Screenshot from Mubert’s web player
Mubert’s web player

How Mubert (Probably) Works

Generative music at scale

Alex Bainter
11 min readAug 29, 2019

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Mubert is a generative music streaming app available in the browser and on mobile devices. It features a collection of music streams organized by genre and the activities they’re intended to complement, like “sleep” and “work.” Each one of Mubert’s streams is “an infinite ‘live’ track that is constantly changing,” and as the company mentions, “You can’t rewind generative music as it is created in real time.”

That might sound strange if you’re not familiar with “generative music.” This term refers to music that changes continuously and neither ends nor repeats. I have a full introduction to generative music you can read if you’d like, or perhaps Mubert’s own brief description will do:

“Generative music is created in real time by the algorithm from the human-made sounds of one or several music producers.”

If you understand what generative music is, Mubert is pretty much exactly what you’d imagine a “generative music streaming service” would be. It’s a bit like Spotify for algorithmically-generated, infinite music streams.

I’ve built almost 40 generative music systems of my own over the last year, so I was curious to examine how Mubert worked. While I can really only guess based on what the company has revealed publicly and my own experience designing generative music systems, I believe I have a decent estimation of how Mubert makes music.

Loops and Layers

Screenshot of one of Mubert’s demo channels with Chrome’s developer tools showing network requests for MP3 files

I started by loading up one of Mubert’s “demo channels” and opening Chrome’s Developer Tools. In the network tab, I noticed lots of requests for .mp3 files with URLs like this one: “https://pro.mubert.com/data2/128/80/26/6f/80266fbb5c24e6bf160e111e5a0c7c61f25d37472fda2c.mp3.”

You can navigate to any of these URLs and listen to the file. You’ll find each is a short recording of some isolated element of the channel your listening to — a drum beat, some synth pads, a bass line, high hats, etc. These are individual ingredients Mubert uses to make music.

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Alex Bainter

A web developer creating audio/visual experiences both digital and not. Currently making generative music at Generative.fm.