Sonar+D 2018: Google Magenta shows us its machine learning synth

A look into the possible future of music-making.

Machine leaning techniques are being used for lots of applications, from teaching cars to drive themselves to recommending what film to watch next. Google’s Magenta project however, is taking a different approach, exploring how machine learning can be used to make art and music.

We met up with Magenta at this weekend’s Sónar+D event in Barcelona – the sister event to Sónar’s long-running music festival – where the team gave us a look at the NSynth Super, an open hardware instrument made to control Magenta’s “neural synthesis” instrument, NSynth and a couple more products.

This year is Sónar’s 25th birthday, which it celebrated by sending music into space from artists like Autechre, Laurel Halo, Holly Herndon and Daedelus, who even showed us how he did it in our video feature, How to Make a Track for Extraterrestrial Contact.

Read next: 25 tracks celebrating 25 years of Sónar Festival