Southern California is the center of the entertainment industry, which not only includes the world of Hollywood, movies and film, and television, but is also the home of the music industry. Combine that with the growing startup community here, and you end up with at intersection of technology and music. We've compiled a list of five of the startups that are revolutionizing some part of music, based here in Southern California. All of these startups are applying technology (software development and algorithms) to some aspect of music and the music business.
All musicians are always practicing and learning, to improve their art. Chromatik has developed web and iPad applications which let musicians upload, record, annotate, and share their sheet music; record a performance; give feedback to other musicians; and much more. The firm's apps are revolutionizing sheet music, applying modern technology to what has--until recently--been stuck in the era of pencil and paper. Chromatik is based in Santa Monica and headed by Matt Sandler; the firm's investors include 500 Startups, Kapor Capital, LaunchpadLA, Learn Capital, and MuckerLab.
2. Miso Media
Do you wish you could learn how to play the guitar? Wish you had an alternative to expensive, inconvenient teachers? Miso Media's guitar learning app is changing how people learn music, listening to musicians, letting them know if they're playing the right notes, and teaching them how to play a guitar, all from their iPad. Plus, the firm is developing other apps like Strobe Tuner (guitar, brass, drum, other tuning), and Sonata (sheet music), all tools to help bring music to the future. Miso Media is located in Venice, and was founded by Aviv Grill; the firm's investors include Aria Ventures, Detroit Ventures Partners, Google Ventures, Mind Fund, and Keith Rabois, among others.
It takes years of training and practice to make music: or does it? Music Mastermind is working on a technology and app, which it calls Zya, to eliminate the effort required to master music, and to create and make their own songs. The firm has the backing of both Intel Capital and Liberty Global.
Music Prodigy is developing technology to help beginners learn music, including Rock Prodigy, an iOS application which teaches beginners how to play the guitar, through 150 lessons and exercises over 49 days. The app not only tells you what to do, it monitors and tells you how you are doing. The firm's products are an example of what applying technology, and smartphones and tablets, can do for music education. Music Prodigy is in Sherman Oaks.
Looking for the next new sound? Want to hear some new music from independent artists? Earbits has created a service which lets you browse through over 200 stations of streaming audio, advertising free. The idea behind Earbits is not only to help connect fans with new music, but also to help those independent artists get their music out there to potential listeners. It specifically does NOT play Top 50 music, instead, helping the audience explore and find up and coming music. Earbits is in Venice, and is headed by Joey Flores. The firm has picked up funding from YCombinator, Charles River Ventures, Start Fund, and angels.
Are we missing your favorite local, music-focused startup? Disagree with our choices? Comment below...