Live From the Uncanny Valley: How AI Applications Are Turning Text Into Music

Ora Sawyers

Previously this calendar year, the London-centered digital producer patten introduced Mirage FM, which billed by itself as “the initially-ever album made from textual content-to-audio AI samples.” It was manufactured making use of Riffusion, a software launched in 2022 that follows a slightly much more convoluted model than MusicLM: After a consumer inputs a textual content prompt, it generates a visualization, which is then translated into an initial audio file. “My engagement with building music is quite a great deal about striving to do factors that prod out the feasible,” suggests patten, who is also a Ph.D. researcher in the discipline of intersection with technology and art.

So when he 1st found textual content-to-audio was possible, even nevertheless he was intended to be getting a break, he uncovered himself so inspired that he produced an album in his downtime. “I just started off recording several hours and hours of experiments,” he claims. Right after that, he went back by way of it all forensically, acquiring smaller snippets that appealed to him. From individuals pieces, he assembled his greater work. When I inquire him about his textual content prompts, he playfully declines to share them: “I imagine of them as spells, or incantations,” he claims of the words he typed into Riffusion’s generative audio engine.

The final result, he is quick to be aware, continue to feels like “a patten album. When you hear to it, it’s pretty certainly made by me. It does not suddenly really feel like I’m working with a diverse technique.” The prompts, he claims, have been just that, and in this way, patten is applying text-to-audio application in a great deal the way Donahue envisioned MusicLM serving skilled musicians—as a goad to get imagination flowing, a cracked-open up doorway to the act of authentic human development.

“Making songs that feels like something—people locate that really hard to do,” patten muses. “There’s no method for a piece of tunes that persons locate touching.” The stems he produced with his phrases ended up just raw supplies, reworked by the curiosity of his gaze.

Listening to Mirage FM, it is unattainable to know wherever patten’s creative course of action commences and the snippets created wholesale from Riffusion stop. But either thanks to his alternatives or the program’s idiosyncrasies, the album has an intriguingly unfinished experience, like a workbook still left open.

The album is composed of 21 glimmering shards, none of the tracks extending much earlier the two-minute mark. Dealt with voices gabble absent beneath significant processing filters, mimicking synthesizers, even though synth traces cry like little one animals. Occasionally the tunes appears to be to hiccup into silence, as if nitrogen bubbles flowed by way of its bloodstream. The mood is dreamy, both in the “inducing reverie” perception and in its vague sense of unreality. The earth it paints feels hazy, but engaging: Its contours seem to glow, a doable foreseeable future thinking by itself into existence.

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