You are here

AthTek Digiband "automatic" music composer...

Arrangement, instrumentation, lyric writing, music theory, inspiration… it’s all here.

AthTek Digiband "automatic" music composer...

Postby bobethomas » Mon Mar 09, 2015 1:28 pm

I've been working with the demo of AthTek Digiband for the past several days, and I have to say I've found it surprisingly effective at composing good basic melodies with equally simple but good harmonies.

As a quick tool to knock out some ideas for a piece, it works great. To be honest, as a longtime BIAB user, I've found this little Digiband program to be much more effective at creating quickies that I can adjust and adapt into pieces that are useful.

So.... anyone else have any experiences with AthTek's Digiband?

I've found exactly 3 reviews on the entire internet for the program, so it's not exactly a known entity.

And that it's so "simple" to use gives one pause... and yet, at the same time, it's quite a lot of fun to work with and the results feel, IMHO at least, quite useful in producing well-formed musical sketches, ready to import into a DAW for shaping, enhancing, polishing, embellishing, etc etc.

The demo is limited but gives a basic idea of what the program can do... http://www.athtek.com/digiband.html (http://www.athtek.com/digiband.html)

And please don't flame me just because the program is a kind of "Muzak" creator... to my thinking a lot of good music has as its basis a kind of Muzak quality... so if you don't like the program, fine, be polite. I have a Bachelor of Music in Theory/Composition, I work with Ableton Live 9, Cubase 6.5, Presonus Studio One 2, Finale, Notion, etc etc.. but I've been interested in composition programs, including algorithmic composition programs for a while, and this little program is, in my experience anyway, something unique.
bobethomas
New here
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:00 am
Bob e Thomas / Robert Craig Thomas

Re: AthTek Digiband "automatic" music composer...

Postby bobethomas » Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:01 am

Some quick notes on pros and cons of AthTek Digiband...

I think what most impressed me was the "simple" melody and harmony lines, which were quite often rather cleverly constructed. What most interested me was that the melodies often make clever use of suspensions and anticipations... whoever wrote the algorithms for the melody/harmony construction did a nice job.

Which is to say, after a few tries it's likely the program will put out a skeleton structure of melody and harmony (in midi) that's easy to adapt and edit into something that sounds like a musician created it.

The melody and harmony structures the program creates are well suited to EDM (adding an arpeggiator, etc) and I can also imagine using them to create Chill, Ambient etc music with the addition of loops, midi, atmospheric effects. And someone who likes using "composition" programs could easily use something like Liquid Notes to embellish and "complex-ize" the harmonies.

The program reminds me a bit of Jean Tinguely's "drawing machines" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZpEYLa9PGs) which were quite interesting and clever.... hmmm, yeah, dadaism is still one of my favorite artistic movements.

The cons for Digiband are the same as for other "composition" programs. It's a machine following algorithms with randomization elements intended to simulate intelligent creativity: sometimes it coughs up something useful, and then for the next ten tries everything that it coughs up is not.

I would also say that some of the "moods" are not particularly useful -- either they're not well thought out (which "mood" is minor? which is bluesy? which is...?) or I've just not had any luck getting anything useful out of them. I found the depressive moods depressingly useless. But maybe that's something they can improve for version 1.9 or version 2.

On the other hand, in my limited experience with BIAB, it seems mostly useful for creating live jazz accompaniments. Unfortuntely, it does not seem very adept at creating midi pieces that can be edited and adapted into something useful as music... the "arrangements" are often too busy and have too many clunkers... editing these out takes a lot of work and often, in the end, just isn't worth the effort.

Anyway, it's fun to find a little unknown program that's fun to play around with... and which is sometimes capable of actually yielding interesting and useful musical results.
bobethomas
New here
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:00 am
Bob e Thomas / Robert Craig Thomas

Re: AthTek Digiband "automatic" music composer...

Postby bobethomas » Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:32 am

Uh-oh... something to know...

I bought the program this morning... you can only install it on one computer and they lock the installation onto that computer, no transfers apparently...

Major downside here... thought you all should know...
bobethomas
New here
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:00 am
Bob e Thomas / Robert Craig Thomas

Re: AthTek Digiband "automatic" music composer...

Postby bobethomas » Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:59 am

Ugh, talking to myself probably.... which may not be all that bad...

Working with "full" version of Digiband... some cons that are now apparent...

- MIDI out (using virtual midi cable like Copperlan or MidiYoke) only works on channel 1, midi channels for each instrument are not mapable
- MIDI export assigns no names to the individual midi tracks, each track is simply named with the file name
- now that the other genres (other than "pop") are available to work with, it is somewhat clearer why the demo only had "pop" available... "electric" seems okay (could be useful for EDM), but so far the other genres are unimpressive and seriously limited

pros...

- still fun to mess around with, better than playing games on my smartphone
- could possibly provide skeleton MIDI songs to work from... will know better in a few days
bobethomas
New here
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:00 am
Bob e Thomas / Robert Craig Thomas

Re: AthTek Digiband "automatic" music composer...

Postby The Red Bladder » Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:15 pm

You have not been talking to yourself - I have been following this. I had a look at the programme and it just seems to be a work in progress, rather that a finished project.
The Red Bladder
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2246
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 12:00 am
Location: . . .
 

Re: AthTek Digiband

Postby benji » Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:43 pm

I recently purchased the AthTek Digiband and was very pleased with it. Is this thread still live?
User avatar
benji
New here
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:40 pm

Re: AthTek Digiband

Postby StevoDaDevo » Sun Dec 30, 2018 12:42 am

Hi

Having read your comments today I downloaded the demo, it certainly offers something different but really needs to have its' MIDI moved to a DAW and then edited and assigned to decent sounding instruments.

When I tried to purchase it I got a MyCommerce screen saying that the product is no longer sold through them, please contact the developer.

So maybe the product is now dead.

I'll email the developer and report back.

Regards

Steve
StevoDaDevo
Poster
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 12:00 am
Location: UK
What would Bob Clearmountain do?

Re: AthTek Digiband

Postby StevoDaDevo » Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:03 pm

Hi Benji

Athtek have not responded to an email about their products not being available to purchase using MyCommerce, their Facebook and Twitter accounts have not been posted to by them for almost 2 and 3 years respectively.

Did you get a license code when you purchased the product?

If not, I think we can assume the company / product are dead.

Regards

Steve
StevoDaDevo
Poster
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 12:00 am
Location: UK
What would Bob Clearmountain do?

Re: AthTek Digiband

Postby CS70 » Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:55 pm

That website and software bears all the signs of being a very small, probably one-man operation.

Absolutely possible they've dropped the product, but it can be also that the company has been visiting their family for Xmas, preparing turkey and had a great NYE party last night and it's currently sleeping off the night :-)
User avatar
CS70
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4285
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:00 am
Location: Oslo, Norway
Silver Spoon - Check out our latest video  and the FB page

Re: AthTek Digiband

Postby StevoDaDevo » Tue Jan 01, 2019 6:33 pm

True Dat!
StevoDaDevo
Poster
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 12:00 am
Location: UK
What would Bob Clearmountain do?

Re: AthTek Digiband

Postby ManFromGlass » Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:00 pm

I'm following this thread too. I have a fascination with programs that can "create" music.
In case you didn't see it, a month or two ago there was a very good article about AI created music in these pages. Much food for thought well presented.

It didnt give me the definitive answer if music creators days were numbered! So no day job for me yet. ;)
User avatar
ManFromGlass
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2250
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 12:00 am
Location: In the woods in Canada
 

Re: AthTek Digiband

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:13 pm

I'm also fascinated with those interactive music creators (many on line too) where you can start them off with a mouse click and then take various further actions (typically with graphic feedback) to trigger further musical actions, and slowly but surely build up a semi-random track.

Great stuff!


Martin
User avatar
Martin Walker
Moderator
Posts: 14347
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:44 am
Location: Cornwall, UK

Re: AthTek Digiband

Postby benji » Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:26 am

Hmmm, I expected to get an email notification when someone replied. So sorry for the delay. I ordered DigiBand from mycommerce.com three months ago (October) and everything was fine.

If you look at "Tool->Change Singer" it redirects you to NIAONiao voices from yuyinniaoniao.com.

So it seems that "DigiBand" is an English version of the Chinese produce called "Yuyou Virtual Band"
https://translate.google.com/translate? ... aoniao.com

The latest version is Version 1.80 and can be purchased at http://www.dsoundsoft.com/product/youband/ for 660 yuan :-) This version was released in 2013, nothing since then.

There are voices here
https://traanslate.googleusercontent.co ... com/voice/

There are two other products, a "Virtual Singer" which says it is the first song synthesis software in China, and "Innocent Audio Shift Transmission" which allows you to easily raise or lower [the pitch] of any audio file.

In spite of being "dead" product, I found it very creative. There are several modes, besides the the "I feel lucky mode". There are ways to edit notes to fine tune a creation. Get lists of possible suggestions for a track to select from. I was able to create several tunes that I was really pleased with.

I changed the default SoundFont to HQ Orchestral Soundfont Collection v3.0.sf2 for better sound quality.

I found the most frustrating was the ability to export and import songs to other software. The DigiBand export function MIDI leaves out some information, and the import MIDI is next to useless as it allows importing of only one track and tries to create a new accompaniment.

I was pleased to find out that the DigiBand native format for .YOY was simple uuencode text files. If I have some spare time, I might try to export and import multitrack MIDI from the .YOY files. I am a veteran computer programmer, but new to music software.
User avatar
benji
New here
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:40 pm

Re: AthTek Digiband

Postby StevoDaDevo » Sun Jan 06, 2019 1:35 pm

Finally got a response about the availability of Athtek Digiband yesterday...

'Hello,

The DigiBand will be available to buy next week. Thank you for your patience.

Best Regards,

Monica | Support Team
http://www.AthTek.com '
StevoDaDevo
Poster
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 12:00 am
Location: UK
What would Bob Clearmountain do?

Re: AthTek Digiband

Postby CS70 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:52 pm

StevoDaDevo wrote:Finally got a response about the availability of Athtek Digiband yesterday...


Yes, definitely home to mum and cooking some Turkey :D :D
User avatar
CS70
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4285
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:00 am
Location: Oslo, Norway
Silver Spoon - Check out our latest video  and the FB page

Re: AthTek Digiband

Postby benji » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:35 am

A description of the product

DigiBand is a AI driven DAW. It appears to only run on Windows. It works well on Windows 10.

DigiBand appears to allow you to take a melody from multiple sources,
build an accompaniment based on a selected structure, instruments, and music parameters:
Genre, Emotion, Bpm, Beat, and Chord, and produce either a Midi or Wave file as the final output.

DigiBand setup requires you to choose a "Structure", Beat and optionally Chord (Key and Scale).

* There are eight predefined structures.
* It is not possible to add more, but existing structures can be modified.
* A structure can have up to 30 sections
* Each section has a name and a number of bars
* Names include Blank, Intro, Verse 1-1, Verse 1-2, Bridge 1, Chorus 1-1, Chorus 1-2, Interlude 1, Interlude 2, Verse 2-1, Verse 2-2, Chorus 2-1, Chorus 2-2, Outro, Verse 1-3, Verse 2-3, Verse 3-1, Verse 3-2, Verse 3-3, Chorus 3-1, Chorus 3-2, Bridge 2, Pre-chorus 1, Pre-chorus 2, Pre-chorus 3, Bridge 3

DigiBand then allows you to choose a Main Melody

1) "New music" uses AI to build a melody with accompaniment with 2 solo tracks, one of which can be a vocalist, based on Genre and Emotion, Structure and Beat
2) "New accompaniment" uses AI to build a melody with accompaniment and no solo tracks
3) "File accompaniment" imports melody from file Midi (1 track and 1 channel), Vsqx, Ust or Nn file
4) "Humming accompaniment" imports melody from live microphone (apparently no way to import Wav file).
5) "Keyboard accompaniment" imports melody from Midi keyboard, or PC keyboard
6) "I Feel Lucky" randomly chooses Genre and Emotion and AI to build a melody
For selections 4-5, the Bpm and Beat must be set manually. For selections 3-5, the Chords are derived automatically from the Melody (provided Bpm and Beat are set properly).

DigiBand presents its choices and then allows you override Genre, Emotion, Bpm, Beat, Structure, Chord, Instrument and Vocalist

* Genre - Pop, Rock Electric 80's 90's, OO's, Japanese, Animation, Children, Revolutionary, European, DJ
* Emotion - Sadness, Depression, Anguish, Worry, Anxiety, Disappointment, Tendresse, Cherish, Peaceful, Memory, Affection, Loneliness, Silence, Clear, Limpid, Gentle, Pleasure, Clean, Melodious, Courage, Fantastic, Satisfaction, Happiness, Leisurely, Romantic, Beautiful, Excitement, Love, Relaxing, Joy, Lyric, Euphoria, Affectionate, Gratitude, Warm, Cute, Sweet
* Bpm - 20 to 240
* Chord (Key and Scale) - from -12 to +12 notes
* Beat - 4/4 or 3/4
* Instrument (described below)
* Vocalist - Male (Kim, Young) or Female (Yvonne, Emily)
* Changing "Genre" appears to change also Instrument selection
* Changing "Emotion" appears to change also Bpm and Chord

DigiBand then performs "Auto Composition"

DigiBand mixes up to 16 MIDI tracks and 1 audio track. Each track has volume, right-left position, solo and mute controls. The structure and chords are displayed above and the notes below. The notes can be displayed in either MIDI or Numbered notation. Each MIDI track can be re-assigned a standard MIDI instrument

DigiBand then allows Editing

Each section can edited
1) Muted
2) Changed - Generated a new AI driven arrangement
3) List usable - List and display in Midi format 100 possible arrangements. These appear to be the entire list of possible arrangements.
4) Open Piano roll - Manually add, delete or move notes or groups of notes around, either by Mouse, Virtual Keyboard or Midi keyboard

Instrument Selection

It provides the standard range of Midi instruments, including a Drum Kit and also a Vocalist. Instruments are grouped as follows:
* GUITAR - Nylon String, Steel String, Electric Jazz, Electric Clean, Electric Muted, Overdriven, Distortion, Harmonics
* PIANO - Acoustic Grand, Bright Acoustic, Electric Grand, Honky-Tonk, Electric Piano 1, Electric Piano 2, Harpsichord Clavinet
* BASS - Acoustic, Electric (finger), Electric (pick), Fretless, Slap Bass 1, Slap Bass 2, Synth Bass 1, Synth Bass 2
* ORGAN - Drawbar, Percussive, Rock, Church, Reed, Accoridan, Harmonica, Tango Accordian
* STRING - Viola, Cello, Contrabass, Tremolo Strings, Pizzicato Strings, String Ensemble 1, String Ensemble 2, Synth Strings 1, Synth Strings 2, Choir Aahs, Voice Oohs, Synth Voice, Orchestra Hit
* WIND - Trumpet, Trombone Tuba, Muted Trumpet, French Horn, Brass Section, SynthBrass 1, SynthBrass 2, Soprano Sax, Alto Sax, Tenor Sax, Baritone Sax, Oboe, English Horn, Bassoon, Clarinet, Piccolo, Flute, Recorder, Pan Flute, Blown Bottle, Skakuhachi, Whistle, Ocarina
* EFFECT - Lead 1 (Square Wave), Lead2(Saw Wave), Lead3(Syn. Calliope), Lead4(Chiffer Lead), Lead5(Charang), Lead6(Solo Vox), Lead7(5th Saw Wave), Lead8(Bass& Lead), Pad1(Fantasia), Pad2(warm Pad), Pad3(Potysynth), Pad4(Space Voice), Pad5(Bowed Glass), Pad6(Metal Pad), Pad7(Halo Pad), Pad8(Sweep Pad), Effectl(Ice Rain), Effect2(Soundtrack), Effect3(Crystal), Effect4(Atmosphere), Effect5( Brightness), Effect6(Goblin), Effect7(Echo Drops), Effect8(Star Theme)
* ENTHETIC - Sitar, Banjo, Shamisen, Koto, Kalimba, Bagpipe, Fiddle, Shanai
* DRUM - Drum
* OTHER - Celesta, Glockenspiel, Music Box, Vibraphone, Marimba, Xylophone, Tubular Bells, Dulcimer, Orchestral Strings, Timpani

It produces singing using the Yuyin Niaoniao Text-To-Singing-Voice driver. Two male and two female voices are provided. Their pronunciation is limited to a, ba, da, la and na. Complete voices, mostly Chinese and Japanese and a few English, are said to be available at http://www.yuyinniaoniao.com .

Production

It produces music using either Windows "Midi out" or using the SoundFont2 interface. A built in default soundfont is provided which sounds reasonable. "HQ Orchestral Soundfont Collection v3.0.sf2" which is available AND sounds a little better. The Music can be saved as either MIDI or Wave format file.

There are dark and light skins.

F2 "I feel lucky"
changes Emotion, Genre, changes Chord, even if specified
retains Structure
changes arrangement

F3 New music
retains Emotion, Genre, Structure, allows manual change
retains Chord, if specified, allows manual change
changes arrangement

Tutorials are online at http://www.athtek.com/digiband/tutorial.html
User avatar
benji
New here
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:40 pm

Re: AthTek Digiband

Postby benji » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:36 am

My conclusions so far is that the plans for this software were very ambitious, and it doesn't quite make it. But it still seems very good for what it does at any price.

Pros
* Auto Composition is pretty clever and comes out with a good tune once every 5 tries.
* Auto Composition can be done on the whole song, instrument track, instrument section of a track, or chord.
* The note recognition or humming or playing other instrument is good
* The chord recognition is fair

Cons
* The requirement to select Bpm and Beat before recognizing Humming or Keyboard makes it usefulness very restricted.
* The inability to import more than one track from other software is a problem
* No way to import wave file for Melody recognition
* There is no way to save, load, or copy sections

I would be interested in knowing if there is any other product available that allows AI assisted Melody and Accompaniment development, at any price.
User avatar
benji
New here
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:40 pm

Re: AthTek Digiband

Postby StevoDaDevo » Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:55 pm

FYI Still cannot buy Athtk Digiband.

Benji

The tools I have bought to gradually workthrough to see what works best for me are (in no particular order):


Cognitone Harmony Navigator 2, allows you to import a melody (in MIDI form I think) and it will create a harmonic backing.

http://www.cognitone.com/company/article.stml?o=122


Hexachord Orb Composer uses AI to create melodies and harmonies.

https://www.orb-composer.com/


Liquid Music / Liquid Rhythm likewise

https://www.wavedna.com/liquid-music/


Captain Plugins the same, although the PC based melody plug in isn't avaialble yet.

https://mixedinkey.com/captain-plugins/


Rapid Composer

http://www.musicdevelopments.com/


Sundog Song Studio

https://feelyoursound.com/sundog/


All of them have pros and cons, mostly clunkiness, inflexibility, need for lots of MIDI editing or the inability to utilise your own DAW / VSTis.

Talking of VSTis and AI songwriting, Rayzoons Jamstix 4 (AI drummer) is also amazing at 'impersonating' drummers styles and writing drum parts whilst 'listening' to audio or MIDI backing tracks.

https://www.rayzoon.com/

Please note some are simply maths based rather than AI.

I'd be interested if anyone else has found a winning product or have opinions on the above.

Steve
StevoDaDevo
Poster
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 12:00 am
Location: UK
What would Bob Clearmountain do?

Re: AthTek Digiband

Postby benji » Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:39 pm

I have a setup with Athtek DigiBand, MuseScore and a midi keyboard. As a guitar player, I have always wanted to experiment with different accompaniments the way my son can with his Yamaha PSR-S770. So this setup is a good entry point for my own personal music development.

Also for the fun of it, I am interested what rules DigiBand uses to come up with tunes and build an accompaniment. I would like to see if something of quality can produced. Of course the holy grail of unlimited, non-copyright professional accompaniments, is attractive as I dabble in video as well.

If anyone else tries this, the entire DigiBand composition can be exported as MIDI and then imported to MuseScore, except for the Drum track. In DigiBand you need to remap the "Drum/Drum" track to "Other/Steel Drum", export to MIDI and then import to MuseScore and then in the Mixer Window mark "Steel Drum" as a Drumset.

The HQ Orchestral Soundfont Collection v3.0 sounds better in MuseScore than DigiBand, I assume because DigiBand is only doing 16-bit rendition of the 24-bit soundfonts.

For a midi keyboard, I use a 68-key silicon roll-up piano that I originally bought for use with ORG 2019 on my smartphone. The Windows software it came with, "Everyone Piano", provides a MIDI driver that can be used with MuseScore.
User avatar
benji
New here
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:40 pm


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users