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Creating a template track which others may join

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Introduction & requirements when starting a collaboration

In this article, we will provide information on all of the aspects involved in creating and uploading a track with the purpose to start a new collaboration.
If you are intending to post a remix of a track you found on wikiloops, please continue reading here.

We strongly recommend to have a quick look at the suggestions offered on this page, simply because your chances of getting people to collaborate on your track will depend on having thought of quite a lot of optional details,
most of which can be quite easily met once you are aware of them.

The mandatory requirements to finally upload & publish a session template to the public collaborations are:
- You need to be a logged-in member of wikiloops
- You need to provide the audio recording in .wav or .mp3 data format (stereo)
- You need to confirm you are the author of the recorded music (read: Why are cover songs not allowed on wikiloops?) and grant a wikiloops public license to document that the recording can be streamed, shared, remixed and re-published on wikiloops.
- You need to provide at least the information which instrument is played and which general musical genre your track belongs to, and a title for the track

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Recording & exporting the audio track

We are not going to go as far as explaining how to record audio in this guide, but expect our readers are capable of recording their instruments on some kind of device, and of providing either a standard CD-format audio file (.wav) or a compressed digital audio file (.mp3) at the end of the recording procedure.

In the following, we are offering a few practical tips which are aimed to increase the "remixeability" of your recording, and a short explanation to point out the relevance of each.

Start off with a click or count-in
Regardless of using a metronome while recording the track,
it is strongly recommended to have some sort of "one - two three ... "-count in in template tracks, be it spoken, tapped on a string, handclapped or a metronome. Such pre-clicks make aligning tracks & getting started a lot easier, so please include them in the final audio.

Record using a clicktrack, metronome or later-in-audible drumtrack
Session templates with changing tempo are much harder to remix then those who were recorded using a click. If you are capable of deliberately varying speeds while keeping your timing within those parts, that might be a challenge, but sloppy or unexpectable tempo changes can ruin the fun when trying to play along.

Be carefull when applying audio effects
The recording you are providing should ideally only include reasonable doses of effects.
If your recording features a prominent cathedral-style reverb, it will be close to impossible to add a second instrument and let it sound as if the two of you were at the same cathedral.

Resist the temptation to play more than one instrument
The whole idea of collaboration only works if you leave it up to other musicians to play with you. Of course a one-instrument-track sounds a little "naked" and "un-finished", but the more attractive to other musicians, who immediatly start to "feel" what is missing. Single instrument recordings have much more "remix me!"-appeal than tracks which come as "I played the guitar, and then I added some programmed drums and a quick bassline so you guys know where I'm going". Give your fellow artists the freedom to do their job, don't do it all yourself.

Use standard tuning, or at least mention if you did not
You can spare your potential collaborators a lot of headache by using the standard 440Hz tuning.
If you use something different, please make sure to mention it in the track description.

Give the exported, final audio file a listen before uploading
A lot of things can happen when exporting or converting audio, be it "oh, I had that second take still muted!" or "darn, i set the end-marker two seconds too early and cut the ending" or 1001 other possible things which may go wrong. A short check to be sure start and end are cut correctly, and that the track sounds as expected may save you a lot of time otherwise spent to delete the wrong, and re-upload the correct file.

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Uploading the track and providing additional data

Once you have the audio file ready, log-in to wikiloops and proceed to the track upload page by clicking on the "UPLOAD"-link offered in the top navigation bar.

On the upload-page, select the public session template upload option by clicking on "share a new track & let others join".

The following steps of the upload procedure like defining the recorded instrument, confirming authorship & choice of license are each offering additional explanations,
which you may view by pointing your cursor onto the embedded "information"-icons.

The last screen of the track upload form offers below listed areas, which appear as you enter the mandatory data (bold printed below).

You are asked to:
- specify ordering categories as genre, musical key, tempo, meter
- start the audio file upload by either dragging & dropping the file on the fileupload area, or by choosing the file from your harddrive after clicking the "Pick audio File"-button
- provide information about the songs structure (changes,
repetitions) by adding color markers and (if your instrument plays melody) about the chords you played in each marked part. Please see using the part-markup tool
- enter a title (recommended read: "Choosing a good track title")
- enter a description text
- enter tags (keywords) for the text search indexing (recommended read: "Choosing good tags")
and (if you chose "vocals" in the second step) you may:
- enter lyrics in writing, which (if enterd) will be displayed along with the track and all of its remixes

Once you provided the mandatory data and the file upload has finished, the "publish"-button will appear at the bottom of the screen.

Click it when you are done entering data to publish the track, you will see confirmation messages on the final steps which are performed on wikiloops, followed by the confirmation that your track has just gone "live" on wikiloops, and the unique track ID of your track.

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