Berber Krop is passionate about music and often travels with her boyfriend, who is a DJ, going to parties and listening to amazing live sets. She would often wish that she could share this music with her friends who weren’t at the party, and wondered why more DJs weren’t recording their sets. On investigating she discovered it was because standard recording equipment was bulky and not convenient to carry around. She set out to solve this problem and came up with an app that would allow DJs to record their sets on their phone and for listeners to have instant access to interesting and exclusive DJ mixes  – and so RecMix was born. We spoke to her for the full story…

Can you tell us a bit about RecMix?

RecMix is a convenient tool for DJs, allowing users to record their live sets directly to their smartphone, replacing bulky portable hand recorders. The app allows users to record in high-quality WAV and M4A formats and build a library of recordings, which they can then store or share through in-app streaming, email, social media channels, or directly upload to SoundCloud. This eliminates the need to separately upload sets to different platforms, as is required when using portable hand recorders.

RecMix is the “Instagram” for DJ sets – by providing an easier tool to record, manage and instantly distribute their sets, listeners gain access to recordings that are exclusive, timely and relevant. As a social music discovery platform, RecMix has an important community focus, allowing DJs and listeners to discover new music through the app’s feed, search tool and by following their friends and favourite artists.

Where are you guys based?

We are based in Berlin, although I’m originally from Amsterdam. Before moving to Berlin I also lived in New York and in London.

Tell us about your target audience and the problem you are trying to solve with RecMix

The primary target audience is any DJ looking for an easy tool to record, save and distribute their live sets or mixes. This ranges from professional DJs playing in clubs and festivals, to aspiring DJs looking to grow their profile and following.

The problem we are trying to solve is that the prevalent recording method for live DJ sets (particularly for those DJs playing vinyl and CDs) is not optimal. DJs have to use hand recorders, which are bulky and burdensome to carry, and results in many artists not recording their sets as often as they might otherwise like to. RecMix solves this problem as it provides a much more compact solution – the user simply plugs their phone into the mixers via a RCA cable and an audio interface. These are already manufactured by various suppliers and provide a more affordable and convenient solution. RecMix also streamlines the file management process as users can instantly store, manage and distribute the recording from within the app. This is not possible when using a hand recorder, which requires the user to upload the file to a computer first.

The second target user is of course the listener – by giving DJs an easy tool to record, RecMix aims to be a platform where fans can find interesting and fresh content from their favourite artists, as well as discover new music.

Tell us why you think your business is unique compared to other companies doing similar things

In recent years we have seen the popularity of streaming apps such as Spotify and SoundCloud rise drastically. RecMix caters to the same users that wish to upload to SoundCloud, however it provides a more complete solution by streamlining the process of recording, storing and sharing music. I also believe that users (both artists and listeners) will appreciate that the content you will find on RecMix has been published by the recorder and can’t be uploaded by someone else. This gives artists greater quality control over their published content than is currently the case on other platforms. Another difference is that, unlike some of our competitors we are mobile-first, and working to create the ultimate in-app experience for our community of DJs and listeners.

RecMix Homepage

And how long have you been working on this idea?

I came up with the idea about a year ago after seeing that the vast amount of DJs weren’t recording or releasing their sets when playing live. I started to develop an idea of a product that could be useful for both DJs and listeners, although it took a while for the concept to evolve and to find the resources to execute it. We started development in August and launched the app in early January this year – thankfully the launch was a success and we were excited to feature in the App Store under Best New Apps in 21 countries. We are now focusing on the next stage of marketing and growth to transform RecMix into a widely adopted recording tool for DJs and a great platform to find interesting and exclusive recordings.

How have you been funding RecMix? 

Up until now the project has been bootstrapped. We are aiming to raise funding in the next period to further grow the platform’s user base.

Have you run any startups before this one?

It’s my first venture.

How did the RecMix concept come about?

I came up with this idea while traveling with my boyfriend, who is a DJ. I began contemplating what issues were limiting DJs and how the combination of music and tech could be used to solve these problems. I also like this venture because it benefits not only the DJ, but also the broader listening community.  As it becomes easier and more natural for a DJ to record his sets, he will feel comfortable with sharing them more often. This means a greater availability of unique music to be enjoyed by everyone.

Tell us a bit more about your work background and how you came from another job to running your own business?

I previously worked in business development for another startup in Berlin and prior to that I worked in finance in both London and New York. For a while now I have wanted to explore founding my own venture – being exposed to this DJ and music world in my personal life gave me a great opportunity to try it out.

And what about your childhood background? Did this influence you in any way in your choice of career path?

My dad was a diplomat (he is now retired) and my mum is a teacher. I believe that my desire to be entrepreneurial can partly be derived from my international background. By living in numerous countries you quickly learn to be more autonomous and try to find your own way. The motivation to do something different was strengthened by previously being in more institutional jobs, many of which I felt were not sufficiently encouraging of an entrepreneurial spirit in young people. I longed for an environment where this was actually stimulated – I think startups provide a great opportunity in this sense.

Do you have a business partner or anyone else helping you?

Although I founded the company alone, I’m working with a great team that includes a Senior Developer and a development team with iOS and backend developers. Product Manager and Marketing Manager. We also work with numerous members of the RecMix community who support us with Social Media, photography and filming activities.

Tell us about what you consider to be the most exciting moment to date in running RecMix

A very exciting moment was our recent launch and learning that we were featured in 21 App Stores. In addition, getting support from well-known artists such as Ricardo Villalobos, Luciano and Seth Troxler (amongst others) and a few major festivals, such as Time Warp and the BPM Festival, has been incredibly rewarding.

Have you made any bad decisions along the way? What lessons did you take from this?

I had a bad experience with a developer I hired through a well-known freelance platform, who swindled money from me when I started development. This was a big lesson in being cautious with such platforms and it taught me to rely primarily on references from my network when looking for contractors or team members.

What is your goal for RecMix and where do you want to see it in the next few years?

The goal is for RecMix to become the new recording standard for DJ mixes and to have developed a strong community of DJs and fans, which would allow for optimal sharing and enjoyment of these mixes. I would like RecMix to be the first platform where DJs post their recorded sets and where listeners come for more interesting and exclusive content from their favourite artists.

Finally for someone starting a business, what would be the one bit of advice that you would offer?

For anyone who is considering starting his or her own venture, I would say focus on a problem that you will enjoy trying to solve and don’t be afraid not to know everything. Starting a business can be daunting if you think you need to be an expert from the beginning.  You have to be ready however to learn as much as possible and prepare yourself for challenges you may face even if you don’t think you are currently ready for them. Also keep trying to surround yourself with people that can help you execute your vision – your own efforts can get you far but you always need others to complement your skills and increase your chances of success.