Michel Zgarka, President – HITLAB
Within the next few weeks HITLAB will launch an international Digital Emerging Artist Competition (DEAC) in partnership with some of the leading companies of the music industry including streamers, telcos, labels. Multi-platforms and our major multi-talented shareholder AKON.
In spite of large investments in the industry, artificial Intelligence in music is still underdeveloped, but it does absolutely have the potential to transform A&R. At least, that’s what HITLAB – a company quietly making in-roads in this field – is suggesting.
The Montreal-headquartered digital media and artificial intelligence company claims to be ‘revolutionizing the way entertainment content is discovered, produced and consumed’.
The company’s Music Digital Nuance Analysis (DNA) tool is a patented technology that the company claims is able to predict the potential success of new and unknown songs and recommend playlists to music fans.
“WE are A MAJOR TOOL FOR AI-DRIVEN A&R AND EMERGING TALENT DISCOVERY.”
MICHEL ZGARKA, HITLAB
“Our patented AI powered tech uses “musical pattern extraction and state of the art signal processing to isolate music attributes and transform them into quantifiable mathematical equations”.
What this means is that the software is enabled to create unique signatures for each song (which consists of 83 parameters, according to studies HITLAB had done by universities) and then, by mining the data, DNA can find songs that hold similar signatures.
Hitlab’s recommendation’s system’s conclusions are based on actual sound attributes – as opposed to other systems, which use metadata.
How this works in practice, explains HITAB President Michel Zgarka is that the company’s algorithms can identify what a Top 100 song is in any given country, or “whatever type [of song] we feed the machine”.
“It will compare any song that is presented by a songwriter or a producer, and they’ll be able to get a rating quickly of that song against whatever information we have, or data available, to compare it with,” he explains.
“It will rate that song and the producer will be able to fine tune their song to get better ratings, and they’ll know where they stand as an opportunity.
“So this could be done very quickly and it provides an opportunity for producers, or publishers or so on, to quickly identify a series of songs that could be successful in one list or another.”
HITLAB has also developed a mobile application called Can-U-Sing (CUS), a vocal scoring app that allows users to sing well-known songs and see how well their version stacks up against the original.
The app uses patent pending vocal analysis technology, and according to the promo video (see below), evaluates musical elements like the ability to hold rhythm, melodic precision and vocal technique.
The promo video also states that “recordings can be submitted to contests where singers can win cool prizes and,” – now this is where it gets really interesting – “get noticed by major record labels“.
“The innovative technology used in Can-U-Sing makes it a fantastic audition tool for singing competitions, eliminating the need for costly physical auditions,” writes HITLAB on its website.
In terms of real life implementation of its tech, one case study HITLAB lists on its website is a partnership with the Boston Red Sox, which resulted in the ‘CanUSing Your Way to Fenway Park’ contest, which offered the winner the chance to sing the national anthem at the stadium.
Finalists and the winner were chosen by collecting recordings and filtering performances using HITLAB’s app.
In April last year, HITLAB Media, a subsidiary of HITLAB Inc., signed a long-term co-development and co-production deal with Paris-based production company, WeMake, which is a division of France’s Federation Entertainment.
The partnership will see WeMake and Hitlab jointly produce an ‘original format’ project with the working title ‘Man vs The machine’ – The ‘machine’ being HITLAB’s patented and Patent Pending technology CanUSing and DNA tech.
“We are extremely excited to be able to provide proprietary technologies that can revolutionize the way labels and artists interact with their fan base, as well as the discovery process of new talent.
“Furthermore, our technologies have the possibility to be integrated in different segments of the entertainment industry and we are looking forward to explore the TV market as well, as HITLAB develops international properties for both the theatrical and broadcast media.”
Looking to the future, Zgarka states that HITLAB wants “to be a major tool for AI driven A&R,” and suggests that its software can help A&R professionals, rather than render them obsolete.
“We are a service provider, We don’t want to replace the human,” insists Zgarka.
“With our AI, instead of having to listen to 1,000 songs or more a year, we can [analyse] 100,000 in 1 hour, which will be [cut] down to maybe 100 – making sure I get the cream of the crop.”