Last year these times, I was planning an ambitious but smooth 2020. Trying new ideas and bringing interesting toys with the team to our members was our goal.
Well, like most of you, we were blown away with the change 2020 enforced on us. Personally, I have changed into a much more flexible leader while all of the team reshaped how they worked including our internal team, producers on the field and musicians we collaborated with. We all became much more flexible and started making decisions on the go as the reality changed weekly or sometimes daily.
I want to thank everyone on the team, all the people we worked with and our members who kept supporting the work during all this change. Now is a good time to personally reflect on 2020 first and reveal some of our plans for 2021 which we are super excited about.
2020, the Crazy Ride
It was March and everything virus related started going south here in Berlin. Most of our core team in EU and further partners in Asia and Middle East stopped most of their operations. One of the things that I am most proud of this year is how we responded to the lockdown.
We immediately started producing free tools like ‘Calm’ and ‘Distant Choir‘ to provide for our members at home. These are released within the first months of lockdown.
We pay royalties to more than a dozen producers and musicians regularly from the sales. We started paying these royalties much earlier than usual to support them at home during lockdown.
We kept paying artists who have a project planned but who could not finalise it because of the circumstances. We gave them an open ended timeline to finalise recordings, programming or design projects so they can take care of more essential things first. Instead of fear, focusing on helping our circle was important and it helped us grow as a team.
Well, we have finalised many dream projects in 2020 as well. We have released the Generative Collection with 3 smart tools we worked on for a long time. In addition to great new world libraries like African Vocals, Sounds of Mesopotamia, Eastern Clarinet (and many more), we have released unique tools like Fretless and Strings Boutique.
The Academy has started as planned with the first course “Building a Song from an Idea“. How crazy is that during a pandemic *)
Also we have received a whole ton of feedback from our members on feature requests and requests for more tutorials on our tech tools. We will make these a priority in 2021 alongside with many new tools and ideas.
2021, Full Steam ahead
There is so much we have already prepared for 2021, really hard to keep all a secret. I shared a few things below while reserving some of the surprises to ourselves.
We will be releasing our first native effect plugin, in January 2021. This is a new milestone for us as you will see more native tools and instruments in the new year.
As shared in 2021 VIP Pass, we will be releasing Brass Boutique, African Colours, Designer Drums 3 and more tools in the first few months. You can expect to see new courses in the academy very soon as well.
Our head of content, Dylan, will start the year with a new video interview series. He will interview composers, producers and artists as well as people on our team or on the field that we work with. This is really exciting for us to share with you.
We will make more free tools and collaborate with more local artists to support the community during this time. We have also prepared a ‘fair sound‘ document that will reveal how we approach recordings and local projects all around the world.
It was a challenging year for many and we hope 2021 will be a better one if not a bounce back. Always open to your input, ideas and feedback.
Stay healthy and be well!
Özgür Kusakoglu @ Rast Sound