Zenph Gets $10.7M For Musical Re-Performances

image from static.open.salon.com Badly done cover versions may soon become a thing of the past. Why am I not rejoicing?

Zenph Sound Innovations has created a technology that turns music into data "to understand and precisely recreate musical performances" and secured $10.7 million to develop and promote it.

The processes turns audio recordings into data sets. Zenph captures musical nuance, with details about musicians’ note choice, volume, touch and articulations in micro-second timings. With this data, a virtual artist can play re-performances, precisely replicating a musician’s playing in an original recording. One use of the data is the production of pristine new renderings that transcend the limitations of the original recording process. 

Zenph’s technology re-performed a live recital by legendary composer and pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff at New York’s Carnegie Hall, Rachmaninoff Plays Rachmaninoff. The recital featured works originally recorded by Rachmaninoff from 1921 to 1942 re-performed onstage on a specially-outfitted Steinway concert grand piano. 

Durham-based Intersouth Partners led the $10.7 million Series 1 round, with Capitol Broadcasting Company of Raleigh participating. It is the company’s first institutional round of financing. Katrin Burt and Mitch Mumma of Intersouth Partners will join the company’s Board of Directors, along with Frey and Zenph founder John Q. Walker.

Zenph also announced that Matthew Szulik and William Patry will join its Board of Directors. Szulik is the Chairman and past President and CEO of Red Hat, Inc. He is the past Chairman of the Science and Technology Board for the State of North Carolina’s Economic Development Board and was recognized as the 2008 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Patry is Senior Copyright Counsel at Google, Inc. He served as copyright counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives and is the author of a seven-volume treatise on U.S. copyright law entitled Patry on Copyright.

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1 Comment

  1. It’s funny — I posted something in the comments of the last post on the BlueBeat service, on how ‘in the future’ this sort of thing would be possible. I think the copyright issues for what constitutes a cover song is going to get really hairy. The biggest question, in my eyes: does it require human intervention?

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