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Will AI help or hurt the D.I.Y. Rock Star? 💽

This post loosely accompanies Gab & Jam 273. Will AI help or hurt the D.I.Y. Rock Star?

The topic has been ALL around us during this past holiday season and we’ve seen some demonstrations about how it can write a movie, write a blog post, and, yes, write a song. How beneficial or detrimental is this to the D.I.Y. Rock Star?

From all the of the posts we’ve been seeing—here’s a Castos post: and even Rick Beato’s interview with Billy Corgan: “The Smashing Pumpkins: The Billy Corgan Interview”, folks are either afraid of AI or touting its benefits for creators everywhere. As always, our question is how can it help folks like you and me—D.I.Y. Rock Stars—build our creative empire better, stronger, or faster. So, THAT’S what we are looking at here. Is it going to help us or hurt us?

273. Will AI help or hurt the D.I.Y. Rock Star?

What we surmised is that A I—or artificial intelligence—has been with us for some time, in one way or another. What we mean is that advanced technology has been helping to create music since the 70s. Things like quantizing—helping make music synch to a given beat—or auto-tune—that allows producers to be sure that singers are on-key and/or singers can sing live into it, so that they stay in-tune—have been with us—even laymen—for at least 3 decades. –And that doesn’t even touch tape loops, which bands like the Beatles have used since the 60s! –So, when we people hear “AI,” they think “foreign” and “alien,” when really what we are referring to is just another jump along that evolutionary train. –Except that, NOW, we are adding in more of the “intelligence” part, which allows, which we USED to call a “wizard” (on desktop computers), to suggest a string part or to help us spit out lyrics based on the topics and themes we feed it. –Right now, Apple’s Logic DAW has a virtual drummer that allows the drummer program to follow whatever audio you record. Or we have loops, courtesy of Fruity Loops, etc., where we can assemble a complete song with a variety of pre-programmed parts. There are ALREADY programs out here that will create melodies for you or chord progressions for you. This is a “soft” AI that we have grown accustomed to, so that we don’t even think about it, but it IS “helping” us write our songs.

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Does A.I. help or hurt D.I.Y. Rock Stars?

The question remains how helpful is that to us? Or does it replace us? We have come up with a few “good” and “bad” outcomes of relying on this AI.


1. Can help with brainstorming.

Just like with I open a thesaurus or a rhyming dictionary to help me brainstorm ideas for lyrics or using the chord-suggesting app for suggestions, using an AI app can help me think of those out-of-the-box options. We would liken it to an automated collaborator.

What has people concerned about this technology is that AI does what “experts” tell artists who want to be successful to do; listen to the radio, compare your song to what’s on the radio, and, if your song doesn’t sound like that—including the “right” sound, lyrics, and melodies—to MAKE it sound like that. The AI is just the shortcut for all of that.

2. Helps with any limited skills.

If you are not skilled at horn parts or string arrangements, artists can use AI to help write those parts. It will put it in the proper range for that particular instrument. Since it is not a talent you would have used in your song, it is NOT competing for human creation, right? That’s a good thing.

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1. Can’t help you if you want to showcase your voice.

If you are looking to give your unique voice, the Ai is only going to draw from what has ALREADY come before, so it is NOT going to give offer anything new, because it is programmed from what has come before. For instance, it is UNLIKELY to offer a Star Wars string arrangement for a funk song, because that is not in keeping with what is defined as a “good” funk song. It will help you continue status quo material, but it would take the songwriter to step in and add that umph that he/she is hearing. The AI is programmed to feed on what has already happened, but is not going to take the risk to predict what might happen NEXT. That’s the artist’s job. It’s akin to taking stats from last year’s football games and predicting who is going to be the ultimate winner THIS year. –Perhaps, the AI would predict that the fill-in quarterback would NOT lead the team to victory, but that is NOT reality. The games NEED to be played, because humans are unpredictable and the winner advances based on human error and effort. In other words, there’s no accounting for the human element, which is why it’s so exciting to watch it ACTUALLY play out. –Which is why if major label record companies could PREDICT which artists were going to be successful, they would NOT lose money on 90% of the artists they sign. That’s why, if you’re an artist, you shouldn’t be intimidated by AI. AI should be nothing more than a tool—like a thesaurus. –Remember, folks felt like drum machines were going to replace drummers and keyboard bass patches were going to replace bass players, that string synths were going to replace violinists, etc., and that woodwind patches would replace actual musicians. None of that happened, because people WANT the human element.

2. Market flooded with bland, predictable music by viral-seeking artists

We already have that! In fact, EVERY generation has its share of music written to try to make a hit, so why would NOW be any different?! Think about it; how many of the 50s and 60s—and 70s and 80s, etc.—songs sound alike? You’re always going to have copycats, whether they are using AI to do it, or if they are doing it themselves, will be trying to figure out what already exists and turn into their next song. –And that’s no knock at them; MOST businesses try to figure out what works and seek to repeat that.

Even in the examples of AI writing movies, etc., there is STILL the need for a human to go in and make sure that there are no jumps in logic and that there is a heart in the narrative, etc. However, as we noted, oftentimes sequels will DO just that; repeat what has ALREADY been successful and not take a chance to lean toward something new.

That’s why we KNOW that AI could not have predicted the success of The Beatles or punk rock or rap or new wave or Prince or bebop or fusion jazz, because they were formulas that had not existed before. It is the human that is going to be forward-looking and visionary. You cannot get that from AI.

3. Another complaint of AI is a creation of the same exact work of art

Because some of the AI app configure the terms that are input—like write a hip hop song about the club and include Nike gear—will produce the same exact result, there is the possibility of more than one person having the same exact song lyrics.

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4. Plagiarism is possible

Also, because some AI apps pull material from the internet in order to make their final product, there are occurrences of using art that has already been created within a new work WITHOUT asking the proper permissions. –As we know, this situation is happening now with the use of Splice and other pre-made loops software. Folks are using the loops in a similar fashion, but some are copyrighting their creations. This means that when new beatmakers use this SAME combination of loops, they cannot copyright it and are accused of copyright infringement. –So, THIS type of confusion is happening even BEFORE the newer AI software is even involved.

–Again, in ALL these instances, it is incumbent upon the artist to go in and add themselves in an effort to differentiate the artistic expression.


B I G L I S T O F A I G E N E R A T O R S :

However, if you want to try out some of these AI generators, we’re going to give you a short list that we curated while making this episode:

Music AI Generators:

Courtesy of Unite AI


Lyrics AI Generators:

Courtesy of Metaverse Post


Image AI Generators:

Courtesy of Demand Sage


What do YOU think? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic! Talk to us in the comments below.


Here’s what we’re into now:

· Tom Ray’s Art Podcast:

· “Sugar Fit” on Darkest Corners of the World Podcast S2 E3

· “Flying High” (from “Sugar Fit” album) on Toes in the Sand Playlist

· “Sugar Fit” on his Spotify “Indie: Undiscovered But Brilliant: Vol. 3”

· “Sugar Fit” on No Sugar Radio


If you like this, you might enjoy:

· Basic Recording Studio Setup:

· What to do when real life interrupts your artistic process?

· 7 Strategies for rebounding from creative burnout:

· How to give better interviews (for D.I.Y. Rock Star):

· How to give better live performances:

· How to collaborate better (for D.I.Y. Rock Star):

· How to write quicker, but better (for D.I.Y. Rock Star):

· Should you ever play for free?

· 17 Tips for taking better band photos—ESPECIALLY if you taking them yourself:

· First Music Video? 10 Best Websites for Free Stock Video Footage:

· Further Confessions: I Hate Video Editing:

· “YouTube Frenzy: But the Beauty of this Rabbit Hole”

· “Tips for Competing with Yourself (for the D.I.Y. Rock Star)”

· “Tips for Video Making (for the D.I.Y. Rock Star)”


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· Gab & Jam podcast:

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· Join the Bourgeoisie Paper Jam Street Team!

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· Be the Next D.I.Y. Rock Star Facebook Group:

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Until next Monday, here’s wishing love, peace, and chicken grease!




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