The world of music is constantly evolving. From streaming platforms to social media, musicians and record labels alike are constantly looking for ways to stay ahead of the game.
One of the latest innovations to hit the industry is the use of AI tools in music production and marketing. These powerful tools have the potential to revolutionize the way music is created, distributed, and marketed, leveling the playing field for savvy independent labels and artists to compete with majors in spite of their limited resources.
In this blog post, we'll explore how AI tools can help record labels and music artists, and how they can be used to take the industry to the next level. Whether you're an experienced professional or just starting out in the music business, this post is sure to provide some valuable insights on how AI can optimize your workflow. So sit back, tune in your neural networks and let's dive in!
Composition and Music Generation
AIVA (Artificial Intelligence Virtual Artist)
First on our list is AIVA, an AI-powered music composition tool that uses deep learning algorithms to generate new music.
AIVA was primarily designed to generate classical compositions, but don’t let that fool you – this AI tool has been trained on a database of thousands of musical compositions from various genres and styles, from hip-hop and RnB to thrash metal.
What distinguishes AIVA from other AI music generators is its built-in music editor, functioning very much like a standard DAW with the added bonus of music composition features made possible by the power of artificial intelligence.
Soundraw is one of the most popular AI music generators available today. Users can generate royalty-free songs according to their specified genre, tempo, mood, theme and key. They can also upload their own audio samples and add them to generated music.
Boasting an accessible, intuitive interface, Soundraw allows first-time users to generate an unlimited number of songs for free. Premium subscribers can use their generated tracks as background music for personal and commercial use, and they retain the license to use downloaded songs even after unsubscribing.
Note that music generated by Soundraw cannot be sold or distributed as downloaded, but it can serve as the backbone of music produced by a human artist. For more information, please refer to Soundraw's license policy.
Along the lines of Soundraw we have Boomy, a web and mobile application that combines a user-friendly interface and music generation process with extended editing capabilities.
Creators can generate new songs based on a specific instrumental style, genre, tempo, mixing and sound effects. Boomy also supports Dolby Remastering to further enhance created sounds as a premium service.
Unlike Soundraw, where music cannot be sold or distributed as it is generated, Boomy encourages creators to release their generated music through its platform. Songs created within Boomy can be directly submitted to streaming services and social networks, and Boomy will handle royalty payouts via PayPal and Stripe (users’ share of royalties is 80% net of distribution fees).
While the number of releases and features are limited at a free level, creators who sign up to the Boomy Pro plan at just $9,99/month will enjoy unlimited downloads, saves and album releases. Pricing plans are billed annually to support streaming networks’ quarterly royalty cycles.
Soundful is yet another music generator gaining ground as the popular choice for producers and creators worldwide thanks to its ability to export STEM's and MIDI files.
Like Soundraw, Soundful allows users to generate background music based on specific parameters including themes and mood templates. While free users can only choose from a limited number of templates, “Enterprise” creators can customise and even monetise their own templates on Soundful.
The beauty of Soundful lies, of course, in how it is designed for music producers, as this AI tool allows them to download full tracks, loops and stem packs that include individual STEM, MIDI and WAV files.
While the free plan is geared towards personal use and thus limited in the way users can download and share their music, commercial use is available starting at just $7,42/month (billed annually), making Soundful one of the most competitive AI music generation tools in the market.
Synthesizer V distinguishes itself from the other tools in the music generation section since it focuses specifically on vocals.
With Synthesizer V Studio, users can use dynamic vocal templates to add voice to their music. All you need to do is to pick a voice, import the lyrics and create the melody on the piano roll (you can also import a MIDI file).
Synthesizer V currently supports AI voices in native English, Japanese and Chinese. With its cross-lingual synthesis technology, Synth V voices can be used in any of these three languages independent of the vocal template’s native language.
Whilst free, the “Basic Edition” of Synth V is extremely limited in terms of features and integrations. Synthesizer V Studio Pro includes unlimited tracks, cross-lingual synthesis, numerous tuning features, scripting and VST integrations and more at just $89,99 (one-time purchase).
Magenta Studio is a set of AI-powered plugins made for Ableton, although they are also available for download as standalone application that can be integrated with other DAW's.
Developed by Google and now part of the company's TensorFlow open-source machine learning platform, Magenta Studio has been around for over 4 years, but this set of plugins has never felt more up-to-date. It comprises five different plugins:
- "Drumify" generates a drum pattern based on the MIDI input of another channel.
- "Groove" makes quantized drum patterns more organic by adding subtle changes to velocity and pitch that "humanize" the beat.
- "Continue" generates notes "predicted" to follow your current drum beat or melody. It "continues" a composition that has already been started.
- "Interpolate" combines at least two melody or two drum input clips and generates up to 16 different concepts ("steps") based on the input.
- "Generate 4 Bars" does just that: it generates 4 bars without any input.
Also worth mentioning is Magenta's DDSP-VST - a virtual instrument plugin that modulates your input into any instrument the plugin is trained to recreate. Its Neural Synthesis technology preserves pitch and timbre dynamics while allowing you to modify the output through an intuitive morphing tool.
One of the leading AI audio editing tools in the market is Lalal.ai, which uses its unique Rocknet neural network for stem splitting and vocal cleaning.
The Lalal.ai stem splitter can recognize a variety of different instruments and extract them along with vocals without quality loss. The vocal cleaner is also a powerful tool when it comes to removing background noises, plosives, and other undesirable sounds.
Audo Studio is yet another audio cleaning tool powered by artificial intelligence. It automatically removes background noise, adjusts volume and enhances speech, and is presented as a one-click solution for cleaning audio across multiple types of content, including podcasts and vlogs.
General Purpose Content Creation
If Artificial Intelligence is so in vogue these days, it is largely due to the popularity of ChatGPT, an "AI-based language model that is trained to generate human-like responses to natural language inputs." In other words, this tool - a "chatbot" - can write copy for you just like any other English native speaker, based on a prompt you give it.
The advent of ChatGPT as a veritable virtual assistant for the common man means that all kinds of written content can be generated in large quantities at an unprecedented pace. For independent record labels, this means they can automate their content creation process to an extent that lets them compete with major labels' in-house content juggernauts while saving time of their own staff and reducing dependency on freelance writers.
Another great benefit of using a chatbot like ChatGPT is that labels and artists can provide fans with instant support and feedback in a way that feels personal and tailored to the audience. Many labels, artists, and music-related platforms - including The Label Machine - already integrate ChatGPT into their content workflow, and it seems like the use of chatbots is well on its way to become a staple of content creation far beyond the music industry.
Like Synthesizer V, the ElevenLabs Prime Voice AI is a vocal synthesis tool - it generates an audio file that "reads out" your text prompt in a realistic, human-like voice.
Where ElevenLabs stands out from Synth V - and where the tool has garnered immense attention from creators worldwide - is its ability to consistently replicate real people's voices. Through a process of voice cloning based on soundbites uploaded by the user, ElevenLabs can be trained to reproduce a prompt in any voice you feed it.
Creators have gone on to use ElevenLabs to recreate famous voices of both real people as well as fictional characters, using them for all sorts of entertainment purposes and combining the voices with other types of AI-generated content, as featured in the example below.
Labels who do not want to risk the potential legal issues that come with cloning other people's voice without their permission can still use the Prime Voice AI to generate all types of speech content, e.g. creating voice-overs for their social media content and ads.
Like ChatGPT, Bard is an AI tool that generates contextual, human-like responses based on a user's prompt. Bard can be used to accelerate your content output, generate new ideas for your marketing and release strategy and much more - it all depends on your imagination and necessity.
However, Bard is still very much at an early access stage, and at the time of this post is only available to users in the US and UK. Nevertheless, it is expected to grow exponentially faster as more people begin to use it worldwide, with Google already redirecting staff from other projects to focus on Bard's development.
Super Audio is a robust AI audio processing tool that can recognize, transcribe and analyze audio content. Powered by Super.ai, Super Audio uses advanced machine learning algorithms to understand human speech and classify behaviorial patterns in vocal changes and language.
A popular tool with a wide range of applications outside of the music industry, Super Audio can also be used by record labels to improve feedback and support.
Hotpot.ai is a comprehensive AI-powered content generation tool. With Hotpot, you can generate original images, text and even video game assets (in case you want to take your music release to a whole other "virtual" level).
Not only can you create content with Hotpot, but you can also regenerate content as well: Hotpot boasts an impressive array of image enhancement tools, including a background remover, picture colorizer, and more - all powered by artificial intelligence.
Simplified is an AI-powered content creation platform with web and social media marketing in mind. Akin to a creative tool like Canva or Adobe Express, Simplified enjoys a wide scope of functionalities when it comes to content creation: you can design all sorts of visuals for your label from social media posts and vertical reels to business cards and even Shopify pages.
But Simplified takes it a step further by adding a number of tools to an already robust platform. Within Simplified you also have access to social media post scheduling, image enhancement features, file converters and dedicated e-commerce and blog writing tools. Simplified is also geared towards collaborative work, meaning you can include several team members in your workflow.
If you're looking for an all-in-one tool to boost your label's content creation, you may want to try out Simplified's free plan.
Fotor is yet another content generation tool that focus on image and art creation. Besides including a number of image editing features and design templates, Fotor allows users to create and enhance images with its own AI tools.
Like with other image generation tools such as Midjourney and DALL-E, users can generate images via text prompts, picking the desired style to generate unique art through artificial intelligence. From conceptual art to life-like photography, Fotor delivers quality images to use for your label.
Image Generation & Editing
NightCafe Creator is a popular AI art generator that uses prompts and styles determined by the user to deliver stunning artwork. You can also upload your own images and change their style (e.g. upload a photo and turn it into a cubist painting image) via neural style transfer technology.
Based on the open-source Stable Diffusion technology, NightCafe Creator users can generate unlimited images at a base level for free. Users have the option to buy credits or subscribe to a monthly credit plan to take advantage of NightCafe's premium integrated image generators, such as DALL-E 2 and CLIP-guided diffusion. Other premium services include image upscaling, bulk generation and bulk download of AI generated artwork.
If you want to create some sick artwork for your release cover or you just want to add some stylish flair to your social media, NightCafe Creator is a great place to check out.
DALL-E 2 is another popular AI art generation tool made by OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT. Like NightCafe and other image generation tools in this list, DALL-E 2 can create all kinds of images and artwork based on a user's text input or an image upload.
DALL-E 2's features include outpainting (generating art outside an uploaded image's boundaries that complements the original), inpainting (generating art within an image's boundaries) and variations of the same image. Unlike NightCafe Creator, DALL-E 2 has no free option and requires credits to be spent with every image generation and versioning. Nevertheless, it is a very refined tool based on ChatGPT technology and a great option for high-quality AI-powered artwork.
Arguably the most widely used AI art generator at the present time, Midjourney is yet another tool where users type out their prompts and get AI-created artwork - all inside a Discord server!
Unlike other image generators, Midjourney is not a website that new users need to sign up to - the only requirement for the user to start accessing and interacting with Midjourney's server is having a Discord account. From there, users can generate original AI art as well as variations and upscaled versions.
While its existence within the Discord ecosystem can be a deterrent for some people, it is also an advantage to many users who use the platform regularly. Midjourney has been overwhelmingly praised for its accessibility and output quality, to the point that when people think of AI image generation and artwork, "Midjourney" is probably the first word that comes to their mind.
Unfortunately, Midjourney has recently stopped its free trial policy due to "inability to meet demand," meaning new users will have to pay just to try out this tool. This is, however, one of the most rated AI generation tools out there, so if you are going to spend money on AI art generation, Midjourney may be the best choice to do so.
Deep Dream Generator
Along the lines of other AI image generators is Deep Dream Generator (not to be confused with Google's DeepDream visual model), another platform that allows users to create amazing artwork with the power of artificial intelligence.
More than just an image generator tool, Deep Dream Generator is also a community of creators (a.k.a. "Dreamers") who proudly display their AI-powered artwork. The platform allows members to upvote images and get their creations featured in the website's public listings.
As an AI tool, Deep Dream Generator is an extremely capable resource across a wide range of themes and styles, but it is best known for its reality-bending output of surreal and abstract concepts. If you're looking for artwork that defies the boundaries of human imagination, then this is the platform for you. Take note that commercial usage of images created through Deep Dream Generator is restricted to those created with an active paid subscription or by purchasing and using a "energy pack" to create such an image.
Yet another AI image generation tool is Artbreeder, which became popular by allowing users to create artwork based on the combination of multiple, not necessarily similar images. This combination produces a unique image which can then be combined with other images to generate a new result, and this method can be replicated over and over again - until you are happy with the generated output.
This "splicer" functionality works a lot like a family tree, forming new branches with every new iteration, and it is extremely popular for creating portraits in a variety of styles. More recently, Artbreeder has launched its "collager" tool, allowing users to create incredible artwork based on a collage of simple shapes and a text prompt.
Artbreeder also features an active community of image creators and allows anyone to create and remix images for free (up to 10 credits p/ month at the time of this blog post). Paid subscribers get more benefits such as priority rendering and Google Drive sync.
Dream AI by WOMBO
Dream AI by Wombo is a mobile and web application that generates artwork by picking an art style and submitting a text prompt. Users can also upload their own images to be used as reference by Dream for the newly generated image.
One particular feature that separates Dream from other platforms is its ability to remix NFT's. Users can connect their wallet with Dream to use their NFT images as a starting point to create new artwork.
Free users can generate and download one image per instance, while Premium members can generate and download up to 4 images at a time. Premium members also enjoy faster rendering times, exclusive styles and a unique role in Dream's Discord server.
Cleanup.pictures is a simple, intuitive image editing tool that uses AI to remove objects and enhance pictures. Using a technology known as "inpainting," Cleanup.pictures can remove unwanted parts of image as masked by the user, and fill the void with contextual content that fits the rest of the image. If you've worked with Photoshop or a similar program, this technique works a lot like the Clone Stamp tool, yet produces far better and more consistent results thanks to the power of artificial intelligence.
Moreover, Cleanup.pictures allows users to fix an unlimited number of images for free! As of this post, premium members can use this tool for high-resolution images (720p HD and above), more granular control over their editing process and pro versions of Cleanup.pictures' background remover and image upscaling tools.
Like the previous tool, AVC.ai is another image editing tool that uses artificial intelligence to enhance images and remove unwanted objects. Developed by AVCLabs, AVC.ai is the online version of the company's Photo Enhancer AI tool, and just one part of their array of AI products (their video enhancer tool is featured towards the end of this post). This image editing tool can also be downloaded to Android devices for free.
With AVC.ai you can upscale images, remove their background, remove foreground objects and artifacts, colorize and even retouch faces with a powerful AI Portrait Enhancer.
While Cleanup.pictures functions with Free and Paid plans, AVC.ai uses credits that can be bought via a monthly subscription or as a one-time purchase. This may be a good tool to try if you only intend to use AI enhancement sporadically and don't feel like dishing out a subscription fee every month for high-resolution edits.
Brand & Logo Generation
Need a logo for your record label? Trying to find the right color scheme for your branded content? Look no further than Looka - the world's #1 AI-powered logo maker.
Formerly known as Logojoy, this tool can create unique logos and all sorts of graphic assets for all sorts of businesses, including record labels. Users can generate these logos based on a series of prompts and further customize the final result to their liking within the platform.
Looka also enables users to collaborate in the design process and provide live feedback - excellent for teams involved in the brand's creation. Its accessibility and fast output make this platform an exceptional asset that saves label owners both time and money when it comes to effective logo and brand generation.
Video Generation & Editing
Lumen5 is an online video creation tool that uses AI to repurpose content and transform it into video media. With an intuitive drag-and-drop system, Lumen5 allows users to convert their blog posts into captioned videos, complete with all sorts of graphic elements and call-outs that can be added on top of the generated media. It also boasts of an immense library of templates as well as millions of licensed stock images and videos to give users the building blocks they need to create content at lightning speed.
Hailed by a Siemens employee as "the Powerpoint of video making," Lumen5 is a straightforward option for record labels who want to maximize their content strategy by turning written and audio content into captivating video.
Another fantastic AI-powered online video creation tool is Pictory, which also excels at generating video content out of written text and audio files.
Pictory is all about accelerating the process of editing and repurposing video content. Its AI features allow users to quickly extract valuable snippets from long-form video and use them as part of their social media strategy. Users can also convert blog posts into video format, add callouts and b-roll footage, create AI-based text-to-speech voiceovers and use many other sweet features to take their video content to the next level.
If you want to automate your video creation workflow and save hours repurposing content, Pictory is the tool for you.
Invideo is an online video creation tool in the style of other popular web and mobile applications such as Capcut and Motion Array. With Invideo, users can create all kinds of video media based on more that 5,000 templates or start from scratch with their own content. They can also make use of Invideo's text-to-video feature to quickly convert a script or blog post into a compelling video clip.
In addition to its robust features and ease-of-use, Invideo allows teams to work together on the video creation process in realtime, giving the platform a collaborative edge that most video editing tools lack. Furthermore, Invideo has a free plan (as of the time of this post) that allows users to interact with this tool without spending a dime.
AVCLabs Video Enhancer AI
The company behind AVC.ai has brought us AVCLabs Video Enhancer AI, a video editing tool that uses AI to enhance your video content. Upscale video resolution, refine video quality and sharpness and retouch faces easily through the power of machine learning.
With the Video Enhancer AI you can take that blurry, pixelated video recorded in a flip phone over a decade ago and transform it into a contemporary 8K masterpiece. Restore old videos or give new ones a proper vintage feel, smoothen stuttering footage with frame interpolation and use many other features made possible by the application of artificial intelligence into AVCLabs Video Enhancer AI's editing capabilities.
Topaz Video AI
Topaz Labs' Video AI is another tool that uses AI technology to enhance video footage. It specifically focuses on video upscaling, deinterlacing, frame interpolation and stability.
Thanks to years of model training in this specific areas, Topaz Video AI is able to edit videos effectively with minimal artifact creation. Turn old videos into sharp, high resolution ones, or take out problematic quality issues with Topaz' robust application. Create crystal-clear slow-motion clips, stabilize shaky footage and give your video content the aesthetic treatment it deserves.