Abbey Road Studios uses artificial intelligence to explore music's future

Abbey Road Studios uses artificial intelligence to explore music's future
London music studio held its first hackathon using Microsoft technology

Elly Yates-Roberts |

Abbey Road Studios is using artificial intelligence (AI) to explore the future of music. As part of its Abbey Road RED incubator programme, the London-based music studio has held its first hackathon using Microsoft technology. 

Around 100 music producers and technologists were invited to find new ways of recording and improving the engineering process. The incubation programme aims to find and mentor inventors and businesses to introduce the next generation of music technologies into the music business.

Microsoft provided AI technology and sent experts to the event to gather feedback on how cognitive services could be used in the music. 

“I’m incredibly excited to share some of the latest Microsoft AI tools with participants in the Abbey Road RED Hackathon,” said Noelle LaCharite, development executive of Leading Applied AI at Microsoft. “Our suite of AI technology, including object detection, sentiment analysis and natural language understanding, has awesome potential for musicians, engineers, audio programmers and designers.”

Start-ups and partners of Abbey Road RED demoed smart microphones, instruments and chip-level devices to inspire the hackers. 

“In the same room that witnessed the inception of the recording industry, we embraced the next paradigm shift in music creation – exploring the influence of the newest technologies and high-performance computing on our creative tools,” said Dom Dronska, head of Digital at Abbey Road Studios. “For the first time ever, we brought together the brightest technologists and music producers and created a unique inspirational atmosphere where beautiful accidents can happen. Abbey Road’s sole reason of existence is to enable creativity in its many forms, and today we are employing AI and machine learning to see how music makers can apply technology in the post digital era.”

The main Microsoft prize went to Rapple for its AI-powered rap battle partner, which uses Microsoft speech recognition software to listens to someone freestyle using a beat and then responds on the same beat. The solution could help freestyle rappers to practice and inspire songwriters.


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