Written by Ryan Jebavy • Photography by Tim Whitby, Getty Images • December 15, 2016
UK music studio Abbey Road took its place in music history as the home of iconic recording artists like The Beatles and Pink Floyd. Now the studio is making its place in the future with a program called Abbey Road Red.
Abbey Road Red is Abbey Road’s “open innovation department.” Its mission is to promote and foster innovative ideas and solutions in an ever-changing social and commercial landscape. Each year, ARR supports unique startups offering compelling services and technologies for music-minded professionals. Startups that have benefited from the program include CloudBounce, OSSIC, Titan Reality and UberChord.
In the current round of startups ARR chose for incubation, the program continued its investment in cutting-edge companies, but with increased emphasis on platform-based services.
The Audio Hunt, a community-oriented hub, is designed to connect musicians with experienced music production people (for recording, mixing, mastering, etc.), but it also provides access to hard-to-find processing gear. Musicians can upload their tracks to TAH and have them processed by specific equipment of their choice for improved sound quality.
Qrates, an on-demand vinyl production service, allows musicians to create their own vinyl record project with zero risk, thanks to crowd-funded pre-orders. If enough orders are made (the minimum is 100), the record is automatically sent into production. There are other burgeoning boutique players in this arena, such as Vinylify, but compared to major production plants, Qrates is one of the most affordable low-volume options on the market.
Scored, a service for filmmakers, will allow artists to create and edit original scores in real time. While information is somewhat scarce ahead of the service’s anticipated 2017 launch, it would appear that the aim of Scored is to provide an affordable alternative to pricey soundtrack music by allowing filmmakers to add mood-specific cues to their movies on the fly.
With the addition of these three startups, Abbey Road Red continues to explore and support advanced technologies geared toward music professionals. If you have an idea that’s ready to move the music industry forward, ARR is taking applications now for its March 2017 season.