Screenshot: Google Arts & Culture
Some people are born with musical gifts. Others spend years – maybe even decades – taking classes only to realize that their musical skills are at best usable. And then there are those who, for various reasons, are best suited as music lovers rather than doers. Regardless of what category you fall into, there’s a good chance you will appreciate Blob Opera. Here’s what to know.
What is Blob Opera?
Look at the picture above. These are blobs. They are part of a machine learning experiment created by David Li and brought to us through his collaboration with Google Arts and Culture. Together – and with the help of you and the technology – they make an opera. Blob Opera, to be exact.
Li and his colleagues developed a machine learning model trained on the voices of four real opera singers with the goal of “creating an interactive experiment that anyone can enjoy regardless of their musical ability,” he wrote in one Post in the blog “Experiments with Google”.
These singers – Christian Joel (tenor), Frederick Tong (bass), Joanna Gamble (mezzo-soprano) and Olivia Doutney (soprano) – sang and recorded a total of 16 hours of audio material. From there, the machine learning model listened to the recordings and understood what opera singing sounds like, and then developed the voices that would make up blob opera.
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How to Conduct Blob Opera
While it takes practice, practice, practice to land at Carnegie Hall, all you need to do is be on a device that is connected to the internet Conducting Blob Opera. First, follow Li’s instructions:
Drag the blobs up and down to change the pitch. Or forward and backward for different vowels. With another model for machine learning, the blobs can react to your inputs in real time and harmonize them.
Really, it’s more than just conducting: you can Create and record original compositions For Blob Opera, share it with your friends, family, and others who probably never implied they want to hear a computer generated opera number, but you will surely appreciate this gift.