Cutting-edge AI used to create the final Beatles record, including John Lennon’s vocals | Tech News

Cutting-edge AI used to create the final Beatles record, including John Lennon’s vocals

The Beatles are gearing up for the release of their last record, which has been created with the help of Artificial intelligence (AI).

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Jun 14 2023, 11:37 IST
Beatles
Beatles’ last track will include John Lennon’s vocals from an old demo. (REUTERS)
Beatles
Beatles’ last track will include John Lennon’s vocals from an old demo. (REUTERS)

While the whole world has jumped on the artificial intelligence (AI) bandwagon, there have been arguments made about its ill effects too. Big names like Elon Musk and Eric Schmidt have expressed their caution around artificial intelligence and the impact it could have. Fascinatingly, AI has had an impact in the music industry too, with artificial intelligence tools used to clone the voice of famous rappers such as Eminem and Ice Cube, who has even gone further to call this technology “demonic”. However, this time around. AI technology is being used in a very different way as the iconic band The Beatles are using it to create their last record.

Beatles member Paul McCartney told Radio 4 Today on Tuesday that they are using AI to extricate the late John Lennon's voice from an old demo to complete a song that was created decades ago, adding that it will be “the last Beatles record”.

Beatles' AI record

According to McCartney, the idea to use AI to create their last track came from Peter Jackson's documentary, Get Back where the director used custom-made AI to extract the voices of Beatles members from the background noise. “He could separate them with AI. They could, they'd tell the machine, 'That's a voice. This is a guitar. Lose the guitar.' And he did that,” said McCartney.

The two surviving members of the Beatles, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr, used source material from a demo track that Lennon had created before he passed away in 1980, and it was one of several that were given to McCartney in a cassette by Lennon's widow Yoko Ono in 1994.

While two of the songs from the cassette were cleaned up and released in 1995 and 1996 respectively by producer Jeff Lynne, the upcoming track, rumoured to be ‘Now and Then', was abandoned due to excessive background noise in the demo track. Now, AI is being used to separate Lennon's voice from the noise to create the vocals for the track.

McCartney said, “We were able to take John's voice and get it pure through this AI, so that then we could mix the record as you would normally do. So, it gives you some sort of leeway.”

McCartney also expressed caution about how AI could easily replicate a singer's vocals, adding that this technology was “kind of scary but exciting because it's the future".

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First Published Date: 14 Jun, 11:15 IST
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