Almost 60% of musicians are already using AI in their productions, study suggests

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In years to come, the early months of 2023 may well be remembered as the period that AI-generated music went from amusing novelty to terrifying cultural destroyer.

In the last few months we’ve witnessed David Guetta employing a ‘deepfake’ Eminem, a producer making himself sound like Kanye West, a track created by facsimiles of Drake and Eminem being pulled from streaming services, and even an imagined ‘new’ Oasis album featuring vocals from an AI-voiced ‘Liam Gallagher’. What a time to be alive.

Musicians, then, are surely worried sick about AI and doing everything they can to avoid it? It seems not - that’s if research from music distribution, record label service and management company Ditto is to be believed, anyway.

In fact, a recently published study by the company indicates that almost 60% of musicians are already using AI in their productions (59.5%, to be precise). Of the 1,299 independent artists surveyed, 11% admitted to using it for songwriting, 20.3% said they’ve used it during the production process, and 30.6% confirmed that they’ve used it for mastering. 38%, meanwhile, have called on artificial intelligence to create their music’s artwork.

These figures might come as a surprise to some, but the truth is that AI plugins for composing and processing have been around for some time. ‘Intelligent’ online mastering services are a well-established ‘thing’, too.

Perhaps more interesting are the stats relating to musicians’ future intentions. 47.1% of artists say they’d be happy to use AI for songwriting, 61.5% say they’d be comfortable letting it get involved in the music production process, and 66% are onboard with the idea of it doing the mastering for them.

That said, 28.5% of respondents said that they would never use AI, while those that haven’t yet (but may do in the future, presumably) put their reticence down to a lack of access to AI tools (28.4%), a lack of time (24.8%), a lack of perceived creativity (23.1%), affordability (17.1%) or a combination of factors (6.6%).

Commenting on the figures, Ditto Music CEO Lee Parsons noted that "It's encouraging to see so many musicians embracing advancements in technology and utilising AI as a creative aid.” Whether he and the rest of the music industry will feel the same in a couple of years’ time remains to be seen…

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. 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, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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