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Startup Popgun shows how it’s taught an AI to sing


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Australian AI-music startup Popgun has made a habit of showing its progress by publishing YouTube videos showing how its AI has learned to compose and play music. And now to sing it too.

“For the past year we have been teaching an AI to sing. Using text and midi as input, we generate vocal tracks in many different voices,” explains the description for its latest demo video. “This video shows how we can interact with the AI Singer followed by samples from recent songs created with our technology. All music composed, performed and mastered by our AI.”

This is all part of Popgun’s avowed aim to create what CEO Stephen Phillips describes as “100 synthetic pop songs”. In an email to Music Ally, he added that “we have made progress but we still have some way to go to reach the quality required for prime time. We are getting there!”

When we interviewed Phillips in November 2018, he talked about how he hopes these ambitions will pan out. “We are back on ‘we’re gonna make some hit pop songs over the next couple of years’ now,” he said then. “It’s going to be a new instrument that producers will use. A tool: a more abstracted drum machine. It can play the guitar, the bass and the piano, and each one of those AIs can listen to one another and play together. That’s very new.” And now it can sing too…

Stuart Dredge

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