Kobloin' in the wind...
October 17, 2008 11:09 PM   Subscribe

Koblo, a company from Denmark that makes virtual synthesizers, seeks to reinvigorate it's name with a mash-up of social networking, distributed music production and interactive music distribution.

Once you've downloaded the (alpha) software, it informs you that it isn't really working just yet, which is kinda lame, but the idea is cool enough to keep an eye on. Some think it's a community in need of 'soul', but it's hard to know just yet how things'll shake out. Harmony Central provides a short interview with the creator, and the massive Google Cortex provides an answer or two. Also, Koblo has a facebook page, which is very Web 2.0, indeed.
posted by Pecinpah (14 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Thank you for this commercial break.
posted by Mblue at 11:22 PM on October 17, 2008

can i do a jon bon jovi/jay-z mash up on it?
posted by SJLaw at 11:26 PM on October 17, 2008

I don't know if everyone else over at MetaFilter Music will necessarily agree with me, but I kinda think this is a post that, since it's really so specifically aimed at musicians, might be happier over at the new Music Talk section. Just a thought.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:14 AM on October 18, 2008

If nothing else, I learned about Music Talk from this post. Has anyone used the software? Whaddya think? I like to tinker with music and have no money, so it's a good concept for me.
posted by msalt at 12:44 AM on October 18, 2008

I Googled cortex and it deleted my query.
posted by ardgedee at 4:58 AM on October 18, 2008

Or make some music with whatever tools you want and sell it yourself.
posted by swift at 6:50 AM on October 18, 2008

Big upz on the cross platform, though at this point the Linux port is little more than lip service. Great ambitions, but this is really far from prime time. The ads for non-free plugins that don't work "yet" with the software are a bit sleazy.

And why god why does all music production software look like music production hardware? Why can't music software use the native GUI? Knobs are not easy to turn with a mouse. At least there aren't any damned wires visible in the screenshots.
posted by rlk at 7:48 AM on October 18, 2008 [1 favorite]

Or make some music with whatever tools you want and sell it yourself.

Yeah, but... who's BUYING?

Hey, it's the jaded, bitter old musician in me. Comes out now and again for a grumble and a grouse.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:49 AM on October 18, 2008

Or make some music with whatever tools you want and sell it yourself.

No way, everybody's trying that now. I'm gonna sell my poetry online and make some serious moolah.
posted by msalt at 10:03 AM on October 18, 2008

The idea has potential, I'll give them that.

But potential alone doesn't get very far. I've seen a lot of vaporware come and go.
posted by lekvar at 10:18 AM on October 18, 2008

Hmmm. Anyone use their VSTs? I might have to check out that Centarus synth later ...
posted by krinklyfig at 10:56 AM on October 18, 2008

I remember reading a good review of one of their synths quite awhile ago.

The idea of community music creation isn't limited to just this program. Peersynth is in v1.12, and has been around for a few years, and FL Studio has had an online community that allows for live jamming called "collab" that is included in the main installer for awhile.

There are even a few web-based programs like hobnox's audio tool -- which recreates plenty of old roland boxes alongside basic stomp-box effects, all in java/flash -- that might be able to fulfill alot of the promises made by Koblo Studio.

I know i know, the open-source angle is a different beast altogether.

@krinklyfig: Centarus is a win - works as promised [very low cpu usage, unique filter flavor]. Worth every penny.
posted by phylum sinter at 3:53 PM on October 18, 2008

It looks like a waste of time and effort really. There have been so many precedents of this kind of thing - ways to share a music environ across the network/internet and they just don't seem to get anywherre.

Steinberg had somethign built into Cubase at some stage I'm sure. What it really comes down to is that
1. If i really want to collaborate with someone I can already by just passing around multi-tracks and midi
2. with the method above I don't have to learn to use a whole new environment to make some songs with my friends.

and they say somethighn abotu selling music on their site? selling to who exactly?
posted by mary8nne at 2:30 AM on October 19, 2008

Hi everyone,

My name is brian botkiller, I run tech support for Koblo. I came across this posting, and I feel I need to set a few things straight, if I may.

1. The Koblo Studio is not in Alpha - it is in open Beta. This means that it's still being worked on. We don't "tell you that it isn't really working yet" - we tell you what doesn't work right now, simply because we have limited development resources - unless, of course, you can find us a team of 10 coders, and the money to pay all of them. There are lots of features in the Koblo Studio that do work, and quite well. I'm not sure if you've heard the expression "release early and often, and let your customers tell you what you need", but that is much of what we follow. I realize that it's annoying to have crashes, and not find features you expect - it doesn't mean they won't be there, and that those crashes won't be fixed. It means that we're working on them, and taking constructive input as to how we build the best software possible. I'm yet to see any software, on any platform, without its issues. We've been developing this software for all of eight months, and already come further than many others. I guarantee you we will get even further in the next year.

2. There is nothing vaporware about anything we're doing - it's all real. There is a difference between vaporware, and software in development, period. I see that you're referring to our Linux build of Koblo Studio - we make no bones about the fact that we are looking for people to help us port KS to Linux - we even say it in our downloads section. We're not peddling vaporware - we're a group of six or so people running an international company, so our resources get QUITE limited. We are open in saying that we want to work with Linux developers who would be interested in bringing our software to Linux, we offer the code to them as well, and we have developers working with us on this. Please do not call us Vaporware, we are nothing of the sort, and we're not going anywhere. The Koblo Studio will be available on Linux, and it will help to fill a huge gap on Linux with audio software - a platform ignored by most audio companies altogther.

3. Some companies have tried what we're doing - but not in the way that we're doing it. Hobnox and most other websites offering online collaboration are, in reality, toys (sorry, it's true - I'll never use Hobnox's audio tool to make a real track that I'll put on my CD, or sell on itunes). Musicians who want to get something done won't be able to use them to actually get work done, plain and simple. We are designing a DAW which will have very real online collaboration features, as well as the features you expect to find in an actual audio mixing environment. No other company has designed a Free DAW with these options - and even the big guys have not provided a good option for online collaboration, save for sharing HUGE files via email, servers, and file upload services. Sorry, but that doesn't help my creative side get anything done, no matter what anyone thinks. We aim to give you the tools to collaborate via the internet without having to upload hundreds of megabytes of files to your friend's server, sendspace, or the like, and do it in a way that keeps your audio quality and makes it easy to share your work. We even give you a way to sell those projects, and make money from your work. Don't think it works? We're already selling projects over at Koblo.com, I myself have sold quite a few remix kits. It works.

@ rik; I think you're confused. Our plugins work in ALL host programs. They don't work in OURS right now because we're still building the framework (see point #1). I think you're misconstruing something about our plugins - we say CLEARLY that our plugins work in all daws, and don't work in ours - YET. There is nothing sleazy about what we're doing, I'd ask you to take a look at our site, and the plugins we offer, before deeming us "sleazy" in our plugin sales. Thanks.

4. We do have a real way to sell your music via our website - by using Amazon's marketplace tools, you can sign up for an account, link it to your Koblo account, and sell your Koblo Studio projects via our marketplace. This is handy for people looking to sell remix kits, sample packs, or projects. 70% of the money made goes to you. As to selling to who - that would be selling to our growing network of musicians, hobbyists, and users on our site, via the social network side of Koblo.com.

5. If you feel that you like sharing large files via the internet and that that way you don't have to learn a new environment to make music with your friends, that's fine; we do not say that you need to replace your favorite DAW with Koblo Studio. We state that it is a supplementary tool to making those collaborations - and either way, I'm sorry - sharing project files via the internet, same DAW or not, is NEVER easy. Crossing over on plugins, files, hardware and software is not as easy as it sounds. The Koblo Studio aims to make this process easy, but give you a real tool, not a flash based web app, to do it with, as well as a suite of plugins native to the Koblo Studio.

I'm not sorry to say, plain and simple, that we are not a waste of time and effort. We already have many users who are interested in what we're doing, and how, and the tools we're giving them. There is nothing that is a waste about doing something different in a world of the same.

To close, what I'd say to anyone who has doubts about what we're doing is, check it out, first, and then make decisions. I realize that many will scoff at the fact that I say that the Koblo Studio is in development - well, with all due respect, Cubase has been around for 14 years and is still "in development". We didn't say that we had all the answers right off the bat - but we have said that we're looking to find them, and give musicians a different way to make, distribute and share their music. The Koblo Studio will have all the tools you are used to seeing in a DAW, I assure you. It already has some that most DAWs don't have, and many that none of them have. If you are frustrated by beta software, I'm sorry - we won't be in beta forever, and each and every build we release is more stable, has more features, and brings us closer to our goal of providing a powerful, free DAW to musicians, and a way for them to distribute their music.

All I ask is, make your own decisions, and remember that great things take time, and support - not just criticism.

Koblo has always done things differently, and that is still the goal. I thank you for reading what I have to say here, and if you have thoughts, you are free to send them to me at support@koblo.com .
posted by brianbotkiller at 1:50 PM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

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