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View from The Top: Audiomovers on the Move

Igor Maxymenko, Co-Founder/Head of Product at Audiomovers, shares the company's journey to Abbey Road—and into the future.

Igor Maxymenko, Co-Founder/Head of Product, Audiomovers
Igor Maxymenko, Co-Founder/Head of Product, Audiomovers

London, UK (March 9, 2023)—There’s nothing like a worldwide pandemic to upend the status quo. Prior to COVID, Audiomovers was a two-man audio software company with a small but growing following for its Listento remote collaboration plug-in. Once the world entered the lockdown era, however, Listento and its sister application, Omnibus, an audio routing application/virtual patchbay, became crucial software for legions of pros stuck working at home. These days, recordists like Aaron Dessner, Eddie Kramer, Bainz, Future Islands, Dave Fridmann, !llmind, Teezio, Jesse Ray Ernster and George Massenburg count themselves as fans of the company, but now it has an even bigger advocate on its side: Abbey Road Studios, which purchased Audiomovers in 2021. That would be the endgame for most software startups, but co-founder/head of product Igor Maxymenko sees it as merely the prologue to bigger and better things.

Maxymenko has plenty of experience with thinking big—and with the pro-audio industry, too. Getting his start in the 2000s at Waves Audio and then Blue Microphones, he worked as a product designer involved in the creation of popular products like Tracks Live, DiGiGrid, SoundGrid and MultiRack from Waves, and Yeti Nano and Yeti X from Blue.

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“By this point, my head was exploding with ideas, so I wanted to develop those ideas into my own products,” he says. “Fortunately, along the way, I met a brilliant software engineer called Yuriy Shevyrov. Yuriy was already an industry veteran and was the most talented audio developer I had ever met. He’d already worked for Avid, Waves Audio and Universal Audio when I met him. We decided to team up and try to build something we felt was missing that sound engineers would appreciate: a remote collaboration plug-in. As a music producer, I always wondered why it was so hard to stream multichannel audio, including lossless PCM, over the internet. We felt it should be easy.”

Writing code in Kyiv, Ukraine, Shevyrov knocked out a working prototype across three weeks in 2017, and soon Audiomovers was born with Listento as its first product. It was still a side-hustle, however, with both men working full-time for other companies—and that was fine at first. After three years, however, the software had developed a solid user-base in the U.S. and U.K., and its feature set had grown as well. “We’ve worked to cater for this larger audience we’ve found, adding improved functionality like more audio codecs, the ability to receive audio not only in the browser, but directly in the DAW and on mobile devices, and we’ve just launched MIDI streaming,” says Maxymenko, adding that more features and applications are on the way.

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With so much happening, it was clear Audiomovers couldn’t remain as a two-man operation. “We needed help taking it to the next level,” Maxymenko confirms. “As if by magic, we found a home at the most iconic studio in the world: We were acquired by Abbey Road Studios. Yuriy and I now head up the product and technology vision for the business, with the Abbey Road team building the operations surrounding us.” Today, Maxymenko, Shevyrov and Audiomovers are based in London along with the company’s commercial and marketing team, but the rest of the 20-employee company is scattered around the world. “Our developers are based in Ukraine and they create amazing products, against all the odds…. We are growing, with personnel in the UK, Ukraine, France and Canada—and soon in the U.S.”

Recognition for the company is starting to come from around the world as well; Audiomovers recently won a CEDEC Audio Excellence Award in Japan, and Listento is seeing growing adoption by the film and TV industries, as well as educational institutions. That bodes well as the company prepares to take its technologies in new directions: “We’re currently working on new products that will expand our offering into slightly different areas than where we started in audio streaming, which I think will open us to new audiences again,” says Maxymenko. “You can expect to see some very exciting new products from us this year which will further simplify workflows for anyone working with audio.”

No matter how far afield Audiomovers goes, however, it will continue to use the holistic development approach it applied to its first offerings. “Tools for audio should be as easy and reliable as the simplest apps on your iPhone, like booking a cab or getting a delivery,” Maxymenko says. “Technology should not be a barrier. Audiomovers products are removing these barriers; they make things which were difficult or complex easy.”