While Amazon is busy delivering your Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases to your door, it also has loftier goals, such as kickstarting AI-powered music-making. In fact, with AWS DeepComposer, the company claims to have created “the world’s first machine learning-enabled musical keyboard” for developers.
DeepComposer comprises both a hardware MIDI keyboard and software, and works in conjunction with the AWS (Amazon Web Services) cloud platform. The elevator pitch is that it enables you to play a melody on the keyboard, and then watch in wonder as machine learning is used to turn this into a complete arrangement.
DeepComposer uses what’s known as Generative AI, a relatively recent advancement in artificial intelligence that can be used to create something new. DeepComposer comes with several genre models - rock, pop, jazz and classical - and you’re also able to create your own.
Tracks can be uploaded directly from AWS DeepComposer to SoundCloud, and you can also export them as MIDI so that they can be developed further in your DAW. As well as standard features such as playback and record controls, the keyboard also includes an arpeggiator and an Auto-Chord feature for non-players.
The video demo above suggests that AWS DeepComposer definitely ‘works’ (skip to the five minute mark if you want to get right to it) but whether it’s smart enough to come up with anything you’d actually want to use remains to be seen. AI and machine learning in music definitely isn’t going away, though, whether you like it or not.