Edinburgh-based Camel Audio, an audio software development house run by University of Edinburgh alumni Ben Gillett, appears to have been scooped up by US tech giant Apple.
In January, Camel informed customers that its “award-winning… professional audio products” (Alchemy Synth, Sound Libraries and CamelPhat) would no longer be available for sale.
Then, on Monday, the business changed its address to 100 New Bridge Street, London, which also happens to be the address of Apple’s City offices. Companies House filings reveal a member of Apple’s legal team was also appointed as the business’ sole director.
The takeover is thought to be to bolster Apple’s professional audio editing app Logic Pro, used by musicians and artists including Coldplay, Christina Aguilera and The Killers.
While neither business responded to requests for comment, it would appear that a takeover is a done deal.
Gillett began creating audio software while finishing his thesis for a Master of Science in speech synthesis at Edinburgh. At the time virtual instruments, effects and transforming voices by computer was cutting edge but still years from being widely adopted by artists.
“I thought, well there’s nothing out there that does what I want so I had a go myself, and my mates liked it,” said Gillett, speaking about the first version of the software he built in 2000, during an interview with audio software website KVR Audio in 2013. “Then I thought, well I could make a better version and put it on the internet.”
As Gillett worked 70 hours a week from his bedroom during the early 2000s, his software grew both its audience and appeal. By its 2014 financial year, his firm Camel Audio reported cash on its books of over £500,000 with a full time staff of around 10.
Gillett, a passionate environmentalist who donated a percentage of Camel Audio’s sales to environmental charities every year, said in 2013: “I admire companies who are passionate about their products, passionate about taking care of their customers, and who consider their wider responsibilities from a social and environmental respect.”
After creating one such company, it would seem Gillett is about to join another.