Boston: The Hidden Hub of Music and Technology

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Headquarters: Cambridge, MA
Year Launched: 1995
CEO : Alex Rigopulos
CTO: Eran Egozy
Funding: Acquired in 2006 by MTV Networks, a division of Viacom

Few people could explain the relationship between the cult hit video game Guitar Hero and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But Harmonix, maker of Guitar Hero, is actually a spinoff of the MIT Media Lab, where founders Alex Rigopulos and Eran Ergozy met while working in the computer music group. The pair’s first products included a Theremin-like device for Walt Disney World’s EPCOT Center that allowed users to make music simply by waving their hands in the air. In 2001 and 2003 the company published Frequency and Amplitude, respectively, addictive “rhythm-action” games for the Sony Playstation. The company’s breakthrough hits, Guitar Hero and Guitar Hero II, turn air-guitar experts into real players who must compete with the game to strum specified tunes on a special guitar-like game controller. Anticipation of the company’s next title, the networked multiplayer game Rock Band, is at a fever pitch. It’s designed for both the Playstation3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and is expected in time for the 2007 holidays. … Next Page »

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Wade Roush is a freelance science and technology journalist and the producer and host of the podcast Soonish. Follow @soonishpodcast

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14 responses to “Boston: The Hidden Hub of Music and Technology”

  1. This is all true, as a Boston area musician, I can say that there are much more opportunities here for musicians than most anywhere else. I believe Boston has the most shows than any other city on any given night. The technology is also very true, with MIT, etc. however, it is a very tough business to be in. I own a record label and just released an album for the band theINFORMATI And we believe it will explode because of the Boston/Cambridge scene.

  2. Don’t forget Tourfilter, the most popular concert notification service:

  3. gary says:

    In addition to Tourfilter, there’s also and Boston appears to be a concert tracking hub!

  4. Kyle says:

    In terms of local area software companies with some sort of music/media technology, there also is Peermeta ( in Acton with a mobile content / Web 2.0 twist.

  5. So it seem like after Venue Czar conquers Vermont, they should target Boston? Venue Czar is the ultimate localized online booking platform.

  6. You could add us to this list as soon as we’re out of stealth mode. (

  7. Paul Kamp says:

    Backbone Networks is another local company in this space. We provide internet radio automation systems and is the system behind the IBS Student Radio Network. There are over 30 station on the network and a number of them are local including:

    Simmons College
    New England Art Institute
    Babson College

    Separately, a non-profit start up is the Public Radio Exchange in Cambridge. They are the online clearinghouse for Public Radio content.

  8. New England has a great recource of musicians who have many opportunites and folks who are ready to help them with their careers. The cites Boston, Providence & Worcester all offer great venues and support services.

  9. Derek says:

    I’m from the Boston area and am in the process of creating a music promotion website, Artistir. It’s not just for local musicians or bands either, but we’re steadily getting more and more.

  10. Mason says:

    Thanks for this, I just finished my AD in programming after working as a sound engineer for the last 7-8 years so I really appreciate the compilation of these companies because I want to eventually work writing audio software.