As featured in Music Business Worldwide, Fortune, Digital Music News and more, this week AI music start-up AudioShake announced a $2.7 million seed round led by Indicator Ventures, with participation from Precursor Ventures, and Side Door Ventures. The round includes investments from a number of high-profile musicians, songwriters, managers, and music industry executives such as Metallica-backed Black Squirrel Partners, AJR, Google’s Black Angel Group, peermusic, Roneil Rumburg (CEO, Audius), Steve Greenberg (CEO, S-Curve Records), and Crush Ventures, the venture arm of Crush Music, managers of Miley Cyrus, Sia, and Lorde, among others. The latest round of funding will grow the company’s research and engineering teams and AI model training.
AudioShake’s B2B deep learning technology does what was once considered impossible – deconstructing audio into its parts (called “stems”) so that they can be made available for new uses across music, film, dubbing, transcription, synthetic voice, and more. In less than two years since launch, the company’s customer list has expanded to include departments from all three major label groups as well as major publishers like Primary Wave, Hipgnosis, Spirit, peermusic, Concord, Downtown, Primary Wave, and Reservoir. Hollywood film and TV studios, as well as dubbing and transcription companies, also count among its customers.
“We started AudioShake to open up audio to a broader range of experiences, making music, film, and speech more interactive, editable, and customizable–all while helping artists and creators expand opportunities for their work. We’ve been thrilled by the adoption of our technology across the entertainment and tech industries, and are excited to now see third-party implementations of our music and speech separation technologies taking off thanks to our APIs,” shares Jessica Powell, CEO and Co-founder of AudioShake.
The use cases for sound separation are broad. In the music and film/TV industries, AudioShake works directly with labels, publishers, and other rightsholders to open up their recordings to new uses–from creating stems for remastered or immersive mixes from artists like Nina Simone and Oscar Peterson, to separating an old VHS tape of Ol’ Dirty Bastard for sampling on SZA’s “Forgiveless,” or helping fans play guitar with Green Day on TikTok.
Meanwhile, AudioShake’s API business helps power a wide range of third-party businesses across sync licensing, speech synthesis, transcription, dubbing, and interactive audio in AR, gaming, and fitness.
Jonathan Struhl, Co-founder and General Partner at Indicator Ventures adds “Given my background in audio engineering, I’m thrilled to be able to support the AudioShake team as they push the boundaries of sound technology. AudioShake is providing a highly valuable foundational infrastructure upon which an entirely new era of sonic experiences will emerge.”
Paul Donohue, Managing Partner at Metallica-backed Black Squirrel Partners shares, “AI is poised to transform the music industry. Jessica and the team at AudioShake combine cutting edge, best-in-class technology within a framework that respects and acknowledges existing rightsholders.”
Steve Greenberg, CEO S-Curve Records says, “I find AudioShake’s stem separation technology to be nothing short of magical. To hear, in isolation, individual musicians’ performances on tracks from the days before multi-track recording is a real revelation. I look forward to contemporary recording artists incorporating such performances into new works in creative ways, with, of course, the approval of the original musicians and rightsholders. AudioShake takes the art of sampling to a new level of sophistication.”
Since its founding in 2020, AudioShake has quickly established itself as the leader in the AI music and dialogue separation space. With this recent round of funding, AudioShake has raised a total of $5m.
AudioShake’s B2B technology makes audio interactive and accessible by using AI to separate audio into their different components–from separating music into its different instrument stems, through to splitting dialogue, music, and effects in film and TV. Winner of Sony’s Demixing Challenge, AudioShake works with the music, film/TV, and dubbing industries to power audio separation across sync licensing, spatial audio, synthetic voice, and dubbing, and partners with third parties to help build the next wave of audio experiences across social, UGC, streaming, gaming, and more. AudioShake is co-founded by Jessica Powell, a former member of Google’s management team, who began her career at CISAC, the International Confederation of the Societies of Authors and Composers. Her co-founder, Luke Miner, is the former head of data science for fintech company Plaid. Their team of top researchers and engineers, based between the EU and Europe, hail from Apple, YouTube, and France’s INRIA research institute.