How AI Is Changing The Music Industry

If you haven’t heard of AI (artificial intelligence) before, you are probably living under a rock.

Every day, people are discovering new things about AI and the drastic changes it can bring in technological fields.

Artificial Intelligence in simple terms is the ability of a digital computer or a similar system to perform and learn human-like tasks.

One major industry which has been greatly impacted by AI is the music industry.

AI driven technologies are used in areas like music composition, music analyzation and audio mastering. It has completely changed the way people stream, produce and market music.

Given below are some of the major ways AI is changing the music industry.

Generation Of New Music

AI can be used to create new and different sounds and even interpret musical data to give great results.

AI tools can be used to analyze an artist’s songs as MIDI files. The resulting digital code is fed through a synthesizer to recreate a popular or viral song. The result will be generated depending on the note changes, pitch changes, harmony, rhythm and other components present in the MIDI file.

Thus by feeding the back catalogue into a neural network, AI can be used to create music.

AI tools can produce new patterns and correlations based on the data you feed them. They can even be used to vocalize music.

This kind of music is suitable for video games and other interactive settings since it can adapt more natively to changing situations. AI generated music is also used for brands, art galleries, films and game studios.

Although AI cannot be used to fully develop and produce original music, it can definitely serve as a co-creator or a musical assistant.

Some examples of AI produced albums and songs include the following:

I Am AI by Taryn Southern

Reflection By Brian Eno

Visions of Space by Ivan Paz

March of Progress by MALO

Accessible And Affordable Music Creation Platforms

AI has made it possible for aspiring music producers to produce their own music at an affordable price from the convenience of their own home.

We have a large number of composition apps, mastering platforms and other music tools which utilize AI to create original music or new variations of existing songs.

Some of the key services offered by popular AI music platforms include,

  • Utilizing deep learning algorithms to create bespoke pieces of music.
  • Creating your own piece of music by typing in keywords to a generative tool.
  • Creating brand new musical compositions by augmenting existing recordings.
  • Drafting vocals in a variety of languages, tones and vocal ranges.
  • Creating soundtracks for movies and video games.
  • Adding real time music effects and remixing.

One of the major services provided by AI music platforms include extraction of vocals and instrumentals from any given audio source. This makes music creation and mixing a lot easier for musicians and sound producers.

One of the leading platforms that provides this service is LALAL.AI.

LALAL.AI is a next generation music separation service which utilizes AI powered technology for fast, easy and precise stem extraction. You can extract vocals and instrumentals like drum, bass, guitar and piano without compromising on the quality of the track.

You can check out the instrumental and vocal clips which have been extracted from a sample audio to get an idea about the quality of the track.

It even offers users a free pack which they can utilize to try out their service.

Music Recommendation

AI is adopted in all the popular music recommendation systems and streaming services.

Deep neural networks help in identifying sequential patterns of music items like tracks or artists from music playlists and the user’s music preferences.

Music streaming services use AI algorithms to provide accurate recommendations especially for people who listen to a ton of mainstream music.

Earlier, music platforms would implement manual music recommendation systems where the playlists were curated by a group of music experts. However these recommendations were highly influenced by the personal taste of the curators so they were not very accurate.

Nowadays, most popular music streaming services like Pandora, Apply Music and Spotify utilize AI to recommend new songs to users depending on their listening habits.

In fact, Spotify offers personalized weekly playlists called Discover Weekly to millions of its users. These playlists which consist of song recommendations are curated through techniques like collaborative filtering and natural language processing.

In collaborative filtering, automatic predictions are made about the interests of a user depending on their preferences and taste information.

In natural language processing, the algorithm creates a vector representation of the song which is used to suggest similar songs.

Another way Spotify uses AI is by Conventional Neural Networks and Audio Models.

Conventional Neural Networks are used to analyze a piece of music to learn and report the song’s tempo, key, rhythm, volume and other characteristics. Each characteristic is assigned a mathematical value and Spotify uses this information to recommend songs which fit similar models.

Spotify even acquired a blockchain startup called Mediachain Labs to help connect artists and licensing agreements with the tracks on Spotify’s service.

Marketing Music

AI helps listeners discover new artists who are underrated but talented.

As mentioned previously in this article, Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlist often contains new music from undiscovered artists which fans might find appealing.

This is extremely beneficial for talented and aspiring musicians who are trying to make it into the industry.

Discovering the future stars of music is quite expensive when traditional methods are used. With AI the music industry is discovering artists more effectively. Thus it plays a significant role in the industry’s A&R (artist and repertoire).

Artist and repertoire is the record label division which is responsible for finding new, fresh talent for record labels to sign. Many record companies have started incorporating AI into their scouting process.

Certain AI technology like HITLAB’s Music Digital Nuance Analysis tool  can be utilized to predict a song’s success. It first uses sound attributes to create unique signatures for each song which can then be used to compare unknown songs to highly rated ones.

A few years ago the Warner Music Group acquired a tech startup which uses an AI based algorithm to analyze social, streaming and touring data to discover new artists.

Similarly Apple also has a start-up which specializes in music analytics to find artists.

Productivity And Revenue

Record Labels can utilize AI machines to cut down production costs and even produce songs much faster.

Although AI machines are not fully capable of generating full songs automatically, they can assist in other areas like composing, analyzing sound patterns and creating variations in original compositions.

For example, Daddy’s Car is a song which was written and produced by artificial intelligence. It was released by Sony’s Flow Machines which is an AI based production service based in Paris.

Because of AI, music lovers no longer have to purchase physical copies of albums or songs. We can easily stream music online either for free or after paying a nominal service fee.

Virtual Artists

Let us be real here, the pandemic has taken away the opportunity to attend live musical concerts.

However thanks to technology, we now have AI powered virtual artists for creating new and different musical appearances.

For example, Lil Miquela is a virtual artist and character which was created by Trevor McFedries and Sara DeCou. She debuted a music video for her single Hard Feelings. The video is created entirely using CGI.

The music festival Lollapalooza which was moved online last year started off with the debut of this music video.

Similarly Travis Scott also created a musical spectacle for millions of people in Fortnite.

Conclusion

AI has many different capabilities which are yet to be applied and tested. 

It is definitely expected to play a huge role in music in the upcoming years and we are excited about the various opportunities it will create for people who love music.

About Ronald Ross

Being a seasoned musician myself, I share experiences that help other musicians on their journeys. Whether it's about musical equipment, streaming services, instruments or promoting music; I try to cover everything at Loud Beats. Learn more about me here.