Jean-Michel Jarre talks creativity, tech and music’s AI future

Jean-Michel Jarre has been pushing the boundaries of electronic music and reimagining what live concerts can be since the 1970s. The French composer and producer’s one-off spectaculars – for example Place de la Concorde in Paris in 1979; Beijing and Shanghai in 1981; Houston in 1986; and London’s Docklands in 1988 – broke attendance records and changed […]

Abbey Road talks its first hackathon: ‘A space for bright ideas’

Earlier this month, Abbey Road Studios in London held its first hackathon, with 80 participants from startups and universities as well as 30 music-industry experts coming together to experiment with AI, hardware and other technologies. Organised by the Abbey Road Red incubator, the hackathon’s winning ideas included Rapple, an AI rap battler; HRMNI, a collaborative […]

Music Ally’s guide to AI music: startups, artists and big questions

There’s no question any more about whether artificial intelligence can create music – the arguments are about how good that music will be, what it might be used for, and what that might mean for human musicians. We’ve been covering this area for some time now, interviewing and writing about startups like Jukedeck, Amper Music […]

AI-music startup Popgun evolves: ‘We’re gonna make hit pop songs…’

In June 2017, Music Ally interviewed Stephen Phillips of Australian startup Popgun about his company’s development of an artificial intelligence (AI) called ‘Alice’ that was capable of playing piano with humans. Alice would ‘listen’ to the notes played by a human, then respond with what she thought might come next. Even at that early stage […]

WaveAI launches EP with lyrics and melodies created by AI

The latest startup exploring whether artificial intelligence (AI) can create music is called WaveAI, and it has an app called Alysia that will let anyone test its technology out. The app works like the tools from other AI startups like Jukedeck and Amper Music: people choose a background music track in their preferred style, then Alysia generates […]

NumberEight raises funding for AI tech that could help music-streaming services

Artificial-intelligence startup NumberEight has raised a funding round after completing three trials of its technology with music-streaming companies. The London-based company raised the undisclosed amount from investors including Beacon Capital, AI Seed, Ascension Ventures, 7% Ventures and angel investors including E100 angels from the London Business School NumberEight’s software is designed to sit within iOS […]

MIT’s new AI system can identify instruments within music

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has announced details of its latest use for AI – a deep-learning system capable of isolating the individual instruments used in a music video. “The system, which is ‘self-supervised,’ doesn’t require any human annotations on what the instruments are or what they sound like,” explained MIT. “Trained on over 60 […]

Indie labels and tech: ‘We’re not going to start building our own blockchain…’

How can independent labels make the most of disruptive new technologies, from blockchain and AI to virtual and augmented reality? A session at the Midem conference last week explored the issue. The panel included Jason Reed, head of digital at Domino; Becky Brook, business development consultant at Jaak; and Luke Dzierzek, CEO at Scored. The […]

Facebook AI team creates ‘universal music translation network’

The music industry has been abuzz with speculation about what, exactly, Facebook has planned for music beyond its first set of user-generated-content focused licensing deals. Few people have suggested that the social network’s agenda includes using artificial intelligence for “translating music across musical instruments, genres, and styles”. However, that’s exactly what a team within Facebook’s […]

OptimiseLab uses AI to predict ‘music popularity scores’

Another day, another AI/music startup – this one hailing from Toronto and called OptimiseLab. It’s using the slogan ‘538 for music’ – a reference (we think) to well-known statistical-analysis blog FiveThirtyEight, run by data-journalist Nate Silver. “We are building patent pending AI technology to analyse, improve, and compose music,” explains OptimiseLab’s profile on investment site AngelList. “Our first […]

Google shows off NSynth Super neural synthesizer instrument

Last year, we wrote about a Google research project called Magenta, which is exploring the intersection of machine-learning / AI and creativity, music included. Among its releases was a ‘neural synthesizer’ called NSynth, which used AI technology to “learn the characteristics of sounds, and then create a completely new sound based on these characteristics”. Now […]

DeepMusic Alexa skill serves up AI-generated songs

Amid all the industry conversation about how smart speakers will affect the way people listen to music, the assumption has been that the music in question will be made by humans. Here’s a new Alexa skill to make you think, though. It’s called DeepMusic, and has just launched for Alexa-powered devices like the Echo speakers. […]

Can an artificial-intelligence DJ outmix Steve Aoki?

Startup Pacemaker has been putting its artificial-intelligence DJ technology through its paces, in what it’s describing as a ‘DJ Turing Test’ against dance star Steve Aoki. Pacemaker’s AI DJ is part of its iOS app, where it automatically turns people’s Spotify playlists into flowing mixes. The company has run a test in which 100 people […]

AI creating music: can we learn to love the algorithms?

Are the new wave of artificial-intelligence startups here to eat musicians’ lunch, or to help them become even more creative? A panel run by Music Ally at the by:Larm conference in Oslo today explored the sometimes-sensitive issues around AI and music. The panel included Scott Cohen from The Orchard, Sophie Goossens from Reed Smith and […]

Check out the Music Ally digital sessions at by:Larm 2018

The by:Larm festival and conference is always a highlight of the year for Music Ally, and we’re delighted to be heading back to Oslo this week for the 2018 event. We’re also running five panel sessions and a couple of insights talks during the conference, covering some of the digital topics close to our heart […]

Jukedeck takes its AI music to Korea with K-Pop collaboration

2018 may be the year of the AI/human music collaboration. British AI music startup Jukedeck is the latest company to work with musicians in an effort to show it’s a friend not a foe for human creators. The firm has teamed up with South Korean music stable Enterarts, with some of its K-Pop songwriters taking […]

Musiio and Mubert are the latest AI-focused music startups

The fact that ‘AI music’ can mean several, very different things is well illustrated by the latest pair of startups exploring strains of artificial intelligence tech applied to music. Musiio’s focus is on using AI to analyse large catalogues of music. “The tools we provide allow you as a business to process more data than […]

‘Shapeshifting’ startup AI Music closing £5m funding round

British artificial-intelligence music/tech startup AI Music is raising £5m of funding, as it prepares to launch its first product. The company has developed technology capable of “shapeshifting” songs, using AI to remix tracks on the fly. “We’re raising £5m, and we have a lead investor that’s happy to take the whole thing,” said CEO Siavash […]

AI that makes music: ‘Labels should be buying this stuff…’

Should Ed Sheeran be getting worried about artificial intelligence dethroning him from his place atop the modern pop pantheon? It may sound like crazy foolish talk, but that was the question sparked by a session on creative AI at Music Biz and Music Ally’s NY:LON Connect conference this afternoon in New York. There is already […]

Coldcut on 30 years of innovation: ‘We are finally growing up’

30 years ago, Matt Black and Jon More met on the mixtape and rare-groove scenes in London and formed Coldcut as a rolling music, technology, art and politics project. They had enormous hits in 1988 with ‘Doctorin’ the House’ and ‘The Only Way Is Up (under the guise of the Plastic Population), both featuring Yazz, […]

Intel AI tech helps create video for Chinese star Chris Lee

Here’s more evidence of music as a guinea pig for cutting-edge artificial-intelligence technology. Just as Google is training some of its AI tech by getting it to create music, so Intel is testing some of its AI out on music videos. Specifically a video for Chinese pop star Chris Lee’s single ‘Rainy Day, But We […]

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