Posted: February 03, 2014
Tech startup: Wimbo Music Inc.
Inspired by playing with the bandBy Eric Peterson
COMPANY: Wimbo Music Inc., www.wimbomusic.com, Highlands Ranch
A longtime musician, Denis Oullette would play guitar along to his favorite Eagles and Eric Clapton records, when inspiration struck. "I wanted to play with the band, not over the band," he says.
The 30-year commercial real estate veteran and co-owner of Design Repeats, a consigned furniture store in Highlands Ranch, saw an opportunity to make an iOS app that would make "playing with the band" possible.
But after founding Wimbo Music in late 2009, Oullette soon discovered that most major labels had eliminated their multitrack masters years ago.
Then in 2012 he connected with Digitrax Entertainment, a company based in Tennessee with a library of 4,000 digital multitrack songs for the karaoke market, and he made them a deal. "Now we have 1,100 songs in multitrack format," Oullette says. Denver's SpireMedia worked with Oullette to develop his app.
IN A NUTSHELL:
The Wimbo Music Mixer app officially launched in November. The app is free, and multitrack songs are $2.99 each. (“Sweet Home Alabama” is included with the app, as are two blues numbers.)
Users are able to manipulate each track so they can play along with ease. "You can mute tracks, you can solo tracks," Oullette says. "You now have control over music like people have never dreamed."
Oullette is targeting a market of largely hobbyist musicians who want to play but have limited spare time. "I've had so many friends in the music world who buy all sorts of gear and it ends up in a box in someone's closet," Oullette says. "I just want to make it easy for people."
"I've been my own angel investor from day one," says Oullette. He says he is looking for an outside investment of about $750,000 in early 2014. "We're going to be looking to raise some money to bring it to Android and the desktop, and for new product development."
Denver-based writer Eric Peterson is the author of Frommer's Colorado, Frommer's Montana & Wyoming, Frommer's Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks and the Ramble series of guidebooks, featuring first-person travelogues covering everything from atomic landmarks in New Mexico to celebrity gone wrong in Hollywood. Peterson has also recently written about backpacking in Yosemite, cross-country skiing in Yellowstone and downhill skiing in Colorado for such publications as Denver's Westword and The New York Daily News. He can be reached at Eptcb126@msn.com