With the introduction of music on Async we've also added a new feature called Blank Records. This article will cover why we've added this feature as well as explain how to use them.
Music tracks on Async are not static.
All the music you find on Async is made up of individual layers or Stems. And each of these Stems have multiple Variants to choose from. Each time a Stem switches to a different Variant, the entire song will re-render with this new selection. This results in a single song with many alternate compositions.
An example of a music piece with 4 Stems along with their Variants.
The current state of a Master Track can be defined by its Mix Number.
At any given time, you can categorize the current state of a song by its Mix Number. The number is simply the selected Variant in each Stem. In the image above the Stem Mix would be "2315" since those are the active Variants on each Stem at this time.
The current Stem Mix can always be seen on the Master Track image. The number automatically changes to reflect the current state.
So what if you really enjoy the current Mix of a song? Blank Records allow you to snapshot and save the current state of a song and immortalize it on a unique NFT! This means, even once the song inevitably changes in the future, your recording preserves the version of the song you like.
A high-level breakdown of the recording process
Purchasing a Blank
First, you purchase a Blank Record compatible with the song you want. You will find these down below on the player page for any given song.
What you are purchasing is an ERC-1155 token. There are 3 types: Platinum, Gold, and Silver. They all work exactly the same, the only difference is in rarity and cosmetic appearance. You may have the option to purchase a blank via credit card or crypto. To understand more on the differences between the two read here. After purchasing the Blank it will show up in your collection and look like this:
The NFT image shows the rarity count, metal type, and most importantly, details of which track it's compatible with.
Making a Recording
Ok, so you now own a Blank Record. How do you use it? At any time, if you hit record, you will be saving the current live state of the Master Track. There are a couple ways to get to the Record flow.
Go to the player page for the Master Track. You will see "Record" button on the top right.
Go to your blank in your personal collection. Hover over the NFT and you'll see the option to "Record"
After recording, your Blank will be burned and replaced with a shiny new NFT which includes all of the info about the Track at the time of recording including: Block Height, Track and Stem owners, Mix Number, cover art, and of course the Audio.
Listening to Recordings
Another great aspect of Recordings is that it lets the community curate the historical states of a Master Track. Any recording made by you or others gets placed directly below the live piece on the player page for anyone to explore!
And since it's an NFT, you're free to trade or sell them to other collectors. We are excited to see what attributes create a desirable Recording. Will it be the Mix Number? Or how long ago it was recorded? Or even the owners of the Stems at the time of recording.