After the no-stop-eating Christmas madness, I had the chance to meet the two brothers Paolo and Nicolò Mantini, the mind masters and founders of Clockbeats, a new online platform built for professionals and amateurs working in the music industry.

Paolo, musician and music producer, has a degree in double bass and a certificate in electronic music composition at the Berklee College of music, while Nicolò works as an engineer and has a Master of Science in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering.  They discovered their passion for music by playing together during their childhood. Paolo at the trumpet and Nicolò at the saxophone: the Mantini bros entertained the neighborhood day and night.

“Ships and music seem to be very different? Not really if you think that sea waves and sound waves are governed by a very similar physics”, says Nicolò. “We believe one of our strengths is the variety of backgrounds and competencies we can cover, and we hope the effort we put to combine our skills will eventually benefit Clockbeats and its users”.

Clockbeats originally started in 2014 as an e-commerce platform, with some extra functionalities for trading exclusive and non-exclusive music tracks. After a positive initial stage, the need for a new concept was very strong. Today the project is completed and ready for the next step: to go online as a big community for music professionals and entertainment specialists, an online workplace where great talents living thousands of miles away can team up and develop together music projects independently of the decisions of the big distributors.

The official release of Clockbeats as a digital workplace is expected in May 2016. Meanwhile, a campaign on Kickstarter has been launched.

Paolo and Nicolò live between Copenhagen and Brescia, a pretty town in the north of Italy, where I had the chance to chat with them about their new big challenge.

SounDesign: Hi Paolo & Nicolò, thank you very much for taking the time to talk to me. Then let’s go directly to the point: what is the idea behind the name Clockbeats?

Paolo & Nicolò: The idea behind our logo explains the concept of Clockbeats, where three elements can be distinguished: the hourglass, the diamond and the wave. The diamond represents any music idea, its exclusivity and preciousness. The sand (or the wave), represents the final music product: a track or a composition, as a result of a transformation process. The hourglass is the process itself, a safe container and a fast catalyzer that turns any music idea into a final track.

We see the music industry as one entity and not as a disconnected set of roles.

Therefore the concept of Clockbeats is fully represented by the logo: a combination of sound and time, blended together to create a unique and dynamic environment for music professionals.

Today the success of a music product is the result of the collaboration of a myriad of professional roles: musicians, DJs, audio engineers, composers, producers and many more, who need to meet and combine each other’s skills in order to produce music. The ability to find talents, to connect the right people, to collaborate with different roles or to hit the right labels, are just some of the challenges in the music business.

SounDesign: Is Clockbeats only for musicians or also other professional figures in the music business can be involved?

PN: Again, we want everyone working in the music industry to be paid for their work: every role and profession is needed. All music professionals are encouraged to sign up and use Clockbeats. We see the music industry as one entity and not as a disconnected set of roles. Clockbeats is a hub for musicians, for those producers who need help to conclude their projects, Clockbeats is the platform for mastering and mixing, the meeting point of production and post-production, the bridge between labels and musicians, between musicians and distributors; Clockbeats is getting released and getting licensed, helpdesk to turn unpleasant bureaucracy into quick contractual agreements. Not only this! Clockbeats is also the trampoline for live performance, the best way to find your tour managers.

In a few words: if music is all you have, Clockbeats is all you need!

SounDesign: How can I sell and buy music or sounds?

PN: One of the features of Clockbeats is the possibility to sell and buy music. More precisely it is the possibility to open a new market of half-done ideas. How many projects do you need to create before having a final version? How many of you have a laptop full of ideas, which have never been finalized? And how many of you have run out of ideas? Then, why not giving a value to all those half-done ideas?

In Clockbeats we will give you the possibility to have space, agreements and visibility for trading with all types of projects, finalized or half-completed!

SounDesign: Can I sell my professional skills like a consultant?

PN: Yes, you can definitely sell all your skills! This is the core of Clockbeats. For example, you as a consultant might be asked to give a final review to a project, selling your experience in terms of tips and tricks.

SounDesign: When did you decide to start the Kickstarter’s campaign?

PN: We had the idea of Kickstarter since the beginning. Maybe it was just a brave decision, but it was in line with our spirit of sharing. As workplace and community, Clockbeats merely represents a need among music professionals. They themselves should support the success of the Kickstarter campaign. We strongly believe Clockbeats should start from the bottom, from you, your friends, from everyone who wants to join this revolution of sounds. We highly appreciate our Kickstarter supporters, the pioneers of our revolution! We will always remember those who helped us at this early stage.

SounDesign: How did the partnership with DJs, labels and agencies start?

PN: Paolo originally started his career as a classical musician, even though his eye always looked at the electronic music world. After his graduation in double bass, he integrated the classical studies together with the electronic power. This mixture of sounds is definitely his specialty! Paolo has worked with many DJs, for several independent labels and agencies during the last eight years. Trust and talent have been the keys for having this partnership for our Kickstarter campaign.

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Carmen Canale

Contributor at sounDesign
Carmen Canale works as a freelance audio engineer and collaborates with Conservatorio G. Verdi of Milan for the development of audiovisual projects. She holds degrees in Literature and Electronic Music, and also writes about soundscapes for Pilltapes and gears for Tsinoshibar.