Paul McCartney Uses AI to Complete Unfinished Beatles Song with John Lennon’s Vocals
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Paul McCartney reveals that artificial intelligence was employed to extract John Lennon’s vocals from an old demo, completing a previously unfinished song, which McCartney refers to as “the last Beatles’ record.”
During a BBC Radio 4 interview, McCartney discusses the intriguing nature of AI and its application in music production, specifically in isolating Lennon’s vocals from instrumental and background noise.
The Beatles singer Paul McCartney disclosed that John Lennon’s vocals were extracted from an old demo using artificial intelligence to complete a previously unfinished song. Set to release later this year, the track marks what McCartney calls “the last Beatles’ record.” The unnamed song is likely to be John Lennon’s composition “Now And Then” from 1978.
In a BBC Radio 4 program interview, McCartney spoke about AI: “It’s a very interesting thing…It’s something we’re all sort of tackling at the moment and trying to deal with.” AI was employed to differentiate and isolate Lennon’s vocals from the accompanying instruments and background noise.
“So when we came to make what will be the last Beatles record, it was a demo that John had that we worked on, and we just finished it up. It will be released this year,” McCartney told the BBC. “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. It gives you some sort of leeway.”
“It’s kind of scary but exciting, because it’s the future. We’ll just have to see where that leads,”McCartney said.
Beatles fans have been using AI to revitalize old songs, Quartz reported. A YouTuber named “Dae Lims” employed the technology to digitally rejuvenate McCartney’s voice from his 2013 track “New” and Lennon’s voice from the 1980 song “Grow Old With Me.” These AI-altered renditions aimed to recreate the sound of the Beatles’ prime years.
Both modified songs were removed from the platform due to copyright claims by Universal Music Group. However, this hasn’t deterred others from following a similar path. Another YouTuber, “John Winston Lennon,” used AI on the unreleased track titled “Watching Rainbows,” recorded by the Beatles during the Get Back sessions at Twickenham Studios in 1969.
The music industry’s adoption of new technologies can lead to new possibilities for the creation, distribution, and consumption of music. Advanced technologies like NFTs, AI, VR, AR, and holograms technologies can enhance the musical experience for artists and audiences, as well as create new forms of expression and collaboration. However, they also raise ethical questions about the authenticity, ownership, and respect for musical works and artists.
For instance, the Canadian electro-pop artist Grimes, known for her interest in technology and open-sourcing art, embraces AI tools that can reproduce singers’ voices and styles. In April, Grimes invited her fans to create AI-generated music using her voice. She plans to share 50% of royalties with creators of successful tracks.
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