Playing with AI Music Generation

I’ve been playing with AI music generation tools. Listen to my examples of songs created by AI music tools Suno and Udio.

I had planned on writing a different blog post today, but I ended up spending a lot of time playing with AI music generation. This is mostly something I’m playing around with; I don’t actually see much immediate use for songs with lyrics as an instructional designer. But, it’s still really fun to experiment with these tools and see what’s possible.

My AI music prompt

I used this prompt with two different tools so I could compare the results.

An acoustic song with a female voice telling a story about an instructional designer working with a challenging subject matter expert (SME)
Playing with AI Music Generation

Musical notes and symbols, some distorted, against multi-color watercolor splashes

Suno: Generate songs fast

The first tool I tried is Suno. This is the fastest option: you just give it a prompt, wait a bit, and get an entire song. It generates the lyrics, voice, instrumentals, and a lyric video. Everything you see below came from just that one prompt above with no further tweaking on my part. If you won’t want to invest much time and just want to get something quick, this is the tool you want.

Lyrics for “Expert’s Maze” by Suno

[Verse]
In a room with papers scattered
Notes and questions all aligned
There’s a task that’s feeling shattered
Building courses from the grind

[Verse 2]
Subject matter mind so restless
Lectures long and hard to trace
In the chaos we keep pressing
Turning words to pure embrace

[Chorus]
Oh we build it from the ground
Transform jargon with each round
Simple lines to make it sound
Like we’ve found solid ground

[Verse 3]
Answers curve like streams unending
SME’s world so vast and wide
With each lesson there’s the mending
Bringing learners to the ride

[Verse 4]
She sits down with heart and patience
Crafting modules with a sigh
Through frustration finds elation
As the end goals draw nigh

[Chorus]
Oh we build it from the ground
From the jargon comes the sound
Smooth and clear we pass it down
In the knowledge we have found

Udio: Generate songs with more control

The process in Udio is a little different from Suno. You start with a single prompt, as with Suno. Initially, you get just two short snippets of music. Then, you pick which version you like better and extend it by adding a section.

Screenshot from Udio showing buttons to Add Intro, Add Section, or Add Outro and Extend the currently selected clip

The advantage of this is that you have more control at each step. If you don’t like one verse of the song, you can just generate something new for that section instead of redoing the entire song. You can also remix a song to adjust the lyrics or how much variance you want. Generating this entire song below took five steps in total, and I can easily envision spending much more time adjusting a song than I spent.

Udio is in beta right now. While I should have the ability to download a video, I got errors every time I tried. So, I downloaded the mp3 and paired that with a Midjourney-generated image and an audio visualizer in Camtasia to generate a video.

Lyrics for “Tangled Web” by Udio

Through chaotic talks, wrangling both, Her patience never wanes She aligns the goals, finds the way, Woven through the lanes From early hours till late at night, She bears knowledge’s reins In the office light, late at night, Mapping out the course She sits with a sigh, takes a breath, Determined to stay on course [Verse] SME’s expertise, tangled threads, Hard to pull them straight She rewrites the notes, turns the page, Patience is her friend Through the jargon walls, she will wade, The puzzle pieces mend [Chorus] With a heart full of hope, and a mind so keen, Crafting lessons that will be seen By the soft glow lamp, midnight calls, In her heart, resolve Reaches for the keys, types with care, Lessons start to evolve [Verse] Piecing knowledge like a quilt, bit by bit, Building bridges thin She relives the steps, traces back, Every word must blend In the quiet room, ideas bloom, Around each subtle bend [Chorus] With a heart full of hope, and a mind so keen, Crafting lessons that will be seen [Verse] Eyes may strain, yet she persists, Guiding hands through screens Late-night battles won’t deter, Her passion strong and clean Fusing facts with creativity, In every line it gleams

Instrumental background AI music

While I don’t really think I’m going to use song generation like the above for much more than playing around with the tools, I do use instrumental music in my work sometimes. I prompted Suno for some instrumental music as well. Something like this could easily be trimmed to use as an intro/outro, transition, or background music if there’s no narration.

Terms of use

Suno’s basic free plan gives you enough credits to generate 10 songs per day. However, you can only use the resulting AI music for non-commercial use.

Udio’s free plan gives you a certain number of credits per day and month. You can use Udio’s music results for commercial purposes, so this is the better option if you’re looking for something for a elearning project in your work.

Experiment for yourself

Ethan Mollick’s post “Doing Stuff with AI” prompted me to check out these tools. If you’re looking for more on AI, I have found his “One Useful Thing” newsletter to be a helpful subscription. One of his main points in this article was to play with the AI tools and have fun as a way to explore what’s possible. So, go try out these tools and experiment for yourself. Have some fun and see if you can create something that makes you laugh or delights you.

More posts on using AI tools

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