Julian Vogels

Climate Activist · Co-founder at Soundbrenner · Music Technology Specialist

Julian Vogels is known as the technical co-founder at Soundbrenner, where he developed the wearable music accessories Soundbrenner Pulse and Core, which shape musicians’ practice habits worldwide. Recently he has transitioned out of Soundbrenner to pursue a career in clean tech. He is one of the first generation of IHK-certified transformation managers in sustainable culture and an active member of Music Declares Emergency Germany, a climate movement inside the music industry. In his free time Julian enjoys the Berlin music scene, plays the drums or goes bouldering.


Founder & CTO

Soundbrenner Limited, Hong Kong

Soundbrenner is a music technology company which integrates great design, hardware and software into a user experience which helps musicians master their craft.

  • Native iOS and Android app development, in-house (600,000 monthly active users)
    • Audio, Bluetooth, complex interfaces, networking, database, SOLID & DRY
    • Server infrastructure, subscription management, analytics, push notifications & email
  • Connected wearables Pulse and Core, which shape musician's practice habits worldwide (over 100,000 units shipped)
    • Full product lifecycle: Concept, Rapid Prototyping & interface design, DVT/EVT/PVT stages, certifications, manufacturing in Shenzhen
    • Embedded systems engineering for ARM Cortex M0, Bluetooth 5 systems design including custom services, multipacket, extended range, network synchronization
    • Haptic metronome, contact tuner, decibel meter, watch, remote firmware updates
  • Leadership & management in-house and partners
    • Created a work environment in which employees thrive and perform
    • Scrum & Agile development methodologies, OKRs, 1-on-1 employee development
    • Setting and enforcing IT and development standards company-wide
    • Co-Managing OEM partner's R&D team in China both from afar and onsite
    • Great understanding of maintaining product lines and compatibility issues

September 2014 - November 2021

General manager (Geschäftsführer)

Soundbrenner GmbH, Berlin

Heading all operations and management at the German subsidiary, including preparatory accounting, wages accounting, contracts and funding applications, representation and events.

July 2017 - November 2021

Board member

January 2015 - present

Treasurer & board member

MusicTech Germany / Bundesverband Musiktechnologie Deutschland e.V.
December 2020 - December 2021

Conference Manager

McGill University

Preparation and management of all aspects (operations, logistics, artists) at conference "Time Forms: The Temporalities of Aesthetic Experience" at McGill University and Centre Phi, Montréal.

August 2013 - September 2013

iOS Developer

McGill University

Development of the Montreal Sound Map iPhone Application in collaboration with Prof. Eric Lewis (Music Philosophy) of McGill University and Max Stein of Concordia University. The iOS app enables the creation of field recordings, to upload them to a server, as well as to visualize and time filter, as well as to replay existing recordings on a virtual map.

June 2013 - July 2013


Quantic School of Business and Technology

Executive MBA
Business Administration

Top 10% (Hons.)

Specialization: Startups, Statistical Analysis, Blockchain

2021 - 2022

McGill University Montréal

Master of Arts
Music Technology

GPA: 3.95 (Hons.)

Specialization: Digital Musical Instrument Design. More information on my thesis website: Harmonica-inspired digital musical instrument design based on an existing gestural performance repertoire.

2012 - 2014

Ansbach University of Applied Sciences

Bachelor of Arts
Multimedia and Communication

Specialization: Computer Science, Audio. Graduated with honors.

2008 - 2012


Areas of expertise
  • Mobile App Engineering
  • Wearables / IoT (hardware, electronics, embedded)
  • Backend engineering
  • Agile & Scrum
  • Music Technology: Musical Instruments, Music Information Retrieval, DSP
  • Leadership, strategy & people managment
  • Aspects of product design and ownership, UX and interaction design

Interests & personality

In my limited free time I am rock climbing, drumming, or tinkering with electronics. As an active member of Music Declares Emergency Germany I am organizing the international exchange and participate in declarer acquisition and networking activities. I also founded the Musical Instrument Maker Meetup Berlin with over 200 members, where we used to build modern custom musical instruments (before the pandemic).

I enjoy cooking and sustainable traveling to as many places as I can fit in a lifetime. I was born in Germany, lived in Togo, West Africa, Montréal, Québec/Canada, and Hong Kong. I am fluent in German, English and French. I am holding myself accountable by living a conscious lifestyle. I am vegetarian and don't own a car, avoid traveling by plane and consume little. However, nobody is perfect and I am tolerating the paradox while actively working towards a better future.

In the context of people management, I'd describe myself as a thorough and empathetic leader. I focus on the big picture and work on technical issues that cause the most pain, not evading them. While I want things to get done, I don't work my engineers to the bone. I will fire brilliant jerks, because team health is more important than the output of one engineer. I apply cultural intelligence to conflicts in international teams. I motivate and keep work fun. If an employee underperforms, it can only be because they need training and/or mentorship, which can be solved in most cases.

Awards & Certifications

  • Transformation manager in sustainable culture · IHK Cologne (95 points)
  • 1st price winner · KuDiBa Breakathon 2020 Berlin
  • Graduation Certificate · Y Combinator Startup School Online
  • 2nd price winner · Wunderbar Hackathon 2014 Berlin
  • ROLI price winner · Music Hack Day 2014 Berlin
  • Graduate Excellence Fellowship · McGill University
  • Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation Scholarship winner (BA and MA)

Julian spoke at various occasions, for example at re:publica, the Chaos Computer Camp, London Business School, HS Ansbach, HS Ostwestfalen-Lippe, Bosch, Evonik.