The Future of Music and AI
Music has long been a part of our human experience, and so has the technology that has helped us create and consume it. From the earliest instruments to the modern day synthesizer, technology has played a significant role in shaping the way we make and listen to music. In recent years, artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a new tool for musicians and producers to experiment with, and the potential for this technology to revolutionise the music industry is
significant. For many, it poses a threat, but the reality is that while it will be able to produce music and sound in no time at all, there are still limitations. Fear not. We have done some thinking around the topic for you to get your chops into.
AI and Composition
It's safe to agree that AI has for a long time now been a part of the music world, particularly in the realm of sound processing. However, in more recent years, AI has increasingly come into focus through the composition side of things. AI is now being used to create music, and there have been significant advances in the technology that can generate original compositions. While these compositions are 'original' they lack the special 'feel' that our favourite artists or producers are able to give us. Now, we can assume that AI will get smarter, and will do so very quickly, however the human mind is not limited but ab algorithm and can offer creative decisions that lead to a truly unique feel and sound. This becomes especially prevalent when we consider live recordings played by a human musician.
Where AI and humans work best currently is around sound processing in the process of composition. AI can work alongside producers and composers to create sound that is even more immersive and exciting for the listener. AI can analyse data on music trends and genres, and then use that data to create new music that fits within those parameters. There are a number of production plug-ins that leverage the power of AI to support with the fine tuning of sound, which can be helpful with sound design and programming.
AI can also learn from existing music and create new compositions that mimic the style of a particular artist, genre or voice. This is certainly space to watch as we are starting to see interesting examples of this being tested with the likes of David Guetta, who used an AI generated voice of Eminem.
David spoke about this during an interview with the BBC at the BRITS and said “I’m sure the future of music is in AI. For sure,” he said. “There’s no doubt. But as a tool.”
He continued: “Nothing is going to replace taste. What defines an artist is, you have a certain taste, you have a certain type of emotion you want to express, and you’re going to use all the modern instruments to do that.”
We agree with David, and from this vantage point. Things start to look very interesting...
The Benefits of AI
The benefits of AI in music are clear. AI can help musicians and producers create music more efficiently, providing them with new ideas and sounds that they may not have thought of themselves. Additionally, AI can help musicians and producers refine their sound by analysing data on how people are responding to their music and making suggestions on how they can improve it.
For sound processing, AI can also help to create more immersive and exciting listening experiences. AI can analyse the acoustic properties of a room and adjust the sound accordingly, ensuring that every listener hears the music as intended. It can also be used to create surround sound experiences that are tailored to the listener's location and preferences. When thinking about events and how sound is used to enhance an event this is where the benefits could really come into play. However the AI will still need to be guided and moulded around a 'brief' per se.
The Limitations of AI
Despite the potential benefits of AI, there will always be room for human composition. AI works on an algorithm, and as such, its capabilities are limited. While AI can create music that fits within a particular genre or style, the creative freedom of human creation is still vastly superior to the algorithmic limitation of AI. There are human sensibilities that we can put into music that come from a spark of imagination or an idea that only the human mind can develop. This will not leave us.
For bespoke composition, this is massively important as teams and brands want to work with humans who will understand the value and importance of having an emotional and human side to the sound created. The human ear is more discerning than we realise, and there are subtleties and nuances to music that only a human can create. While AI can help us to refine and improve our music, it will never replace the human touch that makes music truly special., much like David Guetta said.
The future of music and AI is exciting, and there is no doubt that AI will play an increasingly significant role in the music industry. AI has the potential to revolutionise the way we make and listen to music, providing us with new sounds and experiences that we may not have thought possible. We will most likely see new instruments develop, as this is a trend the music industry follows. New technology = New instruments.
However, it is important to remember that AI is only a tool, and it will never replace the creative freedom and emotional depth that come from human composition. By working together, AI and human musicians can create a new era of music that is both innovative and emotionally resonant.