June 19, 2024
Deadmau5-founded startup Korus taps into AI for music creation

Pixelynx, an Animoca Brands-owned metaverse company co-founded by DJ and producer Deadmau5, announced today its newest suite of tools for its flagship product Korus, an AI-powered music creation platform where you can remix content using AI and licensed stem files made by artists and music labels, then mint music and earn revenue.

Starting today, Korus is launching its new features to introduce ways for users to create and experiment with music, including interactive visuals, a layering tool, and video recording. There’s also a new playlist feature and rewards program to incentivize artistic contributions.

Korus’ main proprietary tool is called “Sound Mosaic,” a music composition algorithm that can compose music based on the stem files uploaded into it. Korus pays artists for the music they upload, and artists get ownership of every new piece of content that uses their stems. Users split royalties with the original IP holders. The Sound Mosaic tool will soon be offered as an SDK for developers to launch new music experiences in their products.

Each artist on the platform is developing their own proprietary AI models based on their IP to monetize it to fans. Deadmau5 dropped his AI model “Mau5trap DNA” in June, featuring tracks from his independent record label.

“The idea that you can buy this AI model from your favorite label and play with it is a new paradigm. The [Mau5trap] drop made about $25,000 in about 24 hours and included music from three artists who are all relatively unknown — less than 10,000 followers each — and, generally speaking, would not make a fraction of that from streaming in five years, let alone 24 hours,” Pixelynx co-founder and CEO Inder Phull told TechCrunch.

The company is still figuring out its business model, Phull told us, but mentioned that it has taken an equity stake in Reveal, an unchained royalty-splitting platform, to provide artists and creators with “full transparency over the royalties,” he added.

“The economy and the business model we’re trying to design is inspired very much by gaming, soft currencies, ways for people to spend on microtransactions in-platform… We’re putting the pieces in place right now,” Phull said.

Image Credits: Korus

Another feature on the platform is its AI companions or “KORS,” a friendly robot that you can train to generate new music and album images. For instance, “Create a track with a dark mood and angry vibe.” There are three free companions for you to collect, designed in collaboration with Mau5trap and music companies Beatport and Pioneer DJ. Korus plans to add paid companions customized by emerging and top artists that include exclusive content for fans.

“As we continue evolving the platform, these will start to gain personalities…they will know your interests. So, for example, you are building this country house genre, let’s say it knows that and it’s going to continue aiding your experience in that direction or feeding you with content that is relevant to the communities that you’re a part of,” Phull said.

Image Credits: Korus

The first new feature to be added to the platform is “Scenz,” a video tool that helps you craft aesthetically pleasing visuals by selecting from animated backgrounds and moving images and avatars around the screen. Korus also allows you to video record and share your creations across social media.

“Whether you want to create your experience in a 3D environment and build a space for that visual experience to take place or whether you want to just use more traditional video and textures, this is all a real-time visual composition engine in many ways,” Phull explained during a demo with TechCrunch. Phull adds that there are webcam interactions so you can upload a scan of yourself and perform as an avatar, but this capability wasn’t ready in time for the demo.

The next feature is called “Layer Mosaic,” which allows you to modify stems by adjusting drums, vocals, harmony, melody, and chords as well as use an XY pad for effects. It’s designed to give you the feeling of performing like a DJ and provide a sense of “musical creative agency,” Phull said. You can also generate new sounds through AI text prompts, similar to CreateSafe’s recently launched Triniti platform. Korus plans to include voice inputs in the next iteration.

Korus is also introducing soft currency, “NOIZ,” which can be used to purchase audio and visual content and music downloads. The platform rewards you for making tracks, sharing content, and engaging with the platform. You’ll get rewarded if you log in every day, too. Your rewards can be redeemed for digital collectibles, merch, and gift cards.

Lastly, the new playlist feature lets you curate collections of content while also exploring playlists from other users. Korus hopes the playlists will help enhance music discovery and cultivate a community of creators within the platform.

Image Credits: Korus

In addition to the new tools, Phull also revealed that the company is partnering with Netflix’s hit sci-fi series “Black Mirror” to launch its own web3 experience.

“The goal is to fuse together many sectors from music to film and TV with our core technology to bring fans closer to the IP and worlds they love. Many people think the future with AI is going to be this dystopian dark tale. We hope to show that isn’t going to be the case and will always try to have fun with our partners along the way,” Phull said.

Pixelynx was also founded by musician Richie Hawtin and veterans of the music industry, Ben Turner and Dean Wilson. Since launching in May, there have been over 15,000 songs created and minted on-chain by Korus users.

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