So, if you’re still wondering if there is an artist called “AI”, the answer is no. Well, technically. Artificial intelligence (AI) has been used to generate music for a while, it’s not that new. If you do a quick search online you’ll probably get different songs that are claimed to be the “first”, from “Daddy’s Car” to the “Hello World” album. But this is not what this blog is about.
In this article, we aim to give you a bit of a background story on AI music generation, what it’s currently being used for, and examples of AI-generated songs.
Can AI replace music producers?
While for some this is a leap forward in AI-powered music production, for others it’s actually a leap backward -or into a pool with no water- as this could be another threat to human involvement in music.
Just like every tech wave has proven so far, robots are still far away from taking over. These are the main tasks that have been used by artists to “support” the creation of music:
- Composition and songwriting. From generating melodies to entire compositions, it’s a great way to inspire or assist musicians in their creation process.
- Production and arrangement. By providing suggestions for instrumentation, chord progressions, and even mixing and mastering techniques. In other words, help artists refine the overall sound.
- Sound design. From modeling to synthesizing sounds of different musical instruments. This can result in creating unique sounds that may not exist in the physical world.
Although AI has the ability to generate and assist in different aspects of music creation, humans are still ahead of the game in terms of artistic creativity, interpretation, and judgment. However, used as a supportive tool in enhancing the work of musicians, composers, producers, and listeners, it definitely is promising.
Famous AI-Powered Music: Albums and Songs
A few months ago, artists around the world had to catch their breath after reading Grimes’ Twitter post where she claimed to “…split 50% royalties on any successful AI generated song that uses my voice. Same deal as I would with any artist i collab with.” (24/04/2023, @Grimezsz)
Well, before this groundbreaking Tweet, AI-powered music had already grabbed their attention. However, this is the first time a well-known artist openly supports AI-powered music through her very own Elf.Tech system. All we can say is, let’s wait and listen.
Because we don’t like evangelising on music, and never will, here are the 5 most famous AI songs to date. You be the judge.
Hello World (2018) by SKYGGE
Hello World (2018) is the first AI-human collaboration album. SKYGGE is a music collaborative envisioned by French composer and producer, Benoît Carré, and musician and technology researcher, François Pachetlife. If you know a bit of Danish, you probably have seen the connection to Hans Christian Andersen’s tale, which translates into “shadow”.
This was a European Council-funded research project that had the aim of exploring AI in pop music production; for this, they used none other than Sony Flow-Machines.
“Break Free” (2018) by Taryn Southern
Taryn Southern, a singer-songwriter and YouTuber collaborated with Amper Music, an AI music composition platform, to create “Break Free”. The AI system helped generate the instrumental track and provided suggestions for the melody and lyrics.
Coditany of Timeness (2017) by Dadabots
SKYGGE is not the first example of AI pop music. Dadabots, led by producer Zack Zukowski and technologist CJ Carr, worked on Coditany of Timeness (2017) for the heavy metal band Krallice. We’re not sure if it’s a project that they’re not so proud of or that didn’t really catch on, but you won’t find it on Spotify.
AI-Powered Music: Final Thoughts
Whether we use technology to assist in home chores, work, or art, it’s definitely helped us focus on more critical aspects that concern human rationale and empathy.
The constant threat of whether it will take over or not is a useless debate. The question is, as a musician, how can you benefit from AI music generators? Because the role that you play in music is undeniable and will continue as long as you want to.