Durham's Zenph Sound Innovations shares their technology with the Triangle

When talking about his company’s product, Zenph’s Chairman and CTO John Walker speaks with the vigor and excitement of a visionary.  

Walker is almost forced to, confronted with a public that needs to dream big in order to conjure the possibilities allowed by Zenph’s technology. Zenph, a recent transplant from the City of Oaks to Durham's American Tobacco Campus, is one of the most noteworthy arrivals on the local startup scene.

The software and hardware developed by Durham’s Zenph Sound Innovations allows for the digital storage of what Walker refers to as the “artistic DNA” of musicians. 


Instead of just storing the series of notes to be played or a recording of the sounds produced, Zenph is able to store the precise details of every motion that produces a piece of live music.

Walker is quick to point out that the possibilities of this technology are still being uncovered. Take, as an analogy, the written word. Before text was digitized, editing involved re-entering works as a whole on a typewriter.

Once text became digital, things that were never imagined before became possible.  The concept of a 'wiki' (such as Wikipedia) was absolutely unheard of fifteen years ago, but this technology now allows for the rapid dissemination of knowledge in an electronic form, as the basis of everything from encyclopedias to travel guides.

Walker is optimistic that the technology developed by Zenph will open up similar, currently unimaginable possibilities in music. 

Already, Zenph has done what was impossible a decade ago—garnering Grammy nominations, and now, a show opening tomorrow at Raleigh’s Kennedy Theatre features the jazz legend Art Tatum, who died in 1956, on the piano.

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