Friday, May 5th, 2006

Online music start-up develops yet another cutting-edge technology - this time, giving users the opportunity to rock out on their guitar with their favorite bands
In the Chair Pty Ltd has managed another world first by successfully demonstrating real-time chord recognition in their interactive music software. The innovative ability to understand a chord, multiple notes strummed at a time, allows the software to `listen' and recognize music played from instruments such as the guitar, and provide immediate feedback. This will extend their market from monophonic instruments such as the flute, clarinet and saxophone, which play a single note at a time, to the most popular instrument in the world, the guitar.
The chord recognition algorithms that power this prototype utilize advanced pattern recognition techniques to identify whether guitarists are playing correctly. The new algorithms have been developed by building on the program's existing technology base which was the result of over 5 years of research by Dr William Thorpe, CTO of In the Chair Pty Ltd.
David Evans, CEO, said: "It's been exciting to have Dr William Thorpe, arguably the best in his field worldwide, heading up our R&D team. It helps as CEO to know that you can always hit what seems on the surface to be risky R&D milestones." Dr Thorpe has a long and successful history in software development with over 18 years of research and development in signal processing related to speech, medical acoustics, singing, and music.
The new chord recognition algorithms will provide In the Chair with the ability to cater to the huge demand from guitarists for software that supports self-directed learning. This product can give them feedback on how well they are playing as they practice.
The ability to understand chords is, in itself, a tremendous advancement in music technology which carries with it enormous potential for the company. Polyphonic instruments, such as guitar and piano, are amongst the world's most popular instruments. Instrument sales of guitar in the US are estimated to increase from 1.6 million units in 2005 to 2.1 millions in 2010 .
The guitar market consists predominantly of self-taught guitarists who dream of becoming rock stars and performing in sold-out venues like their idols. The innovative technology by In the Chair would allow hobbyists and aspiring professional guitarists, which make up 84% of those who play guitar, to move one step closer to realizing their dream .
Contemporary music genres such as pop and rock are extremely lucrative markets dominated by a high spending, tech-savvy crowd who are actively seeking a technology driven self-learning tool. Famous for their rebellion, rock musicians and their devotees lean more towards self-teaching rather than traditional learning methods. The incorporation of technology into this arena has been increasing constantly for many years with many professional musicians employing computer software such as Sibelius to compose music.
In the Chair's chord recognition technology has the potential to dominate the guitar-learning market with its advanced capability to provide guitarists with real-time (immediate) feedback on whether they are strumming chords correctly; challenging guitarists to improve faster. By wrapping the technology with a rock band's image accompanied by songs and tips on personalized playing styles, In the Chair will be able to release multiple offerings - limited only to the number of rock bands. This strategy will allow In the Chair to maximize the product's appeal amongst amateur guitarists with disparate musical tastes.
Mark Jeffries of Jefton Investments, the Angel investors behind In the Chair, says: "The chord recognition technology developed by In the Chair is world class, and so is the team - they have met every milestone in what was an ambitious development and release timetable".
In the Chair's current offering is a music practice tool for monophonic instruments which `listens' and provides the user with real-time feedback on pitch, timing, tone and dynamics. It is the only software in the world that judges performances of non-MIDI instruments accompanied by real music performed by professional musicians, video and sheet music. The program currently has a repertoire consisting of classical orchestral pieces, sequenced jazz pieces to learn jazz basics, old musical favorites for beginners and more. An agreement has been signed with Sibelius Software, creator of the world's number one music notation software, to incorporate its Scorch file format and distribute In the Chair globally.
In the Chair closed an Angel funding round in August last year after launching its beta version at [email protected] and is currently evaluating capital raising opportunities.

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