Meet Metronaut, an app for smartphones and tablets that could change the way you play classical music. The startup behind the app, Antescofo, raised a $4.5 million funding round (€4 million) and has attracted 160,000 downloads.
Daphni and OneRagTime are leading the round, with Nobuyuki Idei, Yann LeCun, Sophie Gasperment and Thibault Viort also participating.
Metronaut lets you play a music instrument with a professional orchestra playing all the other instruments with you. It isn’t just an audio player — the app leverages your device microphone to listen to your music and adjust the tempo of the other instruments.
The startup has recorded professional musicians in a studio so that you can play the flute without hearing the flute coming out of your speakers or headphones.
And if you still need to practice, you can set your own tempo while you learn your part — nothing will be distorted. You can record your performance, annotate the score and track your progress.
The company is betting on a freemium model. You can download the app for free and play for 10 minutes per month. If you want to experience the app without any limit, you need to buy a monthly subscription for $10 per month.
While the app works with dozens of instruments, most people use it to play the piano, the violin or the flute. Singers can also use the app.
And content is key with this service. People will keep subscribing if there’s enough content for their own instruments in the catalog. So let’s see if Antescofo is going to use today’s funding round to record even more content and turn the app into an essential service for musicians.