Google continues to push the boundaries of technology and this time they have ventured into the world of music. The search giant is conducting a new AI experiment to mark the beginning of the upcoming festive season. An artist in residence at Google Arts & Culture Lab, Simon Doury designed a new AI-powered tool called Instrument Playground for the company. This tool can help users to create music inspired by instruments from around the globe.
“Start your journey by discovering 10 lesser-known instruments from around the world, and learn more about traditional instruments and music from India, Korea, Japan, or Brazil,” Google said in its blog. The AI experiment is powered by Google’s MusicLM, a text-to-AI tool released to the public in May. It can generate high-fidelity music in any genre given a text description and is available in the AI Test Kitchen app on the web, Android or iOS.
How It Works
The tool is trained with 100 musical instruments from around the world and includes the ‘Veena‘ from India, the ‘Dizi‘ from China and the ‘Mbria‘ from Zimbabwe. By simply typing in an instrument’s name and an optional adjective, MusicLM generates a 20-second audio clip to kickstart your musical creativity. Moreover, you can add adjectives like ‘moody’, ‘happy’, or ‘romantic’ to their prompt to shape the results.
Note that it may inexplicably reject certain adjectives. However, the generated music might not always match the entered instrument’s exact sound. For instance, typing “angry tuba” could result in a synthesized pipe organ sound instead of an intense brass solo. Similarly, “strange didgeridoo” came out like an ominous section of a Hans Zimmer score. The results seem like abstract compositions with layers of sound that (sort of) capture the ‘feeling’ more than the specific ‘sound’ of the prompt.
In its blog post, the company notes that users can add the terms ‘merry’ or ‘joyful’ to compose a festive jingle. After generating a clip they like, users can further customize several components of the composition like “Ambient,” “Beat,” and “Pitch,” making it more uniquely yours. The tool will even allow users to play and create with the sound clip while exploring different sound effects.
Apart from this, users can also try the sequencer by selecting the advanced mode. This will help them to layer and loop up to four instruments. Google has also created some festive jingles which includes “Chime Chime Ya”, a classic jingley composition inspired by festive chimes and “Ho Ho Ho” which is an ode to Santa Claus and has a layering of “festive church bells” and “heavenly gongs.” Once satisfied with their creation, users can download it as a “.wav file.“
Try Google’s new Instrument Playground tool here. Google has made it pretty seamless to start making abstract music with this experiment. They can have fun and create various tracks with different prompts and instruments. However, it’s important to note that the tool didn’t seem to work properly while the tool completely rejected others. In some cases, an error also popped up to say that it doesn’t allow prompts referencing specific artists. Hopefully, Google will rectify this soon.