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Microsoft Mysong Generates Music From Vocals

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Written by Paul Strauss | March 2, 2008

Up until now, singers needed to either play an instrument or the help of a professional accompanist to help them realize their musical ideas. With this new technology coming out of Microsoft Research, vocalists need only sing their ideas into a microphone to automatically generate musical accompaniment.

MySong from Microsoft Research

MySong “listens” to any sampled vocal melody, then automatically selects the best chords to go along with the song. Non-musicians can create professional-sounding music by just singing into a microphone connected to a computer with the special software installed. The system is demonstrated in the video below (I know the video is super cheesy, but the technology is still cool).

Microsoft researchers Ian Simon, Dan Morris and Sumit Basu created the MySong prototype using a Hidden Markov Model and a musical database to figure out what chords will sound best with the vocals. Once the chords are generated, singers can make adjustments to the musical style using a couple of simple sliders in the user interface.

At this point, there aren’t any specific commercial plans for the technology, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it turn up in either musical composition software or even in video games.

[MySong via istartedsomething]