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AI and Music: How Artificial Intelligence is Redefining the Industry

July 7, 2024
3 min read

Nowadays, it seems like artificial intelligence (AI) is always making headlines. It’s deployed across almost every industry and boasts endless applications, with AI now firmly ingrained into our everyday lives. More recently, AI advancements have started to make their mark on the creative industries. It was arguments against AI that led to the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike, while some are even considering whether AI tech might be used to develop new television concepts. But what about AI and music? 

More than any other creative economy, the music industry is built on a bedrock of emotional connection and a distinctly human touch. That being said, AI is definitely reshaping the music industry. From how listeners discover new content to how music itself is composed and produced, there are plenty of intriguing implications for AI in the music industry. What’s more, with AI tools more accessible than ever, even emerging artists can leverage the potential of artificial intelligence to advance their careers. 

How AI Can Help with Music Production

AI has impacted just about every facet of the music industry. Do you use a streaming service to access music? You’re almost certainly enjoying the benefits of artificial intelligence. By using machine-learning algorithms, streaming services like Spotify provide listeners with AI-generated music recommendations. But it doesn’t stop there. 

Leveraging the power of AI, Spotify can also provide listeners with an annual summary of their listening behavior, highlighting favorite artists, frequently played tracks, go-to albums, and more. The streaming platform also now utilizes natural language processing (NLP), making it easier for users to find exactly what they’re looking for. 

Personalized recommendations and streamlined searches are all well and good, but this is only the tip of the iceberg as far as music and artificial intelligence are concerned. For emerging artists and more established musicians, there are plenty of other exciting uses for AI. 

Music Production Made Simple 

Writing a song might come as second nature to some, but the core concepts of sound design can leave many scratching their head. What’s more, mixing and mastering aren’t particularly beginner-friendly. 

Thanks to AI, everyday music production tools have enjoyed an overhaul. Machine learning can be used to expedite essential tasks like audio mixing, with real-time analytics offering recommendations on how to improve a composition. With AI-driven production tools becoming increasingly accessible, independent musicians can deliver material that’s almost indistinguishable from professionally produced tracks. 

Get Help with Composition 

Mastering the art of composition can take years. However, artists need to have a solid understanding of it if they want to establish themselves. Here, AI rides to the rescue once again, with intelligent tools helping simplify the creative process. 

Do you find song arrangement inaccessible? Can’t wrap your head around chord progressions? With intelligent AI tools, inexperienced artists get all the insights they need to create a killer composition. Come up against a stumbling block? AI-generated prompts provide fresh perspectives that can help break through creative bottlenecks and explore exciting avenues you might not have considered before.

Royalty-Free AI-Generated Music

In one of the more controversial aspects of artificial intelligence and music, AI can be used to generate entirely new compositions. Just by entering a few basic prompts, users can create fully-formed tracks thanks to AI tools. The best generators use vast music databases and sound libraries to gather ideas for everything from lyrics to melodies. 

These AI-generated compositions are a cost-effective alternative to royalty-free recordings, while artists themselves can use such tools to jumpstart the creative process. While opinions on AI music are mixed, there’s a genuine appetite for material made possible thanks to artificial intelligence. 

Makes Light Work of Marketing and Promotion 

Between songwriting and securing gigs, budding artists don’t have a lot of time left over for marketing and promotion. However, they’re an essential duty that can’t be overlooked. The good news is that AI can help with the heavy lifting. 

With AI, you can leverage powerful analytics to gather insights into listener demographics and preferences, as well as identify hot topics and relevant trends. All of these insights can then be folded into a tailored marketing strategy that allows artists to more easily connect with the right audience. 

Reduces the Learning Curve 

Whether you’ve been playing sold-out venues for years or are just starting out, there’s always room for improvement. With AI, musicians can now access a wealth of educational tools and resources to help them improve their sound and work on their weaknesses. 

Performances can be analyzed with algorithms to pinpoint areas that need improvement, while tailored lesson plans and practice sessions provide a handy roadmap for learners. For those yet to make connections within the industry and musicians lacking mentorship, these AI-powered tools are invaluable. 

Keep On Top of Copyright  

Breach of music copyright is a big problem for any artist. For independent musicians, unauthorized use of material can lead to a massive impact on revenues. Fortunately, upholding intellectual property protection has been made easier with the advent of AI. 

Case Study: Bringing Back the Beatles 

Think artificial intelligence in the music industry is a new phenomenon? Think again. Whether it’s generating rights-free material or automating the production process, AI has been doing the rounds for some years now. However, its most exciting applications have only recently been realized. 

In 2023, artificial intelligence heralded the return of the Beatles after a 45-year hiatus. In a project spearheaded by Paul McCartney, AI-enabled audio restoration tools were used to isolate John Lennon’s vocals from a previously unusable demo. This isolated audio was then combined with additional vocals from the late George Harrison, as well as new recordings from surviving Beatles McCartney and Ringo Starr. 

The result was “Now and Then”, an updated version of a track Lennon had originally penned in the 1970s. Touted as the definitive swansong for the Fab Four, the single met with universal acclaim. Within a week of its release, the song had topped the UK Singles Chart and achieved a top ten debut on the Billboard Hot 100. 

The Benefits of Using AI in Music Production

Still not sold on the benefits of AI music tools? The ethical concerns surrounding AI-generated music are understandable. With less human interaction during the creation process, the end result can often feel inauthentic. There’s also the argument that a reliance on AI tools undermines the input and expertise of highly skilled industry professionals. However, despite these reservations, AI music tools have many advantages. 

Streamlined Production 

Using AI tools can significantly streamline the creation process. Starting with just a loose idea, emerging musicians can create a fully-formed composition in a matter of moments. Even when opting for a more hands-on approach, AI can lighten the load. Composing tracks manually is incredibly time-intensive, but entrusting AI with things like song arrangement keeps the slate clean so artists can focus on other tasks. 

Accessible and Affordable

Thanks to AI, you don’t need a working knowledge of the latest production techniques to create captivating content that engages listeners. Many AI tools and apps come loaded with advanced features that let users produce professional-grade compositions with next to no fuss. What’s more, all this is possible without the added expense of studio time or sourcing high-end equipment. 

Superior Sound Design 

With AI, musicians have the ability to create singular sounds that couldn’t be produced by more conventional means. Broadening the scope for innovation and experimentation, AI-powered sound design tools take existing samples and create wholly unique results that enrich compositions. 

AI Tools for Musicians 

Ready to discover what AI can do for you? From basic beat generators to apps that make quick work of mastering, there are plenty of readily available tools out there you can try. 

Struggling to turn a riff into something more substantial? You might want to try something like Magenta Studio from Google. Offering a suite of music plugins, Magenta Studio can be integrated with the best digital audio workstations (DAWs) and utilizes machine learning to generate bonafide compositions with very little raw material. 

Looking to retool an existing composition for a particular project? AIVA is worth taking a look at. With its cutting-edge AI engine, AIVA lets you create emotive takes on existing material. Music licensing can be a minefield, but this self-proclaimed music generation assistant lets you sidestep copyright infringement and produce royalty-free compositions with ease. 

Like the idea of monetizing AI-generated music? With Boomy, you can create original pieces of AI-enabled music and make a small profit in the process. Boomy itself offers plenty of advanced AI production facilities while sharing features that let you submit your content to platforms like Amazon, Soundcloud, and Facebook. 

Still finding your feet when it comes to music production? BandLab SongStarter is an AI-powered track generator tool that provides plenty of prompts to get you started. Perfect if you’re having trouble overcoming writers’ block to create killer lyrics or still haven’t settled on a specific genre. It’s also mobile-friendly, making it perfect if you have limited gear and prefer to work from a smartphone.

Looking for something more advanced that can isolate stems? Whether it’s an instrumental you’re looking to isolate or a vocal stem you want to separate, StemRoller makes quick work of the process. With its intuitive design and one-click approach, it’s a particularly good choice for beginners. 

Roadie: Empowering Musicians with AI 

Eager to explore what AI can do for you? IndieFlow is proud to introduce Roadie, your new AI-powered personal artist manager. Offering support and guidance to musicians at every step, Roadie brings you personalized recommendations and career roadmaps, along with essential social media and streaming insights, and more. 

Easily Achieve Your Goals

Need some help forging a career path? Roadie makes quick work of goal setting with user-friendly roadmaps. You’ll be able to set realistic goals and unlock custom plans that are tailored to your current career level. Personalized recommendations and step-by-step guidance provide you with everything you need to stay right on target. 

Master Marketing with AI

Does the sheer mention of marketing bring you out in a cold sweat? Roadie’s on hand to help. Chat with Roadie to discover a huge range of marketing assets, including artist pages, trending hashtags, and playlist pitches. 

Monitor Your Music and Social Engagement 

By connecting your social and streaming accounts to Roadie, you’ll be able to keep an eye on how well your content is doing and how well you’re engaging followers online. Instant updates let you know how your audience is interacting with your music across all your preferred platforms, allowing you to refine your release slate and social calendar accordingly.

The Future of AI in the Music Industry 

While many in the music industry have resisted artificial intelligence, expect upkeep to increase in the years ahead. Despite what some detractors might say, AI is making music production more accessible, opening the door to fresh talent that would otherwise have been locked out of the industry. 

A New Era of Royalty-Free Music 

Whether you’re using Boomy or Beatoven, it’s never been easier to produce AI-generated music. Not only are these tracks unique, but they also come with the perk of being completely royalty-free. A combined study carried out by GEMA and SACEM has some interesting things to say about the future of AI-generated music. According to the study, the AI music market will be worth an estimated $3 billion by 2028, a significant increase from today's $300 million market value.

An Essential Asset for Marketing 

Artificial intelligence is already being used to bolster music marketing strategies. Going forward, expect AI-backed campaigns to become the standard. By being able to predict future trends, musicians can easily piggyback on the success of another up-and-coming artist or a song that’s racking up record streaming numbers. Increasingly refined analytics will also allow musicians to access in-depth insights into their listeners, taking the guesswork out of creating personalized campaigns. 

Increasingly Refined Recommendations 

One of the earliest mainstream examples of AI in music, expect listener recommendations to get a serious upgrade as artificial intelligence technology evolves. By being able to access more data, AI will be able to deliver perfectly tailored playlists that strike the right chord, every time. 

The Impact of AI on the Music Industry 

As AI-enabled music creation tools become increasingly sophisticated, distinguishing AI-generated music from the real thing can be difficult. Some record labels have taken a proactive stance, demanding that streaming platforms block machine-learning models from studying and infringing on any copyrighted material. 

A chief argument against musicians adopting AI technology is that doing so disregards the emotional aspect of songwriting and composition. AI generators and other tools are ultimately only using what’s gone before to produce content, meaning there’s no such thing as a completely original result.

There’s No Substitute for Human Creativity 

There’s a lot of talk about the worrying implications of AI in music production and how it’s a killer of creativity. However, it’s best to consider how AI tools are transforming how we create music, rather than completely redefining it. 

The best AI tools can empower artists, instead of stifling creativity. Rather than waste precious time and energy on tedious technical tasks, artists can automate them with AI, freeing them up to focus on more important things like songwriting and ensuring their material packs an emotional punch. For the foreseeable, it’s unlikely that AI will ever be able to match the nuance of the human touch. 

Start Leveraging the Full Potential of AI Today 

Thanks to artificial intelligence, aspiring musicians are better positioned than ever before to create compelling content that competes with professional-level releases. AI can streamline the music production process, automating menial tasks like mixing and mastering. By offloading these duties, rising stars are free to focus on more creative endeavors. 

Even with minimal experience, AI tools allow would-be musicians to create marketable material that can turn a profit. Generative AI can produce unique compositions from scratch that can then be monetized. With soaring appetites for AI-generated music, it’s a genuinely lucrative income stream that emerging artists would do well to take seriously. 

It also makes marketing far easier. Artists can use AI to gather valuable audience insights and monitor engagement, giving them a clearer idea of what content works and where best to target new listeners. This significantly frees up the schedule of an artist still finding their feet and avoids time and resources being sunk into dead-end ventures. 

Nowadays, AI tools and apps are indispensable assets that every musician should be utilizing. Keen to discover the benefits of AI for yourself? Once  you get acquainted with an AI-powered artist manager like Roadie, you can chart a course for career success with custom roadmaps. Need a helping hand with marketing? Roadie’s ready to step into the breach once again, while it’s easy to monitor your social and streaming accounts for listener insights and engagement analytics. 

Ready to take your career to the next level? Harness the power of AI for yourself and download Roadie today. 

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