education Interview with Florian: more than just developing the best metronome

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More than just developing the best metronome

August 8th, 2019

When Florian and Julian set out to create a Metronome for the 21st century musician they never realised the challenges that lay ahead. But four years after founding Soundbrenner, the company has sold 70,000 Pulse units in 45 countries. Having solved the age old problem of the annoying click they’ve now set their sights on other outdated music tools.

In this interview, Florian Simmendinger explains why there’s so much more to Soundbrenner than just reinventing the metronome. The company is setting its sights on developing technology that can be a companion to help musicians become great musicians.

Q: How did you start Soundbrenner?

I grew up in a household of musicians. My dad played in multiple bands, and so did my and so did my brother, who is a talented multi-instrumentalist, playing piano, drums, guitar, bass, and saxophone. I still have memories of watching my brother play music when I was three years old. Even at that young age, I found there was something magical about watching music performed live.

I started learning music by teaching myself piano. Like many people learning how to play an instrument I found out that it takes a lot of hard work to become a musician. I think fundamentally technology can never change that part. If you want to become a skilled musician, a master of your craft, then you’ll have to practice. That’s how it will always be.

That said, what technology can do is remove the unnecessary bits, the annoying parts that add friction and that discourage you from practice.

So we started Soundbrenner with that goal: create the best music tools in the world, that allow musicians and aspiring musicians to stay focused on what truly matters: their music.

The first challenge we tackled was the click track. From when I was a child, I still remember the torture it was to practice with a metronome. If you could feel the rhythm instead, with powerful, distinct vibrations, wouldn’t you have a much better experience? So after graduating from university, my co-founder and I went on to tackle this challenge, and we invented the Soundbrenner Pulse.


There’s no better match made in heaven than a business-minded founder and a technology-minded founder. Julian Vogels, Soundbrenner’s CTO, had already started building his own instruments during his studies in music technology. Florian earned his degree in business administration in Germany and Mexico.

The duo had no experience in building metronome apps, let alone creating the best one. Moreover, there were already other metronome apps that have been around for five years or more. Needless to say, it was an ambitious goal to build The Metronome App by Soundbrenner.

Their ambition is fuelled by a mission to change the way musicians practice, through making the best practice tools which helps to develop a rock-solid sense of internal rhythm.



How did the Soundbrenner Core come about?

After shipping the Soundbrenner Pulse to tens of thousands of musicians, we were overwhelmed by the feedback we got. And we knew, our goal of improving musicians’ practice experience was far from finished.

We soon realized that while the Pulse was great, it was still a separate tool you had to manage. Did I remember to bring it with me? Was the battery charged? You need to power it up, connect it, and set it up. Yes, it was better than what was available, but we understood we could take our goal even further. And so the Soundbrenner Core was born.

”Designed as a daily companion, Core combines musical tools with a watch.

Designed as a daily companion, Core combines musical tools with a watch. Now you’re always ready to go. In a matter of three taps, you can feel the beat you want to play. Not only that, but we were also able to invent a unique twist system to include a contact tuner for string instruments. And so much more! The Core is not only a step further towards a more simple, frictionless practice experience – it is a huge leap!

”The Core is not only a step further towards a more simple, frictionless practice experience – it is a huge leap!”

 


As of today, Soundbrenner Core has currently taken $1,000,000 in pre-orders. On top of the vibrating metronome feature, musicians can set the BPM, time signatures, subdivisions, accents and vibrations intensity directly on the Core. It also has added features such as a contact tuner, allowing musicians to tune whenever wherever. And finally, a dB meter that can measure and alert musicians when sound levels reach a harmful threshold.


 

How do you see this product changing the lives of other musicians?

Our products are designed for all musicians. That means it doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or a professional studio musician, or if you play drums, guitar, violin or piano. We hope the Core will have an even more significant impact on the lives of so many musicians. Removing unnecessary friction from practicing, and ultimately, allowing everyone to learn and master any instrument.

It takes 10,000 hours to become a great musician, and we think the Soundbrenner Core is the ultimate companion to get you there, no matter where in that journey you are right now. Find out more about the Soundbrenner Core.

 



Join our community group where you can share your musical narrative. Post your story with #MyMusicStory or email us at [email protected]. The whole Soundbrenner team gets excited whenever we hear inspiring stories of musicians.

Got a question about the Soundbrenner Pulse? Reach out to us at [email protected], we’re happy to help!

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