Style News

KIT Plugins Teams With Blackbird Studio To Provide Professional Digital Sound

More From Forbes

Creatives unable to attain studio space or expensive audio equipment to record a project with high-quality sound are in luck. KIT Plugins, a Nashville-based music and technology company, aims to help creators record superior studio sound from anywhere with the digital download of several plugin options.

KIT Plugins offers audio emulations of some of the most rare and sought-after analog gear in the audio industry. The company’s flagship product, the Blackbird N105, replicates the sound from the ’80s series Neve analog mixing consoles developed for studios like CBS Sony and featured on records by Steely Dan, Pink Floyd and Quincy Jones. Praised for its exceptional replicated sound, the revolutionary BB N105 software is used by everyone from music hobbyists to Grammy Award-winning producers.

MORE FROM FORBESHi-Res Records Launches With Focus On Analog Recording

Founder and CEO Matt Kleinman launched KIT Plugins in June 2021 with the goal to provide creatives the same sounds recorded at a professional studio on their laptops. Kleinman, a Drexel University graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Tech and Business, spent 2019 and 2020 developing the company’s business plan and financial models. He also self-funded the early development and technology of KIT Plugins.

The company, which formed in partnership with Blackbird Studio, now offers several affordable digital plugins with the expected expansion of two more plugins later this year as well as a subscription service. A musician, producer and engineer, Kleinman previously worked at Blackbird with Grammy Award-winning producer and songwriter Aaron Pearce where he first met Blackbird owner John McBride. The Neve console that the BB N105 is based off of is housed at the famed Nashville studio.

MORE FROM FORBESFlorida Georgia Line's Brian Kelley And Wife Brittney Announce NFT Mint Day

“It is probably the most unique Neve console in the world,” Kleinman tells me while seated inside Blackbird’s Studio F. “That was our first product. We picked it because we said, ‘If we're going to do one product to start it has be the first thing everybody sees in the studio.’ It's probably the one piece of gear that will never leave the building.

“The software is not replacing the real thing,” he continues. “It's to supplement or give you it if you can't have it. It's about recreating it in the real world. When you actually use the plugin, it needs to sound and feel like the actual console.”

The KIT software is used by studio head McBride when he doesn’t have access to the original console. McBride also helps test the software and Kleinman says no technology leaves Blackbird without the studio owner’s final approval. Kleinman estimates close to 30 revisions of the BB N105 before the flagship software launched. In December 2021, the team released its Blackbird N105 V2 Channel Strip.

While KIT Plugins’ competitors include platforms like Landr, Universal Audio and Plugin Alliance, the company is unique in that its main goal is not to replace the user but instead to help the user continue to create with the use of AI. Kleinman says KIT Plugins partnered with McBride’s Blackbird Academy to help teach creatives how to better use the software. And just like one learns to work on a console in a studio, the educational platform aims to teach the user how to better use the BB N105 V2 plugin.

“From a software standpoint we're a very hybrid company,” Kleinman says. “Focusing the AI on helping the creative be more creative or learn to be better at their creation rather than focusing on replacing the creative altogether has been our vision.”

KIT’s BB Mo-Q plugin was modeled after the iconic Motown EQ, also housed at Blackbird Studio. Built in the ’60s by Motown’s engineers, the Motown EQ was used on songs like Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On,” The Temptations’ “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” and Martha and the Vandellas’ “Dancin’ In the Street.”

“We built the unit the way the schematic looked, and John said, ‘No,’ and then we went back to the drawing board,” Kleinman says. “We changed it again and again until it sounded right to John’s ears – until John can sit in a room saying, ‘I can't tell which one’s which.’ That's the point where John signs the little piece of paper that lets me sell a product with his name on it. Everything has to be perfect for it to leave the door.”

MORE FROM FORBESNicolle Galyon Shares Her Musical Memoir With Debut Album 'Firstborn'

KIT Plugins is rapidly expanding. In the past six months the company went from three employees to eight. KIT has grown more than 10% year-to-date and Kleinman estimates 5,000 paying customers. In addition to launching a subscription service, the company will unveil two new products later this year.

“Now we're focusing on more complicated products,” Kleinman says. “We've earned industry trust so now we can take some more risks on what type of product we put out. … We've also developed new visions for the business and so we want to take what we're doing now and expand the focus of the business with this funding round into not only AI development but also a creative platform.”

Kleinman says his long-term goal for the company is bringing better products to the industry, pushing the industry forward and giving people access to Blackbird Studio.

“I think financially it can be very successful, but I think it can also leave a lasting mark in terms of the creator economy,” he says. “That's my vision: to help the industry creators be more efficient, work faster and learn more so that we keep the industry alive, keep creativity in music and create an industry that's more attainable.”

No comments:

Post a Comment