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AI Composing Music (Once Again...)
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

AI Composing Music (Once Again...)

So I just came across a post the other day, pointing at that AI is getting further each day (quite obvious in fact). In partiular multiple projects, explaining that composers, arrangers or instrumentalists wont be needed anymore at a certain point of time.

I guess you would all agree that this is the most horrific scenario any possible for most of us, which worked for decades in improving our craft. Though I can't believe this scenario is coming true soon, or within our lifespan...at least not completely. But I have to admit that it sort of worries me anyhow. "Hashtag LANDR" and "Mastering Engineers"...(yup I use it too...sorry engineers!) And same goes for the dying breed of copyists, due to software like Sibelius and Finale...

Anyway, to make it even worse I've found this message in my inbox today:

"Hello,

How are you?

I am Ashkhen from AIVA, an AI composition assistant. I recently came across your profile and would like to invite you to take part in our software beta testing.

We are a team of composers and engineers that created AIVA, and we are currently looking for people to try AIVA for free and give us feedback to make it a useful creative assistant for composers like you.

You can see how AIVA works here: https://youtu.be/SR-UWkSTmAQ

To get started with beta testing you can create your own account here. https://www.aiva.ai/?r=23

You can also check out a few tips here: https://youtu.be/QWTt1wbKSWg (Much recommended)

What do you think?

I would like to hear your thoughts and ideas on this. Please let me know if you are keen on sharing your opinion.

I look forward to hearing back from you.


Best,
Ash"

Regarding the quality of music I have to admit it's not that bad, especially the middle part, with the sustained notes sounds quite ok. The deep pizz notes certainly don't sound good, but if you would remove those by hand it would sound certainly a little bit better. Though no great music at all, but it's scary in some way anyhow...

In my opinion I would dig my own grave with helping such companies FOR FREE to make the extremely competitive and harsh music biz even harder. The problem is that there are too many "hobby composers" already, and just with a PC, some software and a midi keyboard you can create amazing stuff. But even though most of the music isn't actually good, it still hurts the whole biz a lot, as your (and my) fantastic music is hidden under a big pile of crappy music. Now imagine softwares writing generic music. It makes the already tense situation even far more worse.

Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong time, LOL. Really. I think being a film composer just a few decades ago would have been way better. Nobody needs to buy facebook, soudcloud or instagram likes. No youtube. No extreme content overload - not only in the music market, but also in general (I've heard one would need 4 years to watch the whole Netflix portfolio...I don't want to know how much lifes you would need to watch whole Youtube or Spotify). Lots of competition - yes! But certainly not as much as it is today. Further I think everything was much slower, resp. less fast-paced back then, generally speaking.

Bottom line: am I the only one who is a bit worried? Obviously AI will need a lot of developing years to produce real good music...most likely quite a long period...and of course I am aware that AI will leave many other professionals jobless too. Not only in the sector of music, but simply anywhere. On the other hand I can't imagine that singers, composers, orchestrators or lyricists all loose their jobs soon. And after all I still think an AI is not able to think "out of the box" yet, or pull of some fantastic music. But the developing seems to get faster and faster.

What do you guys think of software like AIVA?

Cheers!
-Freshd.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
I agree with your analysis but that is only the tip of the iceberg.... check this out from last week's Frontline..... https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/f...the-age-of-ai/
AI has already been thinking outside of the box and has come up with solutions to games, medicine etc that no human has thought of.... In 2016 it beat a master at the game of GO invented more than two thousand years ago in China 3 games to 1. The game is the most complex game on this planet.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
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drBill's Avatar
I'm not worried.

There is SO much to composition that it will not be taken over by AI anytime soon. Maybe the simple low level stuff, but not REAL composition.

There is the composers creative esthetic, the sounds used and the choices of sonics, the musicians, the musicians instruments, the mix esthetic, and on and on and on.

If you're competing at the bottom, use only VI's and samples and loops, and your clients are worried and complaining about paying $50 for a composition.....maybe. But real composition?

Not worried the slightest.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
I'm not worried.

There is SO much to composition that it will not be taken over by AI anytime soon. Maybe the simple low level stuff, but not REAL composition.

There is the composers creative esthetic, the sounds used and the choices of sonics, the musicians, the musicians instruments, the mix esthetic, and on and on and on.

If you're competing at the bottom, use only VI's and samples and loops, and your clients are worried and complaining about paying $50 for a composition.....maybe. But real composition?

Not worried the slightest.
Luckily I am not competing at the bottom. Actually my carreer does very well lately.

Though some examples I have heard from AIVA are still quite creepy. Still to this day I wouldn't recall any mentionable filmscores from Hollywood which not use a live orchestra, simply as you can still make out the difference. But especially stuff like ambient, and general drony music seems to be very easily composed for AI..as frankly it's simple for a human mind to create as well.

-Freshd.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #5
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Jeff Hayat's Avatar
 

Getting a little OT here, but it's not just music. It's EVERYTHING. Or almost. The microprocessor will lead to the downfall of civilization. It will take centuries for that to happen, so none of us will ever see it, but....

Cashiers in retail locations - gone.

Factory workers - gone.

Truck drivers - gone.

Taxi drivers - gone.

Airline pilots - gone.

Construction workers - gone.

Mechanics - gone.

Doctors - gone.

It's all going to be done by robots. I am all in favor of building robots to do things that humans can't do, due to physical limitations, but we humans are such a bunch of morons, that we are building robots to replace us.

And what do you lose when you lose all of those jobs? Tax revenue. You can figure out the rest.

So yeah, composers will eventually be a thing of the past, but so will almost everything else.

Cheers.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

Well, I think some jobs in your list Jeff will be in fact taken over by AI within our lifespan! Especially "simple task jobs" like cashiers, possibly truck and cab drivers too. If those are guided by GPS, it would even improve the safety. At least if the AI is cleverly-programmed. Because momentary nodding, and other safety factors are no longer a threat.

I think for very complex jobs (a pilot needs to check of around 150 to 170 steps before a plain can lift of!) they will possibly start out with getting rid of the co-pilot, before AI takes over completely a few decades later.

I guess it will possibly be the same process for us musicians, in that you'll need less and less people, and AI get's slowely but surely evolved; for instance in mixing...it's obviously far more complex than mastering, but a mixing engineer normally follows a strict guideline, beginning with panning, putting the right ammount of volume and EQ/compressor thresholds. After all the whole human complex is very comparable to those of a machine, with the only major difference that we are bio-chemic based.

...though I still wonder about the timeframe?! But who knows...

-Freshd.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
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Jeff Hayat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by freshdax View Post
Well, I think some jobs in your list Jeff will be in fact taken over by AI within our lifespan!

Of course. Already happening. It's the downfall of civilization that will take centuries .
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
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drBill's Avatar
On a happier note....how many of us were lucky enough to give away some music today!!!!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
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Quote:
So I just came across a post the other day, pointing at that AI is getting further each day (quite obvious in fact). In partiular multiple projects, explaining that composers, arrangers or instrumentalists wont be needed anymore at a certain point of time.
I think you're being overly dramatic.



Any program can only do what it's programmed to do, and in this case even machine learning will not help when comes to music, as a program is not conscious and therefore cannot feel the music.

By the way, this "AIVA" program just sounds like the old program I used to sell in the music stores called "Band in a Box"...

It is not AI, it is a bunch of pre-programmed MIDI files.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hayat View Post
Of course. Already happening. It's the downfall of civilization that will take centuries .
I admire your optimism, but don't share it.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
real composition?

Not worried the slightest.



(which is to say that I fully anticipate our professions to go close to extinct)
Old 3 weeks ago
  #12
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A.I. will never have emotion, so it will never fully replace anything that requires emotional responses.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRSC View Post
A.I. will never have emotion, so it will never fully replace anything that requires emotional responses.
Not sure I agree.

First problem is the word "requires". I don't think that's "required" at all given some of the music that's consumed today.

Secondly, "emotional responses" points to either the artist or the listener. I think it then comes back to the previous point "Do they care?" and if not that "Do they know the difference?". I don't think the answer is clear there.

Obviously live music is different. I think there will always be a market for smaller ensembles in smaller venues where the future marketing will be "live" as in really, actually live, performed by humans.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiasnyc View Post
Not sure I agree.

First problem is the word "requires". I don't think that's "required" at all given some of the music that's consumed today.

Secondly, "emotional responses" points to either the artist or the listener. I think it then comes back to the previous point "Do they care?" and if not that "Do they know the difference?". I don't think the answer is clear there.

Obviously live music is different. I think there will always be a market for smaller ensembles in smaller venues where the future marketing will be "live" as in really, actually live, performed by humans.

Bro, emotions dictate life.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRSC View Post
Bro, emotions dictate life.
That doesn't negate anything I said though, bro.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
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feck's Avatar
A good percentage of commercial music is soundalikes anyhow these days. It’s not inconceivable at all that an algorithm can be written to knock off existing pieces. And, given the right programmer, could easily change just enough variables to avoid copyright infringements. I’d imagine it’s no longer a question of IF - rather a question of WHEN.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feck View Post
A good percentage of commercial music is soundalikes anyhow these days. It’s not inconceivable at all that an algorithm can be written to knock off existing pieces. And, given the right programmer, could easily change just enough variables to avoid copyright infringements. I’d imagine it’s no longer a question of IF - rather a question of WHEN.
Yeah, but no one sits around listening to commercial soundbytes, people want to listen to songs that they have a connection to. A machine cannot do that all by itself, and probably never will.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiasnyc View Post
That doesn't negate anything I said though, bro.
You wouldn't dare patronize me in person, trust me.

Keep thinking moronically and maybe AI will help you- or maybe even write those amazing songs jostling around in your brain

Good luck.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #19
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TRSC View Post
You wouldn't dare patronize me in person, trust me.

Keep thinking moronically and maybe AI will help you- or maybe even write those amazing songs jostling around in your brain

Good luck.
Huh? How am I patronizing you?

All I'm saying is that while you and some other people care about some sort of emotion at some point in the chain it appears to me a lot of people don't. I absolutely need and want emotion in art, but not all people are that way. Take the average person who doesn't really care that much about music but continuously consumes it: Does that person really care about emotion?

Ever walked down a city street and heard some incredibly inane music? Perhaps some incredibly bland stock music behind a commercial, an industrial or something similar? I have. Repeatedly. Those people, and they are many, won't care or be able to discern something that to you doesn't have "emotion".

I don't think that's "moronical", I just think it's jaded, pessimistic and realistic.

I also really don't see how it's patronizing because it's not about you and your emotions. So yeah, I would say this to you in person.

Would AI help me write music? No, it wouldn't. I'm 100% against using AI to create art. To me the greatest art is created by humans, not machines.

But let's face it: For business purposes AI will be a revolution and that will affect all of us who create art for a living.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
On a happier note....how many of us were lucky enough to give away some music today!!!!
LOL. Either you are on crack, or you sold a sync for five figures. Didn't knew you have the word happy in your repertoire.

Quote:
Originally Posted by feck View Post
...it’s no longer a question of IF - rather a question of WHEN.
Exactly that was my innitial question. I know it's tough (if not impossible) to estimate yet.

...still stuff like LANDR or the introduction of software that composes music (and I am not speaking about aleatoric, modern music crap, but real music) is creepy.

Even if they need a guy to operate the software, and changing some things here and there, it will make the field of music composition even more competetive for sure.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freshdax View Post

Even if they need a guy to operate the software, and changing some things here and there, it will make the field of music composition even more competetive for sure.
I agree with you on some level, but...

That's what drummers said when drum machines first came out. But we still need good drummers, and if you're good, you will still get work.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #22
Gear Maniac
 

Well I think AI generated music is going to continue to improve until it is indistinguishable from human compositions. Emotion can be simulated. Emotive music is actually very formulaic. That formula will be easily coded. Think of all the human movie scores that use the same tired formulaic compositions that emulate faux emotion for certain scenes. Trailer music is notorious for this. How many "O Fortuna" knockoffs have you heard? The hard part is going to be creating something original. Something that requires imagination. Emulation is the easy part. What will make working composers sweat is the need to constantly create something unique and truly original, something AI can't replicate. I don't envy the working composer one bit. It is about to get a whole lot harder to make a living.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noisewagon View Post
I agree with you on some level, but...

That's what drummers said when drum machines first came out. But we still need good drummers, and if you're good, you will still get work.
But that's just it, we don't to nearly the same degree.

I started out mainly recording and mixing and playing music for picture. Mostly advertising. In the studio I worked we had a drummer come in all the time to lay down basic tracks. Drums, bass, guitars, keys... all studio musicians.

I can't even remember the last time I recorded or mixed live drums, bass and keys. Guitars if they're lead melodies yes, but strummed guitar sometimes is now samples.

So the market for drummers took a nose dive as far as I can see. And I'm talking about this from the perspective of "Can I make a decent living doing this", not "can I find work for fun" - and in addition to that I'm talking about how large the market is, not if any work still remains.

So while I agree that there will always be a need for drummers I really don't think the need is the same. There will always be a need for composers too, as well as mix engineers. But in the not so distant future the demand for those who would fill positions where you can make a decent living will shrink dramatically I think.

And that's at least my concern.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noisewagon View Post
I agree with you on some level, but...

That's what drummers said when drum machines first came out. But we still need good drummers, and if you're good, you will still get work.
Agreed, but session drummers are woefully underpaid and under appreciated. The only real money is going on tour with a successful act. Luckily I don't see AI taking that part of the industry over anytime soon.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiasnyc View Post
But that's just it, we don't to nearly the same degree.

I started out mainly recording and mixing and playing music for picture. Mostly advertising. In the studio I worked we had a drummer come in all the time to lay down basic tracks. Drums, bass, guitars, keys... all studio musicians.

I can't even remember the last time I recorded or mixed live drums, bass and keys. Guitars if they're lead melodies yes, but strummed guitar sometimes is now samples.

So the market for drummers took a nose dive as far as I can see. And I'm talking about this from the perspective of "Can I make a decent living doing this", not "can I find work for fun" - and in addition to that I'm talking about how large the market is, not if any work still remains.

So while I agree that there will always be a need for drummers I really don't think the need is the same. There will always be a need for composers too, as well as mix engineers. But in the not so distant future the demand for those who would fill positions where you can make a decent living will shrink dramatically I think.

And that's at least my concern.
I'm sorry to hear that, I was probably the best programmer in San Diego but the most fun I ever had was working/recording with a real band.

Old 3 weeks ago
  #26
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason kalman View Post
I don't envy the working composer one bit. It is about to get a whole lot harder to make a living.
Just out of curiosity, what is your job field?

Quote:
So while I agree that there will always be a need for drummers I really don't think the need is the same. There will always be a need for composers too, as well as mix engineers. But in the not so distant future the demand for those who would fill positions where you can make a decent living will shrink dramatically I think.
Most likely this is very true. Hopefully it wont happen soon, resp. within our lifespan...to a certain degree I think it will affect us as well though.

The problem is just that we have never made progress that fast in whole human history.

The drum computer argument I have had heard before, and it's IMO not allway wrong. Same as the invention of CGI didn't made humans less demanded for films. In a certain sense it actually gave film makers way more potential and certain films wouldn't be possible without it...so it's more like an enhancement tool. Same applies to drum-machines.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #27
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drBill's Avatar
By far the greatest danger to composers - far above AI - is composers themselves.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #28
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drBill's Avatar
Can someone point me to an AI program that will write, play and produce music like this? I need to make more money at this gig.....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Whg2...ature=emb_logo
Old 3 weeks ago
  #29
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drBill's Avatar
I can't wait until the first music composition AI program gets sued for copyright infringement. LOL That just might slow things down I think.....
Old 3 weeks ago
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Can someone point me to an AI program that will write, play and produce music like this? I need to make more money at this gig.....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Whg2...ature=emb_logo
I think you're underestimating machine learning. Think of it this way:

If we can teach music by either analyzing it and teaching the theory, or by mimicking, then surely an AI will able to do the same. At the end of the day music is a bunch of patterns with some randomness (which we can call "personality"). So either we can feed an AI the rules for composition, or we can feed the AI just the music itself and it can figure out the patterns and regurgitate them.

The very same thing that makes bluegrass sound like bluegrass and not AC/DC is the patterns a machine learning AI could pick up on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
I can't wait until the first music composition AI program gets sued for copyright infringement. LOL That just might slow things down I think.....
Except that's not funny for human composers. I'd fully expect someone to simply set up an AI to spit out compositions and then just start copyrighting them automatically. Then all that person has to do is '****** media for anything that is similar enough to warrant a lawsuit.

Yes, things will slow down I'm sure, but for human composers looking to make money, not machines.

Nothing good will come of this I think.
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