Larry Ryckman is the co-founder and CEO of AfterMaster Audio Labs, Inc., the developer of AfterMaster audio technologies and operator of AfterMaster Recording and Mastering Studios. Larry is an award winning entertainment and technology executive who has been involved in the music and entertainment industries for over 25 years. During that time he negotiated partnerships with industry leaders such as Simon Cowell’s “The X Factor”, JVC, Mark Burnett Productions, Nintendo, Polygram, Todd-AO, Hard Rock International, The GRAMMY Foundation, NEC, Lionsgate, ON Semiconductor, Guitar Center and ReverbNation. Larry was previously co-founder and CEO of QSound Labs, Inc., a respected developer of patented audio technologies for the entertainment industry.
Larry has worked closely with some of music’s biggest producers, engineers and artists over his career and his corporate and personal engineering and mastering credits include Madonna, Lady Gaga, Nick Cannon, Akon, Michael Jackson, Diddy, Ray J, Sting, Busta Rhymes and Mobb Deep, Kerli, Paula Abdul, Brian Adams, Julian Lennon, Janet Jackson, Ricky Martin, Adam Lambert, Donna Summer and Aerosmith.
Vishal Sapru (VS), Research Manager for Energy & Power Systems Group had an opportunity to conduct a Movers & Shakers interview with Larry Ryckman (LR), co-founder and CEO of AfterMaster.
VS: Can you start by providing our readers a brief overview of Aftermaster including the vision behind its formation and its current role in the market?
LR: Aftermaster, Inc. is an award winning, leading edge audio technology company which develops proprietary audio technologies and products. Aftermaster also operates state-of-the-art recording and mastering studios in Hollywood, California. Aftermaster was founded and is managed by some of the biggest names in music and audio. The Aftermaster team has produced, engineered and mastered more hit music than any other audio company. Aftermaster
VS: Please describe your product/technology/solution for our readers?
LR: Aftermaster has developed a patented and award-winning technology which makes any audio that is processed with its algorithm, substantially fuller, clearer, deeper and louder. It is marketed through the sale of Aftermaster embedded semiconductor chips, Aftermaster software and through proprietary consumer electronics products.
VS: What are Aftermaster’s greatest challenge and what strategy is in place to overcome it?
LR: The greatest challenge that the company faces is creating widespread branding for its name and products. The widespread acceptance of the products is directly related to consumer awareness of the brand and its product functionality.
VS: What is the unique value proposition of Aftermaster and what are your key competitive differentiators?
LR: Aftermaster is a true breakthrough in audio. No other audio technology available improves audio throughout the entire frequency range. All competitors in the audio processing industry compromise something in an audio event to gain an enhancement effect in a specific frequency range.
VS: What is your strategy in regards to offering best value to customer for the price, compared to similar offerings from competitors? if any?
LR: Aftermaster is competitively priced with all other audio enhancement technologies but offers a superior listening experience.
VS: Continued innovation is the key to success in this growing industry. How is the process of innovation managed at Aftermaster?
LR: Aftermasters world class team of music and audio experts are constantly working on new products which will offer Aftermaster technology. Our most recent product is Aftermaster Pro. www.aftermasterpro.com.
VS: What do you want the company to accomplish in the next couple of years and how would you define success for Aftermaster?
LR: Aftermasters goal (and the measurement of its success) is to gain widespread use in dozens of different audio products from consumer electronics to streaming audio to industrial products such as military applications.
VS: What is your key value proposition that provides your firm a major competitive advantage over other players in the industry?
LR: Most audio technologies are developed by engineers in foreign countries with no experience in music. Music is the pinnacle of the peak in the audio world so we think we know what sounds better than competitive technologies developed by traditional audio engineers.
VS: Could you elaborate on the acceptance or adoption of your product / technology / solution in the marketplace and are there any positive client testimonials that can be shared with us?
LR: Aftermaster has won several awards and has enjoyed many positive reviews. Recent press:
• Engadget: https://www.engadget.com/2017/01/04/aftermaster-pro/
• What Hi-Fi: http://www.whathifi.com/news/aftermaster-pro-promises-to-upgrade-sound-any-device
• Pocketables: http://www.pocketables.com/2017/01/ces2017-came-saw-walked-away-concerned.html
VS: Do you foresee the acceptance of your product/technology/solution in the marketplace to have an influence on the direction of the overall market going forward?
LR: We believe that when consumers hear the difference between Aftermaster and regular audio, consumers will expect to hear Aftermaster quality in all their audio enabled products, creating ongoing demand.
VS: As a general conclusion, what do you think the future holds for such solutions and, more specifically, what role can we expect Aftermaster to play in shaping the future of the industry?
LR: Aftermaster’s goal is to be the world’s most important audio technology company. We think that our technology will be a game changer in how consumers listen to audio.
VS: What are your company’s marketing and product positioning strategies? Do you plan to form any strategic alliances with other client companies?
LR: Aftermaster believes that it is very important to associate and partner with high profile companies that will both market its technologies and create awareness. To date the company has established relationships with ON Semiconductor, Guitar Center, Adobe and Tunecore. Aftermaster is currently negotiating to partner with or sell its products to some of the largest companies in the world.
VS: What is unique about your company in regards to offering the best and differentiated service experience to customers?
LR: We offer a technology that is not available through any other audio company and we offer dramatically better audio quality than what consumers are accustomed too.
VS: Please describe the importance and focus of your company towards building and strengthening the brand equity of your offering?
LR: Brand equity is paramount for Aftermaster. Aftermaster is actively working towards strategic relationships that will create widespread exposure of its brand and awareness of the benefits of its technology.
VS: What kind of customer feedback mechanism do you have in place to ensure that the product development and innovation matches market and customer needs?
LR: We have a toll-free phone number and an “info” email address to gather feedback from the public. We have also held several “before and after” listening test sessions with consumers. We also recently completed a very successful crowd funding campaign for our Aftermaster Pro wherein we sold thousands of units to purchasers in 40 countries. We received substantial feedback and valuable empirical data from hundreds of our buyers.
VS: How do you compare yourself with top competitors in regards to offering Best-in-Class solution, with a full complement of features and functionality?
LR: Our technology is the best-in-class solution. It is either built into a hardware device or it is plug and play so it requires no additional features or functionality adjustments.
VS: What is/are unique features of your product/technology that address unmet customer needs and competitors are unable to replicate and replace?
LR: Aftermaster is the only audio processing technology that makes any audio sound substantially better through the entire frequency range. All competitors in the audio processing industry compromise something in an audio event to gain an enhancement effect in a specific frequency range. The result of the compromise provides an audio replay experience which is often distorted or sounds different than what the creator of the audio originally intended.
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