By now you’ve probably heard about Gobbler. If you routinely share digital audio files and sequences with collaborators and/or need a secure place to park back ups of your work and you haven’t investigated Gobbler, I’d suggest you head up to their website (www.gobbler.com) and study the videos the company has posted.
It’s easy to think of Gobbler as yousendit.com for musicians, but that comparison suggests that it simply handles audio file, and doesn’t do justice to the platform. Gobbler has some build ins that help us out in ways that are unique to our workflow. For example, we’ve all had the experience of recording audio files thinking they’re safely nestled within a designated audio folder only to find out that some of them have been scattered around our hard drive array. Gobbler scans your system and develops a catalogue of all your audio files, making it easy for you to see if any file reorganization needs to take place. Its full feature set is explained in the tutorials, so I won’t rehash Gobbler’s functionality here. I’m simply going to share my first experience as a user with you.
Last week pianist Christopher Johnson and I went into LBrown Recording (www.lbrownrecording.com) to record “A Brief Discourse On The Blues,” and “Soft As a Kiss (Emily’s Song).” Louis Brown has an 1881 nine-foot Steinway D Centennial Edition, and it is a beauty. The recording set up was simple: a pair of left and right close microphones, another flanking pair, and a third pair, used to capture a rough mix. Louis established a Gobbler account the day of our session; for safety reasons we recorded simultaneously to his system’s internal drive, to Gobbler (we hoped!) and an external drive. After the session we confirmed that all the material had made its way safely up to the cloud, but to save time while he learned the Gobbler process Lewis burned a CD of the session files for me to bring back to my studio.
I loaded the stereo mix files into an empty Cubase 5 sequence using the default tempo of 120 bpm as a reference point, then created an edit decision list for both tracks. If, for example, an insert of bars 9-11 needed to applied to the base track, I made note of the bar in the Cubase sequence where it could be found. Ed Goldfarb mixes a lot of my material. Ed’s a Pro Tools user, so I asked him to load up a blank sequence in his DAW set to a tempo of 120 bpm.
Then Gobbler was brought into play. I opened up the Send Files component of the Gobbler interface, typed in Ed’s e mail address (he’s also a user), dragged the six audio files into the appropriate box, and hit send. That’s it! I repeated the process to check Gobbler’s claim that initial transfer takes more time than subsequent ones because the app first executes a full scan of your hard drives and that takes longer than the following update process. It’s true; the first send took a couple of minutes, the second went by in an instant. Shortly thereafter the six tracks showed up on Ed’s virtual doorstep.
The size of the project (approximately 1.5 Gigabytes) is small by audio industry standards, but far too large for online transfer services, and transferring with Gobbler is simpler than using an FTP site. This project didn’t involve two people editing sequences and sharing updates. I’ll try that at another time.