Making Music With AI

· By Will Harken

How to Make Music With AI (8 Ways To Get Started)

Imagine how many songs you could make if a robot did most of the writing and production for you. An AI music generator… It would be awesome.

Luckily, there are AI tools that can help with songwriting, producing, mixing, and mastering. In this article, I will show how to experiment with AI-assisted music.

Only have lyrics or a concept? Click here to get a finished song

Disclaimer: People tend to think the quality of a song = song results. The truth is, hits are usually hits because the creator has a very large pre-existing following OR lots of $$$. Just because AI can help you make a song that should be famous doesn’t mean the song will be famous.

It might... not be about the music. 

The Outline Of This Article

Here’s an outline of the article - feel free to skip around!

AI Songwriting

Songwriting includes developing the song’s lyrics, melodies, chords, and song form. As far as I know, there isn’t an AI yet that can do all of these by itself. There’s no flawless AI song generator.

There ARE tools like Suno.ai. Which can generate a full tune based on a text prompt. For simpler genres of music, it can do okay. Full Disclosure: Suno will not make you the next Post Malone.

But I am going to cover music maker tools that can help you finish your song.

1) AI Lyrics

ChatGPT has overtaken other tools as my main tool for AI lyric generation. This conversational AI is used for blog-posting, cheating on college essays, and much more. You just tell it what you want, and it does it! Sometimes with mixed results lol.
ChatGPT allegedly making songs
Another tool I’ve started using in the last year is LyricStudio. The paid version is super good at killing writers block and has helped me finish countless songs. 

Regardless of what tool you pick, I recommend editing. After you have a decent chunk of lyrics, you can pick the lyrics that feel good for your song!

AI generated about 90% of the lyrics in both of the songs below. My personal favorite lyric's output was “Our jackets keep the truth inside.”

 

 

2) AI Song Form

Song form is usually the most trivial task in songwriting. Because the form between songs is usually very similar. For example, you see verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus A LOT.

But in the event that you want to use a tool to decide your song form, I recommend Jukeblocks.io. It limits some features if you don’t subscribe, but the free version will work fine for most people.

I’m pretty sure this tool doesn’t count as true artificial intelligence. Nonetheless, it can help you decide on the form of your song. Just select a genre and it will give you an idea. It can also help you arrange your song too (more on that later).

PRO TIP: A lot of the time I just copy SONG FORM from a song in the genre. 

Jukeblocks

 

3) AI Melodies

This may come as a surprise, but the main tool I use for melody ideas is MY BRAIN. Seriously, don't doubt the power of hitting play on a music track and just humming stuff over it.

Tools can be sexy, but sometimes they aren't actually as efficient or effective as doing it yourself.

MAGENTA STUDIO (FREE)

But another good option is Magenta Studio. A collection of music plugins that use machine-learning techniques for music generation. They have a plugin for Ableton users, but anyone who doesn't use Ableton can use the standalone version.

There are other melody tools, but this one gives you some solid control over the results. It’s probably one of your best bets for generated topline melodies.

Another cool thing about the Magenta Suite is the ability to generate drum and percussion parts.

Magenta A.I.

 

The suite has 3 algorithms to help with melody. Generate, Continue, and Interpolate.

  1. Generate - creates melody ideas from scratch
  2. Continue - creates a new melody based on (1) input melody
  3. Interpolate - creates a new melody based on (2) input melodies

 

Melody created using Interpolate and two melodies from well-known hit songs.

CAPTAIN MELODY / ORB MELODY

The Captain and Orb Producer suites are very similar to each other.

Both Captain Melody AND Orb Melody can help you write melodies, as their names would suggest.

These are great tools for generating melodic ideas from scratch (or based on chords if you connect the chords plugin to the melody plugin).

And after you create the melody, you can modify it to taste.

Do these plugins count as true AI? Who knows. But they are nifty for melody creation.

Captain Melody

 

4) AI Chords

On the topic of Orb Producer, their recent update also happens to be the best option for adding chords to an existing melody.

In their 2.0 release, they included Harmonize MIDI. Which basically creates chords in one click.

Orb Producer

You can select and import any MIDI file and specify the type of the MIDI file input : Mixed, Chords, Melody or Bass.

So if you are starting with a melody and need to add chords, this is the tool to use.

At the time of this writing, Captain Chords doesn't have the functionality to look at a melody and generate chords underneath. But it can give you chord ideas to help you get your song rolling, you just have to start with chords first.

A really insane tool I found is a community Google Collab Notebook of Jukebox. This tool can take an existing clip of music audio and generate more of the song. So if you produce 30 seconds of your song then give it to this tool, it will spit out ideas that include the drum part, melody AND chords.

The result is downsampled and will sound very muddy, so you will still need to get it recorded and produced yourself.

Stable Audio can do similar stuff, and I use it almost every day, but it can't take your original audio as an input. Only previous audio you have generated on the platform. 

AI Music Production

While there are lots of artificial intelligence music tools out there, but they fall short of being an automated hit-making machine. No AI can turn a melody and chords into a finished radio-worthy production.

For example, the music generated by Jukebox.ai, Stable Audio, or Suno.ai STILL don't sound like something you would hear on the radio.

Also… with most of them, it’s not usually possible to modify the song outputs if there is something you don't like.

So AI composed music has a long way to go. ACTUALLY GOOD fully AI-generated music isn't here yet.

Random Prediction (2019): At some point in the next 100 years, we might have an AI that can write, sing, and produce hit songs by itself. Heck, DAWS could become obsolete and the software for producing music might be more like a conversation with a computer.

For now, we have to settle for production tools that are not quite fully automated.

👉Let me be your AI producer. I will use all the tools from this article to make an AI Song for you! Click here to try my Start A Song (We use AI).

5) AI Arrangement

There are tools and websites that will technically arrange a song. Like AIVA, EvokeMusic, and Boomy. 

Boomy Music Creation

While these services have come a long way, they usually don’t let you give any input as to what the chords or melody should be.

And they also usually don’t let you make too many changes after they arrange the song. Often, these tools are usually focused on entrepreneurs who need background music for promotional videos. So from a creative standpoint, they kinda suck.

Then again, you’re the one who Googled “help me make ai music,” so maybe creativity isn’t your bag anyway 🤣

Jukeblocks.io can give you an idea of which instrument should be playing at different points in the song. But it doesn't give you information about pitch or syncopation. This is apparently on their product roadmap though.

My main recommendation for you has nothing to do with AI, but it will help you finish your productions faster.

I recommend Project Templates. These are full projects that other producers have created and put on the internet. Many of them include instrumentation, mix, and mastering plugins, ready to go.

You can find them for free (sometimes) or buy them at them on a site like Abletunes.com.

After you download them, you can modify the template to your heart's content. Make sure you have the rights to use the samples in their template. Then again, legally enforcing the use of a kick drum sample is PRETTY DIFFICULT—if you catch my drift.

But why risk legal troubles when you can just generate drum samples with Stable Audio???

IN SUM: if you want a good arrangement, use some combination of project templates, Jukeblocks.io, and some good old human elbow grease.

Or, you know, hire someone like me to do it.

 

6) AI Vocal Creation

So one of the most important things I left out in my first version of this article was VOCALS. Why? Because I thought A.I. wouldn't be able to replace singers any time soon. But boy... I might have been wrong.

If you want to convert an existing vocal to a famous person's vocal, I recommend Voicify. Keep in mind, the quality export from Voicify and most AI-trained tools is lower (MP3) so it might not hold up to pro studio standard.

Examples completed with Voicify. If you are interested in trying my new production strategy that opens song creation for anyone, click here to get started.

Another convenient way to process a vocal is by visiting AI World, a Discord server for experimenting with AI vocals. There, you can take advantage of their automated bot to get the job done quickly and easily.

If you want to write a professional sounding vocal from scratch I recommend using Synthesizer V from Dreamtonics. They have pretty much nailed the ability to import MIDI and then assign pronunciation to each note. If you don't like their built in libraries, you can always export a vocal and import it into a voice changer

7) AI Music Mixing

Quick reminder: good mixing will NEVER save a bad song and/or arrangement.

Right now, the closest thing to an AI-assisted mixing solution is Izotope.

The assistive audio technology in their plugins can analyze audio and provide custom-built presets for the sound you’re trying to achieve.

Basically, you can put one of these plugins on your track, play audio, and their algorithm will give you a starting point. This includes Equalizer, Compressor, Transient Shaper, Gate, Exciter, and/or Sculptor.

Neutron

Which of their mixing plug-ins have an Assistant? All of these:

  • Neoverb: Reverb Assistant
  • Neutron: Mix Assistant
  • Nectar: Vocal Assistant
  • RX: Repair Assistant

Cool fact: their plugins will also do parallel compression, which is kind of the holy grail of vocal production. Parallel compression is achieved by mixing a lightly compressed signal with a heavily compressed version of the same signal.

I've found the Assistant's starting point is usually useful, but definitely not perfect. Some tweaking will usually be required.

I'm not exactly sure how Izotope’s software works programming-wise or if it really counts as artificial intelligence. But it’s still a sweet suite.

8) AI Music Mastering

Quick reminder: good mastering will NEVER save a bad mix.

For AI-assisted mastering, my vote is once again on Izotope. Their Ozone Master Assistant can “listen” to your mix and give you a suggested starting point.

Ozone Automatic Mastering

This tool won't recommend FX, like saturation or tape emulation on the master bus, but the tool is amazing for getting a good starting point.

Plus, Ozone gives you the flexibility to make adjustments after the AI is done, which beats out fully automated mastering tools like LANDR, in my opinion.

LANDR’s AI mastering solution, Synapse, has 19 million mastered tracks and over 1 million hours of music. But you don’t have as much control over what your master sounds like.

20% Automatic Mastering With Landr 

Don't get me wrong, if you have no idea what you're doing and can't afford a mastering engineer, automatic mastering services can be a good choice.

At this point, they will likely generate a better result than a Mastering novice.

BONUS) AI Cover Art

Making cover art for the song you just finished is easier than ever!

The top generative AI art tools I’ve used are DALL-E 2 and Midjourney.

Here’s a list of some others to try! 

  • Jasper Art
  • Starry AI
  • Nightcafe
  • Deep Dream Generator  
  • Deep AI

For artistic rendering, I’ve mainly used Midjourney and the results are awesome.

All you need to do is provide a prompt of what you want within each tool. Then iterate on the ideas you like. Here are two Midjourney examples:

Prompt: howitzer, gloomy, gritty, dark, red undertones, artistic, painting

Prompt: war for money 

 

My secret sauce at the end…

Make some edits in Photoshop or Photopea (free) to fix any issues and add the final 10% of awesomeness.

Then, make sure you use an AI Image Upscaling tool to make your image 3000x3000 (which is the recommended size). Just Google “AI Image Upscaling” and try one of the top results.

If you want text on your cover art, you will need to add it yourself or have a graphic designer help you. The AI usually will not do text well.

Final cover art.

 

NEXT: Take Action With AI

As you can see, making music still takes human effort. There isn’t a perfect AI music generator yet. So let me help you!

    If you only have lyrics or a concept and want to make an affordable track, get started here.

    2 comments

    • I have written the song. I have recorded my scratch vocal. I just need the music to accompany my voice. How do I do that? Can I do that with AI? I just need a good demo

      Joe Becker on

    • Britney my song teacher is writing songs at Saint joesph pros can you help write better douglas goldfarb with permissions

      Douglas Goldfarb on

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