$17 billion worth of music and audio gear is purchased every year. But the musicians and recording artists who rely on this gear can’t actually hear and compare the sound of all the gear before they buy, apples-to-apples. And with these products, the sound is the most important thing.
So in March 2019, Audio Test Kitchen is launching the world’s first online, unbiased audio product sound-comparison showroom where all the variables have been meticulously controlled—the only difference heard is between the gear itself.
AudioTestKitchen.com empowers recording artists, producers, engineers, musicians, post-production pros, broadcasters, system integrators, worship personnel, students and educators to discover, hear and choose gear according to their own unique taste and create the confidence they need to select gear for their next session or next purchase, 24/7, online.
Audio Test Kitchen is powered by standardized, unbiased, cross-comparable, in-use recordings of the actual hardware and software in world-class studios. Additionally, users will discover which real-world recordings were produced with each product, down to the track, via integrated Spotify links.
For its inaugural product category, Audio Test Kitchen partnered with 50 microphone manufacturers (Neumann, Sennheiser, Audio-Technica, Blue, Sony, Shure, etc.) to gather 225 of the world’s large diaphragm condenser microphones at EastWest Studios in L.A., where Audio Test Kitchen’s unique process ensured every source on every song remained constant for each microphone.
“We make it easier for manufacturers to tell their story and get discovered, and provide an innovative new sales tool and lead generator for retailers. But Audio Test Kitchen is more than just hear-before-you-buy. It’s a learning and exploration tool for students of all levels and a classroom resource. I love this industry so much, we wanted to create a win-win for everyone.” says co-founder Alex Oana.
Oana (an award-winning producer, engineer, product designer, and former VP of Slate Media Technology) and co-founder Ian Hlatky (producer, musician, and start-up attorney) spent two years developing the recording methodologies, platform features and software interface. “For so long it’s been frustrating for our colleagues, our clients and ourselves to deal with the lack of access to crucial sound quality information about tools of the craft. So we decided to do something about it.”
Upcoming comparison libraries include audio interfaces, ribbon microphones, preamps, hardware and software compressors, and musical instrument categories, each having its own unique comparison criteria and tailored Audio Test Kitchen methodology.
“All manufacturers are invited to participate. The more products in the comparison library, the more the user benefits,” says Hlatky. “Ask your favorite manufacturer to send their gear to Audio Test Kitchen!”
Audio Test Kitchen is an unbiased, virtual showroom in your studio, through your interface, on your monitors, at 2 a.m. in your pajamas.