Let’s face it, most of the humming you do is probably not worth recording, but after running it through Google’s machine learning Tone Transfer tool, you may reconsider. Using your Android smartphone, tablet or desktop, you can turn these simple hums into a violin, saxophone, flute or trumpet solo. Google research scientist Hanoi Hantrakul considers this tool to be deconstructing the sound into “Play-Doh”, which can then be molded into something else. Read more for a video and additional information.
One thing to note is the quality of the output will mainly depend on your microphone and background noise, so it may take several takes before you get the perfect recording. This was all made possible with the ‘Differentiable Digital Signal Processing (DDSP)’, which uses a neural network to convert user audio input into a DSP, thus opening it up for conversion to other instruments.
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We do this by training a machine learning model to distill what makes an instrument sound like that particular instrument. You can sing into it, and you bang on some pots, and you have a cat meow in the background. That’s a lot of inspiration for the model to work with, and I feel like that’s where the magic of Tone Transfer happens,” said Hanoi.