Introducing Highnote, a platform for podcasters and musicians that offers voice notes, polls, and more

 


Today, Highnote was made available to the general public. It enables podcasters, musicians, and other producers to collaborate on audio files by adding voice notes directly over the track, producing time-stamped comments, and conducting polls to gather feedback.


Highnote also disclosed the $1.7 million pre-seed fundraising round.


The new website promises to serve as a location where musicians, podcasters, and their associates may talk and listen to audio files simultaneously.



Jordan Bradley, co-founder, and CEO of Highnote told TechCrunch that it's normal for creators and their teams to rely on email, text messages, Word documents, Google Drive, Dropbox, and other file-sharing services and tools that aren't designed for audio material.

It might surprise you to learn that the audio industry, for the most part, employs general-purpose tools to discuss and iterate their files, which is rather inefficient, according to Bradley. Imagine having to repeatedly switch between scrubbing in Google Drive's clunky default audio player and manually typing '0:23 - reduce the echo' in order to make dozens of minute adjustments to volume, timbre, and pronunciation for the final edits of your favorite podcast episode. That changes with Highnote.


While there are several sites for musicians to publish tunes for collaboration, there aren't many that let them remark directly on the track.

The most popular DAW (digital audio workstation) platform, Soundtrap from Spotify, debuted a group voice note feature in 2020. Soundtrap was exploring a feature that allowed users to leave comments on various sections of a tune in August 2022. However, Soundtrap hasn't yet added a function that enables creators to post polls for listeners to respond to.


The private Highnote workspace, or "Space," which functions similarly to a Slack or Discord channel, allows artists, podcasters, and other creators to contribute music tracks or audio files. The producer invites their team to the Space so they may work together on the audio file, manage several versions, talk, and overlay the track with time-specific written or voice annotations.

According to Bradley, Highnote created an interactive audio annotation system that mixes time-specific cards with audio in a novel way. The creator may thus see the comments wash across the tune as it plays while listening to it.


Additionally, polls can be made to ask the audience questions at predetermined intervals.


Fans/listeners, producers, mixing and mastering engineers, A&R (Artists and Repertoire) teams, or music supervisors are all people with whom creators can share a private link.


No download is needed in order to utilize Highnote. Users can register on HighNote by visiting the website. You can use the platform on any device.

Although there isn't currently a paid alternative, the business intends to introduce a SaaS subscription model for Highnote in the future.

   

A "Highnote for Teams" for sizable production studios and record labels is also being developed by the company.

Along with angel investors from YouTube, Auth0, and Splice, Afore Capital, Character Capital, Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, and Precursor Ventures contributed $1.7 million to Highnote's pre-seed fundraising round.


"With our most recent fundraising effort, it was all about construction and opening. We believe that going forward, our partners—both present and potential—can truly help us create waves," he told us. "We can scale it to effectively be the Slack or iMessage for audio makers and their teams — the preferred communication tool for a world of millions of individuals for whom dealing with audio is essential to their everyday work."

Bradley started the platform as a side project while taking a vacation from his band in 2018 to develop a tool that allowed creators to get more useful feedback.

Bradley is curious to see if other musicians will use Highnote to give fans a peek inside the production process since he is a musician himself. For music students who want to ask their teacher how to play a chord better, he also suggests Highnote.


I'm interested to see how Highnote develops in these many settings, he continued.


Paulina Vo and Chris Muccioli, the company's co-founders, have backgrounds in music technology. Vo is a co-founder of The Digilogue, a music tech community, and has experience as a songwriter and producer. Muccioli has directed projects at Splice, Spotify, and Kickstarter. He is a musician, creative director, and marketer.


A few dozen users joined the Highnote waitlist throughout its one year of beta testing. Bradley stated that the feedback was "overwhelmingly good."

The business included a comment from mix engineer Barry Rashawn, who has worked with a number of well-known musicians, including Drake, JCole, Nicki Minaj, The Weeknd, Juice WRLD, Kodak Black, and Meek Mill.


Highnote "makes client collaborations simple and smooth," according to Rashawn. Getting a timestamp for the area that a client is referring to in their notes used to be the main problem I encountered with clients. With Highnote, that's no longer a concern. I'd rather give up a client than Highnote.


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