back to article Buy Amazon's tiny $99 keyboard so you can make terrible AI music for all your friends

Amazon is releasing DeepComposer, a software package to help machine learning enthusiasts automatically generate jingles using a mini keyboard. The announcement was made by Matt Wood, VP of AI at AWS, during Amazon’s annual re:Invent developer conference in Las Vegas. “Everyone has access to the type of expertise that allows …

  1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
    Coat

    GAN

    The last Gan I knew was killed by a falling roof.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: GAN

      Hm, but he'd have been unable to murder Beethoven.

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: GAN

        Well everyone has their limits.

    2. iron Silver badge

      Re: GAN

      The last Gan I knew died holding a closing door open so that Blake could escape.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: GAN

        Howard Blake? "We're walking in the AI...r."

        1. Claverhouse Silver badge

          Re: GAN

          No, George Blake, Russian Asset.

  2. Chris G Silver badge

    Clicking on the Ode to Joy link gives me 6 mins of blarb, no music, not even AI generated just Max Headroom in ad mode.

    Ah, went back and looked further down the page and found something that sounded a bit like an electronic doorbell I had in the '80s.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      The piano sound effect they used was surprisingly bad. The accompaniment didn't fully match the piano notes all the way through, and you know they picked the best example they could find. Let's see whether they release any more examples when people don't start buying these.

      1. Colin Wilson 2

        Yeah talk about Garbage In, Garbage Out(!)

        They should have used Liszt's transcription as the source if they wanted a Piano Only version!

    2. NightFox

      Re that 6 minutes of transcript apparently "Voiced by Amazon Polly" - I presume that noise before each paragraph normally associated with the SFX hydraulic hiss of chrome and glass canisters of glowing green liquids being opened is meant to represent a human intake of breath? It's nearly as bad as Zoe Ball.

      1. zebthecat

        Voiced by Amazon Polly

        That voice over was so obviously machine generated (and bloody creepy at that) it would have been better off for them not to shame their own product.

        1. zebthecat

          Re: Voiced by Amazon Polly

          There is also a touch of the Shatners with the arbitrary mid-sentence pauses.

      2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Re that 6 minutes of transcript apparently "Voiced by Amazon Polly" - I presume that noise before each paragraph normally associated with the SFX hydraulic hiss of chrome and glass canisters of glowing green liquids being opened is meant to represent a human intake of breath? It's nearly as bad as Zoe Ball.

        It isn't like there isn't already functional examples of speaking voicebanks. Maybe they couldn't find one in English? (all the Voiceroids I know of are Japanese).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Unlikely. Vocaloid, I believe you are referring to, did had English voicebank from the first few generation of their product. It just that because the massive early success started from Japanese voicebank causes the Japanese ones to be more noticeable than the English one.

          I believe it's more due to license, copyright, contract and ownership issues, which they would like to avoid from the start. However in reinventing the wheel, they have also caused plenty of other problems.

          1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

            Yes, Vocaloid-related. There is a variant of it called "Voiceroid" meant for spoken word rather than singing. And the CeeVIO system combines both speaking and singing voicebanks.

  3. Kurt 5

    MIDI?

    Does it support MIDI?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looking at it the last 20 years of chart music was made on it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: Looking at it the last 20 years of chart music was made on it.

      IKR! It's just "thump thump thump" these days! Just bloody noise, not music!! Not like when I was young.

      Oh, actually, hang on, at any point since the creation of the charts it's been "cool" to pretend that you don't like popular music.

      As you were!

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: re: Looking at it the last 20 years of chart music was made on it.

        For the last 20 years of chart music, the AI would need to have a vocals auto-tune routine.

      2. joeW Silver badge

        Re: re: Looking at it the last 20 years of chart music was made on it.

        Relevant SMBC -

        https://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/2011-05-22

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: re: Looking at it the last 20 years of chart music was made on it.

        >Oh, actually, hang on, at any point since the creation of the charts it's been "cool" to pretend that you don't like popular music.

        After listening to Steve Wright in the Afternoon you'll come around to my way of thinking, that's if you don't want to jump off Beachy Head first.

  5. Notas Badoff

    Oh well

    it's cheaper than the piano my parents splurged for so I could learn to play. (That didn't quite work out as planned, though keyboard facility turned out to be useful for 'something' after all) This way parents can let the sprogs experiment with wishful thinking for much less expense.

    BTW: In the same vein, a teen's first car must be at least half as old as they are. Let them learn the limits of their uncultivated abilities for cheap.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Oh well

      I wouldn't recommend this. First, this is more expensive than a larger keyboard with relatively few features. The cheap ones with 49 keys (four full octaves) will undercut this price quite a bit. The main reason, however, is that every keyboard I've seen with fewer than 49 keys has also taken the liberty of shrinking the keys so they're no longer the size of piano keys. That is bad because smaller keys will wreck the muscle memory that can be key to advanced fingering techniques. Using keys that will be of the standard size as any other piano, keyboard, organ, or harpsichord means that it will be easier to play more complex pieces later on. If you'd like to introduce people to piano playing, check for the basic midi keyboards for as cheap as is available; they'll probably well outstrip this.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Oh well

        I don’t think this is intended for people to practice scales on.

      2. Kane Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Oh well

        "advanced fingering techniques"

        Hur, Hur!

        Sorry, couldn't help myself. Carry on, I'll see myself out...

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Oh well

          Ode to Joy. She was a game 'un.

      3. paulf Silver badge
        Gimp

        Re: Oh well

        @doublelayer "will wreck the muscle memory that can be key to advanced fingering techniques"

        Upvoted primarily because my mind seems to be in the gutter this morning.

      4. israel_hands

        Re: Oh well

        advanced fingering techniques

        The Shocker?

        Also, if this not-even-vaguely-AI is software based, why the fuck do you have to buy a stupidly overpriced hardware keyboard? Why not just use any keyboard (even a virtual one) to push a melody into the software?

      5. Brian Miller

        Re: Oh well

        Remember Google's web Bach-esque AI offering? This is basically the same thing, plus a cheap, cheesy keyboard.

        The demo stuffed a good classical line into a rock-and-roll accompaniment, instead of using a rock-and-roll melody in the first place.

        Remember, it's a toy. It's something to play with while your code slowly, oh so slowly, compiles within AWS. And you wait, and you wait, and you wait, and you wait, and you wait...

  6. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    Oh, good

    Like we need more plastic music.

    I often wonder, when passing a TV playing 'drama' what it must be like to have a job where you compose or play those meaningless, content-free sequences of notes that fill in the gaps in the dialogue. Soul-destroying, I would think. If they even had a soul in the first place.

    Didn't Julia in '1984' work on the novel-writing machines ? Orwell saw a lot further into the future than mere politics.

  7. chronicdashedgehog

    At last. Never again will anyone have to either compose music or spend years mastering an instrument.

    The Future == Utopia

    Humans of the future will have so much free time on their hands.

  8. 2+2=5 Silver badge
    FAIL

    Have I completely missed the point?

    Isn't this AI the wrong way round? Shouldn't it be accepting some shonky honky tonk as input and producing something indistinguishable from Bach or Mozart as output?

  9. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    AI Music?

    So you could just feed the input to the AI composer and add in your favourite Vocaloid for the vocals? Have the system do ALL the work for you?

    Except Vocaloids have better taste in music. And I don't think this is the "AI" that Miku & Luka had in mind for their song "Ai Dee".

  10. sambonator

    This is far inferior to the OpenAI MuseNet

    https://openai.com/blog/musenet/

  11. MrMerrymaker Bronze badge

    "Generate Melodies"

    Yuck.... I suspect it's a massive part of modern music production, but some things are better left in-box *taps head*

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