When Matt Finn was able to finally quit his job as an e-mail server technician thanks to the success of his ClearTune guitar-tuning application for smartphones, his world changed forever. From a humble office located on Denver's 16th Street Mall, Finn and his fellow innovators at BitCount have come out with another life-changing application, one that makes listening to music like nothing you have ever experienced: It re-creates the exact sound and acoustics of the venue of your choice. StagePass is the new app from BitCount creators Matthew Finn, Al Adams and Brad Vargo that's set to launch later this week. This app does something no other app does right now, and that's re-create the exact listening experience you'd have at your favorite bar or venue. Do you remember hearing that song where you met your girlfriend for the first time? Now you can re-create it, complete with an optional crowd track, so that this kiss is the same as the sweaty, half drunk makeout session you had with her at that dive bar on South Broadway.
Although the concept is really simple, it involved months and months of traveling, soundscaping and algorhythmic implementation. "Basically, we had to devise a way to re-create the audio in the venue, then capture it perfectly," Finn explains. "This is how we came up with Ed the Head." Ed the head is a dummy head with silicone ears and sensitive microphones in the ear canals.
Prior to a concert, one of the guys from BitCount would get with the audio engineer and prepare Ed the Head for a sound scape during a sound check. Playing a simple pitch blip and reading the information takes mere minutes, and then it's loaded and sent to Finn at the office in Denver. "You see, it only takes a few minutes for each venue," notes Finn. "The hard part is traveling all over the country and getting all the venues."
The process requires a sonic sweep of sound, and the rest is all done by the "head" that reads the soundwave data. From there, the guys at BitCount just plug in the data, rework some algorithms, and BAM! The remainder is the proper equation to filter all songs through, so that each one sounds like it's being played live at the venue of your choice. As it stands now, the app comes loaded with thirty venues from the East Coast to the West Coast, and that number will continue to grow.
"We want to get them all," Finn declares, "from the big Fillmore-style venues to the hole-in-the-wall spots where Danzig did an impromptu set during a flat tire change. This is the nostalgia we are going for. It wasn't like this in the beginning; at first we started with surround systems. But we were like, 'Who wants that?' Then we started hitting venues and realized nothing like this had ever been done.
Some of the initial venues that come with the app include a selection of local venues, including Red Rocks Amphitheater, 3 Kings Tavern, Bender's Tavern, Rockaway Tavern and the Oriental Theater, as well as other storied venues across the country, including Emo's and Antone's in Austin, the Mercury Lounge in New York City, the Warfield in San Francisco and the Bossanova Ballroom in Portland, among others. The StagePass app launches this Friday, November 4. Complete list of venues below:
Antone's (Austin, TX) Arlene's Grocery (Austin, TX) The Beachland Ballroom (Cleveland, OH) The Bell House (Brooklyn, NY) Benders Tavern (Denver, CO) Bossanova Ballroom (Portland, OR) Bottom of the Hill (San Francisco) Brooklyn Bowl (Brooklyn, NY) Emo's Jr. (Austin, TX) Emo's Outside (Austin, TX) Firebird (St. Louis, MO) Fitzgerald's (Houston, TX) Headhunters (Austin, TX) Hemlock Tavern (San Franciso, CA) The Independent (San Francisco, CA) The Knitting Factory (Brooklyn, NY) Mercury Lounge (New York, NY) The Oriental Theater (Denver, CO) The Parish (Austin, TX) Pete's Candy Store (Brooklyn, NY) Red Rocks Amphitheater (Denver, CO) Ruby Skye (San Francisco, CA) Rockaway Tavern (Denver, CO) Southgate House (Newport, KY) Thee Parkside (San Francisco, CA) 3 Kings Tavern (Denver, CO) Union Hall (Brooklyn, NY) The Vic Theater (Chicago, IL) The Warfield Theater (San Francisco, CA) Music Hall of Williamsburg (Brooklyn, NY) Wonder Ballroom (Portland, OR)
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