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Hi colleagues, 

What do you think of using new modern technologies like AI in the creative process?

I have found couple of companies providing some AI powered services. Some of those I found are Music Builder ( https://www.themusicbuilder.com/), AIVA Music Engine ( https://www.aiva.ai/engine), Orb Composer (https://www.orb-composer.com/) etc.

Do you think such softwares are ever gonna be as popular and commonly used as the libraries or the DAWs? I have been hearing about AI and Music more and more recently and seems like it is kinda getting everywhere. 

Looking forward to more insights. 

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The larger issue I see is that every piece I post here (not much lately, but still )  is made possible by hardware, software, communications infrastructure and creative input by many other people who I really should credit also.

-Yes, but I think this is how everything else is made. There is always an inspiration, influence etc. from somewhere and if we go into too much in depth then there is nothing original left. But at the same time we can not create a whole new "world" each time and even if smth created is completely different from anything else and let's say "100%" original, then the creator may have hard time to get people used to it be able to appreciate it. 

Ingo Lee said:

These are good questions certainly.  Life is getting more and more complicated because of technology, and our legal and moral systems are unable to keep up.

I see AI as a collaborator.  A collaborator is entitled to credit and compensation according to whatever agreement is in place when the piece is published.  Of course there is a long history of disputes and much legal machinery associated with how this type of agreement is used (or abused ), but that's just part of the business we're in here.

The larger issue I see is that every piece I post here (not much lately, but still )  is made possible by hardware, software, communications infrastructure and creative input by many other people who I really should credit also.

I suppose as increasingly art and video can be produced by AI in a similar way the human will become redundant in the creative process except maybe to enter a few parameters. So whether and what one credits is moot.

Then it can churn out stuff, probably boring to most people, a little like muzak or the soundtracks of many TV dramas these days - so we can put a video camera and mike in front of its display/speakers to do the watching and enjoy itself.

Then we can just get on with our creative endeavours as humans, composing, playing, filming as we will and leave the machine to itself. There's social engagement in producing and assimilating art of any sort and that isn't going to go away. Maybe we can look in from time to time to see if the machine has produced any surprises that we can plagiarise!  Then we have to credit it. 

As I see it.

I hear where you're coming from Timothy and agree with much of what you say. The principal word in the quote The true artist will let his wife starve, his children go barefoot, his mother drudge for his living at seventy, sooner than work at anything but his art is the second one: 'true'. However, I quoted this slightly tongue in cheek - I'm sure James Horner's family doesn't starve. The quote refers largely to the type of professorial type who knows virtually everything there is to know about his subject and virtually nothing about anything else....your archetypal academic.

Personally I spend only about 20% of my life on things musical - and about 30% playing golf - the other 50% is just, well living I guess (but I am retired from 'work' per se). I would like to think I had the energy and drive to work at music 101% of the time but don't - also, I realise I'm a reasonably good workaday composer with just a modicum of talent but I'm afraid to admit that's about it  (I know, you're going to say genius is 10%  inspiration and 90% perspiration). Having said that, I don't know a much better feeling than when I am gripped by a project and, temporarily at least, can't think of anything else or do anything else until it's completed.

Life's a bit of a mystery I suppose and we just have to muddle through the best we can.

Timothy Smith said:

Hi Stephen,

I would partially disagree with this quote-

"The true artist will let his wife starve, his children go barefoot, his mother drudge for his living at seventy, sooner than work at anything but his art."

I have seen some artists who fit this description and it was always a sad disgraceful thing to see. This surely isn't all artists. The intelligent artist will have a fall back job in a tight market. I mean, if I had to do it I would empty trash or work at McDonalds. Anything else is laziness and irresponsible. I would quit music completely if I had to in order to feed my family and I consider myself just as much a musician as anyone else.

And please don't tell me  musicians can't do anything else. I hate to use the L word but I think it applies to some musicians.

If you go  back to the 1500's the only musicians who were paid were probably in the king's court. This was probably a small percentage of the total. Even those lucky musicians might have had only shelter and food. I'm sure it wasn't lucrative.

From the time recording became possible during the 20's-30's, records have been made and sold. I don't think recording was especially lucrative until the late 50's. From the 50's up until the late 90's when the way we buy and listen to music began to change more to an online experience than a record shop hard copy experience, only then did some musicians begin to stop making money or made less money if they depended heavily on recording. During the 70's music "gods" were made and marketed in a closed system meaning only certain players were in on it and only selected talent was promoted in order to keep the money coming and going into selected pockets. Millions of albums were sold because there were comparatively few artists and a vast market. Every kid with a guitar wanted to be one of these guys and believed it was entirely possible. Now we have a saturated market and a smaller number willing to pay for music.

Movie music also took a new direction with studios hiring  dudes with studios who could produce tracks with sampled keyboards instead of orchestras. Enter the online movie composer. For the price of a powerful computer and a few sample libraries anyone with decent music chops and  DAW savy can make music for picture.

I think somewhere along the way, probably from the late 60's until the early 80's we had what I'll call the bull market of music. Musicians were bringing in nice sums of money. The internet wasn't very big yet. I think a certain attitude of entitlement came along during that time. If a musician was good and had the right connections they had this expectation.

The main problem now with music and money is the expectation lives on but the benefits have been steadily dwindling. Yes you will still have a gig to make music for that tooth paste commercial, but the opportunities have almost dried up because of technology. If anything, technology has proven that there are lots more good musicians out there than we were led to believe. Technology is both our greatest enabler and  our greatest foe all rolled into one. You can do anything with music, So can everyone else.

The days of becoming a music god are over unless you have strong connections. The dudes with all the money who decide who gets to be famous.Talent seems to have little to do with it.

My opinion is that for the masses of musicians out there, learn to do something else just like musicians did back before the "music bull market" hit.

@Stephen Lines, I apologize if my writing style comes off as extremely one sided and opinionated. When I read it again it came across as someone who doesn't leave much wiggle room for alternative explanations or maybe I should say different views on the subject. Please take it as subjective based on my own personal experiences which undoubtedly have skewed my views on the subject. I am open to others interpretations on this, though I believe I am fairly accurate on the state of music recording, the record business and where we are headed as musicians.

I don't believe anything I say will change the fact that if AI becomes convincing enough, it will be used as a means to an end. It will likely be another tool in the future that, in my opinion will further erode true art. In the future humans will likely be more disconnected from the decision making process. Let a program decide what to do,let cars decide how to drive, let the drone make the decision on who the enemy is. In this respect I will always be old school.

I'm glad to see there are many part timers out there with music as a hobby. Music fills that small gap very well. No pressure, no deadlines, just making music. I'm not a golfer, music is probably my golf. I enjoy building and repairing and modifying in addition to music, my latest project is upgrading my  boiler. I'll save about 8k and I think it's fun.I am handy so I put it to good use :)

I just had a major software company inquire to use one of my tracks at NAMM 2019 as a demo. I don't need pay. That's reward enough for me to occasionally get something like that. I am a paid pianist. It isn't much.Not in it for $$.

Tim, while I agree that some manner of AI will have a hand in creating fake compositions I don't think it will truly affect the field. There will always be those in need of music happy to use the bland, the obvious and the lowest denominator and you can hear countless examples of that today. Those people will use AI composition without a qualm but you will also always have the people with integrity who value the art for its own sake and want to work with real composers. There are composers now and have been for years chruning out music that I think is more or less indistinguishable from AI compositions given the adherence to various formula and structure across media. AI will change very little in my opinion of course as from a cynical standpoint it has been happening for some time.

@Charles Holt, I hope you are correct in that projection.I'm not so sure about the commercial movie music and video game field. This is probably the group you're referring to. Composition for real musicians though. I don't think many orchestras would be interested in music created by robots. At least, not if they were aware of it.

I have often referred to new music as "there" and "here". Music that is "there" or ITB (in the box) or (in the cloud) has a much different directive than music that is "here" where we are in the physical. The only qualification is that "there" music sound good and be appealing, maybe fit the movie or game it was made for or make decent background music or even a hit for teens to get into. Unfortunately people in the "there" far out number people in the "here". Most music is now heard on an electronic device.Music in the "here" is at a disadvantage concerning popularity and number of listeners. In most cases 99% of all music is first imagined and created in the "there". Did you ever think you would see the day where acts work hard to reproduce music made in the "there" at concerts in the "here"? These acts never came about in a  real place so they are forced to reproduce it in a real place using real musicians. In some ways music has always been produced in the "there" or our brains. Computers are now extensions of our brains. Before it seemed natural, now ideas can be heard before they are even full thoughts.Much music never leaves the "there".

I have been wanting to chime in on this for awhile, and now that I'm back on the forum, I can. So: that the world has been losing its mind has been evident for some time now. The vast majority of people today are probably not even capable of recognizing  Art anymore. As for AI, the reason it will never produce Art is that computers are machines, Machines are not alive. They have not been created through sexual reproduction, developed in a womb, been born into the world, and had a long history of development as conscious beings. They do know what it is like to go on a picnic at the age of 5, and be in awe of all the life around them. Flowers swaying in the wind. Birds singing; the clouds forming ever-changing patterns in a vast blue sky. They have not looked up at the stars at night, realizing that what they are seeing is actually light that has journeyed for light years before reaching their eyes. They have not fallen in love at first sight with that new girl or boy in class. They have not dreamed of becoming a famous composer. They have not felt the sting of death, when a loved-one has been taken from them. Or upon recognizing their own mortality. In short, they have no memories of actually having lived a life as a sentient being. Anyone who cannot see the difference, I can only feel sorry for them, the educational system has failed them terribly.

Right on. How can computers turned would-be artists be inspired; fall back on their experiences?  

michael diemer said:

I have been wanting to chime in on this for awhile, and now that I'm back on the forum, I can. So: that the world has been losing its mind has been evident for some time now. The vast majority of people today are probably not even capable of recognizing  Art anymore. As for AI, the reason it will never produce Art is that computers are machines, Machines are not alive. They have not been created through sexual reproduction, developed in a womb, been born into the world, and had a long history of development as conscious beings. They do know what it is like to go on a picnic at the age of 5, and be in awe of all the life around them. Flowers swaying in the wind. Birds singing; the clouds forming ever-changing patterns in a vast blue sky. They have not looked up at the stars at night, realizing that what they are seeing is actually light that has journeyed for light years before reaching their eyes. They have not fallen in love at first sight with that new girl or boy in class. They have not dreamed of becoming a famous composer. They have not felt the sting of death, when a loved-one has been taken from them. Or upon recognizing their own mortality. In short, they have no memories of actually having lived a life as a sentient being. Anyone who cannot see the difference, I can only feel sorry for them, the educational system has failed them terribly.

But computers have been programmed to write music. They have been given the rules and techniques, just like we have. And they can write good music. So what. You might say that computer music has no soul. I say that I hear a lot of music written by humans in which it is difficult to identify any soul. So what. Are computers going to take jobs from human composers? I wouldn't be surprised. Two things come to mind:

You and I listen to music. So do computers. We analyze what we hear, as do computers. We can use ideas or concepts from what we hear in our own compositions. So can computers. We can enjoy what we hear. Computers? Not. We can be enriched by music. Computers know no such thing, nor do they care about anything. We can be inspired to reach for better things. Computers crunch numbers. In short, we appreciate music. Computers cannot.

Second, it seems to me that if computers might push human composers out of the market, then human composers need to double their efforts to write the very best music they can. All the time. Every time. Show the world, not just that human music is better, but why it is better

All this might be easy for me to say because I'm not a professional composer. I write for the fun of it. Seems that's something else computers can't do.

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