Today I have the pleasure of interviewing one of the key players from n-Track, Matt Thurtell. n-Track is a Digital Audio Workstation built to provide users studio quality recording, editing and mixing capabilities on Windows and Mac as well as on mobile – iOS and Android. It has millions of downloads and continues to grow in popularity, especially in the mobile market. So, let’s dive in with the questions….
1) Matt, please tell me about yourself
After graduating from the Film Scoring Masters course at the Royal College of Music, I’ve been fortunate enough to work with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, with music recorded at Abbey Road Studio One, screened at BAFTA & Cannes Film Festival, for the BBC, Sky, Audi R8, Island Records & Beverley Knight. In 2019 I moved from London to Rome.
2) You work for n-Track, who are they and what do you do there?
We’re a DAW company based out of Rome that makes software to inspire people to create music and collaborate. n-Track has been around & evolving since 1996. My role is Head of Marketing & Sound – which means building attention for the brand, and working on sound selection & creation to build the most inspiring product for users to create music.
3) What do you think sets n-Track apart from its competitors?
Two things: First, our emphasis is as a mobile-first music maker, geared towards creating the most frictionless experience for users to create and share their music. We’re also cross-platform, meaning you can start & record an idea from just about anywhere and then move that project onto the desktop version of n-Track to mix and refine in the studio. Recently I was talking with a NYC-based rapper, T.O.N.E-z, that used this approach, recording the idea for his vocals for theme song to the Emmy-award winning Justified on n-Track Studio for iOS on a plane, and finalising in n-Track Studio for Desktop back in his studio. I use this capability a lot – turning an idea, which could arrive at any time, into the final product, is an important part of the process in getting your sound & music out into the world!
4) There’s a fast growing market for DAWs on mobile:
– What do you see happening in this space and over what timeframe?
I’d love to see an integration with voice-led technology and DAWs over the next 3-5 years. Music is sound and emotion – using voice technology to create and refine music, like ‘Capture this melody’, then singing a line, ‘audition drum loops at 120bpm over this guitar line’, I think would create a different sensory experience in music creation.
– How are n-Track positioned to compete in this growing market?
We’re lucky to have an outrageously talented team that love technology and develop quick. Above everything we’re looking to provide users with the most efficient way to create and share music so I’m looking forward to seeing where that takes us.
5) Are there any exciting developments at n-Track that you’d like to share?
We’re releasing a powerful loop browser, for all versions of n-Track, packed with sounds to inspire instant music creation. As part of the release we’re introducing a new mobile-subscription called Suite Edition, which gives rappers, artists and producers access to royalty-free beats, loops & one-shots, hand-selected from around the globe. We’re going to supply the individual parts to the beats and even allow users to edit the n-Track Studio session used to create the beats, the idea being that if you’re a first time vocalist, or an experienced producer you can remix, amend and play with the tracks according to your skill level, always knowing that the raw material is already release-level.
6) I know you were a Logic user but you’ve switched to n-Track full time now, how has that been?
I’ve actually just released an album written using n-Track and the engine just gives the music a certain ‘sound’. I used Logic for 8 years, through my time at the Royal College and working on ads – I found it to be a steep learning curve. I think that after having years of experience with one DAW, the basics of another can be grasped almost instantly, but I love to work with audio and n-Track, with the integration of the loop browser, allows you to chop, pitch and tempo shift audio directly on the arrange window, without using third party programs. It removes an extra step that gets in the way of creation and I feel that the layout allows me to record and finish music quicker.
7) If you could have any feature on a DAW, what would that be?
Inspiration. Every DAW should be striving to inspire music creation. One of the reasons I use a DAW is to use the technology to create a better version of the idea I have in my head! Also knowing that the DAW is regularly being updated to stay relevant and provide the most frictionless experience to create and release tracks.
8) Where do you see music going to in the future, especially in this era of subscription based streaming?
Quantity. Tech is facilitating opportunities like end-to-end music creation tools, in which music can be created, marketed, distributed through a platform. And, of course, there are companies using AI to create an almost unimaginable amount of music.Ironically, through the quantity of releases, I feel that music quality will be as important as ever and I’d also add how important I think branding will continue to be… Creating attention in a crowded (but incredibly inspiring) marketplace to get your new hot track heard, streamed, placed on games, film, and TV, or played live.
9) Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A more evolved version of myself. Excited, still building, finding ways to give users the most frictionless & inspiring ways to create within the music space – likely integrating voice and AI as the technology becomes more accessible. Tech and culture will continue to evolve & for sure I’ll be creating content for whatever platforms are around in a decade. And.. still putting out music releases too, of course!
10) Tell me absolutely anything you want to say, climate change to the universe to frogs, whatever…