Web-based sequencers have never really caught on with professional audio engineers and musicians. Products like Avid Technology’s ProTools, Ableton Live and Steinberg Cubase have maintained a stronghold on the audio editing space for decades. This is why it came as a surprise to see Weezer front man Rivers Cuomo endorse Indaba Music’s private beta launch of the company’s new digital audio work station (DAW).

Built on Sun Microsystems’ JavaFX platform and first seen at this week’s JavaOne conference, the DAW station is likely to broaden Indaba’s reach in the audio editing market. With Weezer’s seal of approval, Indaba co-CEO Dan Zaccagnino, expects to see his community of more than 175,000 grow significantly. The Weezer advantage may just cause community members at JamStudio and MixMatchMusic to switch services in July upon Indaba’s DAW public release.

However, Rivers Cuomo’s video endorsement certainly isn’t reassuring. While he has gone on public record praising Indaba’s product, his less-than-enthusiastic testimonial has us scratching our heads. We’ll just have to wait until July to find out if Indaba delivers on its promises.

As previously, Indaba can connect potential band mates, offer basic editing functionality and become your file repository of choice. The new DAW station is the first web-based tool to remove the process of software installation and file uploading. No other web-based provider claims to offer professional quality recording directly to the internet. In addition to simplifying the sharing process, the tool integrates with a clips library and allows for real-time effects and local file caching. Efficiency is certainly the key here, but we have no doubt that professional editors will remain cautiously skeptical as they are with all web-based sequencers. After all, in the music industry, efficiency will always take a backseat to sound quality and for so many, a compressed track is a dehumanized one.

That being said, budding editors and musicians gain access to a broader range of tools for experimentation. From a music education standpoint, this tool may uncover a few talented diamonds in the rough. However, it’s hard to tell if the discovery process will have the rest of us screaming for mercy.

dana oshiro