Genius Google tool turns your tuneless humming into a lovely violin solo

1 October 2020, 16:05

Google tool turns your humming into a music solo
Google tool turns your humming into a music solo. Picture: Google / Tone Transfer

By Sian Moore

The humble hum is about to make masterpieces...

You’ve probably never considered that your mindless humming could be turned into a beautiful instrumental solo.

But now, thanks to Google’s incredibly intelligent AI tool Tone Transfer, it can.

Using your phone or desktop, you can transform any unpolished melody into a violin, saxophone, flute or trumpet solo.

And when we say unpolished melody, we literally mean any noise. Honestly, anything.

Try the tool here >

Turning everyday sounds into music with Tone Transfer

So, how does it work? Well, Google’s machine learning model can convert any tune into a digital signal. Once you’ve uploaded something, you can then choose which instrument you’d like your recording to be ‘played’ on.

Google research scientist Hanoi Hantrakul describes it as deconstructing sound into “Play-Doh”, which can then be moulded into something else.

Read more: Autotune – a creative tool or the curse of modern pop? >

It’s all pretty cool – particularly the technology behind it.

“We do this by training a machine learning model to distill what makes an instrument sound like that particular instrument,” Hanoi explains.

Transfer your humming into a beautiful violin solo
Transfer your humming into a beautiful violin solo. Picture: Google / Tone Transfer

Read more: What colour is the sound of your name? This synaesthesia tool will tell you >

“You can sing into it, and you bang on some pots, and you have a cat meow in the background,” he continues.

“That’s a lot of inspiration for the model to work with, and I feel like that's where the magic of Tone Transfer happens.”

Making music with cats? Sounds like an excellent distraction from all that practice you should be doing...