Real Time Communications Featured Article

Using WebRTC to Create an Internet Recording Studio

May 21, 2014

The opportunities real time communications technology presents go way beyond being able to video chat in a browser – it opens up new innovations in online education, healthcare, customer service and even entertainment. In an interview with Brad Bush, CMO at GENBAND, he compared the beginning of the Web to where we are today; there was no way we could predict the Amazons, eBays or Salesforce when all we had were static webpages. Just as those innovative services started to emerge as the Web developed, more intuitive solutions are being introduced as a result of real time communications and WebRTC.

Source Elements, a provider of professional Internet audio services and support to studios, voice talent, broadcasters and musicians, is one company getting involved with the growing WebRTC technology, which is an open-source HTML5 technology that enables real time communications and peer-to-peer connections over a Web browser. Source Elements is using the technology to create Source-Connect Now, a remote recording service for audio professionals.

Source-Connect enables audio connections between digital audio systems anywhere in the world, allowing direct-to-the-timeline recording with real time, broadcast-quality audio using only an Internet connection. It doesn’t require any ISDN lines, hardware, subscription fees or minute-by-minute line charges, so the studio can be accessible and affordable anywhere in the world.

Stemming off from Source-Connect are also Source-Connect Pro, Source-Nexus and Source-Talkback, which progressively get more sophisticated with features and go up in cost. For example, Source-Nexus features a Pro Tools HD/Native compatible plugin for $125 so professionals can record directly to their timeline without any additional hardware. Source-Connect Now is now available in public beta, which allows bi-directional streaming in a browser.

Supported features include the Opus codec, with up to 320kbps stereo, workflow that mimics ISDN that delivers low-latency, high definition, bi-directional audio (assuming each user’s broadband capacity is adequate, including 4G for tethering). Source-Connect “travels light” with no other programs required for recording uncompressed WAV files, and self-configuration for easy-to-make connections with no port-forwarding required.

The overarching theme in solutions like Source-Connect is this growth of easy, real time functionality without having to be a technical expert to operate, manage or control the solution. It also really embraces the power of communication, explaining on its website, “When you sound as if you are in the same room with each other, your work comes to life.”

“You can just be a musical genius, voice-over genius, or genius producer,” Bush explained in a recent post covering the solution. “This is one of the most sophisticated uses of WebRTC I’ve seen yet, and as those who follow me know – I’m looking at hundreds of companies creating applications in this space.”

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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