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David Mellor

David Mellor is CEO and Course Director of Audio Masterclass. David has designed courses in audio education and training since 1986 and is the publisher and principal writer of

Tuesday January 11, 2011

Still writing songs and hoping to strike it lucky?

Well you will have to compete with the 1000+ songs written every day by people who are already professionals in the songwriting trade, and however many more amateur offerings. And the market for songs is saturated already. But what if a totally new opportunity came along? An area where nothing exists at the moment, but where there could be a market in the multiple millions in a few years' time.

And that new market...?

Drivetones. Yes, drivetones. Like a ringtone but more.. er.. drivey.

As you will surely be aware, there is a push towards electric cars rather than noisy, polluting, fossil-fuel guzzling petrol and diesel engined vehicles. There is a lot of logic in this in terms of sustaining the planet as a human-friendly environment. But electric cars do have one problem...

I said that conventional cars are noisy. Electric cars aren't. That's good in a way because who wants ugly noise when you can have less of it?

However, we all have become very accustomed to the sounds of petrol and diesel engines. Unconsciously we take it into account when crossing the road, every day of our lives. So if cars suddenly become silent, then people's lives may be at risk. At least until evolution corrects the problem for us.

I know for myself what it's like to be ambushed by a silent electric vehicle, on two separate occasions. Each time I was very nearly mown down by a G-Wiz. Well when I said 'mown down' I mean 'tapped gently on the shins' as these cars are tiny and would probably come off worse in an encounter with a pedestrian.

But with larger vehicles, a silent approach could present a genuine danger. One solution that has been proposed is that 'drivetones' be made compulsory for electric vehicles, so their inherent silence is compensated for by an artificially produced noise.

This is where YOU come in. Initially I would expect manufacturers to install drivetones as standard, to make their cars sound like proper cars.

"Brrm brrm" - that kind of thing.

But then some clever soul will hack their car so that they can install their own tone. Not long after, manufacturers will offer a selection of tones, and soon after that car owners will be able to install their own tones.

So they'll need to get the tones from somewhere, and that will be from the enterprising people who are first into the drivetone market.

I expect that initially drivetones will sound like fossil-fuel cars. Then people will put Ferrari drivetones in their Fords. And then the hip hop community will start using beats as their tones. And after that, anything goes! It could be an amazing opportunity.

But what's the worst that could happen?

Perhaps everyone driving around sounding like this...



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