DNNs are typically used to classify things (of course) but can we let them go wild with sounds and then tell them if we think it sounds good or not? I'd like to think after a training class has been made (perhaps comparing the output to an existing song) we could get an NN that has a basic concept of music.

Timing would be an issue; I'm not sure how feasible this is. A strongly weighted input attached to all hidden layers perhaps? Use it as the bias?

Is this even slightly feasible?

  • $\begingroup$ Google recently released a package in the area of music and art its called Magenta. I think its possible to classify a sound is good or not if we have proper dataset. $\endgroup$
    – Eka
    Aug 5, 2016 at 9:19
  • $\begingroup$ DNN := Dynamic Neural Networks, right? Aka. Recurrent Neural Networks? $\endgroup$
    – Luis
    Aug 5, 2016 at 11:49

1 Answer 1


The first thing is to define what is a «good» and a «bad» sound. This is an extremely tricky issue, since the networks need numeric inputs. And music is whole bunch of numbers.

I know from people doing research in identifying how similar two sounds are, and imitation, say: you hear a sound and try to make another that sounds like it. Like when you hum a song or similar. That is by no means easy. These guys are using something similar to feature extraction, with Fourier transforms and energy and such things. They feed the networks with the (selected) features and... Train.

Now, to return to your original question: *What do you present as target during training?* You can present different types of music as categories and classify (I couldn't help but think on this research with fish). Or you define categories of music you like and see if the network can classify them ;)

One basic decision here is how long you get a piece of sound. Since it is needed to analyse frequency, this is a key issue. Since you talked about DNN, I was wondering if you wanted to do it online, as a stream, in which case I don't have the slightest idea where to begin, other than do it after a little while.

Other idea: I remember a little sketch in this series about a researcher that makes use of the relations between peaks in the Fourier spectrum in order to differentiate noise from music.


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