Not just a search engine, the company whose motto used to be “Don't Be Evil”, Google offer a wide variety of digital solutions. There are the well known ones that we all use, however their innovative crew are always coming up with other ideas. Rather than trying to compete with the giant, Alternative Fruit understands that to flourish in a diverse ecosystem, we must become a dynamic part of it. We've all seen what magpies do to the kestrel that strays too far from it's territory. So be a magpie, they're much more social yet still have a nasty peck!
Music is a big part of what makes us creative, Alternative Fruit reported on the well known benefits recently. Our brains learn subconsciously as well as consciously. Simply by exposing our minds to certain things, we train them to think in particular ways. Music in its nature is creative and inventive, it utilises known rules again and again in ever varying ways. So, anything that helps us be more musical is of course a great thing. These Google music tools are really fun, and helpful too.
AI Duet: We love to play with new things, and AI is one of those new things that needs to be understood better by all. The cat is out of the bag, so everyone who saw Terminator 2 and therefore assumes life will turn out just like the film can queue up for the live version of Idiocracy or actually discover what they're talking about. When we get wise to the way AI works, we can join the dots to a completely different and humanitarian future. If you're interested in AI, and feel like you want to know a bit more, this in your own time short course might be for you.
So AI Duet is a way to get to know Artificial Intelligence and the abilities it can offer. It's a really simple program, all we do is click on the on-screen keyboard or use the computer keyboard for which the A row is the white notes and the Q row is the black. The AI then plays along with you, creating a random yet perfectly musical composition to compliment your own. Clever stuff, when you appreciate how it does it. It's not just following a set of rules to the measure, it wrote its own rules based on thousands of individual compositions. It taught itself to play by ear, much like many of us!
Mixlab: If you love to be in complete control of your music, then Mixlab will be so satisfying you might just love it. It's a neat little app which can be accessed from the link or you can ask Google to “Let Me Talk To Mixlab”. Once you're in, then the fun begins. You get four tracks of music which will play simultaneously over one another. This is how musicians record songs. You call up various sounds by asking for them. You can ask for guitar or rock guitar, classical guitar, beautiful guitar, and the list goes on. It's not just guitars either, I just happen to like them. Just look at these beautiful guitars. All the major instruments are covered plus a load more. If you want to learn the techniques of mixing music in your own time then try this short course.
Groove Pizza: Here we get to design a sound pizza of three layers. It gives us the opportunity to mix beats and affect how they interact with each other. It's got lots of various rhythm styles and controls to give us power to change what it creates. The pizza shows us polygons which represent the sounds visually. By playing with their angles, we see how the other elements shift to compensate. By altering the tempo we can create massive dance-floor rhythms or slow and sensual beats. The swing option is also fun, by adjusting the timing of various sections, we can catch the off-beat or give a sense of lag which can make music sound incredibly interesting.
Inside Music: This is a digital representation of a real space with instruments placed within it. We see how their sounds interact with each other and how their positioning affects the ultimate whole sound. By using 3D graphics which produce a virtual reality stage, the different parts show up on the stage and we are somewhere in the middle. Using the 360 camera we can scan the whole area.
Semi-Conductor: Here's my favourite, now you can be the conductor of a virtual orchestra. The site reads your conducting and plays the piece in the style you express. It teaches us pretty quickly that there's more to waving a baton around than er..waving a baton around. To become part of the piece and flow as it should requires a complete body immersal in the composition.
Chrome Lab: Finally, for now, there is this. Chrome Lab offers users a range of thirteen experiments, each designed to help us understand the principles of music. The elements are Song Maker, Rhythm, Spectrogram, Chords, Sound Waves, Arpeggios, Kandinsky, Melody Maker, Voice Spinner, Harmonics, Piano Roll, Oscillators, and Strings. Each one is geared up to let you in on the world of music through various perspectives.
I offer thanks to Control Alt Achieve for reporting on these items.
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