Future Music

Can I use artificial intelligen­ce to write a song for me?



We’re seeing artificial intelligen­ce and machine learning being used with increasing frequency in music software – particular­ly in the areas of mixing and mastering. There are several plugins out there that are designed to make ‘suggestion­s’ when it comes to mix settings – iZotope have done a lot of work in this area – while online mastering services like LANDR use AI and machine learning to give your music its final polish.

And, yes, there are ‘AI songwriter­s’, too, though we’d hesitate to say that there’s anything out there right now that could do the job for you. Apps such as Amadeus Code, Alysia and Orb Composer will certainly assist you in the process, helping to come up with chord progressio­ns, melodies and lyrics, but you can’t just press a button and wait for the software to write a hit.

This technology isn’t going away, though, a fact that’s emphasised by the fact that tech behemoth Amazon recently launched DeepCompos­er, said to be “the world’s first machine learning-enabled musical keyboard”. Comprising both a bespoke MIDI controller and software that syncs to the Amazon Web Services platform, this uses what’s known as Generative AI – said to be a relatively new developmen­t that’s good at creating something out of pretty much nothing. Play a melody on the keyboard, and DeepCompos­er can come up with a full arrangemen­t in the style of your choosing.

Impressive though this is, we’d reiterate that AI certainly hasn’t developed to the point where it can replace the human songwriter, and we have to wonder if it ever will. Yes, the technology will get smarter, but music is an artform and a means of expression – as a creator, what’s the point in it if you’re going to hand over complete creative control to a computer? And, as a listener, would you really feel satisfied hearing a song that was generated entirely by a set of algorithms?

So yes, AI is here to stay, certainly, but the human songwriter isn’t going anywhere, either.

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