Playing guitar is a whole new experience with Sonic Clamp.
There are more than 50,000 apps available for guitar players – everything from amps to sound effects to drum machines to chords, lyrics and tabs. At Sonic Clamp, their mission is simple – they want to help guitar and bass players access their apps. Sonic Clamp mounts your iPhone4 or iPod Touch 4th generation to the body of your electric guitar or bass and allows guitar and bass players access to their apps and so much more!
Sonic Clamp is one of the featured exhibitors at the DaVinci Inventor Showcase, which takes place on Oct 13, 2012 at the Denver Merchandise Mart. This is your chance to see this and many other amazing inventions and innovations.
Recently, inventor Brooks Hubbert took a moment answer some questions about company licensing, 3d printed prototypes and a new guitar experience…
What was the defining moment that led you to create this product?
The defining moment that led to the Sonic Clamp being created happened while I was at work, I am a musician by trade. I had begun using iPhone apps for sound effects and synthesizer leads during my gigs, and needed to integrate the manipulation of the touchpad with the flow of playing the guitar. I velcro’d it first to a guitar I wasn’t worried about ruining the finish off of, and then thought it would be cool to use the set-up on any guitar so I decided on the clamp mount with foam pads on it to protect the guitar. It solves the problem of having to reach away from your instrument while playing to manipulate the touchpad of your device, by putting it in a naturally accessible and visible spot on the instrument.
After you came up with the idea, how did you size up the market and decide who your customers would be?
I knew the market would be musicians, specifically guitarists and bassists so I really studied the industry publications, magazines, and websites to see how other musical accessories were marketed.
How did you go about naming your product?
I like names to have some degree of functionality, and suggestion of imagery. The clamp part was obvious, I chose sonic because the clamp enables the user to generate and manipulate sonics with their device.
The first prototype was built in a few hours out of sheet metal, but wasn’t totally functional. The first plastic prototype took about six weeks, I had an artist friend hand sketch it (not exactly to scale), then slowly transferred into the program Solidworks by another friend who was an injection molder. When we had the file done, we used envision product development group to make it in a 3d printer in a day. That was just the beginning, we then had about a six month long revision process from the initial design to the production model. The basic function of the original prototype worked great, but we changed the actual way that it locked, we had to reduce the size of every surface, and come up with the retaining clip concept for the phone holder. Every step had an important piece of the puzzle hidden until we took it.
Funding a new idea is always tricky. How did you go about lining up the money you needed?
A friend that I bounce ideas off of, liked this one and told his soon-to-be father-in-law, Bob about it, and he asked me to call him. Bob had created a video-editing system for the Amiga computer back in the 80’s, so he had connects with the legal side of intellectual property. He was sympathetic to the cause, so he helped me seek a patent. He then saw the potential, and we built a business around it.
We are currently in the process of manufacturing and selling it ourselves, that being said, in the long run I can easily see other companies licensing our design, from the many companies that make iPhone accessories like Belkin or Griffin to companies like Planet Waves/D’Addario, Ernie Ball, ik multimedia, or Line 6 who make guitars, accessories and software/hardware systems.
What all channels are you using to market your product?
Right now we are predominantly using the internet for our marketing, and are in the process of launching a print media campaign in the guitar magazines, with product reviews and advertisements.
How many people do you currently have involved in your business?
Right now our growing team has 10 main players from graphic design, social media, marketing, manufacturing manager, assembly/shipping, bookkeepping, investing/guidance,etc..
How do you define success?
I think success is coming up with a solution that works well enough that it inspires my peers and contemporaries to use it to realize their own ideas. This project hitting a home run, in my mind, would be mainstream acceptance of the concept from the users/musicians, and also the other industries whose products it enables the use of together, thus commercializing it in a way that it could continue to grow and come up with new solutions.
Where do people go to find out more about your product?
Plus, if you like what you see, go to the Kickstarter project page and give us a Kick!