June 2, 2011 at 9:23 am

Indaba Mantis Lets You Record Music Online with Other Actual Humans

indaba mantis digital audio workstationIndaba is perhaps the most extensive — and definitely the most community-focused — of the online digital audio workstations (DAWs) we’ve reviewed so far.

Its multitrack audio editing interface, Mantis, is part of Indaba’s overall system for meeting musical collaborators, working on projects together in virtual bands, and making money from selling resulting musical projects (if all goes well).

Mantis also works as a standalone DAW for solo projects, but the emphasis here is on groups, separated in space and time, working together on music. Many users actually prefer to use their own desktop DAWs to record their music, uploading tracks for others to collaborate with after that. The site can even help calculate the fair division of whatever royalties such collaborations might bring.

While Mantis performed solidly, it must be said that Indaba offers rather paltry options for those who just want to try the system out for free. If you want anything but the most basic effects and samples, you’ll need to pay for them; even mixdown of your songs is not permitted without a registered (and paid) account.

Nonetheless, Indaba (and its Mantis DAW) offer a remarkable range of online recording flexibility, and it’s unparalleled in the area of musical collaboration.