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Will Udio AI Replace Musicians, Destroy Music, or Make it Better?

by Nick Smith
Published: Last Updated on
AI Guitarist at a Rock Concert

“Udio is the ChatGPT of Music” – Most people who have used Udio

Will Udio replace musicians, kill the essence of music, or enhance the industry as a whole?

Music production is undergoing a revolutionary transformation, thanks to the introduction of Udio, a groundbreaking AI music generator developed by former Google DeepMind engineers. 

This tool is about to set the music industry on fire, for better or for worse. Mark my words. 

The Capabilities & Innovation of Udio

Udio isn’t just another music tool. Udio is akin to the introduction of Napster…on crack.

If you don’t believe me, listen to this AI-generated song from Udio by Mitch Burger and The Fries. Once you scrape your jaw off the floor, come back, and read the rest of this article.

via GIPHY

Udio is far from the first AI music generator to create songs from prompts. It’s just the best one. A fairly close second place goes to Suno. At the end of the day, though, Udio is simply on a whole different level than its competitors. It’s so good that it’s downright scary.

Udio sets itself apart by creating songs that are impressively human-like and sound close or even indistinguishable from non-AI-generated songs. The default tracks are concise, but users can extend these into longer songs. You can also integrate your own lyrics, which adds a lot to the experience.

Here’s the bottom line: With Udio, anyone can make music (cough…”make”…cough), possibly attaining the level for which they would have had to book time in a professional studio in the past. Literally speaking, written prompts are fed by the users, and Udio turns them into high-quality, full-bodied music tracks in around one minute. It sounds like a dream come true, especially for all those who have neat song ideas but have no money or talent to produce one conventionally. Although its outputs are unbelievably impressive, it still may take a bit of trial and error before you produce a prime track with Udio.

Music Ownership & Legalities of Udio

One of the most appealing but strange aspects of Udio is the creative freedom it offers. Users somehow retain rights over the music they generate, allowing them to remix, distribute, and monetize their creations without fear of copyright infringement claims from the AI’s creators (but please double-check that with your local attorney). However, users have to indicate that the music was generated by Udio if they share or post it outside of the platform.

Also, Udio has established guidelines to ensure that the music it produces doesn’t too closely mimic existing artists, safeguarding the originality of each piece, according to Udio.

Take exhibit A. Does this Udio song that I made sound like Skrillex? You tell me. I’m sorry, but it’s impossible for an AI tool to create a song like this without training on that artist’s music. That sounds exactly like Skrillex.

via GIPHY

The Music Industry Impact & Ethical Considerations

The ability of Udio to emulate the styles of well-known artists raises important ethical and legal questions. If an AI can create music that sounds exactly like popular musicians, are we entering a new era of copyright challenges reminiscent of the controversies faced by platforms like Napster? Is this officially the beginning of Napster 2.0? Possibly.

In the future, it’s possible that music streaming platforms like Spotify could integrate with AI tech like Udio to offer on-demand music creation, further blurring the lines between creator and curator. However, the record companies would have to strike a deal with AI companies, which, let’s just say, doesn’t exactly sound like an easy, fast, or inexpensive thing to do. 

What would that look like exactly? Well, let’s say you’re bored with all of Eminem’s music. In the future, you’d be able to click on a button in Spotify or Apple Music and generate a new song or album that sounds like Eminem made it, and Eminem would get paid. I know that sounds like a mix between dystopia and utopia, but I’d honestly be excited to have a bottomless barrel of songs from all my favorite artists thanks to AI. Others might just find it cringe, off-putting, and wrong. But if the artists get paid…is it still wrong?

The implications of AI-generated music from Udio for artists and the industry are gigantic, as this could democratize music production but also potentially devalue the traditional skills and emotional depth that musicians bring to their work. If music is so easy to create, will it lose its value? On the flip side, if it’s easy to create, does that mean we’ll just get more and better music? Probably both. Only time will tell.

What Does the Future of Music Look Like?

Despite the surge in tracks produced by users around the globe, the chance of you becoming a famous “AI Prompt Musician” remains unlikely. It’s probably just not going to happen, regardless of what the stoned clickbait guru on the other end of YouTube tells you.

Authenticity and emotional connection, key components of music appreciated by listeners, cannot be manufactured by AI alone. Never can and never will. 

Nevertheless, artists who embrace these new tools to enhance their creativity could find themselves at the forefront of a new musical era. Is it time for them to “adapt or die” as a musician and “face the music”? Sadly, there will be artists who “just die” as a result of AI music. How many? Only time will tell.

Let’s say you’re an artist, and you have writer’s block. Udio could easily rip you out of your funk and give you an endless amount of ideas to run with. It could also give you an endless amount of samples and songs from other users to use as inspiration for your next masterpiece. Remember, AI music is generative, which means in theory that a limitless supply of new ideas is just a button press away.

via GIPHY

Wrapping it up – Will Udio Replace Musicians?

As cliché as this is beginning to sound, this is the worst AI will ever be. Udio AI might not replace a huge percentage of musicians or destroy music completely, but it will certainly cause an earthquake in the recording industry. It has the potential to alter how music is created and experienced by humans… forever.

By pushing the boundaries (and buttons) of technology and creativity, Udio is setting the stage for a new chapter in music production.

For Udio to not end disastrously, the music industry will need to figure out the fine line between innovation and the preservation of artistic integrity, how to deal with training models on copyrighted material, and how to work together with AI companies so everybody gets a share of the tunes pie. Whether this leads to a renaissance in music or a gaping reduction of its human touch remains to be seen, but one thing is crystal clear: the harmony between AI, big tech, music labels, and musicians will be crucial in defining the future of music.

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