Amper is a musical Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology designed principally to collaborate with humans on royalty-free mood music for adverts. However, following a collaboration with songwriter Taryn Southern, it is now in the process of recording her first album – I AM AI. The album is set to hit the shelves by the end of this year, and while the lyrics and vocals are Southern’s, the chord progressions, notation and instrumentation is entirely the work of Amper.
This makes the project differ to previous tracks credited to AI, which were often adapted by a human curator.
According to Amper’s Co-creator Drew Silverstein, the technology can produce music in just a few seconds and requires no experience. His company’s key belief is that the future of music is going to be created in the collaboration between humans and AI.
Southern’s first single and video, Break Free, was released on 21st August. Amper’s goal will be further put to the test with the release of I AM AI in November.
Speaking to The Verge, Southern explained the process of creating a song using AI: “Well, it’s different for each song. Even before I was working with AI, I always started with the music and the chord structure. I never started with lyrics or melody.
“It’s similar with this process, I’m still building the foundation of a song, which I do in this case, on the Amper platform. The way it works is to give the platform certain input like BPM, instrumentation that I like, genre, key, etc. The platform will spit a song out at me, and then I can iterate from there, making adjustments to the instruments and the key.
“I can even change the genre or emotional feel or the song, until I get something that I’m relatively happy with. Once I have that, I download all the stems of the instrumentation to build actual song structure.
“What Amper’s really good at is composing and producing instrumentation, but it doesn’t yet understand song structure. It might give you a verse or the chorus and it’s up to me to stitch these pieces together so that it sounds like something familiar you would hear on the radio. Once I’m happy with the song, then I write the vocal melody and lyrics.”
For Amper, which raised a $4m funding round back in March, ‘Break Free’ shows just how AI can prove to be a useful asset for musicians like Southern. For musicians, it begs the question of who owns the content. If AI makes the music, but Southern writes the lyrics, whose song is it? Moreover, can you be a musician without mastering an instrument?
No matter what your opinion is on Southern’s latest single, I think we can all agree that it is better than ‘Daddy’s Car’…