Yesterday, I had a great conversation with 45 Sound Co-Founder Cathal Furey. Without a doubt, Cathal is one of the most passionate entrepreneurs that I have had the pleasure of meeting. Speaking with young companies like 45 Sound is an education process for me in itself and its nothing like talking to someone with the same love for music and technology.
45 Sound is a video service that replaces the original sound of concert footage with a high-quality recording of the exact same part. The startup’s goal is to eliminate the huge amount of poor quality fan-shot concert footage from YouTube and other online video services. Their motto is simple: “You upload the video and will send it back sounding better.”
Kelland: How long has 45 Sound been around?
Cathal`: The project has been going since August. Our team came together in August. Back in October, we had a very basic site which showed our back-end technology but that was about it lol. We actually went live last week. We have a Irish band that is currently touring Russia called ASIWYFA that we are using for a soft launch but we are officially launching at SXSW. We also just got a pretty nice deal with a large management firm on the East Coast that’s doing a pretty big European Tour in a few weeks they want to use it as well. People seem to like what were doing.
Kelland: Are you excited to be a music tech finalist at SXSW?
Cathal: Yes, were thrilled. I was at SXSW last year networking with people before we even created the platform. I spent the whole week there spreading the word telling people what we were gonna build. Our plan from the start was to build it, test it Ireland, and bring back to Austin.
Kelland: What inspired you to create the platform?
Cathal: What I found was when I started video work that I just really loved it, because you’re capturing a special moment where people can look back in twenty years and remember where they were. It could be a bands last show, their first show, or were someone met their wife. Also during the process of working with bands and recording live performances, I discovered that it was all about the audio. You can record a live show and have great footage but if the sound quality is bad it kind of defeats the whole purpose. I never made any money creating videos, I just loved to do it. If you think of what were doing its simple no one has to know Final Cut Pro. See I see video as the top of the Pyramid of online content. You can put up some great photos and video and all your friends will look at it and share it. You can write a really powerful blog post and some of your mates will look and others will just pass over it.
Kelland: Tell me about your team?
Cathal: I’m very fortunate to have a great team. Its four other guys on the team. Two of the guys are both audio specialists and work at universities doing research. One of the guys is a bass player and has toured overseas in the US and Europe. Dan has patent has a patent on audio and Sony actually used his patent on the Singstar game. We have two world-class audio engineers. John who is our lead programmer is actually finishing his P.H.D. in online communities, because we really see this as something really big. We have big ambitions. The core of our products is really simple, you upload your video and we will send it back to you sounding really great.
Kelland: Is there fee for your service?
Cathal: Right now there is no charge. I’m sure you understand Kelland you’re in a similar position? Your into music and you love it so much your blogging about it, but you want to develop into something you can live off of and that’s sustainable. Were just like a rock band. Every band that we know in Ireland that we know is struggling. Our vision is that we want this to be a tool where artists are actually making money. Live shows, tours and festivals are where fans come to pay homage to their favorite acts.
Kelland: How will 45 Sound earn bands money?
Cathal: Basically, every show that someone records we will upload to a dedicated YouTube channel. A channel full of new videos. Our vision is to make a way for fans to connect more with their favorite artists, because fans are starting to recognize that the live shows are the only way that most bands are really making money. What are trying to build is a way for fans to support live bands while they are on tour and also a way for the fans to thank bands with digital downloads. In the long-term what we are kind of producing is a tv show. Most musicians are not really getting their fair share from most digital music services. They are the ones that are creating the magic and they are only getting 2-3% per song. If the musicians aren’t creating magic then nothing is really happening. We want to create 45 Sound into something where once a year or every quarter artists or getting checks in the mail.
Kelland:How would an independent artist benefit from this service?
Cathal: For an independent artist all we ask is for them is to upload a good video and send us their high quality 320kbps mp3. It’s that simple! All we ask artists to do is make a recording that you are happy with and we will handle the rest.
Kelland:Where would you like to see 45 Sound in 2-3 years.
Cathal: Beyond that.. . In 5-10 years from now we want people to look back at videos and say I was there. That’s the concert where I met your mother. In 2-3 years from now I would like to sit down at night and see that 1,000 bands from Rio de Janeiro to Los Angeles have just uploaded a videos. I won’t be happy until we are generating money for artists. I want 45 Sound to be the go to app on your phone for music.