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Computers New Composers for Video Soundtracks

Laura Sydell - All Tech Considered
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June 1, 2017
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Tomas Villegas was looking for information about a product on YouTube, but couldn't find it. "So I thought, well, I'm sure there's other people looking for it. So I made a video."

Four years later, Villegas, who works at a technical college, has a side business doing product reviews on his YouTube channel. He found that adding a little music really improved his videos.

"It just adds that third dimension that is missing sometimes," he says.

"I upload weekly," Villegas says. "So for me to pay a composer for 52 separate custom songs ... wouldn't make sense in the return on investment for me."

Then Villegas discovered Jukedeck, a company that creates and sells computer-generated music. Jukedeck charges as little as 99 cents a track for a small business and $21.99 for a large business.

Can You Hear The Difference? Of these two music excerpts, one is composed by Vivaldi and the other is a computer imitation of his style. Click on each to test your ears. Answers below.





Jukedeck is a program that enables users to choose the length of a piece of music, its style, the instruments featured and even climactic moments to heighten emotion.

Ed Newton-Rex, the company's founder, is a composer who studied computer programming, and says he started to ask himself: "Given what we know about how music's put together, why can't computers write music yet?"

Enter Jukedeck.

Answers to the quiz

Option 1: "Emmy Vivaldi," composed by a computer program, Experiments in Musical Intelligence, written by David Cope

Option 2: "La Stravaganza," Op.4, Concerto No. 1 in B-flat major, composed by Antonio Vivaldi; Sir Neville Marriner conducting the Academy of St Martin in the Fields Orchestra


Read the rest at NPR


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