Music can impart feelings of pride, sorrow, joy, and more, through the strike of a piano chord or even a well-placed silence. Artificial intelligence is now creating sounds that we as a species have never heard, enabling musicians to have new inspiration and a wider array of tools with which to influence their communities. The last musical revolution was electronic noise generation; the next is AI-based sound synthesis.
Artificial intelligence makes new sounds
NSynth is an artificial intelligence that was created specifically to combine sounds in ways that humanity has so far been unable to. The sounds produced by NSynth are intended to be inspiration for musicians and artists. By using artificial intelligence to alter sounds, a unique balance can be found between many forms of sound information.
How does the AI create unique sounds
NSynth analyzes instrumental audio and extracts mathematical information about each form. After it has completed the extraction, it then makes a new sound using the input from other instruments and blends them together in unique ratios. If NSynth decided to play a sound that was 99% flute and 1% guitar, then the sound would likely seem just like a flute.
What sorts of sounds are created
Sounds created by NSynth are new and hard to classify as they combine qualities of unique instruments but are not simply overlapping sounds of the respective instruments. The sounds made by NSynth include a hybrid of flute, bass, and organ. The sounds can be heard below, courtesy of Wired.
What instruments does the AI use
The example sounds provided by Wired include bass, flute, and organ audio combinations. The project has the potential to reach into all realms of music and instrumentation to create a virtually endless supply of new sounds. Human voices much like instruments can have their mathematical information extracted and be synthesized to create unique vocal or instrumental combinations.
Artificial intelligence is capable of writing screenplays and sorting through billions of images to identify a single face in a crowd, but now it is even capable of creating sounds that humans have not heard. While music is an industry virtually as old as man, artificial intelligence is helping to create new music. This new era of previously unheard sounds comes at a time when virtually every other industry is seeing disruption, so it seems fitting that music would too.