Markus Schulz + Jochen Miller + The Fans = Rotunda

At the ASOT 500 celebration in Buenos Aires last night, trance/progressive superstar Markus Schulz played a brand new track called Rotunda. “Rotunda” is a collaboration between Markus and fellow trance producer Jochen Miller.

With those two guys hooking up, you pretty much knew it was going to be a banger. Sure enough, it is. Markus + Jochen have delivered, big time. The crowd of 10,000 in Buenos Aires ate it up. And I’m eating it up, too. Classic 2011 trance anthem. Huge lead synth, fun little stabs and plucks here and there, and — naturally — a great build and climax.

The juicy part here, though, is the social media angle of this. Thanks to Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, electronic dance music fans were able to watch the creation happen in realtime and help shape what it eventually became.

Fellow artists need to watch and learn. This is how it’s done.

Monday, March 28

Just after the Ultra Music Festival in Miami, Markus invites fellow trance producer Jochen Miller over to his Miami-based studio. Something starts to brew.

Ok @jochenmiller, Dinner break. I think we have an anthem brewing in the studio.
@MarkusSchulz
Markus Schulz

These are two guys at the top of their game. This is going to be good.

Wednesday, March 30

Markus tweets that he’s putting the finishing touches on this “still untitled” track.

Final touches in the studio to this still untitled monster with @jochenmiller.
@MarkusSchulz
Markus Schulz

That tweet gets automatically reposted over to Markus’ Facebook page. Within minutes, fans start suggesting track titles. Fifteen minutes in, to be precise, a fan named Jeff Williams suggests the name “Rotunda”:

Jeff Williams suggests Rotunda

Around that same time, Markus’ team uploads a sneak preview video to YouTube, straight from Markus’ studio:

“Love that” is damn right. I’m with Markus. That quick little stab right at the end of each bar is a great touch. I’m really digging what I hear. And it’s just plain fun to see the guys right there in the lab experiencing their creation while it’s still completely fresh to them, knowing they have a monster on their hands. But back to the story …

Later that night, co-creator Jochen Miller tweets:

Track with @MarkusSchulz is finished! "rotunda" is the titel, and sounds BIG!!
@jochenmiller
Jochen Miller

Nice! The track was completed in three days … and Markus & Jochen just let the fans name it.

Saturday, April 2

A few days later, down in Buenos Aires, Markus introduces Rotunda to the massive crowd.

A photo posted to Facebook captures the moment.

And several videos pop up on YouTube to send it around the world:

And that, my friends, is how an anthem is born in 2011.

Let’s recap. Two very popular dance music artists collaborate on an incredible new piece of music. The music goes from conception to worldwide distribution in less than one week.

During the course of the track’s creation, tweets are posted to keep in the loop. One of those fans ends up responding with a suggested track title. The artists bless that name and make it official.

Then, we’re treated to a sneak peek of the track straight from the studio. And when the track finally gets played for a massive audience just days later, a photo is taken of the moment that it happened and we’re able to hear the crowd’s reaction even though we are thousands of miles away.

We live in amazing times.

As engineers, when we think about Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, we often think about scalability, APIs, etc. But often times it’s fun to just sit back, put the “regular ole user” hat on, and marvel at the powerful experiences that these technologies allow.

And since Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are free services, none of it costs us a dime. Great job to those teams as well. Markus and Jochen are definitely not the only ones crushing it right now.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to put the headphones back on and turn this one up.

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