Georgia Tech Researchers Introduce Mixboard: A Revolutionary AI App Making Musical Mashups a Reality

In a world where music knows no boundaries, the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Center for Music Technology has unleashed Mixboard. This innovative tablet application allows users to create their dream songs without any prior musical or editing experience. Spearheaded by Professor Gil Weinberg and his talented team of students, this groundbreaking app harnesses the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to blend songs from various artists and genres into mesmerizing mashups.

Professor Weinberg believes that everyone has the potential to be creative with music, even if they lack the technical knowledge or theory required to compose a piece from scratch. With Mixboard, the barriers are dismantled, and individuals are empowered to craft unique musical compositions effortlessly. By offering an intuitive and user-friendly interface, the app allows users to place songs in different contexts and create something exceptional.

The recently presented paper, “Mixboard—A Co-Creative Mashup Application for Novices,” showcased the culmination of years of research and development at the International Conference of New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME 2023) in May. The presentation captivated audiences by demonstrating Mixboard’s capabilities and potential to revolutionize music production.

Creating a mashup on Mixboard is a seamless and visually immersive experience. Users drag and drop up to four songs from either Spotify or the app’s extensive music library into designated segments such as vocals, bass, chords, and drums, each spanning up to 32 bars. Users can follow along visually as the app mixes the selected songs, witnessing their musical choices blend harmoniously within seconds. Once the masterpiece is complete, users can download and share their one-of-a-kind track with the world.

At the heart of Mixboard lies its AI engine, which relieves users of technical concerns and intricate music theory. Leveraging open-source music information retrieval libraries, the app determines crucial song elements such as tempo, keys, and music stems, facilitating the breakdown of each song into individual components for seamless mixing. The algorithm can stretch or compress sounds to match the desired tempo and transposing keys to ensure harmonious integration. To further aid users, the researchers have included templates of basic song structures, enabling the creation of appealing tracks effortlessly.

User feedback played a vital role in shaping Mixboard’s functionality and user experience. The research team conducted surveys with 45 participants aged between 18 and 27, excluding individuals with prior music mixing or composition experience exceeding one year. The participants had the opportunity to test Mixboard for 30 minutes, followed by a semi-structured interview and a detailed questionnaire gauging their experience. The results were overwhelmingly positive, with users expressing their delight at the app’s captivating nature and the incredible and unique music they were able to produce.

While the researchers continue to refine Mixboard’s automation and enhance its iOS functionality, they envision a future where the app transcends the confines of a mere lab experiment. The team aims to commercialize Mixboard, although they face licensing constraints rather than technological limitations. 

Ultimately, Mixboard is a testament to the democratization of music production. It seeks to inspire creativity and highlight the interconnectedness of music across different cultures and regions. As users witness the transformation of unlikely song combinations into captivating harmonies, they gain a deeper appreciation for the universal language that music embodies.

Mixboard is not just an app but a gateway for anyone to unlock their musical potential and explore the vast realm of creative expression. With its ability to bridge genres, blend artists, and empower individuals, Mixboard is poised to change how we experience and interact with music forever.

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Niharika is a Technical consulting intern at Marktechpost. She is a third year undergraduate, currently pursuing her B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology(IIT), Kharagpur. She is a highly enthusiastic individual with a keen interest in Machine learning, Data science and AI and an avid reader of the latest developments in these fields.

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