Mixed In Key’s Pilot Plugins feature a cast of AI avatars who will help you generate new MIDI and audio files

Mixed In Key Pilot Plugins
(Image credit: Mixed In Key)

It’s fair to say that many musicians are a little uneasy about how AI might influence the creative process in the future, but Mixed In Key thinks that it’s come up with a way for producer and machine to work together.

Its new Pilot Plugins software is designed to facilitate a “back and forth” working relationship between human and artificial beings, enabling you to create MIDI and audio files that respond to your feedback.

Mixed In Key says that it wanted to create a plugin where the music producer makes the important decisions and the AI helps to generate ideas based on their input. In fact, there are actually three plugins - Pilot Melody, Pilot Bass and Pilot Arpeggio - which are designed to work together.

Pilot Plugins is launching with a set of musical styles known collectively as Futurism Vol 1. This is geared towards melodic techno, progressive house and other sub-genres of electronic music, but more expansion packs (covering more genres) will be released in the future.

Each Futurism Vol 1 style is represented by a retro-futuristic avatar inspired by classic sci-fi. Once you’ve selected one, you can customise it with a variety of knobs that control parameters such as rhythm, density and shape. It’s these tweaks that trigger the AI and influence the generation of the MIDI and audio files - twist a knob and you’ll see new MIDI notes appear in the central preview section.

Every style has its own UI and control knobs, and you can switch to a new idea immediately by pressing the Regenerate button. The history feature means that you can go back and review previous ideas, too.

Once you’re happy with your MIDI, you can either export it to your DAW in that format or generate an audio file using the engine from Kilohearts’ Phase Plant synthesizer, which is baked right into Pilot Plugins. The sound library takes inspiration from both classic and modern synths, and each preset has its own custom-designed 3D image to represent its ‘mood’. 

Pilot Plugins is available now for PC and Mac and is currently on sale for $49.50. You can use it on its own or in combination with Mixed In Key's Captain Plugins.

Find out more on the Mixed In Key (opens in new tab) website.

I’m the Group Content Manager for MusicRadar, specialising in all things tech. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 20 of which I’ve also spent writing about music technology. 

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