This weekend, Heathens by Twenty One Pilots has been stuck in my head. It has such a great sound--and I wanted to figure out what else I could listen to that sounded like it. I don't mean bands that are liked by other people who like Twenty One Pilots. I literally mean songs that sound like it... or maybe just remixed versions of it. I wanted to engage with music, but I can't, because I don't have the ability to manipulate the "source code" of the song.
But a computer could--and what if a computer could interpret my suggestions in order to manipulate creative works. Throw in a harpsichord in the background. Make those staccato guitar riffs louder.
Earl grey. Hot. But, for music.
We're doing that in creative fields already. I built this website through Squarespace's interface and I didn't have to touch any of the actual code.
That's the way I think of what we now call "artificial intelligence". For all practical purposes, it's an interface--one that can make leaps where my instructions may not have been particularly precise. It's something that can catapult not only productivity, but also creativity.
As phones and other web services have exploded the amount of audio and video created, the need for music to support it has far outpaced our ability to create it or source it through search. There just aren't enough musicians in the world to add complementary music to all of my Instagram clips, people's GoPro videos and all the baby's first steps captured by Canary--at least, not if you want it all to be unique.
What if you could tell Spotify to play something you've never heard before... No no, something faster... with more drums... and a wailing guitar.
What will the soundtrack for VR look like when you're not just watching a movie, but creating it on the fly. You're going to want different music depending on whether you choose to jump off the virtual canyon in your virtual squirrel suit or drive the race car.
That's why I'm excited about Amper Music, a company that just came out of stealth after Brooklyn Bridge Investors backed it over a year ago.
Amper is a company built by musicians for musicians. It's not just a "put a quarter in the jukebox and spit out a wave file" toy, but a tool built for professionals whose power can be integrated into a wide variety of consumer applications as well.
Drew and his team have composed for a wide variety of well known films and shows--and in Amper they set out to replicate how a human would go about their composition work. That's why users will be able to get not just the audio output, but they will be able to manipulate their work as well--because it's not just rendering, but it's actually writing music.
Amper is a companion more than it is any kind of replacement.
One day, no vocalist or musician in the world will start from a blank sheet of music. The computer will "pair program" with them--riffing back, helping them explore sounds, mixing inspirations, etc.
It will also help create more composers as well. How much more exciting would piano lessons have been if I could have skipped a few pages in the practice book and used a computer to help me compose real music? That would have inspired me to keep going with my work rather than keep playing boring scales over and over.
Amper's AI composer is API-ready and is looking to work with media creation platforms of all kinds. Media companies are already using it and they're open to adding new beta customers. If you have any kind of music needs either to compliment media you create, or to jumpstart what your own users create, contact Drew at email@example.com