AI Music Making

🦄 Unicorner Startup of the Week:


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Audio and AI have arguably been very contentious topics for creatives. However, many apps are rethinking the role of AI within the scope of audio. By helping artists separate different parts of a track (like the vocals, bass, and synths), AudioShake is diving into previously unexplored opportunities in the music world.

Be sure to stay with us until the end of this week’s article. We have a Q&A with AudioShake’s Co-Founder & CEO Jessica Powell on her startup experience.

FYI: we’re in New York starting today until Friday for Tech Week. Catch us and say hi at the many breakfasts, happy hours, and parties we’ll be bouncing around!

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AI Music Making

AudioShake is developing AI technology that separates individual stems from whole music recordings, allowing musicians, producers, and content creators to remix and innovate. By allowing users to separate vocals, instruments, and other elements with high accuracy, AudioShake is expanding the possibilities for music composition. It accomplishes this by collaborating with developers through its APIs, providing comprehensive audio solutions.

🔗 Check it out:

💰 Business Model

AudioShake’s customers pay according to usage. Whether they access its platform as independent artists or large enterprises, or through its API, SDK, and widget platforms, they are paying for the quantity of stems they create.

📈 Traction and Fundraising

  • Raised $4.7 million seed round and non-equity assistance from Indicator Ventures, Crush Ventures, Roneil Rumburg, Precursor Ventures, Side Door Ventures, Steve Greenberg, and Disney’s Early Stage Accelerator

  • Participating in the Disney Accelerator 2024 program

  • Named one of the 200 best inventions of 2023, according to TIME

👫 Founders

  • Jessica Powell, CEO: Previously VP of Communications & Public Affairs @ Google, CMO @ Badoo, Comparative Literature BA @ Stanford

  • Luke Miner, CTO: Previously Data Science @ Plaid, VP Data Science @ Crowdpac, Economics PhD @ London School of Economics & Political Science, Philosophy BA @ Stanford

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🔮 Our Analysis

Missing stems and instrumentals result in lost opportunities for artists. At the same time, film, TV, and some sports industries also require this technology for localization, remastering, and other purposes. AudioShake is bridging this gap.

Having tested out AudioShake’s demos myself, I enjoyed trying out its technology to separate audio into different stems such as vocals, instrumentals, and bass. This opens up a different landscape in music production, film, and TV. It’s effective in expanding the relevance of different content creators’ work and providing many industries with different audio options. In fact, you can check out a demo here.

Despite the buzz around Gen AI and how that expands into music, it’s impressive how AudioShake is, according to founder and CEO Jessica Powell, “laser-focused on stem separation.” This is, in our opinion, a winning strategy, enabling it to emerge as a potential industry disruptor. AudioShake has formed relationships with industry leaders and strategically entered the market, which has helped it solidify its industry presence.

📚 Further reading

Written by Arjun Raj Loomba

🎙️ Founder Q&A 

Jessica Powell

Co-Founder & CEO, AudioShake

U: I enjoyed reading your blog article on the potential and challenges of generative AI in music. How do you see AudioShake balancing innovation with the needs of artists and fans in this evolving landscape?

We’ve never been hit by the same criticism because our tech is working with existing content, and hand-in-hand with content owners and artists. AudioShake solves a real day-to-day problem and helps them extend the creative and revenue opportunities for their work. We’ve been fortunate to work on projects like De La Soul, Nina Simone, SZA, Doctor Who, Green Day, and more, which has helped us establish a familiarity with stem separation in the industry.

U: Where there are so many different partners/ stakeholders involved, such as media creators, advertisers, and the film industry. What role do partnerships play in your business strategy, and how do you choose the right partners?

Our partners range from independent artists to the major label groups (Sony, Universal, Warner). Anyone who needs stem separation or lyric transcription to open up their work for new creative or revenue opportunities is a good partner for us. We want to simplify things for people who want to build with audio and companies integrating our API, SDK, and widget platforms are often building tools to make audio workflows easier and more accessible. 

U: Could you tell me about how you stay at the forefront of technology in such a competitive space? Especially with AI growing rampantly and changing so many different businesses? 

We are laser-focused on stem separation and have devoted most of our time and resources to developing the industry’s best solution. Our plan was always to build something highly specialized that helped solve an expensive, laborious problem for people working with sound. This focus has allowed us to work with incredible companies like Algoriddim on djay Pro (which was just recognized by Apple’s Design Award) and join Disney’s Accelerator program alongside awesome companies like Eleven Labs, Nuro, Promethean AI, and Status Pro.

U: What has been your biggest challenge, or more broadly a challenge that AudioShake has gone through?

It was hard to fundraise when we first started. People didn’t know what stems were, they didn’t think audio was interesting, or they just wanted to talk about blockchain (we started in 2021). Now everyone wants to talk about generative AI, so we spend a lot of time helping educate people on the different kinds of audio AI. But luckily, we have so many great partners and customers now, that all these conversations are easier. 

U: Having worked at Google for many years and then transitioned into the entrepreneurial journey, what is one piece of advice you would like to share with young entrepreneurs?

This is really specific to the individual, but in my case, I think it was incredibly useful to work in another company before I started my own. I learned so much watching other people, learning different practices, etc. It relates to leadership too. You really learn a lot by watching how other people lead (good and bad).

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