Isabel Garvey welcomes, left to right, Lickd, Humtap and Karim Fanous
Abbey Road Red is expanding its vision and ambitions in 2018. Welcoming two new start-ups and continuing to mentor graduates, Abbey Road Red is a key sponsor of emerging music technology in Europe. The Abbey Road Red incubator now moves to an ‘always open’ submission programme, allowing Red to engage with the right businesses at the appropriate stage in their evolution. The regular Showcase remains aa key calendar event where start-ups can present their ideas to investors and media, alongside a general progress update from alumni.
Abbey Road Red is adding internal R&D as a formal part of its remit following strong internal innovation in 2017, with the launch of its first app, Topline, created as a tool for songwriters, and the commercial availability of its new De-mix technology, which algorithmically allows early recordings to be deconstructed and remixed to amazing effect. Spatial Audio is a technology that the Abbey Road Red team is actively exploring, so that Abbey Road plays a pivitol role in the format evolution and content creation to shape the best consumer immersive experience. The team has established the Abbey Road Spatial Audio Forum gathering top thinkers from across the audio industry to develop thought leadership in the end to end delivery of spatial content. Abbey Road Studios MD, Isabel Garvey says: “The Abbey Road Red incubator is going from strength to strength attracting high calibre applicants deep in the latest technology and consumer trends impacting the music space. After 2 years of operation and now 10 businesses inducted we are tweaking the programme slightly to make sure we capture start-ups at a time when they gain the most from the incubator and network of mentors. Abbey Road Red was always intended to champion internal innovation at the Studios so I am delighted the groundwork we put in 2017 puts us in a position to formally add internal R&D to Red’s remit. We have another exciting year ahead working with incredible start-ups, becoming a test bed for technology trends like AI and spatial audio.”
THE NEW ARRIVALS REVEALED…
Humtap is a Silicon Valley based music technology startup that is pioneering the use of AI to enable consumers, advertisers and content creators to produce original songs by simply humming a melody in their mobile phones. Tamer Rashad, founder & CEO says “like many teens around the world, I dreamt of being a musician. I studied music, then went down a different path professionally before finally coming back to music. I saw Instagram transform our relationship to photography (and now video) and put everyday users at ease connecting with others through creative visual expression. To bring these qualities to musical expression, and enable unprecedented collaboration between users and artists, we created Humtap.”
Tamer Rashad, Founder & CEO of Humtap said, “Abbey Road’s leading position in audio technology is a huge asset that we at Humtap plan on leveraging to enrich the experiences of fans and artists alike.”
Many YouTube videos lack music because creators are concerned with navigating complex copyright laws. Lickd introduces a micro-licensing model which allows influencer creators of videos to select pre-cleared music tracks from the labels, with a guarantee that the artist is paid and no copyright claims will be made. As the amount of video online continues to rocket, Lickd is the key to helping both music makers and content creators work together. CEO Paul Sampson says “we’re delighted to be joining such a prestigious and forward-thinking incubator as Abbey Road Red. Innovating in the music industry isn’t always easy and to be able to access the calibre of minds and experience available to us by being part of the programme is an incredible opportunity. We hope to scale the business significantly over the next two years and collaborating with Abbey Road Red will help us no end in achieving this goal.”
INNOVATIONS FROM ABBEY ROAD STUDIOS
Abbey Road Studios launches Topline
Topline was created by Abbey Road Studios, working closely with emerging songwriters and producers from across London to understand their creative needs. The first ever app from Abbey Road Studios, Topline helps artists capture musical ideas instantly and precisely, sketching the beginning of a song as it happens. It has seen global success with artists from emerging talent to A-List stars. Read more at: https://abbeyroadnewsroom.com/2017/10/03/topline-the-first-ever-app-from-abbey-road-studios-and-its-free/
Abbey Road and the story of De-mix
De-mix is a technology created by the Abbey Road technical and engineering teams. De-mix opens up access to previously locked recordings, allowing audio engineers to craft new mixes and masters. Creating a superior listening experience for music fans, the De-mix process reinvigorates catalogue and breathes new life into forgotten tracks or bootlegs. Artists such as The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and The Who have all used the technology to enhance mono or live recordings. The Beatles’ Live at The Hollywood Bowl recording removed 95% of the crowd screams which previously left the performance difficult to hear. You can hear the results by visiting the official De-mix page at www.abbeyroad.com/demix
Abbey Road Spatial Audio Forum
Mirek Stiles, Head of Audio Products at Abbey Road Studios on the Studios’ pioneering work in Spatial Audio: “Initially through gaming and more recently via VR, there is a demand for convincing 3D Spatial Audio over headphones. The human field of vision is around 114 degrees, as with real life we rely on sound to fill in the blanks. The tools available to create 3D audio over headphones and sound bars is constantly improving, allowing both content creators and consumers to experience Spatial Audio in a convenient way – long gone is the reliance on multiple speakers and dedicated space. As with any new technology, there is much room for confusion. With this in mind, Abbey Road Studios has set up the Spatial Audio Forum with representatives from broadcast, gaming, VR, film, software and music production, with the aim of demystifying this exciting new way of rendering sound. Abbey Road is also working on joint research programmes with institutions including The University of York to establish best practice recording and mixing workflows.”
UPDATE: THE ABBEY ROAD RED TEAM
Jon Eades, Innovation Manager, Abbey Road Red
2018 sees Jon Eades leave his role as Innovation Manager at Abbey Road Red. Jon leaves to join a start-up, but remains part of the mentor team network to help start-ups joining Abbey Road Red. Jon has played a pivotal role in helping Abbey Red Red go from initial idea to fully fledged, acclaimed incubator and a key part of the industry, familiar to start-ups, investors and global media. Replacing Jon Eades is Karim Fanous.
About Karim Fanous
Karim has just finished a long stint as Music Ally’s Head of Research and Insight which sat him on the leading edge of the digital transformation in the music industry and saw him run strategy, research and training projects for clients from labels to publishing companies, startups and more.
As a classically trained musician and multi-instrumentalist he’s also been well versed in studio technology for years and can’t wait to begin his work at Abbey Road.
Karim says “Since buying my first Abbey Road compressor plug-in years ago and then helping the music industry navigate waves of digital transformation via Music Ally, this opportunity to join the team at Abbey Road and develop Red brings me full circle. I am excited and plan to work hard to continue Jon’s legacy.”
UPDATE: THE ABBEY ROAD RED GRADUATES
AI. Music are shaping the future of music creation and consumption, exploring what happens when you apply the latest techniques in artificial intelligence to music creation. AI. Music believe this is the next leap in music’s evolution, to change it from a static process of a one-directional interaction, to one of a universal dynamic co-creation. CEO, Siavash Mahdavi, above, says “Our time with Abbey Road Red has been hugely beneficial and has added tremendous value to our business. Their undivided attention has allowed us to learn and navigate within an exciting and multifaceted industry”.
Vochlea is a music technology company with a focus on audio controlled interfaces for music creation. Their launch product, a handheld device similar to a microphone, converts your vocals into instrumentation. Personalised to the vocal profile of the user, it is able to interpret sounds the user makes and translate them into the desired musical expression. Imagine a device where your beatboxing can trigger drum samples in real-time, your humming is translated into a controlled and intricate guitar melody. Vochlea CEO, George Philip Wright, above, says: “We’ve really enjoyed our time with Abbey Road Red and it’s been a huge benefit to the company. The studios have an impressive heritage which brings instant credibility to incubated companies. But Abbey Road Red is far more than a brand name, it’s very much leading the industry at the heart of music innovation.”
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