For Transmatic, an Indiana rock band that recently signed a six-record deal with Virgin Immortal Records, their moment of discovery came not in a smoky, deafening club but in cyberspace.

The four-member group owes their record deal in part to, a fledgling online company that seeks out promising bands and pairs them with producers to hone their sound.

Eight months ago, Transmatic’s manager uploaded the group’s song “Blind Spot”’s Web site. The company’s executives liked what they heard streaming acrossthe Internet.

Since then, events have moved quickly for the four bandmates.

In 10 days last summer, they recorded a five-song demo record with producer Brad Wood, a associate who has worked with The Smashing Pumpkins, Liz Phair and other groups.

Released this fall, their self-titled EP not only generated critical raves in their central Indiana stomping grounds, it won over Virgin Immortal executives.

Now, less than two years after they met, Transmatic’s members are preparing for a February trip to Los Angeles to record their first studio album.

“Overall, this has been one of the more outstanding events that ever happened in my life,” said lead guitarist Zack Baldauf, 20, of Lebanon. “The other guys feel the same way. We consider ourselves very lucky to be where we’re at.”

Baldauf and his bandmates – lead singer Joey Fingers, 26, of Greenfield; drummer KirkFredrickson, 30, of Kokomo; and bass player Andy Carrell, 26, of Indianapolis – have performedtogether in public only 13 times.

But they’ll get a taste of the road next month when they embark on a promotional tour across the Midwest as the opening act for the band Tantric.

Ruben R. Lozano II, the president and chief executive officer of, sees it as filling a void in the music industry by focusing on finding new acts for major record labels. His Newport Beach, Calif.-based company has contractual partnerships with 40 record producerswho help cultivate that stable of new talent.

They help company employees evaluate about 2,500 uploaded songs a month – about two to three songs per band – in search of a particular sound or hook that has commercial promise,Lozano said.

John Maurer, the bass player for Social Distortion and a executive, heardTransmatic’s “Blind Spot” in May and was struck by its radio-ready potential and polishedsound.

That led to pair Transmatic with Wood, who has 14 years experience as aproducer. He said the foursome needed surprisingly little work before the recording commencedin Chicago.

Wood said the wide range of quality music that bands have uploaded to has been stunning – from Transmatic’s traditional rock to indie, rap and hip-hop sounds.

“It’s sort of like setting up a net in the woods – you never know what kind of animal is going to come by,” he said.

Lozano said his company hopes to cut deals with two bands each fiscal quarter with the goal being to break even next year. Transmatic is the first band has helped land arecord deal.

Although advertising on its Web site helps generate revenue, also profits from the success of the bands it is helping develop. In Transmatic’s case, it owns the band’s initial EP and will also share in some of the profits from their first Virgin release.

While Napster and have been helping bands get noticed and sell records over the Internet for years, is part of a new breed of online companies eager to go a step further, said Stacey Herron, a music industry analyst for Jupiter Research in New York.

She said these online companies are eagerly tapping into the power of the Internet to do what once took record companies considerable time and frequent flyer miles.

“Instead of having record reps dragging themselves all across the country, sitting in clubs and listening to unknown bands, an exec in Manhattan can sit at their desk, log on and give a new artist a listen without ever leaving their cube,” Herron said.