If you ever wondered how ‘futuristic’ music would sound, here’s a preview.
We’re all tired of hearing older people talk about how their music was better back in the day, but the more new stuff comes out, we find ourselves becoming those people.
Well, don’t look (or rather, listen) now, but the sound of the future just got even more unfamiliar. As a matter of fact, it’s nothing like you’ve ever heard before.
Introducing NSynth (Neural Synthesizer) under the Magenta project, the latest gem from the folks at Google Brain and DeepMind. It’s a tool that’s bringing forth a range of thousands of new sounds, set to revolutionise the way we make music forever.
Helena Yeung explains:
“It uses a huge database of sounds, and the NSynth team then collects notes from approximately a thousand instruments and then feeds them into a neural network. The neural net is able to run algorithms to learn about these notes, and then create a mathematical vector for each one. By doing so, it results in a machine that can mimic the sound of each instrument that can also combine these sounds.
“By using technology, traditional instruments and its corresponding sounds can now be manipulated and fused, which will allow musicians a much wider range of notes to experiment with. Tools already include sliders that can merge sounds together, to two-dimensional interfaces that allows one to explore the audible space between four different instruments at once.”
Now, if that went over your head, this clip previews what NSynth can do:
How’s that for the sound of the future? Bernard Herrmann must be cracking his knuckles in the afterlife. And in a hotel room somewhere, Kanye West probably just had a nervous breakdown.
While the development poses some big questions for composers, it’s exciting to think of how every garage band and awkward kid with a laptop could also have the ability to create, improve, and innovate with this tool.
The credo of the Magenta project is to “make music and art using machine learning,” and they’ve certainly moved the dial with this. We can’t wait to hear more.
To learn more about NSynth, click here.