Ohmiquette: let's write guidelines for collabs

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Ohmiquette: let's write guidelines for collabs
  • Hi all,

    Some of you may be already aware of this but during the last months I felt more & more that while some aspect of the collaboration may be made easier by the new features we're introducing, some others will probably be solved by simple guidelines. I am talking here about public project or in a more general way, projects made with people you don't know. 

    I think it's important to note first that compared to what a lot of people expected in forums when we revealed Ohm Studio's concept, those collaboration are so far a kind of miracles. I don't know for you but compared to my life with various bands ego clash are really rare, and more importantly solid coherent, creative tracks are build up on a weekly basis. To be honest I wasn't expecting things to work that well quite from the start.


    Now while perfection is certainly not reachable (music without conflict ? lol ! ) I feel like we can raise the bar and refine this brand new craft of creating online together with people we do not know, who have pretty different culture, and sometimes by the same word don't really mean the same things.

    My idea is to list issues that such an Ohmiquette should help deal with then to let everyone propose solutions and discuss them. I'll put my own ideas below that first post to make clear I am just a contributor to the topic. I think such an Ohmiquette will work only if it comes from the cohmmunity.

    While behavior guidelines are the main topic, features suggestion are always welcome if you think they can help. Please note thus that adding "behaviour enforcement" feature can easily produce unwanted and negative result, so we'll be careful with thoses. 


    Here are a list of common issues (feel free to add): 

    • something you did has been removed by you-don't-know-who-but-you-have-your-idea and your pissed off

    • someone is touching something at the wrong time, making your own actions inconfortable, eg by moving a fader that was fine where it was for you, moving a clip or editing it

    • you feel someone is dictating some choices on things that matters to you and that feel like an abuse

    • or the opposite: all is fine but the project stop after a few good part because no one dares to take a more prominent role. Such simple things as "duplicating somebody else's clip" are not done so you end with a few bars with way too much layer, for instance.

    • someone do something then left and no one know what can be done with it without seeming rude.

    • and of course, usual (although very rare) offensive languages can still happen

    So what to do with that ? We have tools : snapshots, private track, muted tracks, etc, and we have the opportunity to write guidelines. What remain is to find an efficient mix of the two. Up to you people of the Ohm! What do you all think?


  • Now, here goes my own thinking on this - what I know would fit more my preferences, which is more mobility and more communication between users :

    - if you put something on a public track, you implicitly admit it can be touched by others, unless explicitly told otherwise with a sticky

    - collaboration doesn't mean all role are equivalent. It shall be acknowledged that music is a matter of skilled specialist (even when they're hobbyist). Now what's difficult is when specialties overlap : composer with interpret, producer with interpret. i think the Spiderman axiome can help here : great power, great responsability - and the opposite. An interpret claiming strong direction on composition or production matter shall be ready to actually do that job as well if an agreement isn't found with the current persons claiming the role. A composer shall not imposes thing that doesn't fit with the playstyle of present interpret, a producer shall not rewrite riffs & breaks unless he's assuming the role of composer as well etc.  While this may seems conflictual I think it's better to claim "I have ideas and motivation on that track, I am wanting to do that" so people know what to expect and can adapt. The whole idea is practical : motivated people are always prevalent. If it ends up being a nearly single person's made track, so be it.

    - and of course it's ok to leave but if you do so, make it clear people are free to remove your stuff (something a lot of you already do). Do that with a sticky so people know even where you're not here.

    - when you leave, do a snapshots. As snapshots know mean stuff never really get lost, destruction shall not be taken as vandalism. Maybe just conflict in choices, but the person deleting your stuff may be clumsy, or disagree with you, but no real destruction means it's no really indelicate.

    - keep in mind that a US guy saying "it's awesome" is equal to a french guy saying "it's not bad". We all have different cultural references. We are separated by countries, languages, years, tastes, etc. While internet sometimes help to overlook those differences easier than it would be in real life, it can still strikes back. No matter what, remember that little and big misunderstanding will happen all the time.

    Ok, enough for now =) 

  • Great initiative!

    My opinion is there may be better prioritization of participants.
    Personally, I understood that "private", "public", "contributor" and "owner" are related to administrative rights. I think there might be the same, but in "moral" area ("moral" broadly defined). To lead or follow the instructions of a leader is not mechanical as having access to the project or not, changing attribute or not. But we can imagine a (soft) tool that may help to this. It would not be constraining (this does not entitle to any software right on the project). We should see it as an indicator about the real roles in the project.

    I do not have the solution, but here's an idea:

    If I start a project, I am owner.
    - I decide that this project will be public (open to anybody), but I want to keep the leadership. I am the project
    leader. The project is hierarchical. If someone comes and gets fired, he must understand that there is a leader who has the right of life or death over the tracks.

    - I decide on the contrary that I do not take the leadership. So this is a project where participants can invest without the risk of getting fired. All owners can take or give leadership. When someone comes on a project and have an artistic question, a doubt, an important and consistent idea he can contact the leader and ask him. The leader is an a referent and accountable person. There may see several leaders, no restriction on the number of leaders by project (but they must get along well).

    For this idea, we must find a nice and funny name.

    leader or manager are sad
    boss is brutal
    what about the Ohmniscian? there is ohm, musician, omniscient... too complicate? yes maybe

  • I like the idea. It makes me think we could specify a project "regime": 

    Monarchy : one sovereign appointed at first

    Democracy : one elected leader. can be changed

    Anarchy : everyone's a sovereign

    Communism : no one is :P (seriously, I don't know, just thinking out loud! )

    Sovereign would be the revendication to final cut on everything. Then we could have more subtle hierarcy with a Minister of Notes, a Secretary of Grooves and a High Judge of Production! 

    Regarding name, I am in favor of excessive, auto parodic ones. Some humor will help everyone remember this always is a play, at some level.

  • You're right that a parodic name will help to keep a play mood.
    One point is to find the more simple and powerful solution. In this respect I would retain only two regimes you propose: monarchy and anarchy. I like the name "anarchy". Maybe monarchy is not r'n'r enough, What about despotic? We could have anarchist and despotic project. A despotic project can have more than only one despote. The despote can resign (This is rare, but do not forget that we are in the wonderful ohmies'land)
    Communist project is not a bad idea. It seems to be in fact an anarchist project for collab event: I shall give up the track I play to the cohmunity (Thinking out loud too).

    communist project could be in fact a mean for everybody to organise collab event: a communist project need to be approved by The Force (with a rationale, eventually a demo track). The text is published in the blog and everyohmies is informed.

    About the despotic project: I imagine the red button top right :
     contact the despot


  • "Despotisme éclairé"
    ( i dont know in english  :))
  • For me it would be useful that the despotic owner can do some castings before an intervention:
    a beginner could be able to put a track to propose an idea without touching any other tracks.
    I say that because i had many destroyers passing inside my project:
    erasing, volume max, moving etc
    Thank you for the clones, but its a mess between all the versions.

  • I like the idea of having the possibility of a musical "direction", to keep separated from administrative ownership that has been implemented yet. I like also the idea of an ironical definition but I don't like "despot". For now I will call it "director", using all my sense of humor. When a project has a director all the "global" decisions are up to him (I think about style, sound, composition, mix, master). I don't think that more "directors" should be possible; however, this could be again each director's choice on his song. The director could be able to invite other musicians who would only  be able to modify, edit, copy, paste, delete adjust levels and FX their own tracks. On the other hand the "director" will have access to the whole project without any restriction. By accepting the invite, one agrees that his work will possibly be edited or completely removed by the director. The musician who receives the invite knows that all the director's choices will be driven by a musical vision and not by any kind of judgment or opinion about his musical skills or taste. 
    This idea of directed songs could be applied also to the friday collaborations. Each week different directors could , ehm, direct their players like an "ohmchestra". I think it could be funny and interesting from both perspectives. In my opinion they could be very useful experiences for a musician:
    1. to guide other musicians to finish his own song or idea
    2. to have to follow another's direction.


  • I agree with what Feng is saying.

    My biggest issue with ohm is the lack of communication. I
    also do not like to rush. I would also say the same problem exist in real world
    studios except where everyone knows how to read and write.

    In general I would like some agreement on basic things like
    the key, the tempo, the general length of the song. Are we going to have one
    style for the whole thing? Is this going to have vocals?

    I also understand that many people like to just through
    things out there and see what will come of it.

    Ten minutes of planning can save hours of re doing things.

    There need to be some order to things. Think how it would
    sound if we just all got up on stage live and starting playing.

    I find it a little uncomfortable when I ask a question in a
    project and no one answers back. Questions like “I just played an 8 bar piano
    lead” Does it sound ok? Would you like to hear something different? Can someone
    give me some direction or ideas? What would you like for me to play? Then no
    one says anything.??????

  • In general I would like some agreement on basic things like
    the key, the tempo, the general length of the song. Are we going to have one
    style for the whole thing? Is this going to have vocals?

    I think the tempo or the lenght are usually indicated by the first base track. The style a very complex and sensitive point. But you point out a good idea: how about a kit of button-incon indicated the need of the project:

    - drums
    - bass
    - guitar
    - piano
    - strings
    - winds
    - vocal
    - other instrument
    - mixing-mastering

    Another solution could be a specific blank, visible from the web interface and the general chat interface, where we can write the need. But 1. there are already available blank (title, Description) 2. impossible to filter.

    Anyway, I think it is easier and simpler - as written in my first message - allows to list if there is one (or more) leaders, who are also artistic contacts (the owners are administrative contacts). This should not limit freedom of self-organization and different ways to work (no leader, one leader, several leaders), but simply give an indicator of wills (if there are) behind this project. That is to say, the leader has only a moral status, no special administrative right (he is owner as well).

    Feng: Director is the common word for this in music world. Why not?

    Last thing: I think that, as the administratives rights (owner, contributor), the label of Director should not have legal status. It's only (I repeat myself) an indication, a help for the newcomer in the project.

  • I think the tempo or the lenght are usually indicated by the first base track. 

    Actually, tempo yes, but lenght rarely. Depends on who starts it but most of the time, it starts with one phrase or two, that is then layered with contribution.  

  • I suggested that maybe this feature be implemented for public projects, or all.

    Peopel could then lock their track, if someone tries to edit the track it will say this has been locked, see owner of track. Then say me or others would have to say hey can I edit your track, do this and that to it, then that track owner can give that person access to edit it.

    The issue is that it would break integrity of the project. You open your project then you need to say double the lenght of the chorus. And... you can't, because someone locked the track and is AFK/deconnected. To picture this, try to remember when there was only collab freeze and no freeze to track. 

    I want to stress out that issues regarding unwanted edit of tracks are, from a software designer perspective, rare events, below the 1% threshold. Doesn't mean they're not an issue that shall be solved here but we all learned from that dark age of the beta that unaccessible track because of user forgetting/not realizing an action is needed from him for the collab to go on are a way more frequent issues and as much lethal to collab process than track destruction / abusive edit.

    There are currently private tracks. Someone who doesn't want his/her stuff touched should put it there. Someone who wants to get back to a previous version of his take can get it back easily with snapshots (or even store it on a muted private tracks). But at least for those events, it's probably not acceptable that someone put some stuff and refuse it to be edited, rearranged, or produced etc. The amount of takes that will need another user access in the process of completing the track is just too high ; putting a risk of "locked by someone not here" on the top of this will most certainly be more troubles than solution IMO.

    And there's a time to be protective about your takes, but friday collabs ? Probably not the time for that. If you participate you should be ready for unwanted collaboration ocurring, wether it's an arrangement you don't like, an extra instrument that ruins the mood, a production that twist your orignial idea. Those things can and will occur and that what makes good surprises, who also occur, even more enjoyable. 

  • Two ideas here:
    - in respect to andy's suggestion: a confirmation message that occurs each first time someone want to modify a track of someone else: "You aren't the creator of this track, do you really want to modify it?". After confirmation, he get the administrative right to modifiy the track
    - a third type of project (public, private): friend project, where only contacts and invitations can see and enter in.

    But mhm in fact, I really not convinced by administrative restrictions. Public vs private tools are sufficient to me. I am in favor of an optional indication of leadership, nothing more.

    Eventually, a blank space where the director can write his ideas or wishes: artistical direction...
    Eventually a set of icon for "simple" needs: need drums, bass, guitar, keyboard,vocal, other, mastering.
    Eventually some mores sophisticated project types:
    Full public (anarchy), vertical (public with director), ohm collab (communist: director but collective participation, see below), friend project (private: contacts & invitation), private (invitations), first project (project with no ambition (hardware test) or for newcomers, with helps and pre-configuration)

    communist project could be in fact a mean for everybody to organise
    collab event: a communist project need to be approved by The Force (with
    a rationale, eventually a demo track). The text is published in the
    blog and everyohmies is informed.

  • People could still copy a track, or bounce it down then lengthen it.

    I think it's already there then with the private track. Private track are locked to others. If you start to double them with "editable" tracks, then there is really no reason to have one locked and one unlocked version of it rather than one private and one public, I think.

  • Another idea in the "incitations to ohmiquette" side:

    what about an indication of degree of finish on the track itself? this indication should be a difference of color (grey scale):
    - testing track
    - track to improve (the direction is good)
    - definitive track

    That can improve communication between ohmies, displaying their intentions.

    I guess that the creator himself can specify the level of finish that he feels. The "director" may also provide feedback by this way (he downgrades a track to "testing track", because he doesn't find it so good).

    (sorry for the brainstorming)

  • Excellent initiative, it is important to:

    - Understand that an artist has his own, subjective appreciation of the music he creates or listens to, so what sounds great for one might sound bad for another and vice-versa.

    - Be humble, think that there are many, many  musicians out there ; many that you never heard about and that will surprise you in many  ways. Don't try to rule a project or a community, forums are not made to make more audience ; they are intended to help/guide users to make their experience better.

    - Be aware that, even if you actually did produce music  professionally (I did) don't think you know better, or even worse that you have nothing to learn, if you think that way : you are very wrong. I have learned a lot from other ohmies, and at the same time I hope I have helped more than a few ; but in all cases, I feel I don't know much compared to the unified knowledge of the cohmmunity ...

  • i hate to sound arrogant but on thee other hand i dont have time to waste ,so im down to collaborate with anyone that is as good as i am or ready to jump in and assist me ,so if you can isolate white noise let me know im tryn to and most likely  or alredy  have applied into  the sub wooffer section .thanks and i'll be shattering loops and extracting the sick sounds out of them ive got an arsonol of really cool sounds to share and collaborate with and ill collaborate with anyone ......mostly!

  • That's why rather than assert principles that are not respected in reality, I think there might be software communication tools to better inform by reporting the intentions of the protagonists. I suggested the possibility of defining "artistic leader" position, because owner / contributor applies only to administrative dimension. Feng propose to call him "director". I find it good. I proposed a distinction between degrees of finish of track (by color for example), which can also indicate the intentions of the contributors and can also be used as feedback from the director: test (need change in depth), good direction, final track.
    It could also have codes for the project: the ambition of the project (entertainment collab, beginer, advanced) and the degree of finish of the project: what's missing?
    need instrument, mastering?
  • I have reservation about the term director: we need the role and the word describes it well, agreed, but maybe only once you have a grip on how this works. I feel like newcomers may find odd. That being said, it's not an easy pick. 

    Some tries :

    - track director

    - project director

    - captain 

    - Leader Maximo

    - politburo's member .... etc. :P

    I realise I go back to humorous proposals. I feel more confortable with them probably because they both assume the act of tyrannies implied by any form of art direction and takes distance with it while accepting it as sometimes needed.

  • I think we need to better define “projects”


    Just fun stuff,
    who cares what the outcome is..no director needed or even wanted

    Serious project,
    needs direction and has a defined outcome

    Really serious pro project…we
    gona make a hit song!!! Needs everything and more. Lol Got to have Feng and
    Alexone on this one!! lol and all the other cool people on OHM!!! lol


    If we go to a jam session at the local bar we don’t need a
    director and don’t want one.

    If I am going to a studio to cut a song I want and need

    If I am going to a studio to try to produce a hit single I
    need all the help I can lay my hands on!! And them some!! lol

  • I aggree with you, except about the hits making: Feng puts too many notes in his songs. They will never become hits. :P

    Seriously, this idea is good indeed, and it is close to the idea of regime of project expressed by Redforce : anarchic (no director), autocratic (one or more director). He adds cohmunist that I defined as project with director, but for the benefit of the cohmunity (collab event).

    Should find another designation maybe. Personally, I like the Redforce's humour
  • To base this discussion on practical grounds, I just set up this events: 


    I took a solid theme on which we'll try all sort of regime and see how it goes. I hope we have as much as you guys participating in so the feedback's on this very discussion is as rich as possible :P

  • ;)good idea..guidelines!!!.


  • I agree with all of you!
    all this was not necessary if everyone when enter in a project:
    - ask about work in progress before touch or play instrument directly

    only this! because if after the question people have different idea or way to complete the project it's already exist to clone. In this case I talk about the friday's event: it's only a problem of education and respect. In other case there is a private project for invite and remain leader.

    We can find infinite solution but the origin is only a kind way to approach with the others...
    we create a rules only for this and I'm sure could be a solution but I think that the spirit of collaboration is another thing...it's synergie, feeling not leadership...create a song together not play for your song...
    it's only a "riflessione"

    ciao Flavio
  • Some thoughts on the
    public collabs of Friday.
    mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"">

    1. The concept or rules
    put in place by Red should come out on Thursday so we have a little time to think
    about it.

    2. If there is a
    director that person needs to commit to a stated number or hours he or she if
    willing to spend on the project on Friday night because if the director leaves
    we have no direction.

    3. If the director must
    leave the project then the director must make a decision to stop the project at
    that point or name a new director and be prepared to live with the results.

    4. Because we have
    people at all degrees of skill level the project should start out simple from a
    harmony perspective. In other words only three of four chords and stay in key.
    As the song progresses more complex parts can be added.

    5. The director should
    state a style such as Rock, Folk, Pop, and give some example by playing
    something or referring to another song or artist. Example. Bob Dylan kind of
    thing or this is a jazz piece like Count Basie or rock like AC/DC.

    6. The first track
    should be a click track to help keep everything in time. Also a reference drum
    track can serve the same purpose but it is better to have both.

    7. The harmonic content
    should be defined by the chord changes...no more than three or four chords to

    8. The director should
    define the general types of scales the melody/ lead lines should come from.
    Such as Play the lead out of a major scale or a pentatonic scale and also state
    if the song is in a major key it is ok to play out of the relative minor scale.
    Example, three chord rock in A. So Mr. Guitar man I would like to hear a lead
    line in F# which is the relative minor of A.

    9. For those players who
    do not understand this the director should give them an example....as short
    lead using the proper scale.

    The director should
    state how the arrangement should go. Example, keyboard use lead lines from one octave
    below middle C to one octave above and Mr. Guitar man start your solo three octaves
    above middle C.

    10. If the players do
    not understand these directions the director should play a short example.

    11. The director should
    name someone to be in control of the mixing and it is really better to play
    things into the song dry first and then add FX's when and if you can. Do not add FX's to someone's track without the ok of the director or sound man an involve the artist in the process.

    12. The director should
    define how many measures the intro will be and the length of the chord
    progression. Example, 4 bar intro...8 bar chord progression for the verse both
    for instrumental and vocal and where the vocal should start and stop. If there is going to be a bridge and what the chord structure is going to be.

    13. As the song
    progresses it can get more complex based on the skills of the players.

    14. It is the director's
    job to try to get a feel for the skill sets of each player and use them to best

    14 chord progression should be played by the keyboard player or a rhythm guitar line or a bass line that plays the root of the chord at the changes at least to get the thing going and then the bass player can come back an change to a more complex bass line later.

    In general go from the simple to the more complex. We played in 6/8 time last night. While some of us have no issue with that time signature many would find 6/8 hard to deal with. These are collabs that people of all skill levels want to play on so 4/4 is perhaps a better time signature to use. I like to play in 12/8 but not many people are use to that. 5/4 time gives me a hard time!! The point is to keep things simple, as least in the begining of the song.

    The director concept worked very well last night. I am also not saying the director has to make all the decisions without consulting with the players to get there input....after all this a collab.

    A word about key signature. Nothing is wrong with changing keys in a song but if you want to change keys three times in one measure you better damn well have some really pro players to make that work. This is supposed to be fun ...not work!!!



  • As for humour:

    Instead of director, I would propose conductor (or cohmductor, as he being some kind of cohmunity driver). conductor is kind a synonym of director and when applied to eletricity have something to do with "ohm"... :)

    As for skilled contributors that don't want such responsability, I would use "dilletante" which in french (you will tell me if it's the case in english) as a double meaning: lover of music and... dabbler, even rakish.

    Edit: Red said I should illustrate my statements. So:
  • Not many of us plan to fail. We often fail to plan. With out some sort of a plan and direction there is no way to know where things will end up. That can sometimes be a good thing and some music is created that is really cool. Most of the time it ends up in a "train wreck" ....the project goes no where and is never finished.

    All these ideas of what to call the person in charge we have tried make little difference to me. The process of having someone in control has resulted in better outcomes as I see it.

    These comments are about out Friday colabs and are not really about private projects because private projects almost always have direction of some sort.

    There also have been lots of discussions about what ohm software can and can not do. Is ohm a fully developed software? No, but it is far enough along to make really good music, yes. I own several DAWs...none of them do everything I want and never will and all are a pain the butt to learn.

     But I can say one thing that makes ohm great. In a word, people. Where else can you go and find super nice people to play with on line? If we develop anything of real value here it will be the people connection we make and a place we can call home. Ohm software is just the house, and for sure no one is going to like everything about the way it was built.
  • I hope ohm_force will appreciate the place you wish to take here, the size of your recent messages is again a testimony of itself of how much omnipresent you are, just let some room to others. 
    [moderated: ad hominem]
    We are so many to be upset by this attitude that spoils the friday events and the atmosphere in ohm in general.
    Finally, I hope the new features will include a 'mute all messages from ...' feature  so that people who are more interested in music  than individual personalities can hopefully focus on that.

  • The collaboration is agreement and disagreement.

    Personally, I am very upset when my work is not recognized, or that I feel it is betrayed.
    On the other hand, it's hard to understand the desire to put his feet everywhere: there is so much room in ohmstudio! why do I have to be there? why turn project into overcrowded jam?

    For all these difficulties, wide collaboration in ohmstudio is a challenge and simple rules (besides RESPECT) do not exist.

    A basic rule in music (unless your are Paul McCartney or John Lennon), is that you always have the bad idea in the eye of another. Perhaps to address these relational difficulties, there should be a cathartic collaborative event (Hey Red :-h   )

    The title would be "The wrong idea of the other"
    The aim would be to radically transform the piece without erasing or decrease the volume of the others. The "best" contribution would be one that changes the more the mood of the previous tracks when mute or unmute it.

    The result would be completely ambivalent pieces, a bit like the optical illusions:
    The message is: reality is plural


  • #1 This discussion board needs a reddit style up voting system!

    That said I think if collaborators join and never contribute the original owner/director/leader should have the option of kicking them off the project. 
  • You can do it from the "share" tab on the project pagen assuming you have the rights.
  • I am fairly new to OHM studio.  I think that one of the common complaint themes could to be a collaborator coming in and messing around with levels/mix.  Maybe it makes sense that ADMIN can hit a check box that forces all settings back to a default that they determine when the session is closed?  That would allow the collaborator to mute track or change a mix  if that makes it easier for their contribution to be made, but upon closing all track settings go back to where the ADMIN has set them.  

    I can imagine some ADMINs of a tune would want to allow others mixing privileges while other ADMINs that are more experienced want control.. if it's their project then they should have the ability to preserve their efforts without fear that someone can come in a muck things up... right?  From my perspective, I would never enter a project and change any levels or settings on anyone's track.  I might mute a few things so I can focus on certain aspects but those tracks would be returned to their original state before I shut down ...
  • Agreed, there really need to be two sets of mix controls -- local and project, (maybe with a project setting to flick between the two quickly?).  When I'm working on a new part, I might want to concentrate on specific existing parts of the project.  I don't necessarily want to totally mute a track, maybe just drop it back a bit so I can hear something else more clearly.  But I really don't want to mess up what everyone else hears...
  • You can do all of this through appropriate use of the private track. For instance when working with a touchy ohmicide preset while I have real time collaborators I duplicate the rack I am working on, local mute the orignial, then create a private track on the copied one and put every content in it. It's muted to other but I can hear it and spend an hour  trying scary distortion without driving everyone crazy =)
  • That doesn't mute or lower the volume of all the other tracks, though?  I'd have to private copy maybe a dozen other tracks just to work on a single one. And note mostly I don't want to mute the tracks but adjust them in the mix without affecting other collaborators.
  • Yes, I agree with pljones.. sometimes a mix might have something you don't need in it for the purposes of adding your part.. ( i.e. bass ).  I might want to lock in on just the rhythm guitar and drums but all the extraneous tracks are getting in my way of hearing clearly the details of the tracks I want to focus on.  If I am alone, I can mute them but if someone else is in there working then this isn't really an option.  I think this is where an OFFLINE mode will be incredibly useful when available but again, there needs to be some way to automatically RESET all tracks to the state they were in when downloaded from the server if all I am doing is adding a new track to the project.  This is probably a tricky thing to work around when you are in an environment where several members can be working on the same project at once.. 

    The private track is useful for experimenting with you own contribution but I don't see how it's going to be helpful with altering the mix, temporarily making it easier to hear what you want
  • I think what you want is a knob that balance monitor input and master. Some audio interface have it. But having to lower each other rack/track, even in a solo daw, seems like it could be tedious. Some project I see, you add a track on 50 other track. It would drive me mad to lower them all :P

    One simple trick: ad any plug on your recording track. Boost the the gain. You'll hear it louder but it won't affect recording. If it goes to the point where your monitoring is distorted, you'll have to lower master track. If you don't want to annoy other, do it by inserting a 3rd party plugin they don't have and lower its gain. Of course, that's just a workaround vs a knob like the above, but it can make your life easier here and now, hopefully =)  

    Solo and mute are local. Your problem is already fixed: just mute / solo what you want for the recording :)
    Only mute that are global are the ones at sub track level. If it's not greyd out on the arrange view, it's only muted for you!

  • > It would drive me mad to lower them all
    That's the point -- I may not want to lower them all, just particular ones.  For example, there may be an existing piano part for which I'm considering an alternative -- I want just that part out of the way completely, possibly along with reducing the level of some other tracks so I can concentrate better on the vocals, which I want to hear clearly.  Not being able to do it at a per-track level is a significant limitation.

    The workaround might work, though.

    I guess there's an "A/B mix" feature request lurking in here -- modern hardware desks (for several years) have had this.
  • @red_force, thanks again  - I guess I should just RTFM ;)... or, in this case - RTFG ;)