Reflexive Looper – an AI musical companion

The Reflexive Looper is an AI musical companion. Specifically,  it is an intelligent environment able to capture, store, retrieve and share a musician’s style. But, how does it work?


reflexive looper

Just like a human musician, The Reflexive Looper understands music. It does so through a real-time classifier that identifies the human musician’s playing modes (e.g. bass-lines, chords, solos, drums or choirs). Thanks to this skill, the Reflexive Looper knows how to properly listen, and store a music performance. But the Reflexive Looper is also able to play! Indeed, it can respond in real-time to music by filling in the missing instruments. And it can generate new musical material in the musician’s style.

In a typical performance, the musician gives to the Reflexive Looper a leadsheet. Then, the musician plays various parts of the song, corresponding to different playing modes (e.g. bass, chords, choirs…). Thanks to its AI engine, The Reflexive Looper intelligently fills in the missing elements in real-time, freeing the musician from all repetitive tasks, and enabling more creative possibilities. When the system finds multiple accompaniment solutions, it chooses the one that best fits the rhythmic pattern played by the musician at each moment. This structure enables a stylistic consistent dialogue between the machine and the musician.

The Reflexive Looper does not only act in real-time. Indeed at each performance, the musician can reuse elements of previous performances, or use them to compose new music.

The Reflexive Looper can perform multi-track music in various musical genres (rock, pop, Brazilian, jazz…). It is currently being used in two music albums projects. Several concerts and performances will take place (in Brazil and in Paris at Gaité Lyrique) to demonstrate its potential to a large audience.

The above video shows artist-in-residence Benoit Carré performing in real-time the Beatles song “I feel fine”, using only his voice and a guitar. You can see how the system generates appropriate chords, bass line, drums and choirs, without any pre-recorded music material, and with very little input: a performance that would otherwise be impossible for a single musician.

The Reflexive Looper can also play jazz. In the following video, François Pachet plays “All The Things You Are” with the Reflexive Looper, accompanied by a drummer:

And finally, enjoy a pop song: Happy by Pharrel Williams: