Case Study

How the NYTimes Music Team uses Highnote to produce original music for podcasts, games, + more

How the NYTimes Music Team uses Highnote to produce original music for podcasts, games, + more

The New York Times is the leading publication with 100,000 subscribers globally.

Published:

Mar 13, 2024

By the numbers

15 Contributing composers 10 Episodes weekly 5 rounds of edits per ep 4 Core composers

The NYTimes music team uses Highnote to collaborate on music and sound design projects for podcasts such as Modern Love and The Daily.

Led by senior sound designer and composer, Marian Lozano, Highnote allows the team to harmoniously power through project sprints and quickly provide thorough yet efficient feedback while organizing each audio project in a centralized place. In addition to podcasts, the team has expanded the platform’s role to be integral for game audio and social media projects as well.

“Before Highnote, everyone dumped audio files into Slack—it became super cluttered with threaded feedback and incorrect timestamps. There were a lot of holes in our process and we hadn't figured out a way to work cleanly across the team.”

“Before Highnote, everyone dumped audio files into Slack—it became super cluttered with threaded feedback and incorrect timestamps. There were a lot of holes in our process and we hadn't figured out a way to work cleanly across the team.”

Marian Lozano

Senior sound designer and composer, NYT

This episode of The Daily had 3 different original cues created by the team

The Challenge

The New York Times’ music department consists of four core and 15 contributing composers who develop audio for the entire media company across advertising, games, the newsroom, podcasts, and marketing. The lean team has to work nimbly while communicating effectively. As the music team’s responsibilities grew outside the newsroom, they lacked a standardized tool across departments, which slowed down and complicated their process.

“Once our music wing was official, the volume of our projects grew exponentially. When they started coming from outside of the newsroom, it became harder to use a standardized tool. For instance, the audio and video teams use Lucid Link, but the games team doesn’t. It was difficult to find the right format for sending deliverables and getting feedback from people."

"Before Highnote, everyone dumped audio files into Slack—it became super cluttered with threaded feedback and incorrect timestamps. There were a lot of holes in our process and we hadn't figured out a way to work cleanly across the team.”

Modern Love is another NYTimes podcast the audio team is responsible for

The Solution

Highnote was the obvious tool of choice for The New York Times music department. It has become their mission-critical feedback tool with its precise commenting feature; sharable external links; intuitive interface; and ability to attach briefs, scripts, transcripts, reference playlists, accompanying articles, and video links. The team also uses Highnote as a project management tool for day-to-day organization, year-end progress tracking, and maintaining an archive for each department. 

“As a senior composer, it's my responsibility to help the creative manager track the progress of the projects we’ve worked on so we can report back at the end of the year. That used to be very difficult to do as we work on several projects per week, and I’m not personally making music for each of them. With Highnote, I can quickly see what we're working on now, and what we have worked on in the past year. It has checked more boxes than we were anticipating.”

“If someone is giving a timestamp on something, it's likely because they don’t know how to describe the instrument. We save time with Highnote because collaborators can drop a marker and our audio team doesn't have to listen over and over to figure out what they meant in their feedback. We can go to that precise second and hear and therefore fix or adjust what they’re referring to.”

The Challenge

The New York Times’ music department consists of four core and 15 contributing composers who develop audio for the entire media company across advertising, games, the newsroom, podcasts, and marketing. The lean team has to work nimbly while communicating effectively. As the music team’s responsibilities grew outside the newsroom, they lacked a standardized tool across departments, which slowed down and complicated their process.

“Once our music wing was official, the volume of our projects grew exponentially. When they started coming from outside of the newsroom, it became harder to use a standardized tool. For instance, the audio and video teams use Lucid Link, but the games team doesn’t. It was difficult to find the right format for sending deliverables and getting feedback from people."

"Before Highnote, everyone dumped audio files into Slack—it became super cluttered with threaded feedback and incorrect timestamps. There were a lot of holes in our process and we hadn't figured out a way to work cleanly across the team.”

Modern Love is another NYTimes podcast the audio team is responsible for

The Solution

Highnote was the obvious tool of choice for The New York Times music department. It has become their mission-critical feedback tool with its precise commenting feature; sharable external links; intuitive interface; and ability to attach briefs, scripts, transcripts, reference playlists, accompanying articles, and video links. The team also uses Highnote as a project management tool for day-to-day organization, year-end progress tracking, and maintaining an archive for each department. 

“As a senior composer, it's my responsibility to help the creative manager track the progress of the projects we’ve worked on so we can report back at the end of the year. That used to be very difficult to do as we work on several projects per week, and I’m not personally making music for each of them. With Highnote, I can quickly see what we're working on now, and what we have worked on in the past year. It has checked more boxes than we were anticipating.”

“If someone is giving a timestamp on something, it's likely because they don’t know how to describe the instrument. We save time with Highnote because collaborators can drop a marker and our audio team doesn't have to listen over and over to figure out what they meant in their feedback. We can go to that precise second and hear and therefore fix or adjust what they’re referring to.”

The Challenge

The New York Times’ music department consists of four core and 15 contributing composers who develop audio for the entire media company across advertising, games, the newsroom, podcasts, and marketing. The lean team has to work nimbly while communicating effectively. As the music team’s responsibilities grew outside the newsroom, they lacked a standardized tool across departments, which slowed down and complicated their process.

“Once our music wing was official, the volume of our projects grew exponentially. When they started coming from outside of the newsroom, it became harder to use a standardized tool. For instance, the audio and video teams use Lucid Link, but the games team doesn’t. It was difficult to find the right format for sending deliverables and getting feedback from people."

"Before Highnote, everyone dumped audio files into Slack—it became super cluttered with threaded feedback and incorrect timestamps. There were a lot of holes in our process and we hadn't figured out a way to work cleanly across the team.”

Modern Love is another NYTimes podcast the audio team is responsible for

The Solution

Highnote was the obvious tool of choice for The New York Times music department. It has become their mission-critical feedback tool with its precise commenting feature; sharable external links; intuitive interface; and ability to attach briefs, scripts, transcripts, reference playlists, accompanying articles, and video links. The team also uses Highnote as a project management tool for day-to-day organization, year-end progress tracking, and maintaining an archive for each department. 

“As a senior composer, it's my responsibility to help the creative manager track the progress of the projects we’ve worked on so we can report back at the end of the year. That used to be very difficult to do as we work on several projects per week, and I’m not personally making music for each of them. With Highnote, I can quickly see what we're working on now, and what we have worked on in the past year. It has checked more boxes than we were anticipating.”

“If someone is giving a timestamp on something, it's likely because they don’t know how to describe the instrument. We save time with Highnote because collaborators can drop a marker and our audio team doesn't have to listen over and over to figure out what they meant in their feedback. We can go to that precise second and hear and therefore fix or adjust what they’re referring to.”

“Highnote is so instrumental in what we do. I kept telling [our tech team], ‘You can't take this away from us…It's something we use all of the time.’ I can't think of a real feedback process before Highnote—it was just Slack and not fun.”

“Highnote is so instrumental in what we do. I kept telling [our tech team], ‘You can't take this away from us…It's something we use all of the time.’ I can't think of a real feedback process before Highnote—it was just Slack and not fun.”

Marian Lozano

Senior sound designer and composer, NYT

The Results

Highnote quickly became the newly fledged music and audio team’s centralized and standardized place to work on all audio projects from start to finish. Marion can see all the work that’s being done - their progress, status, sticking points, and so on - all from one place. The audio team is now collaborating effectively and efficiently, completing projects in short sprints while also managing ongoing projects without friction. This resulted in a unified team delivering high-quality work to producers across the media company. 

“The tool itself is so instrumental in what we do. I had so many meetings with deputy engineers to get approval for use, and I kept telling them, ‘You can't take this away from us at this point. It's something we use all of the time.’ I can't think of a real feedback process before Highnote—it was just Slack and not fun.”

The Results

Highnote quickly became the newly fledged music and audio team’s centralized and standardized place to work on all audio projects from start to finish. Marion can see all the work that’s being done - their progress, status, sticking points, and so on - all from one place. The audio team is now collaborating effectively and efficiently, completing projects in short sprints while also managing ongoing projects without friction. This resulted in a unified team delivering high-quality work to producers across the media company. 

“The tool itself is so instrumental in what we do. I had so many meetings with deputy engineers to get approval for use, and I kept telling them, ‘You can't take this away from us at this point. It's something we use all of the time.’ I can't think of a real feedback process before Highnote—it was just Slack and not fun.”

The Results

Highnote quickly became the newly fledged music and audio team’s centralized and standardized place to work on all audio projects from start to finish. Marion can see all the work that’s being done - their progress, status, sticking points, and so on - all from one place. The audio team is now collaborating effectively and efficiently, completing projects in short sprints while also managing ongoing projects without friction. This resulted in a unified team delivering high-quality work to producers across the media company. 

“The tool itself is so instrumental in what we do. I had so many meetings with deputy engineers to get approval for use, and I kept telling them, ‘You can't take this away from us at this point. It's something we use all of the time.’ I can't think of a real feedback process before Highnote—it was just Slack and not fun.”

Join the thousands bringing calm to their creative process with Highnote

Join the thousands bringing calm to their creative process with Highnote

Join the thousands bringing calm to their creative process with Highnote

Features

Lossless Audio Streaming

Voice Comments

Group Chat

Audio Polls

Version Management

Archiving + Storage

Security

Timestamp Commenting

A/B Instant Playback

Public + Private Spaces

Highnote, Inc

©

2024

Features

Lossless Audio Streaming

Voice Comments

Group Chat

Audio Polls

Version Management

Archiving + Storage

Security

Timestamp Commenting

A/B Instant Playback

Public + Private Spaces

Highnote, Inc

©

2024

Features

Lossless Audio Streaming

Voice Comments

Group Chat

Audio Polls

Version Management

Archiving + Storage

Security

Timestamp Commenting

A/B Instant Playback

Public + Private Spaces

Highnote, Inc

©

2024