BY ANDREW MOORE
Reporter with Silicon Hills News
Well, now you can.
Wimbo Music Inc., founded by CEO Denis Ouellette, wants to change the way that musicians learn and interact with their favorite music. The Wimbo product is an iPhone app that allows users to manipulate the individual instrument tracks of their favorite songs. Individual instruments in a song are controlled by a virtual mixer. Users can change instrument levels with a slider, or simply turn them off.
“We wanted to give people a tool — a simple tool — to be able to play over, or to play with, their favorite songs — or customize their songs,” says Ouellette. “We wanted to give people the opportunity to be able to customize a song for whatever their intended use would be… … and the only way to do that was to be able to have songs broken down by the instruments and vocals that make up their favorite songs.”
Ouellette sees countless uses for the product. It can help musicians learn their favorite songs, teach music to others, jam out with friends, and even play karaoke off their smart phone. Furthermore, Karaoke users are not limited to just singing – any instrument, or combination of instruments, can be muted so that a musician or two could “fill in” for their favorite band on a karaoke stage.
“You can play with, truly, a band backup of professional musicians,” says Ouellette.
The product is not without limitations, however. To be utilized by Wimbo, songs must be available in a multi-track format many times larger than an MP3. Most bands, both past and present, do not keep their multi-track mixes. And if they do, the master recordings of the songs are very expensive to acquire from an artist’s label. While Wimbo Music can obtain some songs directly from artists in original multi-track format, most popular music must be re-created in that format.
To do this, Wimbo must first buy the rights to popular songs from the relevant publishers. The company then partners with studios, musicians, and sound engineers across the county to re-create popular songs for Wimbo’s product in the correct format. These studios have the resources to re-create popular music, including older music from artists like The Beatles, with an almost indistinguishable difference in quality from the original song. They can even replicate the voice of a popular singer like Christina Aguilera with around 90% accuracy.
Replicating music is not cheap, but right now Wimbo Music plans to have 50 to 100 songs available by their products release in mid-April. They plan to focus on classic rock and country at the time of launch, but are also looking for indie artists and local bands to partner with and increase their music library. Songs for the product will cost $4.99.
Wimbo Music Inc. is currently a three man team composed of founder and CEO Denis Ouellette, Chief Technical Officer Greg Cerveny, and Director of Design Cory Shaw. They have been working on their product for three years and are currently in the beta stage of development.
All three partners play an instrument and sometimes jam out together at Geekdom of San Antonio. They are currently looking to hire developers with music backgrounds to grow their company. They also need a drummer to jam with.