2 min read

Google Brain’s Magenta project has released Magenta.js, a tool that could open up new opportunities in developing music and art with AI. The Magenta team have been exploring a range of ways to create with machine learning, but with Magenta.js, they have developed a tool that’s going to open up the very domain they’ve been exploring to new people.

Let’s take a look at how the tool works, what the aims are, and how you can get involved.

How does Magenta.js work?

Magenta.js is a JavaScript suite that runs on TensorFlow.js, which means it can run machine learning models in the browser. The team explains that JavaScript has been a crucial part of their project, as they have been eager to make sure they bridge the gap between the complex research they are doing and their end users. They want their research to result in tools that can actually be used. As they’ve said before:

“…we often face conflicting desires: as researchers we want to push forward the boundaries of what is possible with machine learning, but as tool-makers, we want our models to be understandable and controllable by artists and musicians.”

As they note, JavaScript has informed a number of projects that have preceded Magenta.js, such as Latent Loops, Beat Blender and Melody Mixer. These tools were all built using MusicVAE, a machine learning model that forms an important part of the Magenta.js suite.

The first package you’ll want to pay attention to in Magenta.js is @magenta/music. This package features a number of Magenta’s machine learning models for music including MusicVAE and DrumsRNN. Thanks to Magenta.js you’ll be able to quickly get started. You can use a number of the project’s pre-trained models which you can find on GitHub here.

What next for Magenta.js?

The Magenta team are keen for people to start using the tools they develop. They want a community of engineers, artists and creatives to help them drive the project forward.

They’re encouraging anyone who develops using Magenta.js to contribute to the GitHub repo. Clearly, this is a project where openness is going to be a huge bonus. We’re excited to not only see what the Magenta team come up with next, but also the range of projects that are built using it.

Perhaps we’ll begin to see a whole new creative movement emerge?

Read more on the project site here.

Co-editor of the Packt Hub. Interested in politics, tech culture, and how software and business are changing each other.


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