Audio Test Kitchen’s ATK Player could change how you audition and compare the sound of gear online

“It’s not less information, it’s actually intelligently delivering the most compelling information that’s been missing like, ‘who uses this gear’ and ‘how does it sound’, says founder Alex Oana.

Credit: AudioTestKitchen

Audio Test Kitchen’s ATK Player may change the way you decide what pro audio gear and musical instruments to buy, using auditioning and comparisons on manufacturer’s websites.

Billed as a “virtual showroom”, customers can compare products with hi-resolution audio samples to find out how a piece from gear sounds – from microphones and audio interfaces to software and guitars.

Audio Test Kitchen’s Founder, Alex Oana, described the ATK Player as a “manufacturer’s elevator pitch”, saying, “It’s not less information. It’s actually intelligently delivering the most compelling information that’s been missing like, ‘who uses this gear’ and ‘how does it sound’.

“Manufacturers approached us saying they wanted to increase consumer confidence and brand trust online through guided product demonstrations that up until now were only possible in person.”

Oana went on to elaborate that ATK’s experience in serving microphone demos on its website helped create the ATK Player, as clearly communicating the characteristics of each microphone is essential for would-be customers to make an informed decision.

It was also essential that the customers feel at ease without the pressure they might feel in in-person demonstrations. ATK claimed: “There’s no sales pressure, but there’s a clear path to purchase.”

At present, ATK’s 55 existing microphone manufacturer partners will be able to access 46 cross-comparable individual audio samples, including vocals, guitars, robot drums and a Yamaha Disklavier. These samples can then be streamed in real-time by prospective customers from the comfort of their own homes, much like a try-before-you-buy format.

Touting the ATK Player as the “first purpose-built platform for product demonstration and audio comparison designed for pro audio and MI manufacturer websites”, Oana stressed that the real benefit of the player lies in consumers having a fully guided and interactive demo, even on their phones. This could be vital, given that recent trade shows have been postponed and cancelled, and consumers are less likely to show up in studios and showrooms in person.

“It pops up anywhere on the internet whenever a gear researcher needs efficient product information, complete with how it sounds.”

As online shopping continues to grow, more companies are trying to leverage web tools to demonstrate gear. Earlier this year, retailer Thomann announced Stompenberg, which lets users connect to a massive pedalboard at its HQ over the internet and try 150 pedals with their own instruments.