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This article was published on March 3, 2017


Amper is a music-creating AI that doesn’t suck

Amper is a music-creating AI that doesn’t suck
Rachel Kaser
Story by

Rachel Kaser

Internet Culture Writer

Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback riding. Check her Twitter for curmudgeonly criticisms.

Ever wanted to see what a computer would come up with if it could compose a symphony? A start-up in New York has created an AI that create original, license-free music on demand.

Amper is the brainchild of composers Drew Silverstein, Sam Estes, and Michael Hobe, who have collectively worked on scores for films, games, and television shows.

I got the chance to interview Drew Silverstein and play with his new toy, which he described as as “an emotive AI composer, performer, and producer” designed to collaborate with humans and be autonomously creative.

Users interact with Amper via a simplistic UI, designed to be used by anyone, even people like me who know nothing about composition.

Silverstein walked me through Amper’s music creation process. First, we selected the “Cinematic” genre, with me imagining a grandiose, epic film score. Next, we chose the “inspirational” style (because there’s no option for “romantic” at the moment). Then we asked Amper to make a song 15 seconds-long.

What Amper produced was surprisingly good. Considering how brief the song was, there was a lot of customization. Silverstein demonstrated how certain instruments could be removed from the song, and how you could get completely different music using the same parameters.

Silverstein was adamant that Amper will never replace human composers, but instead will help “create the next generation of music.” He also emphasized that Amper’s music is “free of copyright restrictions.”

Amper is currently used by the Associated Press and Hearst Television. Eventually it’ll be available to all via subscription service. Silverstein wouldn’t say what it costs, but did reveal it’d use a pay-as-you-go model.