Flow Composer — AI Composer Assistant| Music Tech Alliance

Sony CSL(Sony Computer Science Laboratories)

Sony CSL was founded in February 1988 in Tokyo and established the research in Paris focusing on personal music experience, self-organizing communication systems, and sustainable environment simulation.

Sony CSL follows the concept of Open Systems Science and approaches the goal along it. The researchers inspire each other to keep exploring new domains, new concepts, new business areas and new technologies.

FlowComposer is a current tool being developed at the Sony Computer Science Laboratory (CSL) Paris, as part of their Flow Machines research project, led by François Pachet.

The Functions of FlowComposer

FlowComposer takes on the role of a creative partner or assistant with musicians. FlowComposer can generate a clip of MIDI based on different settings. You can listen and edit after the generation. I summarize some functions from the Youtube video which introduces the capabilities of FlowComposer.

The Setting of Songset

Before you generate a clip of music in FlowComposer, you can choose a cluster of songs as your data. We called the songs as a songset. FlowComposer provides more than 100 plus songsets for the users. Every songset could be a music genre like Jazz Behop or a singer like John Lennon.

In the rightest picture, we choose American Songwriters as our songset which includes 429 jazz songs. The songset is the basement of composing.

You also can create your own songset by searching the database which contains 12,800 MIDI songs. You can filter the songs by time, time signature, style, composer, popular songs, most covered songs or more parameters to help to find the songs you want.

The searching interface of FlowComposer

Setting the Chord Change

After setting up the songset, we can set some parameters from the upper right corner. For example, if you want more frequently chord changing, just set the higher number of chord changes and you want your chord progression more complicated, not just fulling of the triads. You can adjust the harmony higher.

Setting the Note Duration

On the other hand, you can tune the item of note duration to make the composition not fulling of too much 16th notes.

The Way of Generating Music

What are the steps of generating the music in FlowComposer? Select the bars you want to generate music and click the button on the upper right corner. You will see the melody and chords showing in the screen and then click the play button at the bottom. You can immediately listen the composition.

Select the bars you want to generate music(left picture) and click the “compose” button on the upper right corner. You will see the composition immediately(right picture)

Editing the Notations and Chords

After you listen to the composition, you can delete the part you don’t like. Keep and edit the part you want by typing your keyboards. You can directly type the chord you want and use the up and down button to adjust the pitch of notations.

In left picture is the operation of changing the chords. In right picture is adjusting the pitch of notations, using the up and down keys in computer.

If you don’t like it, click the “compose” button again and get the new composition.

Selecting the Sounds of Composition

If you have edited a MIDI file, you will know the sounds in MIDI track you hear are from the samplers you set up. You can change the sounds of samplers whatever you want. Every change may make the MIDI track show different style and feeling.

In FlowComposer, after you click the play button, you will listen the piano playing the chords and the melody. At the bottom of the screen, there is a button called render which can change the piano sound into the other sounds. You can change the melody sounds in the accompaniment database. It seems like the operation of changing samplers in MIDI tracks.

Choose the Accompaniment you Want

Excepting for choosing the sounds of melody you want. There are many accompaniments in the database which can accompany your melody and chords. I am not sure whether we can import our own MIDI as a accompaniment.

Render your melody with accompaniment. Choose the MIDI accompaniment you want in database.

In the process of generating music by FlowComposer, we also consider and learn about the sound we want to present. The users may get a hint of “that’s a great way to use the chord” and becomes a method on the user’s own.

🍹 If this post is helpful to you, maybe you can buy me a drink! Thanks for your reading.

Find something interesting about 🎸music and 👩‍💻technology. Welcome to our Chinese blog👉https://musictech.tw/

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Jeffrey Wang/王俊元

Jeffrey Wang/王俊元

A man who combines with 🎸music, 👨‍💻software engineering and 🐸 business.

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