Meet Endel: The First-Ever Algorithm to Sign a Music Distribution Deal with a Major Label
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are slowly but surely infiltrating multiple industries, slowly weaving their way into our daily lives. Medical professionals are using deep learning models to identify cancer, weak AI to construct better buildings and machine learning to drive the world of robotics.
What about the creative realm? AI has made its way there too, slowly changing the way creatives create, design, and execute projects. However, AI promises much more. AI is helping people rethink the process of “creating” making it easier for anyone to be a “creative” allowing them to refocus their attention on the end user and experience.
As PwC report perfectly is stating, "The rise of artificial intelligence is driving a new shift in value creation focused on sentiments more intrinsic to the human experience: thinking, creativity and problem-solving.”
No better startup has embodied this coming paradigm shift than the German mood music app, Endel.
20 Upcoming Albums: The Algorithm That Creates Mood Music
You have probably come across Endel in the news. The German company recently made history, becoming the first algorithm to sign an album distribution deal with the massive music label Warner Music Group.
Endel has signed on to create 20 albums this year, alongside the five albums that the algorithm has already created. In short, Endel creates personalized soundscapes for users depending on a series of personal factors, promising to help users focus while working, or relax after work.
Mood music has become a staple of culture with lo-fi, classical, and meditative playlists gaining millions of followers and listens from everyone from the late night school student to the worker who needs to drone out their annoying coworkers in the office.
Currently available on smartphones and via Amazon Echo, Endel has garnered a lot of attention across the world thanks to their technology, attracting investors like Amazon’s Alexa Fund, Japan’s Avex Ventures and Major Lazer’s Jillionaire, among others.
The albums to be released highlight how AI could change music. CEO and founder Oleg Stavitsky expressed this sentiment when he stated, “We are focused on creating personalized and adaptive real-time sound environments, but we are happy to share those pre-recorded albums to demonstrate the power of sound and our technology.”
So this begs the question, how does Endel work?
How Endel Produces its Personalized Soundscapes?
Now Endel is not the first AI creative superstar to grace the internet. AVIA (Artificial Intelligence Virtual Artist) composed a catchy AI rock soundtrack that went viral. While Generative Adversarial Network generated a painting that sold for $432,500.
Endel’s creative power comes from its ability to use machine learning to create personalized soundscapes and tracks. Factors and personal inputs such as time of day, location, heart rate, and weather are used to create custom sound frequencies to enhance one’s mood towards sleep, relaxation, and focus.
The German company is a strong believer of the impact of sound on one’s physiological and psychological well being. Using well-documented research the team understands that sounds like white noise help infants sleep while relaxing sounds reduce stress and anxiety reducing the heart rate and blood pressure.
Endel utilizes your biological clock to create more precise mood music while using the pentatonic scale to create simple sounds that are a joy to listen to throughout the day. The German team also uses Endel’s sound engine to mask distracting sounds.
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Today Endel breaks new ground as the first Alexa Skill to use predictive mechanics, it suggests the best activities and according soundscapes throughout the day based on circadian rhythms. Once enabled, Alexa users simply say, “Alexa, start Endel” to launch the skill, and Endel’s modes can also be chosen manually via voice commands in English or German. Endel Skill for Amazon Alexa is the most advanced addition to Endel's product ecosystem and a big step to allow the smart sound environments to adapt and follow you during the day. Free for all Alexa users, the skill can be enabled in the Alexa Skills Store through the Alexa app or Amazon.com. . . . . #amazonalexa #amazonecho #alexa #homeautomation #smarthomes #smarthome #smarthometechnology
Endel is designed to be integrated across various platforms and has a host of applications in a variety of industries. The algorithm could be used to create “chillout areas”, making it perfect for public spaces, galleries, and clubs.
Endel is already working on ways to improve the wellbeing experience of workspaces and currently looking into the application of soundscapes in autonomous transportation.
Will AI Replace Creatives?
Probably not. Yet, this is the focal point for the debate of AI in the creative fields. AI will never replace the creatives, but as mentioned above it will change the way they create projects and probably the way people experience projects. If anything, AI will lower the barrier of entry.
Take a look at NVIDIA's GauGAN. The prototype software allows users to sketch simple images and have them transform into photorealistic images that would rival any professional artist’s rendering or sketch.
Music in the future could be the same. Any person could just put in a series of data and notes with little to no knowledge and create their own sonic masterpiece.
What is interesting about Endel is that it represents how AI could change the way people experience music, while holding the promise that AI could be used to produce a majority of your albums in the near future.
Would you use a tool like Endel to create your own personalized mood music? Do you think AI could replace creatives in the near future? Leave your comments below
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