Setmixer, a UK-based platform that provides artists with the ability to record and mix their live performances with the precision of a studio session, has today announced a $760,000 seed investment.
Beating out 400 startups from 45 countries Setmixer reigned supreme and collected a €10,000 prize at Raw Ventures' Global MediaTech Pitch Day held in September of last year. The London-based VC firm is now upping its commitment to Setmixer with over a quarter million, enabling the startup to officially launch its AI-assisted mixing tool.
Days of future passed
If you can provide an honest answer to the question of the last time you purchased music in the form of either physical media or as a direct download to keep as yours forever and ever, you are in an ever increasingly rare class.
Arguably fueled by the advent of the mp3, which then gave way almost overnight to peer-to-peer file-sharing networks, which ultimately toppled the recording industry’s age-old business model to its knees, and record companies on the brink of self-implosion, save for the capitulation to streaming services (for better or for worse), you know the same as I do — the days of spending a week or two in a studio, releasing an album, heading out on a moderately paced tour to support said record, and making a living at it — are long gone.
As part of a larger piece about the struggles artists face when it comes to ticket agents, Live Nation, an agency that was merged with Ticketmaster in 2010 said in a statement, “Artists make more money from touring than any other piece of their business including recorded, streaming and more.”
Ahead of the road
So if touring and performing live are today’s musicians’ bread and butter, the importance, and business, of building community has never been greater. But how does and up-and-coming band from Brighton get ahead of itself on the road when just heading out?
Herein lies the solution offered up by Setmixer.
Founded in late 2021 by live music industry veteran Pascal de Mul, whose track record includes five years as Spotify’s global head of hardware partnerships, Setmixer has developed a recording system that can anonymously capture and release live music performances in studio-level quality by connecting to the mixing desk of partnered venues.
Setmixer's hardware is offered to venues for free, and the company's business model involves a revenue sharing that sees 30 per cent of all the company's proceeds head back to the venue.
Ready for consumption
Now installed at partnered venues across greater London including Half Moon Putney, where U2 made their first UK appearance in 1980, and home to Kate Bush’s first ever public show, Setmixer’s recording device ensures that once the mixing console is fired up, strings are tuned, and cymbals begin to crash, a state-of-the-art 64 channel, 44.1kHz, 48kHz or 96kHz, 16, 24 or 32-bit audio recording is being captured.
With a healthy dose of AI thrown in to assist in the mixing process, by the time the final bow is taken and the last piece of merch sold, it's possible for tonight's band to have a Spotify/Deezer/Apple Music/You name it - ready recording for upload and consumption.
But don’t take my word for it, here’s Desert Ships’ live performance of Fire On The Moon as recorded by Setmixer at East London's Paper Dress Vintage:
On the investment round and what it means not only for Setmixer, but for musicians and fans thereof, de Mul shared:
“This milestone is a testament to the unwavering dedication of our remarkable team at Setmixer, and it's also a nod to the extraordinary community of artists who have played their hearts out for their fans in 7.4 million live music performances worldwide.
“Our mission continues: to bring Setmixer's live music recordings to every venue in the UK and beyond, empowering artists to share their performances effortlessly.”
Now, if only we could go back and grab that 1980 recording of a U2 that saw a young Bono handing out fliers post-show and luring would-be fans along to the band’s next gig at the Hope and Anchor.
If Setmixer has anything to say about it, future generations will have that very opportunity, it’s only a matter of time.
Lead image: Photo © Dan Taylor.