Student-Produced Crowd Audio Goes Live

Oct. 11, 2013

Musicians and audio engineers around the world have an easier way to connect and collaborate through Crowd Audio, a Web-based platform established by three UA students in the McGuire Entrepreneurship Program.

Currently, about 300 audio engineers are collaborating with several hundred musicians, said Björgvin Benediktsson, Crowd Audio's co-founder and marketing manager.

And it is mutually beneficial: Musicians are able to professionalize their sound, getting high-quality music from engineers, and the engineers are able to connect directly with musicians while gaining more exposure and getting paid for their work.

The trio of UA students has since launched an Indiegogo fundraising campaign to support the startup and to further develop the site, and are hosting a launch party on Oct. 17 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Tucson's Sky Bar, 536 N. Fourth Ave. The event is open to all age 21 and above.

With a $10,500 fundraising goal, the team already has raised more than $2,400 to expand the site, which has already gained some national and international attention. The fundraising campaign will remain open through Nov. 2, and with the funds the team will be able to ensure the platform is fully-automated.

"We're trying to make sure people get exactly what they want from their music," said Benediktsson, a sound engineer and one of the UA Eller College of Management students who developed the startup.

Benediktsson worked with Chris Fraioli and Alex von Bieberstein to develop and launch the business in August. Fraioli has since graduated from the UA.

"Part of the problem is that bands are not able to get the right talent to help with sound engineering," Benediktsson said. "But there is a benefit transferred to the fan. If musicians can use the platform to make their music sound better, the result is that fans would be buying music that sounds better."

Audio engineers have the added benefit of practicing and honing their professional skills through the use of the site while also improving their portfolio, he added.

Crowd Audio has already worked with many diverse artists ranging from indie pop artists in Brooklyn to dance composers in France to hip-hop producers in Switzerland.

Rory McMillan, a musician from Knoxville, Tenn., considers a recent collaboration with Crowd Audio a success. 

"This sounds a lot better than any mix of this song that I could have produced on my own,” McMillan said in a statement.

How it works:

  • Musicians upload their music to Crowd Audio.
  • Multiple audio engineers can respond to their call, competing to mix the audio tracks.
  • The musicians then listen to the completed audio tracks and choose which of the offerings are more in line with their vision.
  • The musician then names the winning sound, paying the audio engineer of choice for the work.

Earlier this year, the Crowd Audio team competed in the Arizona Student Startup Demo Day competition in Scottsdale. The team earned a $7,000 prize to further develop Crowd Audio.

"We started Crowd Audio to change the way music is produced," Benediktsson said.

Contact: Björgvin Benediktsson, Crowd Audio's co-founder and marketing manager, at 520-336-8868 or info@crowdaudio.com.