US software developer Studium 33 has made is flagship application, Studio Manager, available for licence exclusively to recording, mixing and postproduction facilities.

Born out of systems developed for Nashville’s Sterling Sound, Studio Manager marries sophisticated software architecture with a deep understanding of the music production business. ‘Like most studios, we suffered from a lack of automation in our administrative processes,’ says Sterling Sound President and Studium 33 co-founder Murat Aktar. ‘As project timelines got shorter, the manual workload became overwhelming. With nothing available to purchase, we set out to develop our own software – a feat attempted by many studios before us. The breakthrough came when we teamed up with Brian Lambert, a veteran software architect and developer with a storied career at companies including Lotus, Microsoft, Groove Networks and a host of start-ups.’

Studium 33 Studio Manager‘Market-specific business applications are risky to build. Even with strong development teams, many projects fail because the requirements are not clearly understood,’ says company co-founder, Lambert. ‘We had the luxury of time, working alongside Sterling’s engineers, booking managers and clients for years to profile every step of the modern studio workflow.’

The result is a single, integrated application that transforms time-consuming administrative processes into a few keystrokes, including generating estimates, session scheduling, session confirmations, Purchase Order requests, invoicing, credit card processing and reporting. Internally, this can reduce the time spent on administration by up to 50 per cent. Studio Manager also provides a paperless workflow so clients can handle most transactions from a phone.

Addressing a further pain point for studios, Studium 33 offers Certified Transfers and Certified Archives, integrated modules for file transfer and project archiving. Certified Transfers offers secure file sharing with stringent data validation to ensure sonic integrity. Certified Archives automates file backups, with a simple drag-and-drop interface. Certified Archives features sophisticated authentication to prevent unauthorised access, as well as continuously verified, geo-redundant storage in three different data centres spanning two geographically separate regions. Archives are easily searchable based on metadata tags.

Studio Manager is developed on the Microsoft suite of applications and tools. ‘From a single development environment, I write server, database, storage, web and application code,’ says Lambert. ‘This allows a small, highly specialised company like ours to develop complex applications without the seams you get from stitching technologies together.’

Users install a Windows application on their local machine (Mac users can run on Parallels), which connects to Microsoft’s Azure Cloud. With more than 60 data centres, Azure is the world’s second-largest cloud platform, allowing Studium 33 to deploy and monitor Studio Manager around the globe from a single portal.

Studio Manager is available immediately to recording and mixing studios on a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model for a monthly fee. ‘Pricing tiers are based on studio size and need, ranging from a one-person operation to a large multi-room, multi-discipline commercial facility,’ Aktar explains.

‘We know from direct experience how Studio Manager can improve efficiency in studio administration and project management, enhance business performance and strengthen customer relationships. We look forward to sharing that experience with the wider industry.’


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