As with everything in life, Ammersive started as an idea and this is the story of how Ammersive came to be from one of the Co-Founders, Jamie Bell.
Sam discovered the popularity of 3D/8D music one night on Youtube that led to a personal exploration of immersive audio. One of the original 3D audio clips that people may remember is the Virtual Barber Shop. It was created in the 1990’s would you believe. Still to this day, we both believe this is one of the most incredible audio experiences we have come across. You can listen to it here
This inspired Sam to wonder if there was an app that had a variety of these type of sounds. From a search online and on the app stores it appeared as though there was not. Plenty of Apps for soundscapes and some experiential audio was present on other audio platforms but nothing hit that spot of offering a variety of audio experiences like the virtual barber shop.
Sam knew I was a fellow audio enthusiast and also a hobbyist music producer. When Sam shared his idea and asked me if I could create audio experiences like this, my initial reaction was ‘I very much doubt it…’. I studied Music Technology at college but this was many years ago and music production was very much a part time passion. However, I said I would take a look and after discovering a plug-in called Dear VR Pro that I could integrate into my music production software of choice - Ableton, I realized that I could manipulate the sounds around the 360 space. This was a very exciting discovery and I got to work on my first immersive audio experience. I used samples from a brilliant company called Splice and as we were both fans of Alan Watts, I incorporated one of his speeches. Was it my finest work? Absolutely Not. However, it did prove that we could do this and bring the idea to life.
Of course, ideas are cheap and execution is everything. Luckily for me, Sam is an extremely talented Software Developer. His passion for coding shines through and he is always tinkering and refining his coding skills with his latest coding language of choice. Not only was Sam an incredible App Developer, but in his day job he was a qualified Accountant with a Business and Law degree (I later helped Sam move into a full time coding role, but that is a story for another day!)
I have a degree in Marketing Management and although I believed I was going to be entering a Marketing Graduate Scheme, a week before I was due to start back in September 2015, the employer called me to see if I wanted to move onto a new ‘Digital and Change Graduate Scheme’. I thought, why not? and after that I never looked back. I moved around a variety of digital roles but found a passion in Digital Product Management. A role that essentially means you work with a development team to create digital products and experiences that are as valuable as they can be, usable so customers find them simple to navigate, feasible in terms of whether it can be built with the time, skills and technology you have and finally viable from a business perspective. I could talk a lot longer about Product Management, but I won’t as I am sure it is not of everyone’s interest!
Anyway, CV stories over… What this did mean is that we always felt as though we had the right complimentary skills to launch a business. We would also spend many nights talking about how we would love to work for ourselves and the type of company we would build, which showed we shared a lot of the same values and our visions and passions were so aligned it excited us at what we could achieve together.
We would spend the next few years sharing business ideas, some being more progressed than others but none getting to the stages of launch. As I am sure many aspiring entrepreneurs will resonate with, it is crazy how many business ideas are already being executed by some extremely talented people. We also have the tech giants who invest millions in ensuring they are the ones who bring the next big thing to market. This never put us off though… As mentioned above we both believe that ideas are cheap and execution is everything. However, feasibility is an important factor and given the time and effort needed to bring the idea to life, it is important you are investing into an idea that ticks the right boxes for you over the long term.
The best thing about Ammersive for both of us is that it is a genuine passion project. One of the biggest turning points for us that acted as a real point of inspiration was when we reached out to some amazing Sound Designers, Music Producers and Voice Artists who were happy to join us on our journey. We were incredibly excited to find that people shared our passion for immersive audio experiences. We love every single one of our creators and as you will see in the app we want to give them the platform they deserve. Myself and Sam are now more motivated than ever to make this a success for them if nothing else.
We soon also realized after working with our creators how powerful the sense of community is and we now want to open this up to all of our Ammersive users. We don’t want a typical customer / business relationship. We want to build a community around Ammersive, where users shape the future of the company and feel invested in its success.
We certainly can’t promise we’ll get everything right, but we are determined to learn and create the best product possible. We also have huge ambitions for where we could take the Ammersive brand if people are willing to join us on this journey. Perhaps that is something I can share in a future blog post, I’ve enjoyed writing this more than I thought I would!
We both truly hope you enjoy using the app and the sounds our creators have made. Please join us on the Discord to come and have a chat, share your feedback and ideas as we would genuinely love to hear from you.
Jamie (& Sam)