Karim Fanous' Round-Up of SXSW British Music Embassy Artificial Intelligence Talk

14th March 2019
Karim Fanous, Abbey Road Red Innovation Manager, takes us through the first panel discussion from Abbey Road Studios' takeover of the British Music Embassy at SXSW, with the theme of artificial intelligence in music.
On Wednesday at the British Music Embassy in SXSW, we held an afternoon of three panels of cutting edge trends in the music tech industry. The first was on artificial intelligence. Called [AI] Don’t Stop Me Now, after a home spun Queen reference, our panellists explored how we can remove the fear around artificial intelligence and start embracing its potential in our hearts and minds.

Panellists included Gareth Deakin (AImusic), George Wright (Vochlea), Tamer Rashad (Humtap), Abhisek Sen (Number8).

Here are three key themes that came out of the panel:

Forget substitution

Many people feared the synthesiser, but it’s now inseparable from our musical palette and has given birth to many new genres and countless other sub-genres of wonderful music.To use a home-turf example, the creation of Artificial Double Tracking at Abbey Road didn’t cut into opportunities for vocalists, it actually enhanced them with a plethora of new sound effects. Fear of substitution at the hands of artificial intelligence will only impede our progress, the more important question is how can we harness the power of artificial intelligence in positive ways, to fuel our human creativity and listening experiences.

AI will save us time

When asked what the key benefits of AI will be, one major theme was that artificial intelligence processes will save us time, whether that’s in the studio creating music or choosing the right music to listen to. The fact that we will save time will actually open up our creativity. The benefit could be as simple as saving us time to watch cat videos. If you are laughing and relaxing more and that will fuel our inspiration.

AI will get more people into music making

Tools and platforms that make it easy for people to make music will bring more people into the early stages of a journey to becoming an artist. That can only help in the future and add more quality artists into our music ecosystem.
We also had a demo from George Wright of his new Vochlea Dubler Microphone that uses machine learning as part of its process of turning vocal sounds into software instruments. They have now officially launched their Dubler Studio Kit on Kickstarter.