“You can put headphones on and practice drumming while you’re on the bus.”
Founded in 2016 by Steven Dourmashkin, Specdrums aims to unleash the musician in each and every one of us. All you have to do is put on a little ring and you can play music wherever you go, and on virtually any surface. Below is an interview with Brand Manager Jack FitzGerrell.
To start off, can you describe what exactly Specdrums is and how the company started?
Yeah, so the company was officially incorporated about a year ago, and this past August we sold 100 rings to pre order, which was our first manufacturing run. This was a big milestone for us. Then this past summer we participated in the CU catalyze accelerator program, which allowed us to win roughly $3,000. We just had our Kickstarter on August 15th, which was super successful because our goal was to reach $15,000 and we raised $190,000. We’re excited to have our product on Kickstarter because many companies on Kickstarter don’t have physical prototypes like we do.
How do you see this transforming the creative work of musicians and artists?
The founder of Specdrums is a drummer, so the inspiration is the ability to create music anywhere you go. Using our app and our rings, you can use hundreds of different instruments, you can turn any environment into an instrument. In terms of music production, the rings connect with Ableton and other music softwares, and they can be used effectively in live performance as well.
What about people who don’t even own an instrument?
That’s a group we’re especially excited about. It can be so daunting to pay thousands of dollars for a drum set, but the rings allow you to explore hundreds of instruments in a really simple and affordable way.
What is your opinion on the vastly growing accessibility to music, and how does Specdrums coincide with that?
There are some exciting developments in accessibility to music, but I’ve also seen a lot of negatives. Especially in terms of budget cuts in music education, there’s some concerning things for the future of accessibility and we’re hoping to influence that. There are many other apps out there for producing music, but our product is the most affordable and effective.
Switching gears a bit, what has it been like to work so intimately with a growing startup in Boulder?
It’s been awesome. I’ve always tried to be involved in startups, it’s the best way to learn and grow professionally. You’re forced to be involved in every facet of the business; its been great in terms of personal growth. Also, Boulder is one of the most welcoming and innovative places for a startup.
Where do you guys see the market going in terms of digital music and app-based products?
There are a few competitors for sure, there’re some apps that allow you to produce music but don’t have the same professional capacity yet. Virtual and augmented reality are becoming really cool platforms to create music as well, but we believe our product is a bit more accessible than that.
Do you think the increase in softwares like Ableton or other app-based production platforms will inevitably cause a decline in the amount of instruments people are playing?
I won’t pretend that our apps will replace the artistry of a real instrument, but it will allow someone to explore hundreds of instruments, which could encourage the concept of music and the overall understanding of music theory.
Can you offer young adults like yourself any advice on starting a startup?
Overall the most important thing is connections in terms of friends, mentors, and business partners. As soon as possible, start looking for internships and try to be involved in the community in the area. Anywhere you go and even online there are strong communities for building startups.
For more information on Specdrums, check out their facebook page.