Amadeus spins off immersive sound brand ‘HOLOPHONIX’ creating eponymous startup

Created in 2017 by Gaëtan Byk in coordination with leading French research institutions CNRS and IRCAM, HOLOPHONIX has become its own legal entity with dedicated resources.

It has increased its total capital stock to 3.99 million euros and is seeking capital for a first round of financing to accelerate the company’s growth and product deployment.Since its initial product launch in 2017, HOLOPHONIX technology – which is completely ‘Made in France’ – has been quickly adopted by several major institutions in France and worldwide, as well as by many creators, composers, and artists.

In just a few years, the solutions developed by the young startup company became an essential reference for immersive creation and spatialised mixing, especially for the performing arts field.“HOLOPHONIX technology aims to democratise immersive sound and spatialised mixing for live performances, to break out of the monophonic or stereophonic paradigm – formats that are still mostly used in the field – to offer users and spectators a new experience of live performances with an augmented sound dimension,” said Byk, Founder of the brand.“Nearly two million spectators have already experienced the HOLOPHONIX sound during the past five years, in the context of hundreds of creative projects or within the numerous cultural institutions equipped with our technology,” added Byk.The HOLOPHONIX users and customers are spread across the world. Examples of the use of its technology and products include The Cour d’Honneur (Main Courtyard within The Popes’ Palace) Palais des Papes during the Avignon Festival, the Théâtre de l’Archevêché during the International Festival of Lyric Art in Aix-en-Provence, as well as within the Pantheon in Paris, and at major live venues across Europe.

This includes, the Grand Auditorium of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (French National Library), the Comédie Française, the Opéra de Lyon (Lyon Opera), the Théâtre National de Chaillot (Chaillot National Theatre), and the Scala Paris. HOLOPHONIX is also used at the Beijing Stadium in China, at ETH Zurich – the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology – at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, and more.“The success of the HOLOPHONIX immersive audio solution and the demands we currently have to meet led us to accelerate its deployment. We have to live up to the challenges and the trust that our customers and users place in us,” Byk continued.HOLOPHONIX recently announced the release of two new immersive hardware sound processors.

Since 2022, the brand has also been marketing a software-only (macOS) solution, called HOLOPHONIX Native, enabling immersive sound creation and spatial mixing on an Apple computer using the App.“We have nearly 40 orders from the presentation of the new HOLOPHONIX 128 and HOLOPHONIX 64 immersive hardware sound processors at the Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) trade show,” revealed Byk.The company recently announced an ambitious three-year research and development project called “Continuum” in conjunction with IRCAM, Amadeus, and VRTUOZ, with a 1.2 million Euro budget, financed by its own funds and supported by the Caisse des Dépôts within the framework of the France 2030 program. “This project is an extension and reinforcement of our historical partnership with IRCAM,” added Byk, CEO at Amadeus and Founder of HOLOPHONIX.

“We have been working for a long time to design and make available technological tools, mainly intended for creative artists and participants in the performing arts, to compose space, to create immersive experiences, and to maximise the coherence between sound and visual images in performance venues, to improve the localization of musicians, actors, and singers on stage, and to create virtual acoustic spaces, among other concepts.”

The Continuum project aims to develop, among other things:

  • An active acoustic variability solution, allowing the virtual transformation of the reverberation time in a room, without any additional treatment or acoustic panels.
  • Very high-resolution convolution reverberation tools to capture the acoustic properties of a room and apply them in another space.
  • Tools to transcode these room acoustic ‘fingerprints’ for reproduction on personal audio devices such as headphones, earphones, etc., in 3D immersive audio.

“Our development plan for the next few years is clear; it is guided by what our users and customers wish, demand, and need, and by the challenges they meet,” said Adrien Zanni, researcher-doctor, developer, and HOLOPHONIX partner.At the same time, HOLOPHONIX is strengthening its governance to ensure the proper execution of its development plan, in line with the technological and artistic challenges dear to the brand. To further these goals, HOLOPHONIX hired Frédéric Biessy as director of the new HOLOPHONIX company.As a producer of live performance shows for several decades, an aesthete and great patron of culture, and a founder of major theatrical institutions with an innovative model – including La Scala Paris and La Scala Provence, as well as of the production label La Scala Music – Frederic Biessy is one of the original customers of the HOLOPHONIX solution.“His vision, his deep knowledge of the arts and the performing arts, of the issues at stake, and more generally his friendship and benevolence are dear to me. I am very proud and honoured to count Frédéric among our board members,” said Byk.“We are witnessing the necessary evolution of sound in live performance and more globally in artistic creation, possibly influenced by parallel ecosystems that are more advanced in this area, including cinema, gaming, virtual reality, and personal audio experiences,” said Frédéric Biessy.Since its opening, La Scala Paris, a contemporary theatre created by Frédéric and Mélanie Biessy, has been committed to multi-disciplinary art forms.“A venue open to all artistic disciplines including theatre, music, dance, circus, humour, stand-up, and visual arts, since 2017 La Scala has been home to an immersive and spatialised sound system utilising 172 speakers capable of adapting to any artistic form, including the most acoustically and sonically complex ones,” continued Frédéric Biessy.“We fundamentally believed in this (r)evolution long before the HOLOPHONIX project began, in 2017, and before it was almost immediately adopted by major cultural institutions,” said Byk.“The project’s original roots in the performing arts world and its close ties with the largest national scientific institutions, including the CNRS and IRCAM, make this technological environment probably the most advanced solution on the market today,” commented Frédéric Biessy.“After five years of development, our environment is becoming global, including software, processors of different formats and services, especially in terms of specific developments and technological and artistic advice for major creative projects,” said Clément Vallon, Product Manager and partner at HOLOPHONIX.The funds raised in this first round of financing will allow the company to accelerate the deployment of the HOLOPHONIX brand in Western Europe, the Middle East, and East Asia including China, and South Korea, and to advance the production of electronics designed by the brand and to triple the company’s workforce in the short term.The company has also decided to set up an employee shareholding system to retain and reward its historical talent. “This opening of the capital will also allow us to involve our engineers, developers, and historical collaborators in the company’s growth,” concluded Byk. The company plans to hire ten principal employees in the coming months.