On Air Now
Classic FM Drive with John Brunning 4pm - 7pm
16 December 2020, 14:39 | Updated: 16 December 2020, 14:59
Distraction of the day – four harmonious blobs, boinging up and down to bring you joyful music this Christmas.
An interactive vocal quartet of Blobs – yes, Blobs – has been created by Google.
‘Blob Opera’ is a wonderfully weird new tool starring four colourful Blobs who have been programmed to sing together in four-part harmony.
They can be dragged up and down to make beautiful music, the Blob with the highest voice always taking the melody while the bassier Blobs do the harmonious groundwork for their star soloist.
Hours will be whittled away, dragging these harmonious creatures up and down.
You can even freestyle with the Blobs in multiplayer mode – and get them to sing Christmas carols, like ‘Jingle Bells’ and ‘Joy to the World’.
No ‘Carol of the Blobs’ though, sadly. Missed a trick there, Google.
The voices are those of real-life opera singers, tenor Christian Joel, bass Frederick Tong, mezzo-soprano Joanna Gamble and soprano Olivia Doutney, who recorded many hours of singing for the experiment.
You don’t hear their actual voices in the tool, but rather the machine learning model’s understanding of what opera singing sounds like, based on what it learned from the four vocalists.
“The experiment uses a neural network trained on the voices of a bass, tenor, soprano and mezzo-soprano to generate opera singing in real-time from simple movements on a user's device,” a post on Google’s blog reads.
Google Arts & Culture describes the tool as “a fun way to create a festive opera using machine learning”.
For ‘Blob Opera’, we can thank the Google Arts & Culture Lab, and creative coder David Li. It seems everyone’s been enjoying the distraction..
The internet's peaked. We can all quit our jobs now.— Cassie Evans (@cassiecodes) December 15, 2020
No one will ever manage to make a better thing on the web.https://t.co/0VIvhDIkFb
I CANNOT STOP PLAYING WITH THE PURPLE ONEhttps://t.co/967VYOnJH1— Holly Brockwell (@holly) December 15, 2020
Apologies if you're trying to get work done but YOU HAVE TO GO AND PLAY WITH THE BLOB OPERA:https://t.co/QZrFFKVO9c— Emma Mitchell (@silverpebble) December 16, 2020