Tools and Perspectives for Interaction with Neural Audio Synthesis

This workshop intends to merge technical, musical, and scientific perspectives to discuss new tools and prospects opened up by neural audio synthesis. It will include an introductory state-of-the-art, a hands-on session with generative tools developed by our team, and an open discussion on creativity, design, and critical perspectives on neural audio synthesis. A website will gather all presentations, tutorials, and outcomes of the workshop. The workshop is built around three different stages:

  • Introductory state-of-the-art: (40-60mn) We will present both technical and musical works produced in the last decade leveraging neural audio synthesis, and introducing critical issues raised by these techniques (e.g., model bias, data ownership, ecological impact). Rather than a keynote, our wish is to provide space for participants to discuss presented works, to ask questions on technical specificities and to familiarise non-ML experts on technical aspects.

  • Hands-on session: (60-90mn) We will provide demos of neural audio synthesis tools developed in the ACIDS team at IRCAM, and assist participants in installing and exploring them. Before the workshop, participants will be allowed to fill a short questionnaire to communicate on the tools they would like to explore. Different frameworks, from high-level (Max, VSTs) to low-level (Python, RaspberryPi, modular), may be explored depending on participants’ interests. Depending on the number of participants, groups may be created to focus on specific use cases of these tools.

  • Open discussion: (60-90mn) We will invite participants to share their own experiences and critical perspectives toward neural audio synthesis. We expect that participants will contribute with their own issues on the topic. If required, we envision approaching the following themes and issues to start discussion:

    • Creativity: What are the opportunities and caveats for musical expression raised by neural audio synthesis? (e.g. what can be defined as “new” sounds, “new” interactions with sound, and oppositely the risks of standardization in aesthetics)

    • Design: How to include other communities of people in both interaction design and practice with neural audio synthesis-based tools? (e.g., non-ML experts, non-expert musicians, marginalised identities and communities)

    • Critical perspectives: How to take responsibility toward ethical issues raised by neural audio synthesis? (e.g., aesthetic biases in generative models, ownership of training datasets, human and computational infrastructures required for ML)

In addition to the workshop, a tutorial will be made publicly available on the workshop’s website for NIME practitioners and researchers to prepare their participation, or to catch-up with what came out of the workshop.

This workshop aims to be opened for both new-comers and experienced users, with a particular attention on inclusivity and artistic aspects of neural audio synthesis. Participants will be provided on the support page a comprehensive list of articles, artistic tools, and tutorials to allow them to go further after the workshop if they feel any interest.