Music and technology have always gone hand in hand. From the first synthesizers to auto-tune and sampling, innovations have shaped the sound of popular music for decades. Now, AI is poised to be the next big thing in music creation. In the latest episode of Future of Music Podcast, hosts Jonathan Boyd and Ryan Withrow dive deep into the world of AI music composition with industry leaders Ned Lerner of FutureVerse and Dr. Jesse Engel of JEN1. Read on for highlights of their fascinating conversation about the future of music.
AI Music Composition Tools are Already Impressive
Jonathan asks Lerner and Engel to demonstrate how their AI systems can generate original music. Within seconds, FutureVerse’s Melody Garden and JEN1 are churning out complex instrumental tracks that sound like they could be background scores for movies or video games.
“It’s really impressive how quickly these tools can create original, production-ready music based on just a few input parameters,” says Ryan.
Beyond the Metaverse Hype
While the “metaverse” dominated headlines recently, companies like FutureVerse aim to make it a reality by harnessing advanced AI. With $54 million in early funding, they are assembling teams to build the next iteration of the decentralized web, or Web 3.0.
Their goal is to seamlessly blend digital and physical worlds using concepts like decentralized identity, governance, and commerce. Music lies at the core of creating immersive virtual worlds.
Introducing JEN1 by FutureVerse
FutureVerse’s new AI system JEN1 represents a massive leap in quality for text-to-music generation. With it, users simply type a text description of desired music like “upbeat pop song in A major” to produce complete studio-quality recordings.
JEN1 utilizes FutureVerse’s AI and Web 3.0 technology stack to create surprisingly convincing results. The system even fooled professional A&R representatives in double-blind listening tests.
Ryan explains JEN1 specifically focuses on high-fidelity music production. It generates full stereo 48kHz audio on par with human producers at scale. This showcases FutureVerse’s mission of seamlessly blending AI content with reality.
Democratizing Music Creation
By integrating powerful AI into accessible UIs, FutureVerse aims to empower anyone to easily create music, art, stories, and more without traditional skills. Jonathan believes this will unlock newfound creativity, as emerging tools remove historic barriers to expression and production.
Ryan notes that making professional music generation available to the masses will drive increased experimentation. More voices crafting music builds richer virtual worlds compared to finite developer-created content.
The Future is Now
Looking forward, the hosts envision FutureVerse’s tools like JEN1 becoming ubiquitous for content creation and virtual interactions. While “metaverse” functionality may still seem abstract today, FutureVerse’s rapid progress renders it concrete and inevitable.
Jonathan sees a proliferation of virtual worlds beyond one centralized universe, likening it to websites coexisting. Ryan compares FutureVerse’s ambitions to films where advanced technology blends seamlessly into characters’ lives. Only time will tell if their vision manifests fully.
But by leveraging Web 3.0 and artificial intelligence in new ways, companies like FutureVerse bring that future steadily into the present. The possibilities for reimagining human communication and creativity grow daily.
AI Tools Excel at Musical Variety and Experimentation
One of the key strengths of AI music composition tools is their ability to generate wide stylistic variety, as Lerner and Engel demonstrate by producing tracks in genres ranging from classical to pop to electronica. The systems are also adept at experimenting, blending genres seamlessly to create hybrid sounds.
“There’s an innate creativity and unpredictability to it,” explains Engel. “JEN1 doesn’t adhere to rigid rules or patterns like some procedural composition tools. It fosters novelty.”
According to Lerner, these capabilities make AI ideal for quickly generating lots of musical options to choose from. For instance, a video game sound designer could get AI to produce dozens of background track ideas that match the mood they want.
“It provides options galore to pick and choose from,” he says.
AI Systems Learn from Data But Have Limitations
To understand how tools like FutureVerse and JEN1 gain their composition abilities, Jonathan asks about the AI training process. Engel explains that they use deep learning algorithms trained on datasets of existing music to identify patterns and relationships between musical elements like melody, harmony, rhythm, and instrumentation.
“By learning from thousands of songs and instrumental parts spanning many genres and time periods, the systems build an understanding of musical structure and style,” Engel says.
However, Lerner notes that while AI can excel at emulating genres it has been trained on, it does have limitations:
“It doesn’t truly understand music theory or have a creative agenda of its own. The systems optimize to mimic patterns effectively.”
This means unpredictable new music styles invented by humans will always be beyond AI systems until they can be trained on data featuring those innovations. For now, AI composition tools rely heavily on mimicking the past.
AI Could Be a Compositional Aid, But Not Replace Human Creativity
When Jonathan asks if AI poses any threat to human composers’ jobs, Lerner and Engel agree that is unlikely. While the technology can generate polished musical parts and arrangements, it lacks the true creative vision and emotion that humans possess.
“These tools are more akin to power-assist devices than autonomous composer replacements,” says Lerner.
Engel notes that JEN1 was created to be collaborative for musicians. It provides fertile starting points that human creators can then refine using their ears and musical intuition.
“The human is still at the center driving things,” Engel says. “AI composition tools just give them more options to choose from.”
Lerner sees a future where AI becomes a widespread compositional aid for all levels of musicians by providing fast drafts to build on. Still, he believes human creativity will always be the heart of music creation.
Try Out AI Composition with Free Trials
“It’s really eye-opening to experience these AI systems firsthand and see just how capable they are,” Withrow says.
The hosts and guests agree that while AI music generation technology is still in its early days, rapid progress in deep learning research suggests more impressive capabilities are coming soon.
“I think we’ll see tools that can assist with nearly every step of the music creation process, from songwriting and composition to production and sound design,” predicts Engel.
Tune in For More Mind-Blowing AI Music Demo
That wraps up the highlights of this thought-provoking episode diving deep into the possibilities of AI-generated music. Be sure to check out the full podcast episode to hear more amazing AI composition demos and insights from Lerner and Engel on what the future may hold.
Music and technology continue to evolve together in fascinating ways, and tools like FutureVerse and JEN1 are at the leading edge today. Tune into the Future of Music Podcast to stay on top of this radical new era in music creation.
Don’t forget to like, subscribe, and follow the Future of Music Podcast to stay updated on the latest episodes and discussions. Join the growing community of tech enthusiasts, musicians, and curious minds who are shaping the future of music in the digital age. The journey is just beginning, and you won’t want to miss a moment of it.