Generating Unexpected Music with Artificial Intelligence and Ableton Live

Using Artificial Intelligence in music production is an exciting and strange idea.  Different AI tools have come and gone since 2016, but this is the first one that caught a deeper interest. When it comes down to it the output still seems random. Today that has changed. Magenta is a suite of Max for Live Devices that gives musicians easy access to experimenting with AI for generating new ideas.

Magenta Max For Live Plugins for AI showing all the devices on a red and yellow background

Walkthrough of Magenta Max For Live Devices

Magenta released a free Max For Live Patch to give you access to the power of Magenta Studio. It has four devices you can use to make new musical ideas. This video is a walkthrough of Magenta by Google:

 

Download Magenta At https://magenta.tensorflow.org/studio/ableton-live

 

Magenta Studio of Machine Learning Tools

Magenta is an open source research project by Google. It was made to exploring the role of machine learning as a tool in the creative process. Magenta has taken massive amounts of data and created a database that can then be used with machine learning.  A great example of this is Generate.

The Generate module using AI and Machine Learning to make brand new ideas. Here is Google’s explanation of how it works:

Generate uses a Variational Autoencoder (VAE) that has been trained on millions of melodies and rhythms to learn a summarized representation of musical qualities. Generate chooses a random combination of these summarized qualities, and decodes it back to MIDI to produce a new musical clip.

So, in other words, they have given Magenta a massive collection of MIDI they have collected from live performances and music. The AI then sees similarities and tries to make a new melody that would be similar yet different from the originals.

Artificial Intelligence as a New Toolset

Machine Learning is really good at average. Right now we are pumping a massive amount of info into programs to have them spit out things that are similar. That means it is taking the average of data and trying to make something. It also means these tools have yet to make something spectacularly new and unexpected. It can’t come up with the next best idea, right now it can just average out past ideas.

What this means as a music producer is we shouldn’t rely on these tools. But they are a great way to come up with unexpected ideas. After you get a bunch of ideas you can use your own tastes and decision making to narrow it down or edit them into new ideas.

Interpolate is particularly useful. I was able to take 2 melodies I wrote and use it to move between the two and come up with some new ideas. Taking the generated MIDI from Magenta, I edited it and made a whole new track.  It’s a really unique way to augment your writing process.

I don’t know what the future holds for Machine Learning and Music Production, but this is the first step I have seen that really excites me as a musician.

Check out Magenta Studio and download to start playing: https://magenta.tensorflow.org/studio/ableton-live

 

By |2019-02-09T23:28:32+00:00January 23rd, 2019|Ableton, Producers Blog|2 Comments

8 of the Best Free Ableton Live Packs and Effects (2018 rundown)

Having access to great sounds makes the whole music making the process so much faster.  That is why I am always on a hunt for good Live Packs. I’ve collected my top favorite free Live Packs and Instrument Racks. Download each of these for free. If it opens up a Gumroad page, just put “0” in the name your price to grab it for free.

Singularities for that synthy goodness

First on our list is an official Live Pack from Ableton, Singularities.  This Live pack is freaking amazing.  As they say on the website;

Singularities makes use of single samples and finely tuned, expressive parameters to capture the sound and feel of classic synths and samplers. Included are 40 Instrument Racks, plus MIDI clips and drum kits – all the parts you need for a complete track.

I love the collection of synths and instrument racks in this Live Pack. Check out the sounds of Singularities below.

Smashed Snapple Can Just For Fun

If you have read this blog, you know I am a fan of AfroDjMac. He is constantly coming out with Live Packs and Instrument Racks. I didn’t want to litter the list with all his releases, but this is one of his highlights.

The Smashed Snapple Can Live Rack is just that… A smashed can. AfroDjMac showed this instrument off at Loop this year. Here is what he said about the instrument rack:

I created these while monitoring the In-School Suspension room at the high school where I work. A bored and belligerent student was amusing himself by causing a disruption. He was blowing into a crushed Snapple to make some kind of dying animal sound. Here is the sample:

Unaware of who was supervising the room, the student was a bit surprised when I asked him to do it again so I could record it. After recording it, I processed the sound in Ableton Live and made the three instruments I am sharing with you today.

I love the context this gives to the samples. Freaking hilarious.  Download the Live Pack Here.

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Loop 2018 Music Sumit

Coming back from Ableton Loop Event and feeling hella inspired. Just set up my studio again and started making music… because isn’t that the point?

The classes and workshops were really mind-blowing. I took classes on making synths with paper, Artifical Intelligence in music, the art of listening, and so much more.

Here is a video I made of my experience at Loop 2018. You can see how excited I was and pick up some of what I learned. Also… there is a little teaser in there for something amazing.

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My overall experience was great at Loop. Ableton really goes all out with these events. I got to hang out with other teachers I admire, meet new musicians, pick up new skills, and come out with new ideas to put into my tracks. So yeah… a success for sure.  Next year I hope it’s back in LA, it’s a lot easier of a trip then Berlin, but either way, I hope to make it out.

If you went, I would love to hear in the comments what your favorite part of Loop was.

Making Meditation Music and Binaural Beats

Binaural beats have greatly affected my life. Not only that, but they were the reason I became an electronic musician.In a Meta full circle, I am excited to release this online course on Binaural Beats. It dives deep into Binarual Beats, Isochronic Tones, Frequencies, and more. Been years in the making, and honored to finally release it.

Fifteen years ago I got into being a psychonaut. It was a strange and wild point of my life. I was doing dream experiments, binaural beats, and exploring consciousness.

That time greatly shaped who I am today. In a strange full circle, I have been revisiting those experiments the last few years. I have been drawn back into my love of Binaural Beats and how to dial in your consciousness.

After a lot of discovery and work, I have created this online course on how to make your own binaural beats and using sound to affect consciousness. It feels pretty amazing to have this thread through my life and find a new way to help others on their own journey. Here is a trailer video for the course:

If you are interested in learning more on how you can affect consciousness with sound, then check out my online course on making binaural beats. 

 

Learn More About The Course

Live Set with Stem Mixing – Setting up your Tracks

So you got some sweet tracks, but you want to load them into Ableton Live’s Session view for live performance. It can be a headache… but I made this video on how to quickly do this for your Stems.  Just drag in the stems you have exported of your song, chop it up, and get it ready to go in Session View. Watch the video below for a walkthrough:

 

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Sign up for our Email List to get notified when the Studio to the Stage course goes live.

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If you don’t know how to bounce down your tracks into Stems to start, check out this article and video. I also included an easy to use PDF / checklist for making stems.

Another tidbit I shared was using the Circle of Fifths I created to color your tracks in Live.  I find this technique to help a lot with Harmonic Mixing. I have even printed these as stickers for my laptops. I used to print and sell them, but it was mainly just paying for shipping… so feel free to print this off at home.

Hopefully, this video has given you some ideas on how to set up your live set. If you would like to learn more in-depth knowledge on my Live Set and building your own, make sure you sign up for the newsletter above in this article.

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Free Lo-Fi Synth and Keys Presets

I have been obsessed with that Lo-Fi retro sound from VHS and Cassette Tapes… so I bought a bunch and made some wild synths out of them. I used the Tape players to give it that lo-fi wow and flutter sound. Add some saturation and other awesome things… and you got some amazing new sounds to play with.

I collected some of these new synths I made and put them into a free / by donation live pack. Here is a walkthrough video:

The Lo-Fi Demo synths are free / by donation. Just follow the link below.


Download the Lo-Fi Presets

This Live pack includes just 7 Synths from a much bigger Live Pack at the Subaqueous Store. https://subaqueousmusic.com/shop/music-tools/lo-fi-synths/


The full pack includes:

  • 24 Tape Saturated, VHS dripping Synths
  • 14 Retro Synths Based off of Analog Gear
  • Instrument Rack with adjustable Analog Noise to add Grit
  • Collection of Tape Hiss and Crackle Samples from Analog Gear

BONUS:

Party on!

https://subaqueousmusic.com/shop/music-tools/lo-fi-synths/

By |2019-01-05T13:00:02+00:00June 27th, 2018|Ableton, Free Music Tools, Producers Blog|1 Comment