Machine Learning In The Studio

31 Aug 2017

Accusonus’ Quest For The Engineer’s Holy Grail

Plugin developer Accusonus started life in 2012 on a mission to tackle one of the most problematic of music-recording issues: drum bleed. Their approach was to use Machine Learning to figure out how to rid drum recordings of the spill that inevitably creeps in when close-miking numerous drums at once.

Alex Tsilfidis, co-founder and CEO of Accusonus recalls, “for more than a year, we were in ‘stealth mode,’” running complex computer algorithms. “Although it was not that long ago, the computing power in 2012 wasn’t adequate: sometimes we had to leave our computers running for a whole night just to process one minute of multichannel audio, so that we could audition the result the next day.” But after countless sleepless nights, they came up with the building blocks of their first plugin, Drumatom, which they released in 2014. The first revision of the plugin could only process audio at 2x real time, so using it was a commitment. But the Accusonus team and their plugin attracted attention from the world’s top engineers, who helped to spread the word — and intrigue — about Drumatom.

Alex and co-founder Elias Kokkinis both studied Electrical and Computer Engineering and both pursued PhDs in Audio Signal Processing, which landed them in the same academic lab at the University of Patras, Greece. Soon after they founded Accusonus, Michael Tzannes (former CEO of the Nasdaq company Aware and amateur keyboardist) joined as an investor and advisor. Accusonus’ mission statement is to “use science in order to improve the everyday lives of musicians, producers and sound engineers… to empower them and open new creative frontiers for everyone involved in the music making process.”

In the years following the launch of Drumatom, the team released a series of multi-patented audio repair products — ERA-N, ERA-R and ERA-D — based on their de-noise and de-reverberation algorithms. Then came Regroover, a plugin that “uses Artificial Intelligence to extract layers from within your previously recorded beats and samples,” says Alex. “Regroover will unmix the sources, or create musically interesting layers. You can transform your old sound libraries and create inspired beat variations that you can remix on the spot.”

Although Regroover was released as a beat-creation tool, Alex and the team love to see people use Regroover's technology in ways that they couldn't have imagined. Regroover Essential — an entry-level version of the plugin — is part of the September 2017 Focusrite Plugin Collective.

Try it for yourself!