Class Notes

Music mastering through AI

Simon Hestermann (MSc Advanced Computing, 2021)

Alumnus Simon Hestermann (MSc Advanced Computing, 2021) is making waves in the music industry with his renowned music AI startup Masterchannel. His journey is a testament to the unique opportunities available at King’s within the Entrepreneurship Institute.

Simon originally began his journey as a classical pianist but foresaw that he could have a more meaningful impact through technology in his career. During his computer science studies, he invented a patent for object-based spatial audio mastering at the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology. He also worked as a freelance mastering engineer for artists like Tyler Ward and SAINT WKND.

Halfway through his master’s in Advanced Computing at King’s, Simon founded Masterchannel: a mastering AI that helps producers make their releases sound competitive for commercial release, regardless of their budget. It’s the first of its kind that directly emulates the human audio engineering process.

‘It was during my time at King’s in 2021 that I realised the music industry was about to change through the rapid advancements in AI. Rather than defending old traditions, I knew I wanted to positively contribute to this development, and I wanted AI to become an empowering tool for artists and creators.’

Inspired by Simon’s vision and convinced by his technical prototype, the world-famous DJ and producer Matoma (who himself has worked for artists such as Jennifer Lopez and Dua Lipa) joined Masterchannel as a co-founder. Masterchannel has since raised two investment rounds to fund the company’s operations and technological development. The novel AI approach to music mastering that Simon and his team have developed has been used and praised by industry veterans, including GRAMMY-winning producers.

Simon’s instinct about future AI advancements proved correct. Thanks to powerful tools like Masterchannel, more and more producers have started to enjoy the concrete benefits of AI-infused workflows, and AI creator tools have started to set new trends in music and media. But this was not clear to everyone from the start.

‘The Entrepreneurship Institute at King’s College London was one of the few early supporters who gave me the necessary tools and proper mindset to push through even the toughest moments as an entrepreneur. It also helped me meet like-minded people who helped me feel understood on my journey as a disruptor.’

One of the first employees Masterchannel hired was a King’s alumnus as well – David Buverud (MSc Advanced Computing with Management, 2019), now Head of Platform. Simon is convinced this is not a coincidence.

‘I’m grateful that King’s is recognising the importance and positive impact of entrepreneurship. There are many young entrepreneurs out there looking for the right environment to turn their vision into reality and having the support of your university can make all the difference when you meet inevitable challenges.’