Is it possible for pop songwriters to create songs using artificial intelligence? In 2018, pop artist Taryn Southern did just that, by creating an entire album with the help of AI songwriting tools.
Amper Music makes one of the AI tools used on the album. In this article, I will examine Amper’s tools in detail.
Summary of the Tool
From the company website, Amper “compose custom music in seconds.” The main product offering, called Score, generates soundtrack music that can be used for videos or podcasts.
Amper’s tool is free to use. Once the songs have been generated, Amper offers multiple purchasing options for the songs. Each option provides a license, with the personal license of $29 per song to the online ad license of $1199.
After signing in, the user is presented with options to create a new project from scratch, or from a recommended playlist. Starting with the recommended playlist is a great way to try out the tool. With this option, new songs can generated based on the instrumentation and algorithm of the songs from the playlist.
Each song takes around 1 minute to generate. The “Tour de Score” playlist will generate 10 songs, all of which are music from different genres.
Within each song, instruments can be added, removed, or modified. The quality of the instruments sound terrific. This is expected, since Amper uses their own custom instrument samples.
The generated music sounds fantastic, especially as a soundtrack for a video. They can also serve as a great starting point for pop songwriters. However, because of the lack of distinct melodies, it’s mostly up to the songwriter to create the melodies.
You can listen to some of the generated music on their company website.
I reached out to Amper Music for the technical details behind their product, but did not get a response. Here are some resources that I gathered from their website :
Unlike the other AI music tools in the industry, Amper did not use prewritten music as their training dataset. Instead, Amper worked directly with musicians to create the dataset. They do this because there is a legal grey area when using copyrighted material to generate new music.
If you’re curious about AI generated music, sign up for a free account.
Amper’s tool is great at what it claims to do, which is to generate high quality soundtrack music. For songwriters, the tool can be used to generate a background rhythm section, and serve as a starting point for new songs.
Like Taryn Southern, I think it's only a matter of time before pop musicians adopt AI songwriting tools. Current AI tools are great for inspiring new songs, and the tools will continue to improve as AI technology advances.
About the Author
Wayne Cheng is the founder and machine learning engineer at Audoir. His focus is on the use of generative deep learning to build songwriting tools. Prior to starting Audoir, he worked as a hardware design engineer for Silicon Valley startups, and an audio engineer for creative organizations. He has a MSEE from UC Davis, and a Music Technology degree from Foothill College.