Meet XLN Audio's AI-powered "happy accident machine": Life is a potentially highly addictive field recorder and plugin that makes instant beats from found sounds

XLN Audio life
(Image credit: XLN Audio)

Inspiration is all around us, but fleeting. Now XLN Audio, the innovative Swedish developer behind Addictive Drums, Addictive Keys and more has a new, also potentially addictive offering. LIfe, a field recorder app and plugin takes any noise and turns it into a beat - instantly.

You can capture sounds via a mobile app that syncs with its mother plugin, record direct to DAW, or import the audio or video of your choice, before unleashing XLN's "happy accident machine" to create one-of-a-kind beats. 

Once you've found a starting point you're happy with, after auditioning a range of candidates, you can mangle the results with high-level Sound Variation and Pattern Variation controls, including Density, Syncopation and Symmetry, or get under the hood a bit more to manipulate Slice Points, and FX or sequencer parameters. The grunt work is, of course in 2023, AI-powered.

“Life is about bringing your life moments into your music and going on a journey to see what unexpected places they might take you to,” says Lars Erlandsson, Product Design Lead, and the launch is accompanied by fulsome quotes and endorsements all round. 

“Life is one of the dopest tools I’ve used in a long time," enthuses Tommy Rush, the Grammy Award-winning
producer and songwriter whose credits include Kanye West, Beyoncé, The Weeknd. 

XLN Audio life

(Image credit: XLN Audio)

This is gonna be DANGEROUS. It’s the fun machine

Kaelin Ellis

Another Grammy winner Mike Dean (Frank Ocean, Travis Scott,
Kanye West, Beyoncé, The Weeknd) concurs: “Life is groundbreaking for beat creation. 
It’s amazing. Since the first time I tried it, I was hooked.” 

Our favorite bit of gushing comes from Kaelin Ellis, (Lupe Fiasco, Joyce Wrice, Virgil Abloh, Logic) who enthuses, “This is crazy! Oh my god - what can’t 
I make with this thing? This is gonna be DANGEROUS. It’s the fun machine.”

OK, these aren't independent reviews, and we wouldn't normally include them here - you'll have to wait for the more measured MusicRadar take - but Life's workflow and UI definitely look like an awful lot of fun. We'll let you know if it really cuts the mustard very soon.

Life is available now at an introductory price of $109, but you can nab a free trial at

XLN Audio life

(Image credit: XLN Audio)
Will Groves

I'm lucky enough to be MusicRadar's Editor-in-chief while being, by some considerable distance, the least proficient musician on the editorial team. An undeniably ropey but occasionally enthusiastic drummer, I've worked on the world's greatest music making website in one capacity or another since its launch in 2007. I hope you enjoy the site - we do.