Creativity comes with some limitations. If you have seen Chicago Typewriter, you’d understand what we are trying to say. The main protagonist of the series thinks that creative block is a mere ‘creation’ that can act as a feasible excuse for an artist’s laziness. But he soon realizes how crippling can creative block be to an individual” imagination and work.
When Jun Inoue started facing issues in terms of ideas in his profession, he started thinking of ways to overcome it. Amadeus Code is a result of his attempt to provide artists with a method through which they can get their creative juices flowing without ever having to worry about creative block.
An AI-powered app, Amadeus Code divides songs into their smallest units, the atoms that make up a groove or lick. Then it uses algorithms to generate new tunes and chords based on era, rhythm, and range.
The approach that powers the algorithms sets AC apart, finding novel ways to understand melody and chord structure that have nothing to do with scores or audio file analysis. The generation engine then flows seamlessly into an easy-to-use mobile interface for creative prompts on the go.
We interviewed the people behind Amadeus Code to understand the workings of the app and what does it aims to achieve:
Hi! Before we discuss about Amadeus Code, can you please tell our readers a bit about yourself?
My name is Taishi, co-founder COO of Amadeus Code. Amadeus Code is an artificial intelligence powered songwriting assistant enabling musicians, producers and composers to quickly find melody inspirations for songs. The app is currently available for early beta users on iOS. If you’re interested in trying out the beta, please sign up here: https://amadeuscode.com/coming-soon
We’d love to have you onboard. We’re planning to create a VST/AU plugin for DAW support as well, so music producers who use Ableton Live, Logic Pro, or Pro Tools can soon integrate Amadeus Code directly into their production process.
How did the idea for Amadeus Code come about?
The first idea came from Jun our CEO about seven or eight years ago during his busiest period as a music producer. He was having trouble coping with an increased demand for hit songs from clients. Continually churning out songs that are not only better but also different to the previous ones is a really hard thing to do. At that time, he was also unable to take sufficient breaks or enough time to recharge his creative batteries. Then he was struck with the idea that “AI could come up with various ideas for melodies by analyzing all the hit songs of the past and thus assist me in the songwriting process”. He actually came up with an image of a system that would enable this about three years ago, and long story short, apparently the overall image jumped into his mind while in the shower.
The name of the app is quite intriguing. Who came up with it?
The name Amadeus is a reference to Amadeus Wolfgang Mozart, who famously once said something like, “There is an infinite stream of melodies constantly flowing in my mind”. An infinite stream of ideas and inspiration is what we hope to become, and thought it would be fitting to take the name Amadeus to represent our goal, which is to catalog all of the most influential melodies humankind has made and share it through our AI-powered songwriting assistant.
The app has currently been launched for iOS users. Do you plan to launch it for Android users as well?
Not yet, most likely we’ll have a web (browser based) version before we launch the Android version. If you’re an android user, ping us on our social media and let us know through our social media channels. https://twitter.com/AmadeusCode / https://www.facebook.com/amadeuscode/
We would like to know a bit about the team behind the app creation and development.
All three co-founders have backgrounds as professional musicians with experience working in rigorous conditions constantly demanded for new original hit songs. From first-hand experience, we know what it takes to consistently create at the highest level, which often means working with challenging deadlines and with multiple co-writers. Working with co-writers has its obvious benefits but also limitations. With the ability to create infinitely, we are convinced that it’s inevitable that AI will have a place in music production.
Considering that AC is a music oriented app, what according to you, makes a song “good”?
An objective answer could be, a song with social and/or economic impact on humanity. Not to dodge your question, but I think that it is up to the listener to determine whether a song is “good” or not because music preference is different from person to person. But what I can say for certain is that regardless of good or bad, the fact that “it is a song composed by an AI” will surely stimulate your imagination.
Even today, there is a debate on the idea of “writer’s block”. Many people believe it to be a human made restriction. Considering that an aspect of the app is concerned with the “writer’s block”, what’s your take on it?
Saying that writer’s block is a “human-made” restriction is intriguing. What we think is that the “restriction” comes from being human to start with. We have a finite capacity to remember things, and we depend on new and past ideas to stimulate new creative ideas. This is where we can leverage the characteristics of a machine with the capacity for infinite memory to remove those restrictions. At the end of the day, one could argue that we’re only as good as our tools, and with the tool of infinite memory, we can potentially defeat the restriction that causes writer’s block.
AC is termed as a “songwriting” assistant. So, continuing with our previous question, in what ways does it help resolve the issue of writer’s block?
In its current form, the app generates melodies on top of pre-installed chord progressions. There are hundreds, soon to be thousands of chord progressions available in the app, all of which are inspired by the most influential songs in history. The AI-generated melodies can be modified according to the user’s preference by a number of parameters such as note length, range, familiarity, drama and the era in which the melody was created. So, imagine anything from getting Beethoven to compose a melody on top of a recent top 40 track to your favorite songwriter working out the melody for a string quartet, and everything in between.
Example of Amadeus Code meets classical music:
In our upcoming VST/AU version, compatible with every standard DAW that producers use, we are planning to have a plugin be able to listen and read the user’s original composition and compose granularly. Whether you need a whole bridge section or maybe two bars of the last part of your hook, Amadeus Code can compose alongside the user as a co-writer would.
Does the app offers anything beyond “inspiration”? That is, apart from creating melodies from the vast database, how else can the app be used?
The technology we developed is a completely new approach that breaks centuries of melodies down into their constituent parts, we call “licks”, and transforms them into data unlike traditional methods of musical information transfer like the score and MIDI.
Composers, producers, and songwriters now have the distilled praxis of thousands of artists and composers dating back to the 17th century, as their co-writer, at their fingertips, with the new Amadeus Code melody-maker app. What this means is that you can create your fantasy league-esque combination of a song. Imagine Beethoven writing on top of a Chainsmokers track or vice versa. It’s like time travelling through the history of music.
Do have any update for the app that you would like to share with our readers?
AC downloads more than 100,000 “licks” from the database each time you launch the app. Based on collaborations with users all over the world, Amadeus Code will increase the number of licks infinitely through machine learning. The app is constantly updating, evolving and learning more about composing even while you’re asleep.