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What did AI ?


I want to tell the story of the first album composed with an artificial intelligence. I never imagined sharing unique moments with great musicians, singers from very different genres.

Hello World, the first pop album composed with artificial intelligence is more than ever an album made by musicians.

What did the human?

A recurring question of the journalists, what did the human in all that ?It reminds me fears about the sampler seen like a threat for the real musicians in the 80’s. A sampler does not create music from scratch, the novelty with the Flow Machines system is the generation of original melodies and sounds. This new way of composing songs raises another question: what did the AI in this album ​? Is artificial Intelligence audible in Hello World? I will try to make it clear.

What is the artificial intelligence of Flow Machines? It is not the caricature images of robots that have illustrated many articles on SKYGGE !

First step: compose the song with the Flow Composer

Flow Composer is a web page that looks like a score editor (developed by Vincent Degroote, Timotée Neullas and Daniel Martin) – looks more familiar than weird robots playing guitar.

More infos about Flow Machines there

For those who want to go further in the understanding of the Flow Machines scientific project (co-financed by the ERC), there is a video of François Pachet here :

François Pachet

In the core of Hello World  algorithms has proposed original and unpublished melodies, sound fragments that musicians have found beautiful, surprising. The machines were at the state of prototypes, they were improved by our experiments during the composition sessions. Musicians spoke to scientists and vice versa.

What is Flow Machines?

It is a system with two main engines. One generates notes and chords in the form of a score, it’s Flow Composer developed with Pierre Roy, Alexandre Papadopoulos. The other generates sounds, it is Rechord / Mashmelo developed by Matthieu Ramona (Rechord, polyphonic engine) and Marco Marchini (Mashmelo, monophonic generator for voice and solo instruments) under the direction of c.

Second step: produce the song

The sound of Flow Machines is Rechord and Mashmelo

What is the common point between Michael Bubble, Stevie Wonder and Michelle of the Beatles ?

In one click you can try all possible combinations of production. The accompaniments entered in the machine are analyzed and can be adapted and applied to any partition.

Here are some examples of stylistic intersections guided by intuition, chance, for example: Michael Bubble sings Michelle on Stevie Wonder.

A cappella by Michael Bubble

The intro of Love’s in need of love today by Stevie Wonder

After one click, Rechord and Mashmelo generated a version of Michelle

Other examples of “smart” mashups

On Girl from Ipanema: Franck Ocean’s Super Rich Kids and Marvin Gaye’s heard of the grapevine

On Girl from Ipanema always: Rihanna and an instrumental in style 60 (directed by Virgile Allien)

On a melody Flow machines that I composed: a voice of Paul Mc Cartney

Of course, none of these examples, however interesting they may be, can be exploited commercially unless all rights holders agree. But these so jubilant generations can be the starting point for an original title

From experimentations to “real” music creation

Flow Machines has attracted Stromae, Michael Lovett and all the other musicians on the album. Over the course of almost every session, the requirement to make a good title exceeded the simple experience and the machine became an instrument from which one had to draw the best material to make the best possible song.

I must say at last that we would have never composed these songs without the machine. These melodies, these sounds, have something inhuman but they have captivated us. The album was released in January under the title “the first pop album composed with AI” … This argument has the public’s ear, I think very few people have listened to the album with a neutral ear. I start reading positive articles about music as in Crack magazine: Skygge listed as one of the 25 artists of the future 

In next posts i’ll write down some precious moments i want to share with you.

Inside the Flow machines Studio

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