Generative AI Music Startup Udio Come Out of Stealth With $10M and Song-Writing App

Generative AI music startup Udio has emerged from stealth with a song creation platform and a $10 million seed funding round. The round is led by venture firm a16z and supported by angel investors, including musical artists Will.i.am and Common, as well as Instagram CTO Mike Krieger and Google Gemini head Oriol Vinyals.

Udio AI

Udio’s technology simplifies song production. Users can input a music genre, lyrical content, and artistic influences, and the app delivers a fully mastered track within 40 seconds. The app’s remix feature allows further customization, inviting users to modify and enhance their music through text-based inputs, effectively turning novices into producers capable of iterating on their musical pieces. The application also incorporates a social component, providing a community for users to share their compositions, receive feedback, and collaborate with others.

“This is a brand new Renaissance and Udio is the tool for this era’s creativity-with Udio you are able to pull songs into existence via AI and your imagination,” said Will.i.am, who also has a podcast with a generative AI co-host.

Synthetic songs are not without controversy, however. Deepfake creator Ghostwriter has had multiple hits with synthetic songs, and music producer and artist Timbaland shared a sample of a song featuring a deepfake voice of the Notorious BIG before pausing work on it after some backlash from fans of the deceased rapper. Meanwhile, musical artist Grimes has gone so far as to offer 50% of the royalties on any AI-generated song that uses her voice. Holly Herndon outright offers a free synthetic version of her voice to make music with called Holly+, and the musical group YACHT trained an AI model to write an entire album called “Chain Tripping.”

Some artists have gone to court over whether generative AI music exploits creators without consent or payment. There’s also pending legislation to give artists more control over any AI voice clones or musical style mimics. Streaming service Deezer is even working on building AI tools to detect and remove deepfake singers and synthetically generated songs from its platform. Those are issues Udio hopes to avoid.

“There is nothing available that comes close to the ease of use, voice quality and musicality of what we’ve achieved with Udio – it’s a real testament to the folks we have involved. At every stage of development, we talked to people in the industry about how we could bring this technology to market in a way that benefits both artists and musicians,” Udio CEO David Ding explained. “We gathered feedback from some of the most prolific artists and music producers like will.i.am, Common and Tay Keith, to ensure that everything they thought would enhance the experience would be available. We hold ourselves to the highest standards and we believe we have achieved something truly remarkable, so we can’t wait to get Udio into the hands of music lovers worldwide.”

You can hear an example of a song created by Voicebot using the prompt “a song about writing about generative AI” and titled Canvas of Consciousness. The lyrics were also written by the AI.

We can code the words into the core
Feel the algorithm’s rush
Watch my synthetic musings soar
Binary flows
I think it’s getting smarter
Push enter now
Chasing data through the virtual haze
Building futures on the digital waves
Crafting wonders with a keystroke’s power
AI’s canvas blooms like a digital flower
Lines of logic, winding, intertwine
Craft a consciousness bordering divine

Music AI

Music plays a rapidly growing role in generative AI development, regardless of legal or ethical obstables. For instance, Stability AI recently released Stable Audio 2 text-to-music model. Generative AI synthetic audio experiment Riffusion raised $4 million by using the visual version of Stable Diffusion, fine-tuned to work for music to create a sonogram, and Torchaudio to read the frequency and time to play the sound. Other startups have partnered with tech giants, like Suno, whose synthetic music engine powers the Microsoft Copilot AI music feature.

Then there’s Meta, who built a generative AI music and sound model named AudioCraft that can transform a text prompt into any sound by melding Meta’s text-to-music model MusicGen and text-to-natural-sound tool AudioGen, enhanced by EnCodec, a decoder that compresses the training required for the AI models to work. And Google’s MusicLM is supposedly too good to be released without concern about copyright infringement. Even Spotify is tangentially involved with a new generative AI playlist creator.

Stability AI Releases Augmented Text-to-Music Engine Stable Audio 2 With Upload and Style Transfer Features

Microsoft Copilot Adds Generative AI Music Engine

Will.i.am Starts New SiriusXM Podcast With AI Co-Host Qd.Pi