Posted: Jul 5, 2022
**Guest post written by Brad Johnson, a musician and producer from Southern California. When he isn’t spending time with his wife and kids at the beach, he is helping songwriters and musicians at Song Production Pros.
"As musicians and songwriters, we live in a golden era of creativity and connection. Regardless of how you feel about streaming services, social platforms, and the new A&R landscape, there's never been more opportunity to get your music in front of new fans.
But with all of this opportunity comes a lot of competition. To stand out and make a name for yourself, you must continually create, develop your sound, and release new music.
We live in the age of singles and playlists, and the more music you release, the better your chances of getting discovered. With tools at our fingertips to self-publish, self-promote, and stay connected to our fans, most musicians' most significant challenge is staying creative and finishing projects.
This is where Artificial Intelligence (AI) can come in to help. AI is still in its early stages for creative applications. However, there are several innovative products to leverage AI and help you break through creative barriers and make more music quickly.
This article will address a couple of common questions regarding using Artificial Intelligence for music creation. Then we'll dive into some practical applications of how you can leverage it today to get more music out into the world.
Let's get started!
No. Using AI to create or enhance your music does not make you a bad musician or a cheater.
In fact, AI can help take your music to places you could never have gone on your own. It can help you develop new ideas, break creative barriers, quickly experiment with sounds and arrangements, and help you mix and master music.
If you approach using AI as an "assistant" to your creativity, then you're leveraging it like a co-writer. AI can provide suggestions and keep your process moving forward, but at the end of the day, you still need to rely on your own personal taste.
No. As long as there's a human involved, music will always have soul.
You are the one who decides what ideas to pursue, what sounds to use, and how to arrange your songs. AI can help with some heavy lifting and give you more ideas to work with, but it can't replace your creative vision or taste.
In fact, AI can help you understand how to create more emotionally resonant music. Some platforms can analyze certain songs and display their chords and melodies, then suggest other songs with similar vibes.
You can then study the chord progressions and quickly borrow ideas for your songs.
The company HookTheory has a free tool that does this that you can check out here.
Using Artificial Intelligence to help come up with chord progressions and melodies is one of my favorite ways to leverage this technology.
In my 25+ years of writing and playing, I've noticed that I will get stuck in the ruts of using the same chord progressions and melodic phrasings.
One of my favorite artificial intelligence tools for coming up with unique chord progressions fast is HookTheory's Hookpad.
Hookpad is an online "musical sketch pad" that you can use as a comprehensive songwriting tool.
Hookpad uses machine learning to analyze thousands of popular songs in their database to give you chord suggestions and chord trend data. This is extremely helpful for putting together the building blocks of a great song fast.
Hookpad also helps simplify melody writing by providing a grid highlighting notes that will work for each chord you select. This makes experimenting and hearing inspirational melody ideas quick and will keep your songwriting process moving forward effortlessly.
If you're a "fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants" musician with little to no grasp of music theory, this tool is an excellent fit for you. You can experiment with different chord options and key signatures with the click of a button and use your ear to help guide your musical decisions.
Using artificial intelligence tools like Hookpad to help you craft your chord progression and melodies is one of the greatest hacks for ramping up your musical output.
Coming up with good lyrics is a challenge for all songwriters. There's nothing worse than having an inspiring chord progression or melody but struggling to find the words.
These tools take input from a user and output text that reads like a human wrote it. Musicians can leverage these AI tools to finish incomplete songs and create new song lyrics and ideas.
One top-rated tool is Jasper.ai.
Jasper.ai was developed as a copywriting tool that writes persuasive and engaging copy for marketers. However, copywriting is a lot like writing lyrics.
You need lyrics to be short, concise, and straightforward.
Jasper.ai is a comprehensive tool that can write everything from creative stories, emails, ad copy, and blogs. Its strength is the ability to learn to understand the nuance of human writing and emotion.
Because of this power to write with emotion so convincingly, this is the AI writing tool I'd recommend as your songwriting assistant.
When using this AI tool, you can give it a prompt for the type of song you want to write, the tone of voice, and the audience it is intended for. While the output is always surprisingly good, you will have to treat it as a first draft idea and work it out from there.
However, if you struggle with the dreaded writer's block, this tool will help you break through this and increase your songwriting output.
Once you have a song written and recorded, the greatest challenge for most home musicians is getting that "radio-ready" polish on their tracks.
Music production is another one of those skills that can take years to master. However, in recent years, tons of artificial intelligence tools have come into the market to help make this entire process easy.
Izotope has been a leader in this department with their mixing tools Neutron and Nectar, as well as their mastering tool Ozone.
Neutron is an incredible tool that uses machine learning to listen to your individual track and use its built-in mixing tools to polish and balance the sound.
Nectar is specifically designed to be a vocal plugin. With the click of a button, you can take your raw vocal track to a pro-sounding track in seconds.
Ozone is designed to take your mix and make it ready for the world. With the click of a button, Ozone uses machine learning based on genres and mood to balance your final track and master it so it is ready for release.
It's important to mention that to use these tools to their fullest potential, you will need to tweak the changes made. However, suppose you are a solo songwriter trying to increase the output of your demos. In that case, these tools can help you get a releasable track quickly and with minimal effort.
These tools are expensive, but they can be a worthy investment because of the time you save in the mixing and mastering process.
There are some other great online mastering tools, like Landr, for machine learning mastering that are more affordable if you want to dip your toes into utilizing AI tools for your musical productions.
As we've laid out in this article, AI tools can significantly help musical arrangement, lyric writing, and music production. While some human input is still required to get the best results, AI can save you a lot of time and help you release more music.
So, are you ready to try out AI tools for music? They might just revolutionize the way you make music!
Let us know in the comments below – we'd love to hear about your experiences!"
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