Composers' Forum

Music Composers Unite!

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. 

Views: 184

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

AI has the potential to carve out a huge portion of commercial music production of all genres and it probably will do exactly that.  AI relies on 'machine learning'; which means that computers are used to create large databases of the important characteristics of any given music form which the computer can then use to create a new work that follows those guidelines. It can do that very well and more quickly and efficiently than a human composer.

What's left for us? AI is not so good at looking forward, it won't do innovation and set new trends the way that we can. We can either ignore this technology at our own peril, or we can embrace it and make it work for us.

I see, thank you for the comment. I agree. Actually, to be honest at first I felt a bit threatened, thinking that AI is here to replace us. But after watching some YouTube videos to how these technologies can be used, it seems like actually they are pretty useless without composers. One of the videos that I watched, I think it was by AIVA or the other ones showed how important the human composer's role is in the whole process and that the AI is just there to give some ideas. Also, I kind of think that it is important for the composers to keep up with the technological development and embrace it. Because if everyone is using new techniques and methods or softwares to compose and is getting so much better and faster, I think sticking to the traditional methods may not be the best thing to do when composing commercially. I am also trying to figure out how to make a smart use of the new things that are coming out and catching up instead of being left behind, but at the same time for sure I do not want to get replaced. 

Ingo Lee said:

AI has the potential to carve out a huge portion of commercial music production of all genres and it probably will do exactly that.  AI relies on 'machine learning'; which means that computers are used to create large databases of the important characteristics of any given music form which the computer can then use to create a new work that follows those guidelines. It can do that very well and more quickly and efficiently than a human composer.

What's left for us? AI is not so good at looking forward, it won't do innovation and set new trends the way that we can. We can either ignore this technology at our own peril, or we can embrace it and make it work for us.

From 1984 by George Orwell:
"It was only an 'opeless fancy.
It passed like an Ipril dye,
But a look an' a word an' the dreams they stirred!
They 'ave stolen my 'eart awye!

The tune had been haunting London for weeks past. It was one of countless similar songs published for the benefit of the proles by a sub-section of the Music Department. The words of these songs were composed without any human intervention whatever on an instrument known as a versificator. But the woman sang so tunefully as to turn the dreadful rubbish into an almost pleasant sound....."

I hope it doesn't actually come to this bug I am also acutely aware that tech helps humans compose. We're not far away from letting it fully do much of the work for us..
I know that I couldn't compose without tech now. If nothing else, my handwriting is so poor that a written score makes no sense after a while. I need a digital copy to give it longevity. And the availability of instant orchestral sounds is fabulous.
We, as composers, have a duty to retain the humanity...

I see. 
Thank you for the insight. But what if this is the next evolution of the composing process, just like the one that we no longer compose with a pen and paper? 

Honestly, I can't see how AI can replace us, because our job includes a lot of human activity that the machine cannot have, for example computers cannot listen, cannot choose etc. To me (correct me if I am wrong, but my ideas are shaped around the videos I watched in Youtube) the AI is just giving some raw ideas which need a lot of work to be done by a human composer to be considered proper scores. 

To me, it seems like if I have to write an essay and I have no idea where & how to start and then I get a few ideas to build from. 

Graeme Helliwell said:

From 1984 by George Orwell:
"It was only an 'opeless fancy.
It passed like an Ipril dye,
But a look an' a word an' the dreams they stirred!
They 'ave stolen my 'eart awye!

The tune had been haunting London for weeks past. It was one of countless similar songs published for the benefit of the proles by a sub-section of the Music Department. The words of these songs were composed without any human intervention whatever on an instrument known as a versificator. But the woman sang so tunefully as to turn the dreadful rubbish into an almost pleasant sound....."

I hope it doesn't actually come to this bug I am also acutely aware that tech helps humans compose. We're not far away from letting it fully do much of the work for us..
I know that I couldn't compose without tech now. If nothing else, my handwriting is so poor that a written score makes no sense after a while. I need a digital copy to give it longevity. And the availability of instant orchestral sounds is fabulous.
We, as composers, have a duty to retain the humanity...

Actually here are some of the materials/videos that I found useful to understand what is the whole AI in music about:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEJOfsFyrKE&t=2s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-g5c64hCF4&t=17s
https://www.aiva.ai/engine
https://www.precisionsourcing.com.au/robot-wont-take-job-john-bill-...

There are much more materials that I have checked and researched but these are the most insightful ones I think also the ones I could find at the moment. 
Graeme Helliwell said:

From 1984 by George Orwell:
"It was only an 'opeless fancy.
It passed like an Ipril dye,
But a look an' a word an' the dreams they stirred!
They 'ave stolen my 'eart awye!

The tune had been haunting London for weeks past. It was one of countless similar songs published for the benefit of the proles by a sub-section of the Music Department. The words of these songs were composed without any human intervention whatever on an instrument known as a versificator. But the woman sang so tunefully as to turn the dreadful rubbish into an almost pleasant sound....."

I hope it doesn't actually come to this bug I am also acutely aware that tech helps humans compose. We're not far away from letting it fully do much of the work for us..
I know that I couldn't compose without tech now. If nothing else, my handwriting is so poor that a written score makes no sense after a while. I need a digital copy to give it longevity. And the availability of instant orchestral sounds is fabulous.
We, as composers, have a duty to retain the humanity...

I am not in favor of AI as used to create music. Much similar to auto type it attempts to determine either your actions or an action that it thinks is best for the setting. AI is not direct human control.

Do you want to make the music for yourself or allow a computer to help you do it?  I prefer to make my music unaided. I use VST instruments but I tell them what to do.

From a music buyer for advertising or movies perspective, it's probably an attractive option since it saves them money. This could further compromise quality of the end result since a person who sells commercials and movies isn't necessarily the best judge of quality music. I think music should be made by musicians.

I see, thank you for your comment. 

If I want to compose music just for myself I will do it without any help. 

How about if I have a tight deadline and I am stuck with writer's block? 

Or if I compose something the director does not like and asks to change it completely overnight (this actually happened to me and did not end so well). 

So I think in such urgencies I rather get some help from an AI, machine or whatever you call it, then pass my opportunities or get depressed facing the writer's block. 

In such situations, let's say when struggling with writer's block or when having to compose something for a client that has nothing to do with your emotions but their own story and brand, or when you are facing a tight deadline how do you overcome these issues?

I do not mind how, with a help of AI or with a help of whatever but I would really like to overcome those obstacles. Because I personally experienced these and not all of them ended nicely.  

Timothy Smith said:

I am not in favor of AI as used to create music. Much similar to auto type it attempts to determine either your actions or an action that it thinks is best for the setting. AI is not direct human control.

Do you want to make the music for yourself or allow a computer to help you do it?  I prefer to make my music unaided. I use VST instruments but I tell them what to do.

From a music buyer for advertising or movies perspective, it's probably an attractive option since it saves them money. This could further compromise quality of the end result since a person who sells commercials and movies isn't necessarily the best judge of quality music. I think music should be made by musicians.

Hi All

Here's my tuppence worth.

The role of AI in the composers toolbox is to make the tools better, i.e., orchestral libraries that sound like the real thing and fx like EQ, Limiters, a better Cubase & etc that are easy to use and understand, freeing up the composer to get on with the job of creating their masterpieces. So it has a passive role in the creative process, but it can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

AI devices can also replace (eventually?) the composer when it comes to things like  music for TV adds and similar soundbites - given a clear enough context and an appropriate set of rules it could probably generate good enough musical content that will do the job.

However that isn't the same thing as "creating" music as we understand music as "art". The pertinent question is what does a computer understand by "music"? In a similar vein, what is the status of a musical work created by a computer? These issues and others like them are no doubt exercising the minds of musicologists.

If I'm "stuck for the next bit" or competely blank I listen to Sibelius or Prokofiev or some of my favourite tuechter bands - it usually does the trick.

Cheers, Colin

Ashley I think that AI could work well for the instance that you mention. The Aiva company that you linked to above offers a DAW plugin that might be worth looking into. I'm sure that learning to use this and integrate it into your workflow would take some time though. 

In the meantime I suppose the Aiva company would be available to assist a composer in a panic situation, but I really don't know if I'd recommend that

Ashley Berg said:

I see, thank you for your comment. 

If I want to compose music just for myself I will do it without any help. 

How about if I have a tight deadline and I am stuck with writer's block? 

Or if I compose something the director does not like and asks to change it completely overnight (this actually happened to me and did not end so well). 

So I think in such urgencies I rather get some help from an AI, machine or whatever you call it, then pass my opportunities or get depressed facing the writer's block. 

In such situations, let's say when struggling with writer's block or when having to compose something for a client that has nothing to do with your emotions but their own story and brand, or when you are facing a tight deadline how do you overcome these issues?

I do not mind how, with a help of AI or with a help of whatever but I would really like to overcome those obstacles. Because I personally experienced these and not all of them ended nicely.  

Timothy Smith said:

I am not in favor of AI as used to create music. Much similar to auto type it attempts to determine either your actions or an action that it thinks is best for the setting. AI is not direct human control.

Do you want to make the music for yourself or allow a computer to help you do it?  I prefer to make my music unaided. I use VST instruments but I tell them what to do.

From a music buyer for advertising or movies perspective, it's probably an attractive option since it saves them money. This could further compromise quality of the end result since a person who sells commercials and movies isn't necessarily the best judge of quality music. I think music should be made by musicians.

Hi Colin, I think the AI industry may have moved on a bit further than the functions you describe.  I'm not an expert by any means and I don't intend to advocate for acceptance and use of this technology but I think we need to watch it closely for a number of reasons.  Here is the blurb from the Aiva website that Ashley linked to above.  Aiva offers for sale complete original works authored by AI.  Supposedly.

"Aiva is an Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) capable of composing emotional soundtracks for films, video games, commercials and any type of entertainment content.

She has been learning the art of music composition by reading through a large collection of music partitions, written by the greatest Composers (Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, ...) to create a mathematical model representation of what music is. This model is then used by Aiva to write completely unique music.

Recently, Aiva became the first virtual artist to have her creations registered with an author's rights society (SACEM). This achievement does not mean that Aiva will replace musicians; we will continue to encourage collaborations between man and machine.
We think that AI-generated music will enable new use cases of music, and empower the next generation of composers and content creators."



Colin Dougall said:

Hi All

Here's my tuppence worth.

The role of AI in the composers toolbox is to make the tools better, i.e., orchestral libraries that sound like the real thing and fx like EQ, Limiters, a better Cubase & etc that are easy to use and understand, freeing up the composer to get on with the job of creating their masterpieces. So it has a passive role in the creative process, but it can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

AI devices can also replace (eventually?) the composer when it comes to things like  music for TV adds and similar soundbites - given a clear enough context and an appropriate set of rules it could probably generate good enough musical content that will do the job.

However that isn't the same thing as "creating" music as we understand music as "art". The pertinent question is what does a computer understand by "music"? In a similar vein, what is the status of a musical work created by a computer? These issues and others like them are no doubt exercising the minds of musicologists.

If I'm "stuck for the next bit" or competely blank I listen to Sibelius or Prokofiev or some of my favourite tuechter bands - it usually does the trick.

Cheers, Colin

Ashley,

I believe Colin stated the same viewpoint as myself. We are simply saying it in different ways.

Music as an art can  be a product as well which sometimes has unfortunate effects to the end result. In making music as strictly an art, there is no reason to add anything non human to it if the artist's work is to be above all else. However, if music is being made  as a product then the end result can be more time and money driven. I don't believe that time and money play a good role in quality music.

I'm not arguing against a faster way to do something you would have done regardless not using  technology. It is common knowledge that certain feelings in music can be generated by certain modal and chord formulas. This knowledge has been in the movie biz for years and is still used. I think leaning on these kinds of things too much only makes music more of a recipe. This recipe can be combined with recipes in DAW software to make an end product faster with more efficiency with emphasis on the idea of music as a product.

For example, if you have an action movie sequence, you simply pull up the software template and use a common formula to connect that mood with your music. There are two different motives at play here. The 1st is a video sequence that needs something in music to compliment it. The origin of the idea then is the video. This is the only motive aside from delivering the product on time and within budget. You didn't share the mood. You were given a job to do and so you honed in on the objective. How you got there wasn't important. You didn't need to feel anything about the music.

The other motive is artistic expression. In this case we use tech to put across the things we decided to create. We have a more personal investment in this music because it comes from the heart. The only motive was to use our creativity to make something we like and can be proud of, something that is an expression of ourselves or an idea. In the second example I would never use any kind of software that helped me compose it. I see no problem changing keys or instruments or any other variable so long as the control always comes from me.

What some fail to see is that a composer can make a composition on a piano or a guitar. I think in this age of sample libraries it has come to mean large productions or even a rivalry/competition of sorts among musicians to see who can come up with the most impressive compo using expensive sound libraries. Who can add the most unusual collages of chords and instruments or make music for the most dramatic effect possible pushing that 5.1 surround system at home to the limits. 

I think I've almost come a full 180 on this. I have made some larger productions and also smaller ones. I am beginning to enjoy the feel of a real instrument in my hands. I make music for the second motive. In my world no one even needs to like what I do so long as I like it and it speaks something I wanted it to speak.

Thank you Colin for getting back to me. 

I also see the AI as a tool and a software but I don't see it as my competitor. 

However, I think the TV ads for example will still be using human composers because they still need a real composer to choose the good music from the bad one. Even if the machines get so intelligent I don't think they can listen and they cannot do exactly what the human composer can do (or at least not in this century). 

Colin Dougall said:

Hi All

Here's my tuppence worth.

The role of AI in the composers toolbox is to make the tools better, i.e., orchestral libraries that sound like the real thing and fx like EQ, Limiters, a better Cubase & etc that are easy to use and understand, freeing up the composer to get on with the job of creating their masterpieces. So it has a passive role in the creative process, but it can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

AI devices can also replace (eventually?) the composer when it comes to things like  music for TV adds and similar soundbites - given a clear enough context and an appropriate set of rules it could probably generate good enough musical content that will do the job.

However that isn't the same thing as "creating" music as we understand music as "art". The pertinent question is what does a computer understand by "music"? In a similar vein, what is the status of a musical work created by a computer? These issues and others like them are no doubt exercising the minds of musicologists.

If I'm "stuck for the next bit" or competely blank I listen to Sibelius or Prokofiev or some of my favourite tuechter bands - it usually does the trick.

Cheers, Colin

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Sign up info

Read before you sign up to find out what the requirements are!

Store

© 2018   Created by Gav Brown.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service