AI - Cheating or just evolution?

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Yonatan
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Joined: 18 Jan 2015

Post 12 Nov 2022

As we approaches end of 2022, we start to see more and more signs and products that is to make it easier for producers or songwriters or whomever, to make music.
But it seems ”making music” has become more of ”Arranging or organizing already existing music. And to some degree, that is what always been the case. We use instruments and tones and chords and rythm, to combine and arrange and tweak, to sound both as what our inner references allow, and a tiny pint of ”me”, whatever that ingredient is.

Same with painters etc. Using what is, and often the most creative we can come up with is using these tools in ways not intended or not in a standard way.
And offcourse one can create ones own tools, instruments and even try to create new musical language if one has enough of a playing God complex.

More snd more, AI is coming for us. One can see it as a threath or as another more advanced tool.
Being a director means others are playing, you directing, interpreting a written work on paper.

Will AI become both player, arranger, director and writer of the script?

What role is left for humans?
Are we the tweakers of creation?
Maybe that is just what we always been.
Reality comes back too bite us in the foot.

Do you remember when drum machiines entered the market? It was going to be the end of drummers. Now 2022, yeah, drums can be had through multiple brands. But are there any drummers left? Yes. We humans loves to drum so we will continue to drum until sun explodes. It is deep in our DNA. We love to hear drums but also cant get too passive as we love to create beats.
Will any AI guitarist or bassist make us stop playing these instruments?

But maybe even more interesting. Will auto-mixing and intelligent mastering make those tasks obsolete?

Super experts at their craft seem to be left.

But also the more available techniqes seem to make more people able to realize their dreams.
Democratization of art and music. Snobbery and elitism is what may be distinct. Innovation and creative ways to use AI will not go away.
That is my guess.

So I am carefully optimistic about the progress.
But also, things gone a bit slow. But probably we are at a bigger threshold where soon it will be a ketchup effect, many groundbreaking things might make old apps and famous plugins obsolete too.

Virtual instrumentalists that listen and sync with you, vary intensity and velocity depending on your intentions and ques. Just as in a good gig. Virtual instrumentalists that can answer you musicaly, who can adapt to the singers enotional expression etc. These things will happen some day. And that emotional singer, is not even you, it is a virtual AI singer. You are merely the band leader or manager.
☺️

What will happen next in 2023? Not too much I guess, but at 2030…wow.

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selig
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Post 13 Nov 2022

We’ve been cheating all along.
If you’re not playing live in front of a live audience, you are already cheating. Having multiple chances to get a performance right (even when going direct to disk) is a form of cheating because you no longer have to get it right the first time.
So since the introduction of technology we have been cheating. The question is, is cheating good or bad? How much cheating is OK?

I first realized this back when drum machines and then later auto tune sealed the deal. With drum machines you no longer needed to play drums with good timing - but it also revealed that perfect timing was not necessarily what attracts us to certain rhythms. I even worked on a project where the drummer quit because the band wanted to program parts in the Fairlight (and actually hoped HE would dictate the programming).

Next came AutoTune, and singers were suddenly concerned they would be seen as cheating. To which I replied: “you didn’t think it was cheating when you have multiple chances to get it right, or when the engineer had to ride the fader or use compression to correct level issue, or use filters to get rid of plosives or sibilance, or EQ to make your voice sound brighter, or when we started comping a vocal track from multiple takes or even moved lines to improve timing. But suddenly we can fix pitch and NOW you’re worried it will be seen as cheating?
We’ve been cheating all along… ;)
Selig Audio, LLC

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motuscott
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Post 13 Nov 2022

Walking on two limbs leaves two limbs free to manipulate music tools. Cheating
Who’s using the royal plural now baby? 🧂

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QVprod
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Post 13 Nov 2022

AI will never completely compete with true human talent and creativity. It can only emulate. I use virtual guitars and drums fairly often. It gets the job done, but it in no way replaces actual musicians. That said this is also genre dependent.

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Jackjackdaw
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Post 13 Nov 2022

I was reading about how the source material that ai draws from is actual artist’s published work . But when it spits out something that is based on this source material then the original artists don’t get any credit. A bit like sampling but with no copyright protection for creators because of this layer of abstraction by the ai. The ai might never be good enough to replace a genuine artistic work but it will be good enough to cheat creators out of the sort of bread and butter work that pays bills.

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bxbrkrz
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Post 13 Nov 2022

It is the evolution of the art for some corporations to become more evil.

Your product is fair use to them, but their product is not to you. One day your original art might be flagged as fraudulent because your style would be too close to the AI's ©.

Machine learning is not real intelligence. The machine needs the input of humans, it can't feed itself with real art made by humans.


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Yonatan
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Post 14 Nov 2022

In a way, we all get inputs and then we come up with something, and often times it is our quirks and individual differences that makes the outcome be seen as something else than just a imitating copy. The better you are at copying, the less you bring to the table. I mean, why do we still run audio through gear and plugins that has ”imperfections”?
We often times dont just want a mere clean copy. We want some degradation or transformation in certain ways. Not totally out of order, but enough to create another feel. So we love effects. But when done, we want clean converters and ultra clean mastering EQ etc. But the creative process is where we want to explore and get surprised.
I guess AI could become a part of this exploring part as well as the ultra clean. Different AI for different needs,

Yeah, Auto-tune!
Actually it was an facebook ad about some new voice tuner that got me to write this post but I forgot to bring it up, so thanks Selig for that. I read the comments and so many talked about cheating and ”learn to sing!!”, quite aggressive.
Fixing vocals seems to stir up so strong emotions in many people. And I kind of lean towards the ”then all is cheating”.
Or it gets very tricky to discern and logically say what is ”original” and what is ”cheating”.

But we live in an age where our most regarded musical artists in history, can be mimiced and to be honest, many imitators, are exceeding the original, they sound so close but even more virtouse than the original. So what to say about that? Is that singer better? Technically might be so, but can we ever copy and paste to replace?
Probably some plays exactly like Jimi Hendrix. Congratulations! Some painters can replicate other painters, and even do it with more ”perfection” with modern tools.
AI will probably become a flood of likewise copying skills. If you do a song you written, an AI will look, listen, analyze and replicate it but with more perfection. Will we start having our own AI mirrors that catch our ideas but makes them more perfect?

Is perfection even something that we really want? We may often aim at it ourselves, to become more accurate, but we know we never fully reach that objective perfection. And if AI could do so for us…will we want that? Maybe not. Or maybe just a little here and there to craft an middle ground, to get rid of some annoying imperfections (nasal singing or whatever), and have just the right balance of human feel.

When perfection is an option…what will happen to our approaches?

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Loque
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Post 14 Nov 2022

Still no copyright trolls around to get their jobs done?
Reason12, Win10

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Timmy Crowne
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Post 14 Nov 2022

AI can generate music, but it can’t love the music it creates. We have to judge the output and decide whether to save or delete. Really, the advance of technology puts us into the producer’s chair more than ever. Producers didn’t generally play every instrument on their records. They gathered the talent (songwriters, session musicians, engineers) and guided the stylistic choices. I think AI should enable that.

Yonatan
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Post 15 Nov 2022

Timmy Crowne wrote:
14 Nov 2022
AI can generate music, but it can’t love the music it creates. We have to judge the output and decide whether to save or delete. Really, the advance of technology puts us into the producer’s chair more than ever. Producers didn’t generally play every instrument on their records. They gathered the talent (songwriters, session musicians, engineers) and guided the stylistic choices. I think AI should enable that.
True. And it is an art being a good producer, you have to be open and same time aware enough to recognize when something interesting is happening. How many standard sounds has not came about by mistake or using something the ”wrong way”. For me, the fun thing with Technology is that it has the potential to reduce the gap between an inspiration or idea, and making it come to reality. Easy to get lost or that the technology gets in the way but it has the capacity to speed up the process.

Yonatan
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Post 16 Nov 2022

Is Band in A Box a non AI Arranger? Seems it creates songs with pre-recorded audio. Anyone tried using it?

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integerpoet
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Post 16 Nov 2022

selig wrote:
13 Nov 2022
If you’re not playing live in front of a live audience, you are already cheating.
If you are not singing a cappella, you are already cheating.

If you didn't invent your own system of music theory, you are already cheating.

😀

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integerpoet
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Post 16 Nov 2022

Timmy Crowne wrote:
14 Nov 2022
AI can generate music, but it can’t love the music it creates…
…yet.

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integerpoet
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Post 16 Nov 2022

QVprod wrote:
13 Nov 2022
AI will never completely compete with true human talent and creativity.
"Never" is a very long time.

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integerpoet
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Post 16 Nov 2022

I've been playing with Stable Diffusion quite a bit lately. It knows a lot of about natural language and images and how those two things relate. It knows nothing about the world, but I wouldn't bank on that staying true forever — or even for long.

One big mistake people make over and over with technology is focus too much on its current state. It's too easy, apparently, to jump from its current state to conclusions about its limits or even the limits of technology in general.

Stable Diffusion is fucking amazing already and getting better at a steady clip. I don't know if this generation of tech, once evolved into its full potential, will really put graphic designers or VFX houses or fine artists out of business.

But I do know things aren't sitting still and the major advances are arriving more quickly.

I'm pretty sure AI is coming for all of our jobs — and sooner than most expect.

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jam-s
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Post 16 Nov 2022

Imho AI is another useful and mighty tool in the creative toolbox. It's up to you as an artist to put it into good use.

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bxbrkrz
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Post 16 Nov 2022

I remember when my bank teller was pushing me hard to use the ATM, so I could avoid waiting for a simple cash deposit. Best advice ever.
Now, if only I could still thank her... Thank you Evolution!
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Yonatan
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Post 17 Nov 2022

integerpoet wrote:
16 Nov 2022
I've been playing with Stable Diffusion quite a bit lately. It knows a lot of about natural language and images and how those two things relate. It knows nothing about the world, but I wouldn't bank on that staying true forever — or even for long.

One big mistake people make over and over with technology is focus too much on its current state. It's too easy, apparently, to jump from its current state to conclusions about its limits or even the limits of technology in general.

Stable Diffusion is fucking amazing already and getting better at a steady clip. I don't know if this generation of tech, once evolved into its full potential, will really put graphic designers or VFX houses or fine artists out of business.

But I do know things aren't sitting still and the major advances are arriving more quickly.

I'm pretty sure AI is coming for all of our jobs — and sooner than most expect.
Cool, did not know about Stable Diffusion.
Yeah, we will need to expect many many jobs be gone sooner or later. Maybe Universal Basic Income will become an essential thing.
And together with new energy sources, we might become freer to evolve.

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Rising Night Wave
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Post 17 Nov 2022

OP's question: AI - Cheating or just evolution?
my oppinion: just an evolution
Rising Night Wave & Extus at SoundCloud
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guitfnky
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Post 17 Nov 2022

integer gets it. it's not about where AI is now--it's about where it's going. kinda funny how so many creatives seem to have such a lack of imagination on this topic. just recognize how far things have come already, understand that people will continue to develop and improve on these technologies--and you will recognize that given sufficient time, AI will create art that's indiscernible to humans. hell, it already is, in the visual arts world. if you think AI isn't going to be able to do the same with music, you're mad. it's coming for the 'programmed to a grid' electronic crowd first, but it won't be too long before it's creating believable rock tracks and orchestral scores (and mixing+mastering it all).

on one hand it's kind of a sad thought, but at the end of the day, it doesn't diminish what any artist does--the worth, quality, and enjoyment of our own output isn't impacted whatsoever by AI--just as it's not when another new human artist starts putting out music. the only thing that it means is there will be a flood of new 'artists' out there. if you're worried about competition, I guess that's a valid concern.

but from another perspective, it's going to be kinda beautiful. at some point, AI will be capable of delivering music and art every bit as emotionally impactful as anything we love today. for the skeptics, there will likely come a time when they hear something, have a human visceral reaction to it, and later come to learn it was created by an algorithm.

bottom line is it doesn't much matter--there's going to be more great music out there, and that's great for listeners. in many cases we don't know how the music we listen to now was created. the proverbial sausage was made out of our view, and all we really care about is whether we like it or not. likewise, in time we'll realize that the manner in which it was created doesn't mean a goddamn thing. our judgment and biases of the method of creation will eventually give way to what's really important--our judgment of the music itself.
I write music for good people

https://slowrobot.bandcamp.com/

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MrFigg
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Post 17 Nov 2022

selig wrote:
13 Nov 2022
We’ve been cheating all along.
If you’re not playing live in front of a live audience, you are already cheating. Having multiple chances to get a performance right (even when going direct to disk) is a form of cheating because you no longer have to get it right the first time.
Hej man...all you have to do is get it right first time. No time for mistakes. Up the game.
🗲 2ॐ ᛉ

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DaveyG
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Post 17 Nov 2022

Timmy Crowne wrote:
14 Nov 2022
AI can generate music, but it can’t love the music it creates.
You're not looking at it the right way. In time, humans will learn to love AI-generated music because it will mostly be all that they hear. Human musicians will become a curiosity. "Hey, look at that guy trying to make music with an old-fashioned guitar. How quaint."

In the meantime, Scaler 2 has taken my music to places I would probably never have found otherwise. For example, I'd never heard of Neo-Riemannian theory and I've no idea how it works but you can get some weird yet satisfyingly musical chord modulations out of it.

Incidentally, the full unlock for Scaler 2 for iOS is currently on sale - about 25% off I think.

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motuscott
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Post 17 Nov 2022

If AI creates our music, what will become of the air guitarists?

Motuscott, asking the hard questions since 2022
Who’s using the royal plural now baby? 🧂

RobC
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Post 17 Nov 2022

AI is a joke. : ) But at least your art stands out without it. As long as you're creative.

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bxbrkrz
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Post 17 Nov 2022

motuscott wrote:
17 Nov 2022
If AI creates our music, what will become of the air guitarists?

Motuscott, asking the hard questions since 2022
In the future the majority of air guitarists won't know the difference between human created or AI created music, only a small fraction will.
The Fraction will be in charge of booting and caring for the mainframe computers, while pretending to others it's all magical.
This Black Swan event will be a marker for humanity and the concept of music in general, as Human Evolution won't have a need for ears anymore...
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