Klangio x THE LÄND.

Based on an interview with Sebastian Murgul (CEO) and Alexander Lüngen (CTO), Klangio GmbH.

Eine Person spielt Klavier und nimmt das Gespielte gleichzeitig mit der piano2note app auf

Sounds like the future: AI that converts audio recordings into notes.

Sebastian Murgul and Alexander Lüngen have developed an AI application that automatically converts audio recordings of instruments into sheet music. Their idea combines the transcription of music with AI, successfully establishing the recent technology of machine learning in the world of music.

“Transcription the engineer’s way. There must be an easier way to do it, I thought to myself.”

It all began in 2016, when Sebastian Murgul’s sister wanted to play a song recorded in the memory of her e-piano for herself. As an electrical engineering graduate, Murgul did not have to deliberate for long, and transcribed the melody by measuring it with an oscilloscope. But it was a tedious process – there had to be an easier way. And so the idea of founding a company was born.

The start-up Klangio has set itself the goal of establishing AI in the world of music, to give musicians all over the world a means of automatically transcribing songs. To do this, an AI application has been taught to process notes, using a deep learning process with countless examples of music. In the meantime, the AI not only registers notes, but also understands complex musical patterns and rhythms.

“Our application to IDEENSTARK was really helpful [...], because we were not only coached by people with the technological know-how – but also by people active in the creative and cultural world.”

Their idea is particularly well-received in the technology-savvy city of Karlsruhe. In 2021, the founders applied for a state-run mentoring programme aimed at start-ups in the media and film cultural sector. Baden-Württemberg honours innovative personalities in the state’s cultural and creative industries with the IDEENSTARK promotional award. This was the opportunity for the founders of Klangio to exchange experiences with people outside the technology bubble, such as those working in the music and cultural sectors. Experiences like this allowed the project to mature, and in 2022 the founders won Baden-Württemberg’s “AI Champions” award.

“Our location is great, really. In Karlsruhe we’ve got all the high-tech people, and in Mannheim the Pop Academy with the musical talents. All relatively close together. So we can take advantage of the know-how of both.”

Klangio now has eight people working on the AI tool, which has extended its scope to include Guitar2Tabs, Sing2Notes, Piano2Notes and Melody Scanner, offering solutions for vocals, piano, guitar and other melody instruments. Sebastian Murgul and Alexander Lüngen have the following recommendation for other innovative people wishing to advance their ideas: “Experiment, but talk to end customers as early as possible. Involve people in what you are doing, and set up a strong team of people who complement each other.”

When it comes to the question of what the two founders would give THE LÄND a prize for, the answer is clear: Through programmes such as IDEENSTARK, AI Champions or also the Start-up BW Pre-Seed programme – an initiative for the early-phase financing of innovative start-ups – Baden-Württemberg offers an excellent environment for start-ups. This culture of support is also what makes the difference in the day-to-day working environment of Klangio. Because the start-up has its base in the Perfekt Futur Gründungszentrum für Kultur – a start-up centre and sort of large co-working space for young companies. And when the two founders are not working in their office, a converted shipping container, they like to drive out into the Black Forest and listen to the sounds of nature.