Google’s Magenta research project has produced Lo-Fi Player, a fun and interactive tool that enables anyone to create their own looping lo-fi music mix. The player was no doubt inspired by the huge number of lo-fi channels that have popped up on YouTube — the genre is one that has taken off in the age of the Internet, offering a blend of jazz, hip-hop, sound bites, audio glitches, looping beats, and more.
If you’ve spent any time on YouTube, you’ve probably come across lo-fi music channels — they often feature a glitch art or anime cover image and offer anywhere from hours to endless streams of lo-fi music. Despite being limited to the Internet, this music has proven very popular with many listeners, being notable for its relaxing, unintrusive background nature.
The Google Magenta Lo-Fi Player is a fun way for anyone to create their own looping lo-fi music. The tool features a pixel art interface with clickable elements. Users can choose a variety of settings for their looping mix, including atmospheric sounds, base, and even the mood of the music. The settings are adjusted using basic sliders and drop-down menus.
The tool was created by Vibert Thio, a Google Brain team intern. In a post on Tensor Flow detailing the project, Thio explains that lo-fi was selected for this project because it features a fairly simple music structure, meaning that users can tweak different aspects and the music will ‘always make sense.’
This is more than a simple point-and-click looping tool, mind. The TV in the middle of the virtual room, for example, enables anyone to create new melodies for their lo-fi mix; it is powered by MusicVAE. Likewise, the nearby radio in the virtual room is powered by MelodyRNN, also enabling users to create new melodies
Lo-Fi Player has been turned into an interactive YouTube stream that the Google researchers will leave up and running for a few weeks. Users can interact with the music player by typing commands into the video chat.