Google researchers, in a project called NSynth, have found a way to use artificial intelligence to produce entirely new sounds using the mathematical characteristics of the notes that emerge from different instruments.
NSynth aims to give musicians an entirely new range of tools for making music.
The researchers work for Google Magenta, where researchers are exploring the limits of neural networks and other forms of machine learning. Magenta is focused on using neural networks to teach machines to make new kinds of music and other art.
NSynth begins with a massive database of sounds, collected from about 1,000 different instruments and entered into a neural network. By analyzing the notes, the neural net learned the audible characteristics of each instrument and created a mathematical "vector" for each. Using these vectors, a machine can mimic the sound of each instrument, as well as combine their sounds.
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