October 31, 2014

34 Weeks of OHA #26

Company Name: SONiVOX

How the OHA site classifies them: Software Company

What the OHA site says about them: SONiVOX is a premier developer of audio technologies and solutions that empower consumers to create Sound That Rocks.

What they do: Sounds.

Virtual Instrument Libraries. Wavetables (not waterboards… wavetables). MIDI. Formerly known as Sonic Implants, they’re probably best known for sound libraries sold under the SONiVOX MI (musical instruments) brand.

They offer a number of genre libraries for the consumer – techno beats, sounds of the human body (called Anatomy – you might think it’d be all squishy, pooty, slurpy, sucking-chest-wound kinda noises, but it’s more like human beat-box, throat singing, etc.), or my personal favourite — Samaurai hip-hop for $59.95.

They also offer professional libraries; multi-thousand-dollar collections with everything from caterwauls to the noise a cat makes when you throw it at the wall. They offer one called Broadway Big Band for $2500 with “Realistic Note Transitions” and “Multiple Microphone Setups”. Or the $3K Symphonic collection, which was…

…recorded exclusively within the exquisite Victorian confines of the renowned Sonic Temple in Roslindale, MA, the Sonic Implants Symphonic Collection offers exceptional recordings of orchestral instruments performed by musicians from the Boston Pops and Ballet orchestras, captured in sparkling detail by a team of award-winning recording engineers and honed to perfection by a design crew with more than thirty years cumulative experience in soundware development.

This is high-end, quality stuff. But, before you think this company is all class, consider AdME (Advertising-Driven Mobile Entertainment), the “Next-Gen Advertainment Platform”, a recent spin-off company, which features “advergaming”, and allows you to do things like play games based around shooting at Osama Bin-Laden with hair products, or something, all on your mobile device. I’m kinda joking here, but I’m kinda not; check out the demo for the Crest’s MobileSparkle game which features crosshairs framing a smiling, sparkly-toothed mouth. This really is the worst kind of spam advertising, offered by marketing departments that really don’t understand the demographic they’re aiming for. Apparently AdME’s tech utilizes some aspect of SONiVOX’s audio goodness, but it’s clearly being put to use for nefarious purposes here.

What they bring to OHA and Android:

“The Open Handset Alliance is music to mobile industry ears. Finally, developers like SONiVOX have a common stage upon which to not only create, but commercialize new, innovative ideas.”

So says Jennifer Hruska, SONiVOX’s president, on the OHA quotes page. There’s no content to this quote, and it’s not as punny as she’d like to think. Thankfully, there’s better on SONiVOX’s audioINSIDE page:

The sole MIDI audio solution in the OHA and Android Platform, SONiVOX audioINSIDE is an advanced, device-hardened audio synthesis solution with high quality MIDI audio capabilities used primarily to create interactive mobile gaming applications.

The big thing they’re bringing to the table here is JET, a part of their audioINSIDE product, which delivers rich MIDI-based music funtionaloty for Java games and apps. Its biggest feature is its tiny footprint, oh-so important in the mobile world. Go check out the site for the lowdown; they’ve got a list of features that all sound cool and stuff, and that I guess I’m glad someone is bringing to the table, but really there’s nothing here that lights a fire in my loins.

I dunno, maybe I’m missing something, but it seems to me that noises were gonna be a part of the platform no matter who was hired to do the implementation. Whether its SONiVOX, Google themselves, or the wanna-be hair-band vocalist down the street who sells dimebags of oregano to middle-schoolers, there’s gonna be sound on the platform no matter who gets tapped to do the job.

Maybe SONiVOX’s product is seriously innovative. I dunno; I’m not qualified to make that assesment. But here they are, a member of the OHA, so try and remember them when you get your shiny new Android handset beeps at you.