Music tech: LyricJam & FUSE


Music tech continues to evolve and below are two of the latest editions covering both 3D audio and AI generated lyrics creation.

Researchers have developed a new AI that can create lyrics for live instrumental music. Titled LyricJam, the system listens to an audio stream via a microphone, whilst producing lyrical content to match in real time.

Users can download it to desktop devices and access via Google Chrome. According to the University of Waterloo team behind it, the system aims to support musicians in their lyric writing process, rather than replacing them.
The researchers have said:
“The core motivation for this research is not to write a song for the artist, but to inspire the artist’s own creativity by suggesting fresh new ideas and expressions that the system generated by hearing the instrumental music played by the artist.”

Project leader Olga Vechtomova added: “Participants felt encouraged by the generated lines to improvise. For example, the lines inspired artists to structure chords a bit differently and take their improvisation in a new direction than originally intended.”

FUSE is a 3D MIDI controller that allows users to produce and regulate digital synthesizer sound waves. The device was developed by Israel-based Itai Shir Moskovitz for his graduation project. The industrial designer wanted to recreate the physical connection one has when playing a physical instrument- something he thought was missing in the process of producing electronic music.

Hence, when users integrate FUSE into a live set, audience members can see how the sound being produced corresponds with the movement of the body. One of the mechanisms within FUSE is the ‘slip ring,’ which lets wires move through a rotating cylinder without disengagement. It also contains a drum rack, which allows the user to control over 3 parameters of a digital synthesizer at once.

Further development Moskovitz’ is taking three potentiometers that usually exist within a standard MIDI controller and using them as three axes to produce 3D movement:
“It was important for me to examine new movements and gestures that express more deeply the connection between the sound produced and the movement of the producer.

“Just like my experience with playing the guitar: when I play, I do not simply hit a key, but instead I perform strumming movements that have their own unique nature.

“I believe that the connection between the musical instrument and the musician is integral to the musical endeavor and embodied experience of playing music, as well as watching it.”

The physical development of FUSE drew on the visuals of an electric violin and involved a combination of 3D printed models and electronics platform Arduino.