soundcloud

Dolby quietly preps augmented audio recorder app “234″

Posted by | Apps, audio, Audio Recording, augmented audio, dolby, Entertainment, Media, Mobile, Social, soundcloud, TC | No Comments

Dolby is secretly building a mobile music production app it hopes will seduce SoundCloud rappers and other musicians. Codenamed “234” and formerly tested under the name Dolby Live, the free app measures background noise before you record and then nullifies it. Users can also buy “packs” of audio effects to augment their sounds with EQs settings like “Amped, Bright, Lyric, Thump, Deep, or Natural”. Recordings can then be exported, shared to Dolby’s own audio social network, or uploaded directly to SoundCloud through a built-in integration.

You could call it VSCO or Instagram for SoundCloud.

234 is Dolby Labs’ first big entrance into the world of social apps that could give it more face time with consumers than its core business of integrating audio technology into devices by other manufacturers. Using 234 to convince musicians that Dolby is an expert at audio quality could get them buying more of those speakers and headphones. And by selling audio effect packs, the app could earn the company money directly while making the world of mobile music sound better.

Dolby has been covertly testing Dolby Live/234 since at least June. A source tipped us off to the app and while the company hasn’t formally announced it, there is a website for signing up to test Dolby 234. Dolby PR refused to comment on the forthcoming app. But 234’s sign-up site advertises it saying “How can music recorded on a phone sound so good? Dolby 234 automatically cleans up the sound, gives it tone and space, and finds the ideal loudness. it’s like having your own producer in your phone.”

Those with access to the Dolby 234 app can quickly record audio or audio/video clips with optional background noise cancelling. Free sound editing tools including trimming, loudness boost, and bass and treble controls. Users can get a seven-day free trial of the Dolby’s “Essentials” pack of EQ presets like ‘Bright’ before having to pay, though the pack was free in the beta version so we’re not sure how much it will cost. The “Tracks” tab lets you edit or share any of the clips you’ve recorded.

Overall, the app is polished and intuitive with a lively feel thanks to the Instagram logo-style purple/orange gradient color scheme. The audio effects have a powerful impact on the sound without being gimmicky or overbearing. There’s plenty of room for additional features, though, like multi-tracking, a metronome, or built-in drum beats.

For musicians posting mobile clips to Instagram or other social apps, 234 could make them sound way better without much work. There’s also a huge opportunity for Dolby to court podcasters and other non-music audio creators. I’d love a way to turn effects on and off mid-recording so I could add the feeling of an intimate whisper or echoey ampitheater to emphasize certain words or phrases.

Given how different 234 is from Dolby’s traditional back-end sound processing technologies, it’s done a solid job with design and the app could still get more bells and whistles before an official launch. It’s a creative move for the brand and one that recognizes the seismic shifts facing audio production and distribution. As always-in earbuds like Apple’s AirPods and voice interfaces like Alexa proliferate, short-form audio content will become more accessible and popular. Dolby could spare the world from having to suffer through amazing creators muffled by crappy recordings.

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Rapchat raises $1.6 million to help you make and share your def jams

Posted by | Android, Apps, Co-founder, Columbus, computing, digital media, mobile software, oakland, premier, producer, rapchat, RC, Snapchat, social network, Software, soundcloud, Startups, TC, United States, YouTube | No Comments

The first thing to understand about media-sharing app Rapchat is that co-founder Seth Miller is not a rapper and his other co-founder, Pat Gibson, is. Together they created Rapchat, a service for making and sharing raps, and the conjunction of rapper and nerd seems to be really taking off.

Since we last looked at the app in 2016 (you can see Tito’s review below), a lot has changed. The team has raised $1.6 million in funding from investors out of Oakland and the Midwest. Their app, which is sort of a musical.ly for rap, is a top 50 music app on iOS and Android and hit 100 million listens since launch. In short, their little social network/sharing platform is a “millionaire in the making, boss of [its] team, bringin home the bacon.”

The pair’s rap bona fides are genuine. Gibson has opened or performed with Big Sean, Wiz Khalifa and Machine Gun Kelly, and he’s sold beats to MTV. “My music has garnered over 20M+ plays across YouTube, SoundCloud and more,” he wrote me, boasting in the semi-churlish manner of a rapper with a “beef.” Miller, on the other hand, likes to freestyle.

“I grew up loving to freestyle with friends at OU and I noticed lots of other millennials did this too (even if most suck lol) … at any party at 3am – there would always be a group of people in the corner freestyling,” he said. “At the same time Snapchat was blowing up on campus and just thought you should be able to do the same exact thing for rap.”

Gibson, on the other hand, saw it as a serious tool to help him with his music.

“I spent a lot of time, energy and resources making music,” he said. “I was producing the beats, writing the songs, recording/mixing the vocals, mastering the project, then distributing & promoting the music all by myself. With Rapchat, there’s a library of 1,000+ beats from top producers, an instant recording studio in your pocket, and the network to distribute your music worldwide and be discovered…. all from a free app. Rapchat is disrupting the creation, collaboration, distribution, & discovery of music via mobile.”

“We have a much bigger but also more active community than any other music creation app,” said Miller.

While it’s clear the world needs another sharing platform like it needs a hole in the head, thanks to a rabid fan base and a great idea, the team has ensured that Rapchat is not, as they say, wicka-wicka-whack. That, in the end, is all that matters.

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To fix SoundCloud, it must become the anti-Spotify

Posted by | apple music, Apps, Dubset, eCommerce, Entertainment, Mobile, Opinion, Remixes, soundcloud, Spotify, Startups, streaming music, TC | No Comments

 Startups die by suicide, not competition. It wasn’t that anyone was stealing SoundCloud’s underground rappers, bedroom remixers and garage bands. SoundCloud stumbled because it neglected these hardcore loyalists as it wrongly strove to usurp Spotify as the streaming home of music’s superstars. Read More

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SoundCloud faces do-or-die vote by investors

Posted by | alex ljung, Apps, Media, Mobile, Social, soundcloud, Startups | No Comments

 SoundCloud will soon collapse if investors don’t vote for a rescue funding round tomorrow. The stumbling music streaming community site had to suddenly lay off 40% of its staff last month. Now it’s asking investors for $169.5 million at a pre-money enterprise valuation of just $150 million. That’s a steep drop from the $700 million valuation of its previous rounds. Read More

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Sick of SoundCloud? Anchor offers podcast transfer with free hosting

Posted by | anchor fm, Apps, Media, Mobile, Podcasting, Social, soundcloud, Startups, TC | No Comments

 SoundCloud is on shaky financial footing, saying it only has enough money to last a few more months unless someone buys or invests in it. That’s sure to cause anxiety in content creators with their life’s work stored on SoundCloud. Now some new startups are nipping at SoundCloud’s heels by focusing on podcasting in ways the music streaming service never did.
Anchor is a… Read More

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SoundCloud sinks as leaks say layoffs buy little time

Posted by | Apps, Drama, Entertainment, Fundings & Exits, Media, Mobile, soundcloud, Spotify, Startups, TC | No Comments

 A tense scene unfolded yesterday as user-generated music streaming service SoundCloud held an all-hands meeting to explain to employees why it suddenly had to lay off 40 percent of its staff last week. Exiting team members wanted to know why they weren’t warned, while those who survived the cuts wanted assurance that the cost reductions would keep the company afloat for the long-run. Read More

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SoundCloud Rolls Out A Dedicated App For Creators

Posted by | Apps, Creators, Mobile, Music, soundcloud, Startups, TC | No Comments

soundcloud-pulse SoundCloud, a top 5 Music app on both iOS and Android, has today released a new mobile application aimed specifically at artists and creators. Called SoundCloud Pulse, the app allows its users to share their sounds publicly and privately, track their stats and performance, reply to comments, and follow other users. The company says a more advanced feature set is already in the works, and… Read More

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In Wake Of Apple Music, SoundCloud Update Focuses On Music Discovery, Better User Experience

Posted by | Apps, iOS apps, Mobile, mobile apps, Music, soundcloud, Startups, TC | No Comments

soundcloud-ios All the buzz this week may be about the launch of Apple Music, but another popular streaming music application, SoundCloud, has also now rolled out a notable update to its mobile application. The update – which delivers new features including related tracks, shuffle, direct playlist editing, and more – is aimed at both improving music discovery and the overall user experience.… Read More

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Leaked Contract Shows SoundCloud’s Plans For Ad-Free Subscriptions And Paying Labels

Posted by | Advertising Tech, Apps, eCommerce, Media, Mobile, Social, soundcloud, Startups, TC | No Comments

soundcloud-money SoundCloud is desperately trying to go legal and pay royalties before labels pull their music from the streaming service. A contract for legal licensing with independent music publishers shows just how much that could cost the Berlin-based startup. Though this copy of the contract is unsigned, the National Music Publishers’ Association and SoundCloud last month announced they had struck… Read More

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