Workstation Built on Sun Microsystems' JavaFX Platform. | Technology > Software Services & Applications from". 2009-06-03. Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  10. "Indaba | Definition of Indaba at". Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  11. "Indaba Music". Creative Commons. Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Chartier, David (2009-01-14). "Indaba Music: social networking meets online jam sessions". Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  13. comment. "Supposed to Know - Session". Indaba Music. Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  14. Kincaid, Jason (2009-01-13). "Indaba: A Music Collaboration Hub That Can Build Your Band For You". Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  15. "Indaba Music". Creative Commons. Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  16. "Indaba Music Continues To Grow". Creative Commons. 2009-09-14. Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  17. Kerri Mason (2008-07-12). "Mariah Carey single at center of online contest". Reuters. Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  18. "Third Eye Blind Throws Remix Contest for Unreleased Album | Listening Post". 2008-09-15. Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  19. "Latest Videos".,32068,1856952297_0,00.html. Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  20. "Indaba Supercharges Cloud-Based Recording Studio | Epicenter". 2009-07-09. Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  21. "Indaba Online Remix Contest Lets Crowd Work with Celebs | Epicenter". 2009-10-02. Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  22. Eliot Van Buskirk. "Finally, the On-Demand, Online Garage Band Gets Real". Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  23. Sarno, David (2007-08-19). "Need a drummer? No problem".,1,5973343.story?coll=la-entnews-newmedia&ctrack=3&cset=true. Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  24. "Free Tools for Bands". Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  25. "Mike Musgrove - In the Band but Out of State. Or the Country.". Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  26. "Mariah Carey Wants to Hear You Drop a Beat… to the Tune of $5,000 » MTV Buzzworthy Blog". Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  27. "Digital Startups Test Model, Help Musicians Collaborate". 2007-05-12. Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  28. "Dan Zaccagnino | February 2nd". 2009-02-02. Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  29. Chris Short, eJamming technologist (2008-11-30). "From Broadband To Bands Jamming Abroad". NPR. Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  30. "Unmaking the Band - ABC News". 2007-10-19. Retrieved 2010-01-27. 

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