Music Studio Innovation Guy Can’t Sing or Dance
But we’ve got rhythm…
Every day I’m surrounded by talented musicians and tempting instruments, but if I dare to pick up that acoustic guitar in the corner of the studio, my credibility is sunk. Even at home, my daughters are much better musicians and singers than I’ll ever be. And despite my supposed at-work-cred, I described something as having a ‘chill vibe’ the other day, and they were mortified.
In my role as Chief of Innovation at Man Made Music — a strategic music and sound studio that scores brand and entertainment experiences — I operate a bit outside the core business of making music, which is probably best, and by design. In essence, my job is to see the future — to help us do things never done before. If there’s an opportunity for envisioning new ways sound can improve an experience, creating or leveraging new technology, addressing audience needs more effectively or leading research to uncover new sonic insights… call Kevin. Otherwise, I drop the mic and walk away.
The awesome thing about my evolved role is that I get to completely focus on expanding our capabilities and improving the impact and effectiveness of sound in experiences. AKA my dream job — supplemented all day by great music played through awesome speakers.
An Inspired Approach
Inspiration about what’s possible is my rocket fuel. In my earliest conversations with Joel Beckerman, Founder, Composer & Producer at Man Made Music, he described sonic as the next frontier of brand identity and experience design. As someone who thrives on big challenges and being on the edge of a frontier, I was hooked. I love a blank whiteboard where a vision for new opportunities can unfold. For me, nothing is more inspiring than our incredibly talented band of musicians, composers, producers, strategists, developers, client experience and operations team members, who bring it every day with big ideas that become reality.
Together, we’ve evolved into an innovation culture, where a variety of investigations are always underway to expand our approach and offering. Our fundamental question is: Where can the strategic use of sound make a big difference? We look at human experiences where engagement, enjoyment or safety can be enhanced with better sound. We get under the hood of emerging technologies, anticipate evolving ways brands will connect with their audiences, and go deep on industries where sound is an under-leveraged experience component. The key to it all is that our team is obsessed (in the most positive spirit of the word) with using sound to improve experiences, and love taking on new challenges.
Innovation That Has Impact
We believe that the edge of the frontier is the best place to be. We’re living it daily, creating original music and sound for networks, shows, theaters, theme parks, stadiums, offices, retail stores, communications, events, call centers, devices, products, apps and virtual reality. To me, few things are as rewarding as hearing our work out in the world every day — and I think you’d be surprised by how much of what you hear comes from our studio. Even more exhilarating are the innovations we’re developing to increase the impact, accessibly and scalability of what we do — and we’ve been busy. Here are just a few examples…
Next-Level Intuitive™ – This is a bar we’ve set for ourselves and a reality that sound is becoming the critical, stand-alone, component of many experiences, versus being just a complementary layer. As interactions with content and brands becomes more digital, and invisible, sound becomes the primary source of brand attribution, navigation feedback and emotional energy.
SonicPulse® Research – We are perhaps the only company of our kind actively using research in our core creative process. We developed our SonicPulse® Research capability to assess the impact and effectiveness of music and sound. It helps us and our clients improve the work and make well-informed decisions, by understanding peoples’ instinctive reactions. Further, we are always collecting new insights and data points about sound’s ability to convey meaning, increase engagement and strengthen emotional connection.
MMx Sonic Software – Not only do we prototype sound and simulate environments in our studio space with an array of zoned speakers, we’ve also developed a proprietary software solution called Man Made Experience. MMx gives users the instantaneous ability to select from large collections of music tracks and sounds (as well as control lighting and other multimedia) that can be played from a single app interface or with voice activation. This enables us and our clients to activate immersive environments and soundscapes that can be easily controlled to guide moods and behaviors.
3D Audio for Virtual / Augmented Reality – For as much talk as there is about the quality of virtual reality experiences, it’s amazing how few talk about the sound quality. We’ve been partnering with EccoVR, a technology leader, to bring positional audio into virtual reality experiences, well before the capability was out of beta mode. This enables us to consistently use the most advanced technology for true 3D Audio. In our point of view, if the sound is not done well, the experience simply can’t simulate reality.
And We’re Just Getting Started
A vast opportunity exists for brands to instantaneously connect with their audiences emotionally — and set themselves apart — with the strategic use of music and sound. Combine that with new technology and brand interactions that cry for better sound, there so many ways that we are helping our clients better connect with their audiences. It’s why leading innovation at Man Made Music remains such an incredibly inspiring challenge.
We are all fortunate, however, that no one relies on me for musical talent, because that would be a not-so-chill vibe.
Kevin Perlmutter is EVP, Chief of Innovation at Man Made Music. He leads the expansion of services to deepen our ongoing commitment to creating business, brand and cultural impact. You can comment, follow him or start a conversation on Twitter @KevinPerlmutter, LinkedIn or Email.
SonicPulse Research is a registered trademark, and Next-Level Intuitive is a trademark, of Man Made Music, Inc.