🤔 What is Boomy?

🤖 🎶 Introducing the magic instant music robot

alex jae mitchell
Mar 15, 2019 · 6 min read

It’s a fair question, because despite not publicly discussing what we are or what we’re doing, some people have been writing things on the internet and being all like “that’s scary” on Twitter and, more recently, impatiently requesting beta invites. The truth is, we’ve been working really hard and haven’t had time to write anything until now!

Since we posted this tweet a week or so ago, more than 1,000 people signed up for the Boomy beta via Twitter & email, and users have created a mind-boggling ~40,000 instant songs. Read on to hear a few…

Boomy is the magic instant music robot.

After setting a few filters and pressing “Create Song,” Boomy’s creative artificial intelligence will write and produce a full song for you in seconds, then prompt you to reject or save it. As you do this, Boomy develops your taste profile, which helps it learn what makes a song you love.

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We’ll be adding a number of musical styles to Boomy over the coming months, but right now we’re focusing on beats by you. Today, Boomy is great at creating modern and forward-thinking beats suitable for a variety of genres.

Sometimes they’re loud and uh, boomy…

…but they can also be toned down, more suited for indie styles…

…or even pretty emotive.

Boomy can make weird EDM…

…slap bass…

…and even write Pop hooks for you.

After you save a song, you can edit it — even the whole song at once.

Boomy generates fully-produced songs, so you can change the style of your song all at once after you save it. For example, all three of the following songs have the same composition, but have very different results when edited for different styles.

Many users have expressed interest in being able to edit their songs even more, and we’re actively working on simple editing features that create surprisingly advanced songs.

“Creative artificial intelligence?” That sounds like a buzzword.

It sure is! We’re not totally sure what the phrase “artificial intelligence music” means anymore but it has come to mean quite a few different things and nothing at all at the same time.

We call what Boomy makes instant music.

But, we’re using the phrase artificial intelligence to describe Boomy’s process because a lot of our user testing goes something like…

Us: Okay, now press this button to make your song.

User: (presses button) Wow, that song is cool. Where did it come from? Did Boomy make it?

Us: No, *you* just made it.

User: No I didn’t, I don’t know how to make songs.

Us: Yes you do! Boomy learns what makes a song you love, and makes the music you would make if you were a musician. Think of it like an iPhone camera, which makes your photos even if you don’t know how a camera works.

User: I don’t get it.

Us: (sighing deeply) You made it with Boomy’s artificial intelligence.

User: Oh, artificial intelligence! Like Terminator! Why didn’t you just say that?

For the nerds: Boomy is using a variety of in-house algorithms (some of which leverage machine learning in very new ways!), combined with a custom-built production engine, to generate well-produced creative songs very quickly. Over time, user rejections and saves provide an optimization target of the individual preference of the user, rather than a codified comparison set. Right now, it takes between 5 and 25 seconds to generate a song; we’re working on getting this to under 5 seconds consistently.

Crucially, we’re not optimizing for accuracy (“do what a musician would do”), we’re optimizing for creativity (“try things and see what this user likes, then do what this particular user would do”). There are philosophical and technical reasons why we’re taking this approach, which we don’t have time to get into here.

For example, here’s a “creative” Boomy beat that’s pretty dumb…

…but even that dumb beat can be improved by letting Boomy try new variations on the underlying composition.

A lot of people have asked: Why are you doing this?

  1. Our mission is simple: we want to turn every human in the world into a capable musician, in the same way that the iPhone camera turned us all into capable photographers.
  2. As musicians, we are concerned about the potential for “artificial intelligence music” to replace musicians or job functions that musicians currently hold; Boomy’s user-personalization workflow will make current musicians and producers more efficient without replacing what they do, and create a lot of new musicians and producers, creating a positive benefit for the creative music community.
  3. We see an obvious financial opportunity in continually making unique and creative songs faster, higher quality, and more personalized. We’re not interested in making best-guess robotic copies of past musical styles — we want Boomy users creating new styles for the next 500 years of music, not the last 100.
  4. We are actually robots from the future.
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We’re trying an entirely new approach to song licensing and ownership.

There’s a lot you can do with the songs you make on Boomy for free: we grant you a license to freely use your songs in your YouTube videos, share them on social media, play it them the background of your cool new dance, and most other reasonable commercial use cases.

By default, we own the songs you make, but you can buy full ownership of any song you save for $19. You should do this if you have what we call an “advanced commercial use” like changing the song (adding your own vocals and lyrics), selling it, or using it for some commercial purpose not covered by the license. If you’re a musician, you can export stems in WAV and MIDI format for you to use and change freely once you’ve purchased ownership of your song.

This model might change over time, and we have some incredibly exciting things we’re working on that will allow you to do even more with the songs you make on Boomy. Stay tuned!

Beta invites will roll out slowly.

The process behind Boomy is computationally complex and still slower than we’d like, so we’re rolling out invites slowly as we improve the platform to make sure our servers don’t explode. We’re also making many improvements to the music creation process and user experience prior to public launch.

The best way to get an invite is to be invited by someone who is already in the beta, or by following @boomy on Twitter. While we don’t have an official public launch date, we’re aiming for later this year.

We’re not shy.

If you have questions, comments, feature suggestions, or simply must have a beta invite, we want to hear from you — the best way is to use this form. Say hello!

Boomy Blog

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