2020 Rewind

2020 felt like a time warp. Hours and days dissolved together into a foggy wilderness of ambient noise. It was a year mostly spent waiting – for music venues to reopen and for the day we can press a resume button on life itself.  

And yet at Soundation, things have been running at double speed. In this year’s Rewind, we reflect on the changing landscape of music and celebrate the moments that were meaningful to our community in 2020.

Connecting the Dots 

After we launched Collab Live, a record number of creators went on Soundation to jam online. In fact, almost 50,000 collaboration projects were created in the first few months alone. The influx of producers using our real-time studio highlighted the need for a collaboration tool that’s immediate and in-the-moment. Being in a shared workspace and visually collaborating helps create that sense of togetherness – an aspect that so often defines how we experience music.

In the year where music was a lifeline for many people, we were proud to be the platform producers used to connect and take ideas in new directions.

2020 was also the year we focused on refining the studio, making it a better sketchpad for capturing song ideas. We revamped the entire studio experience with a more intuitive interface. We added more effect and instrument presets, as well as MIDI chord progressions, for when you need a quick hit of inspiration. We also hosted our first masterclass with one of the most in-demand producers in the game. 

Additionally we also launched a beta version of Reason Studios’ iconic Europa synth – becoming the first online DAW to do so. 

As more producers rely on Soundation for remote work, we’ll continue improving the studio. Our journey to reinvent music collaboration will only get better from here.

Making music with others taught me a lot what Soundation can do. My first collaboration brought back good memories and pushed me to make more music. 
– The Time Jumper

Chart Highlights

Ever since “lockdown” entered our everyday lexicon, the internet has become a mecca of homegrown production talent. Seriously. 800,000 creators made Soundation their artistic home in 2020 – a 40 percent increase from just a year ago. 

This is some of the emerging talent that caught our ears from the nearly million songs created on Soundation in 2020.

Top 5 Collab Tracks

Stylistic blends defined the most played collab tracks of 2020. Percussive grooves made their way into dubstep and lo-fi aesthetics bled into bass-heavy trap as creators explored new musical territories using Soundation’s collaborative studio.

Joxxster’s “Indifferent” is my song of the year.  It’s calming and uplifting at the same time.
– Eleven

Top 5 Solo Tracks

The most played solo tracks of 2020 cover both ends of the spectrum, from pitch-dark hip-hop beats to shimmering slices of EDM bliss.

GDCare’s “Betrayal” is probably one of the best songs on Soundation last year.
– Corrupt

New & Notable

Many new faces made their debut on Soundation last year. Some have left a lasting impression on listeners far and wide.

“Progress” by Lettasu makes me feel like I can do anything. It’s inspiring and I hope one day I can make a song that will inspire someone else too. 
– Ocolix

Trend Report

“Pandemic” might be 2020’s word of the year, but what are the words that captured music’s wild ride in 2020? We counted the frequency of words used in all song titles from last year to find the most popular words used on our platform. Here’s what we found:

1. Chill
2. Fire
3. Dreams
4. Lights
5. Night

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from these words, it’s that through music, we sought hope, escapism and connection. Let’s take a look at some of these trends, as told through the most memorable tracks of 2020 picked by our community. 

Better Together

For many, moments of connection with fellow collaborators were the best memories from last year. The studio became a treasure trove for self and collective discovery, inspiring creators to push their limits and dip into new sounds.

“I remember working with everyone on this track. I knew it was gonna be a hit. We worked so hard on it.” – HEX
“Fire collab. 💛 ” – mo!st.wav
“This was my first collab. We worked on it for two days. Shout out to Peaches!” – Prod. Inhale
“This collaboration helped enhance my knowledge in dubstep.” – Eden Pigeon
“We came across the arpeggios one day and decided to turn it into a collab.” – Viber
This collaboration helped enhance my knowledge in dubstep. It was very fun to work with others and the track had an incredible turnout.
– Eden Pigeon

Good Vibes Only

When IRL isn’t an option, many looked for good vibes and positive energy in music.

“I love the airy feel of the lead. This track just makes me feel happy all around.” – Wylesco
“It just makes me hyped.” – Brxken
“This track reminds me of the good time I had with my dad.” – Alexander-Buckner

“I love this track because it’s so upbeat and inspirational.” – Sammy C

The amount of pure beauty and music production skill that it took to make his remix of “Coastline” is insane. Natro certainly got a future in music. 
– Little Hollow

All Stars

Soundation creators have upped the ante last year, with many exploring wavetable synthesis and experimenting with heavy, intricate sound design. Here are the best tracks on Soundation that showcased masterful production and sonic wizardry in 2020 – according to you.

“The sound design is on point. The melody is amazing and the drop hits great. This track is a solid 10.” – Dutch
“It is amazing. The perfect synthwave.” – Everydayhuman83
“I love this so much I had written lyrics for the song (probably never going to show them to anyone).” – Moon
“Overall a very good track. It gives an old time guitar vibe and a new sort of EBM vibe to it.” – Nasrion Beatz♪
“It’s everything I wish I could do – incredible mixing, perfect transitions and amazing structure.” – Techno Logic

“The production quality was amazing. I really believe it was the peak of soundation for 2020.” – ViciousV53

In a year marked by isolation and stress, we’re humbled to see that many people have found solace in music and that Soundation was part of their journey. Here’s to hoping 2021 will be a much better year!

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