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Web3 Music Interview #3 SAN Sound

Welcome to Web3 Music, your weekly newsletter to the captivating world of music in the realm of Web3! Here you can read about music news in web3, musicians spotlights & their latest music NFT drops, opportunities for musicians, upcoming music spaces on X (formerly Twitter), curated content and more!

reindeer pulling Santa's sleigh

As the holiday season approaches, I am thrilled to bring you something special to make your festive days even more memorable.

Introducing the Web3 Music Interview Series – a captivating journey into the minds of talented musicians, innovative music project founders, and on-chain labels. For this month only, I'll be featuring exclusive interviews with some of the brightest minds in the web3 music space.

If you didn’t read yet the other interviews with Brenda & Losi, two amazing musicians in web3 who make the most out of it, you can read them here.

Now let’s not lose any more time and let’s get to meet today’s star! (or stars should I say)🌟

SAN Sound’s Founders!
San Sound team photo

SAN Sound is set to revolutionize your music-listening journey with the introduction of SANWEAR. In conjunction with their innovative music discovery experience and audio-centric economy, these ‘Hyper Reality Audio’ headphones seamlessly connect the physical world with the Metaverse, infusing an interactive social dimension into music and audio. They proudly present this hyper realistic audio dimension as “The Soundscape.”

The Soundscape introduces social features like Hyper Reality Audio streaming for augmented concerts and audio experiences in the real world. Paired with SANWEAR, The Soundscape transforms familiar music and audio into emotional adventures

1. Before diving into SAN Sound and SANWEAR, we'd love to learn more about your personal journey as a founder, Devin. What inspired you to embark on the path of creating innovative audio solutions, and are there any specific experiences or moments that have greatly influenced your passion for transforming the music and audio industry?

D: I can’t speak for my other co-founders here, one of whom has been an internationally-recognized producer and DJ for the past 12 years, and another the founding engineer at Beats by Dre. My drive to innovate in the music industry is fueled by a vision shared by many: the need for ethical music distribution. My role in SAN Sound is shaped by a desire to challenge the status quo and work towards a fairer system, surrounded by a team equally committed to this cause. Yes, I love music (who doesn’t) but I am excited to be making a change to one of the most gate-kept industries to ever exist.

2. Can you elaborate on the core vision and mission of SAN Sound, particularly how you aim to transform the music and audio experience through the integration of Hyper Reality Audio and Web3 technology?

D: It’s about using Web3 infrastructure to upgrade value distribution for audio, using new generation in-ear headphones as a gateway to appeal to the masses.

There are three parts to our ecosystem: SANWEAR (in-ear headphones that deliver Hyper Reality Audio), Soundscape Avatars (on-chain identities), and The Soundscape (our mobile app).

The SANWEAR by itself produces unprecedented audio realism and spatiality in a pocket-sized form. The audio technology inside is called “Hyper Reality Audio” and SANWEAR is the only produce engineered to produce it.

3. Hyper Reality Audio is a key focus for SAN Sound. How does this cutting-edge technology differentiate SAN Sound's products from traditional audio devices, and what inspired the development of this technology?

D: Hyper Reality Audio is both an audio technology and an audio process. For the first time, artists and sound engineers can mix and master music with in-ear headphones.

Why is this important?

Up to now, the music you hear is mix and mastered on million dollar studio setups or at least very expensive over-ear monitors; yet, you listen to that same music on your tiny earbuds. The medium is different and as a result you are not hearing the music in its full form. Nowhere close.

With Hyper Reality Audio, artists can master with SANWEAR and the listener can then hear that song exactly as it was intended to be heard. Even without the mastering on SANWEAR process, Hyper Reality Audio still gives you a spatial and hyper realistic aspect to music that was mastered even decades ago. You have to hear it to believe it.

4. The development of SANWEAR involved 18 years of experimentation and iteration as per your website. Could you share some insights into the challenges faced and breakthrough moments during this extensive journey?

D: A much better question for my co-founder, David Leung, who has spent the last 20 years researching and perfecting his audio drivers. To speak on his behalf, his experience at Monster Products, and in building Beats by Dre, gave him exposure to the top inventors and engineers in audio.

These master, many of whom have passed away, are and were true artists when it came to building audio equipment; some spent their whole lives dedicated to perfecting their craft by hand and ear. David sits in an advantageous spot, not only did he get to learn from these masters of audio but he also understands how to mass produce a product and integrate new technology into already incredible sound engines. SANWEAR is the result of all of David’s experience.

5. SAN Sound is described as a balanced blend of technologists, artists, and creators. How does the diverse expertise within your team contribute to the innovation and design of SANWEAR products?

D: Our team is our greatest asset when it comes to innovation and design. Our collective expertise spans across technology, artistry, and creative entrepreneurship, and it’s this fusion of diverse backgrounds that pushes our development forward.

Each member’s unique journey brings a wealth of experience and perspective to the table, broadening our reference points and challenging the realm of the possible. For instance, when designing SANWEAR, we didn’t follow the traditional path of function over form; instead, the aesthetic led the way, inspired by our artists and creators, then we integrated our cutting-edge technology.

This play between aesthetics and functionality is at the core of our design philosophy. By valuing every voice and leveraging our varied experiences, cultural insights, and personal passions, we’ve created a network of ideas that defy conventional approaches. This enables us to learn from one another’s experiences and to innovate beyond what has been previously tried or tested. But beyond our internal team, it’s our community that injects the most diversity into our work.

Engaging with voices from all over the world, our community members are not just passive consumers but active contributors to our meta. Their insights and feedback directly inform our iterations as well, ensuring that our products are globally resonant. In essence, the diverse expertise within and outside of SAN Sound isn’t just a component of our operation—it’s the cornerstone of our capacity to envision and realize the future of audio. It’s how we ensure that every product, including SANWEAR, is not just a device, but a symphony of interdisciplinary harmony that resonates with our community on multiple levels.

6. In a market where many brands focus on features and price points, SAN Sound emphasizes creating an emotional experience. How does this emotional connection between listeners and artists set SAN Sound apart from other audio brands?

D: Contrary to larger audio brands that rely on compartmentalized teams and partner factories, our team's industry acumen allows us to be agile and innovative. While other brands often prioritize features and price points, we endeavor to create an emotional experience that unites listeners and artists both through audio and direct interactions.

7. Do you have a favorite song or type of music that you particularly enjoy listening to while wearing SANWEAR? How does the experience with your own product enhance your connection to music?

D: I am certainly addicted to my SANWEAR. In all of my music – music that I’ve listened to for decades – I’m hearing things I didn’t even know were there. Recently, I’ve been listening to instrument-orient music – anything from Vivaldi to Tash Sultana; it’s exciting to pick out and focus in on each distinct instrument.

8. Looking ahead, what are SAN Sound's future plans in terms of product development, market expansion, and further integration of innovative technologies to stay at the forefront of the audio industry?

D: We are already finalizing features for our mobile app that will open up the full capability of each SANWEAR. I am most excited for our music and gaming related features, but no more spoilers there. Long term, we have several terrific Web2 partners and we’ll be rolling out experiences with them here soon! Wish I could say more at this stage.

9. As we wrap up our conversation, reflecting on the incredible journey of SAN Sound and SANWEAR, is there a particular achievement or moment that stands out to you personally?

D: Designing, developing and manufacturing a product from scratch is not easy. But what has been amazing to see is that when you build hardware in public, like we have with our community, the process becomes exciting and actually more time-efficient. In April, we shipped out 300 of our engineering prototypes to members of our community (spanning 22 countries) and using their feedback and ideas, we have built a far better product. That was incredible to experience. I urge more companies to build this way.

music notes

Looney Tunes, That's All Folks

Thank you for taking the time to read. Until next Wednesday! Wishing you a harmonious holiday season filled with joy, music, and memorable moments.🌟🎄

Musically Yours,

Don't forget to subscribe to my newsletter for weekly web3 music news!

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