AWS for M&E Blog

BandLab welcomes users by the millions with AWS

Based in Singapore, BandLab supports musicians around the world with tools and inspiration to create, collaborate, and publish their compositions. Artists use its free cloud-based digital audio workstation (DAW) to record, edit, and mix music with easy-to-use, professional-grade tools. BandLab’s integrated social and streaming capabilities let its users share the creative process with millions of fans and other musicians, and even live stream their own performances.

An outburst of musical creativity

BandLab promises a free and unlimited experience to millions of users. No-limit cloud storage and availability on iOS, Android, and web browsers allow artists everywhere to create and collaborate across technical, geographic, and creative barriers.

Since its 2016 launch, BandLab has realized steady and significant growth in the number of users taking advantage of its tools. Earlier this year, as the pandemic disrupted life and work around the world, artists flocked to BandLab, resulting in a sudden, massive increase in the number of users and the amount of content being created on the platform.

“Whenever a country went into lockdown, we saw a huge increase in usage from that country,” said Lauren Hendry Parsons, AVP Communications & Partnerships. “BandLab’s commitment to seamless remote collaboration, unlimited song creation and sessions, and unlimited storage meant we needed technology that could scale quickly and deal with rapidly growing workloads, across different geographies and at different times.”

Scaling by the millions

By May 2020, BandLab reached 18 million users, an increase of 50 percent from the start of the year, and artists were creating close to 10 million music tracks a month on the service. BandLab built its services, including its DAW and its live streaming services, on AWS, so its infrastructure was prepared to scale with spiking demand. This incredible rate of growth continued throughout the year, and by November, BandLab reached 26 million users.

BandLab uses Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) to store every audio file generated by its users. Amazon S3 is designed to scale capacity with demand, so BandLab can handle even the most dramatic increases in user output. Amazon S3 Transfer Acceleration facilitates the upload of assets as quickly as possible, and S3 Intelligent-Tiering helps keep BandLab’s storage cost-efficient. Songs are indexed using the Amazon DynamoDB database, which scales horizontally with demand.

The BandLab DAW equips artists with a full array of tools to create, modify, and enhance their musical compositions. AWS Lambda processes all incoming audio generated by users and stores it as files in Amazon S3, formatted for manipulation by the DAW. AWS Lambda also scales with demand, readily accommodating escalating usage as more and more artists upload their work in process.

When a user is ready to publish their song, the BandLab audio workflow triggers Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS) and AWS Fargate to perform the final mixdown. Using a serverless container environment, Amazon ECS and Fargate combine the individual sound layers from Amazon S3 to form the complete song, ready for export or publication.

Live video streams, ready on demand

In addition to its DAW, BandLab supports musicians with the ability to create their own live video streams, so users can launch a live stream on demand and instantly become their own “DJ.”  When a user requests a live stream through BandLab, AWS Step Functions initiates a channel through the AWS Elemental MediaLive video processing service. MediaLive returns a dedicated stream URL that can be shared with fans and a stream key to be used with a playback software, such as OBS. Artists can then broadcast to fans worldwide for up to 4 hours at a time, at no cost.

Dependable scalability for unpredictable times

This year, millions of artists and fans have turned to BandLab for creative expression, entertainment, and community. With audio and video infrastructure built on AWS, BandLab was prepared to handle every surge without impacting its commitment to its artists.

“Our team architected our technology stack with an emphasis on scalability, reliability, and efficiency,” said Nick den Engelsman, BandLab Cloud Solution Architect. “AWS offers BandLab the automated functionality and serverless execution we need so we can focus on our product and not our infrastructure. With AWS services, we can give artists everywhere the tools to create freely, with no limits.”