Fourier Audio Startup Set to Transform Live Events

University of Southampton student helps found audio firm.

Multi-Olivier award-winning sound designer, Gareth Owen, acoustical engineering postgraduate student at the University of Southampton, Henry Harrod, and lighting designer and software engineer, Peter Bridgman, establish Fourier Audio with the help of the Future Worlds Founders Cohort.

“Fourier Audio is reinventing the tools used by sound designers on live productions, enabling them to create amazing new sonic worlds and revolutionise the audience’s listening experience. While live events have the most electric atmosphere, so often there simply isn’t the same immersive and mesmerising audio experience you get in a cinema or listening to your favourite studio recording. Our technology will bring studio-grade, immersive audio to live audiences for the first time,” Henry said.

“Fourier Audio are creating a suite of tools, including ‘Rewind’ and ‘Transform’, to bring live audio technology out of the days of the Beatles at Shea Stadium and into the 22nd Century. The products are centred around allowing live engineers to bring the power of the studio environment to the live audience, challenge all precedent of current expectations, and process audio on a global scale. Our tools will change the entire profession, from the smallest basement gigs to West End theatres and global broadcasts.”

Henry added: “We have an incredible team behind us including Gareth Owen who is one of the top three musical theatre sound designers in the world. He’s worked with The Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi and won the Olivier Award for Sound Design three times – and received over fifty other awards around the world. Peter Bridgman is a hugely experienced software engineer and lighting designer for live events, so knows exactly what is required to improve an event-goer’s experience and how to deliver tools that designers want to use. For my part, I’ve been a sound engineer for some of the largest shows in the West End and beyond, and am currently studying a post-grad in acoustics at Southampton University where I’ve received support from the Future Worlds team to develop Fourier Audio into a force for the future.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the events industry, something that Henry hopes Fourier Audio can turn into an opportunity: “COVID-19 has forced our competitors to radically reduce research and development while it’s given us time to really focus on our product development. Recent technological advances have opened a huge window of opportunity that really wasn’t explored before, and with live engineers increasingly unhappy with the currently available technology, we hope Fourier Audio’s tools will be well-received across the industry, by TV and radio studios, sports, theatre, concert venues and places of worship alike. By 2031, we want Fourier Audio’s technology to be at the heart of every live production worldwide.”

Fourier Audio is one of eight specially selected startups at the University of Southampton which have been working closely together through the Future Worlds Founders Cohort, an intensive programme accelerating startups.

Future Worlds Director at the University at Southampton, Ben Clark said: “The members of the Founders Cohort are addressing some of the biggest challenges and most exciting opportunities in the world. I’ve no doubt investors will be impressed by their bold visions, dedication and rapid progress, and enticed by the world-changing potential they will discover”

The Future Worlds Founders Cohort supports the next generation of Britain’s university talent and is free of charge for the founders.