The blessing of online music production is intertwined with its curse: As music production applications get more robust and complex, collaboration between producers can become increasingly convoluted.
An ambitious startup that’s arrived recently on the scene, Pibox Music, is determined to streamline long-distance music production. Artists, producers and labels not sitting in the same studio may be interested in trying Pibox, which is designed to make “brainstorming, communication, file sharing and cloud” happen entirely under one digital roof.
Split between America and the Ukraine, Pibox’ leadership knows they’ve got a big hill to climb. But as musicians and audio engineers themselves, they’re on the same wavelength with their users (and the first month is a free trial). Here’s the science behind this Sonic Startup, as explained by co-founder Ivan Talaychuk.
Business Name: Pibox Music
HQ: Wilmington Delaware
R&D: Kyiv, Ukraine
Launch Date: April, 2017
Revenue Streams: Our main revenue stream is the group subscription for all of our services including cloud storage for every team member and all the main features. Our First plan, Starter, includes the full version of Pibox Music for 5 persons + cloud storage for 5 persons.
Key Personnel: The founders of the project are two brothers who both have music and business skills:
Ivan Talaychuk – CEO, Musician at Melting Clouds, professional sound producer. Information Technology degree, Stanford Technology Entrepreneurship. Ex-founder and CEO of Have2Have, Clever Estate. 7+ years management experience.
Pavel Talaychuk – COO, Financial Economics Degree. Former Ministry of Finance of Ukraine official. Ex-founder Clever Estate. Drummer, music geek. 10+ years of business development and operations excellence.
Unique Offering: The main problem we identified in the marketplace for music production organizations is that music producers and other music industry workers use several solutions to exchange files and communicate.
To organize music production they must use cloud storage or file-hosting and email, a messaging app or even Soundcloud to communicate about music they’re making. At Pibox we are giving people an all-in-one solution that solves all their file-sharing, storing and communication problems.
Plus, we are making it specially for music files, so the entire system is built around music tracks. For example, we have audio calls that can take place inside our system and these calls are stereo 510 kpbs. Also, users can set audio inputs to stream the audio right from their DAW during the call.
Our goal is to craft every feature specially for music producers and people who communicate with them.
So in Pibox Music you have:
1. Cloud storage for extra large files (up to 190 GB for a single file)
You can backup large projects easily in the personal cloud and manage everything using the file browser. Also, you can transfer large files of any type directly from person to person.
2. Professional time-based wave comments
Ability to get clear feedback about the track by highlighting and commenting on a specific part. It’s especially useful when you send versions of the track and collect feedback from a music band or a personal client.
3. Hi-quality stereo calls and ability to choose your DAW station as a source
Demonstrate the track to the customer without exporting it from the DAW using a high-quality stereo communication channel.
4. Group or personal projects with built-in chats
You can organize all the work in the easy to use chat-like projects with all your team or directly with customers, so anyone will be in the loop on any platform.
5. Other handy time-saving features for music producers
There is simple transposition of the track so that the vocalist themselves can adjust it to their vocals. Also, the system determines the key and BPM for even more convenient work with the music files.
Making it Happen: It was a really long road towards our first concept, which was providing cloud storage for large files. And it was really hard to develop our own cloud-storage for extra large files plus develop the messaging app PLUS develop this wave-commenting. It was like developing three huge high-tech apps in one project!
We experienced these technical difficulties, but not them were the main struggle. The main problem was to find right combination, simplicity of these features and then find the market-fit for them in the music production sphere — lots of things are already on the market and something new must be done perfectly and well-balanced to solve the right problems for the right people, and not just be another temporary toy.
Expansion Action: Now we are just starting our big journey, but the main indicators for us is that people are not only using Pibox, but they’re surprised of how much they can solve with our solution and writing us letters of love together with additional advice. And, of course, people are paying for it which is also a good indicator!
Case In Point:
Example #1: The Black Star label’s main sound producer that manages their music production team is using Pibox to organize all the communication during their music production.
He makes different projects for different artist of their label. Next, he sends example of how the track should sound in these projects, by commenting on specific parts of reference tracks. After that, he gets many different versions of the tracks from his production team.
It’s really easy for him to write comments on the wave of the every track to send clear feedback to his team. This process keeps going on over and over while they get the final versions of the track. So, all his work is concentrated in one proper place and all the tracks’ comments are also there.
Example #2: Two producers are sending large zipped music projects and bounced tracks back and forth. They like to do it in Pibox because that is in one project with all the history — it’s really easy to just drag’n’drop any large file (up to 190 GB) directly in the chat with the collaborator.
Example #3: Also, there are cases when the producer wants to show the track to his client without exporting it from the DAW, or wants to make live adjustments to the track while they’re both listening to it. In this case, he uses our ability to stream high-quality stereo sound right from his DAW to the other user. He calls his client and then choose his DAW station as a source of the audio after that, to easily demonstrate the sound.
Overall, Pibox Music is a great replacement for emails, messengers and cloud storages use during communication about the tracks. It’s good for groups of all sizes, starting from two producers to bigger teams who have remote collaboration as part of their work.
Glowing Testimonials: Here’s some feedback from our users:
“Before, it was a super pain to manage work between our music production team and artists. We used messengers, emails, cloud-storages, and hundreds of cloud and communication solutions to exchange music tracks and give feedback about how the track should sound. Now Pibox Music gives us one workflow for our music production process. Very smart and simple.” Egor Gleb, Black Star Inc.
“We like Pibox Music because you can transfer large files inside it. We regularly exchange heavy projects with the guys and transfer the finished tracks right in the chat. It’s faster and more convenient, and if something needs to be found quickly the files will always be in the right chat of the project.” Ost & Meyer
Why Being a Sonic Entrepreneur Rules: The best part is that you can dive into the sea of creativity plus technology. You identify problems and try to create the solutions, then people test it and like it or give you even more ideas. It is a really endless process of pure invention of something new, something that constantly progressing in a better way. And, of course, it is more interesting because it is in a music sphere.
Why Some Days You Want to Pack It In and Get Your Real Estate License: Because of the ups and downs all the time. During a single day you can have 20 news updates and 10 of them will be good, the other 10 will be bad. Sometimes it starts to destabilize you, but over time you become immune to that.
The Ultimate Business Partner: We think the Ableton will be a good one. It is really handy for their users to export tracks directly to a previously organized Pibox Music workflow and continue their work, while getting feedback on tracks from their co-workers.
Sage Advice: The main thing for everyone in this business is to be stubborn and patient. People might like your solution, but it’s too buggy, or you need to explain how to use it more, or you’re just not targeting the right people. Even if you know that your niche is music producers, there are all different and you must focus on their specific needs as quickly as possible. So, show your solution as soon as you can and analyze all the data you’ve got.
— Ivan Talaychuk, Pibox Music