How On-chain Generative Music Works with Beat Foundry

How On-chain Generative Music Works with Beat Foundry Benny Conn Levychain Adam Levy Mint Music NFT.jpg
Benny Conn of Beat Foundry shares the importance behind on-chain generative music NFTs and why this medium of art will inspire a new generation of creators.

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Background

Mint Season 4 episode 13 welcomes Benny Conn, who’s a developer at Gallery.so and co-founder of Beat Foundry, an NFT platform for entirely on-chain generative and curated music. Benny dropped out of college to pursue his love for where crypto meets music and Beat Foundry was his first stab at this passion. Congrats to him and his team for a widely successful drop and I’m glad I was able to lead the post-mortem deep dive. We recorded this episode on Twitter Spaces so excuse the AirPods level quality. 

In this episode, we discuss: 

  • Intro
  • Who are your Biggest Jazz Music Influences?
  • Beat Foundry – Why is Generative Music Important
  • The First Drop: Ocarinas
  • Beat Foundry and Ownership
  • Does Music Need to Be On Chain?
  • Current State of Music NFTs
  • What’s the Next Drop in the Pipeline?
  • What’s Next? The Oshi Drop
  • Outro

…and so much more. 

I hope you enjoy our conversation. 


Support Season 4’s NFT sponsors!

1. Coinvise – https://coinvise.co

2. Polygon Studios – https://polygonstudios.com

Interested in becoming an NFT sponsor? Get in touch here!


What’s going on, dude?

How are you doing? I’m doing pretty well. I’m out here in Miami. Just enjoying the nice weather.

Let’s go, dude. I’m feeling good, man, feeling good. You guys gave me a heart attack on Saturday as I was freaking trigger fingering, trying to buy this drop. But let’s start with the congratulations. Okay. I’m pretty sure you’ve heard that a bunch of times, but congrats, bro. What a great drop. What a great concept. How are you feeling post drop? What’s going on in your head?

Yeah. Thank you so much. I mean, yeah, this first drop was so monumental for us. I mean we’ve been working on this for at least the idea has been, you know, around for since October maybe, and you know, it’s just been slowly figuring out, what kind of music we’re gonna be making and how the smart contracts are looking. And after all this time, finally being able to release something is so rewarding and have it go with such success, just seeing the fact that the website had trouble even handling the amount of people clicking the mint button. Although that was a struggle for me. I had a very stressful moment in that moment. It’s very nice to know that there was a lot of people there trying to get one of these, arenas and that, people are interested in them after the fact, you’ve got a lot of people now on the discord posting about making remixes, which was super cool. We wanna be seeing that kind of stuff then obviously, we just posted about our next collection, right? So we’re just super excited to keep going and moving forward with this

Benny, I was on the way home from the gym, because I thought it was 12:00 PM Pacific time, not 12:00 PM Eastern time. So it was 9:00 AM my time. I was coming back home from the gym on a Saturday morning and I think it was already like an hour into the mint. And I was like how did I mess this up? And I was in the car and you know, how shitty the minting experience is on meta mask mobile. So I downloaded Coinbase wallet and sent money to Coinbase wallet and created a Coinbase wallet account. But like I was trying to mint on the go, like on mobile. And I managed to get the two, I think I got three in the end from all the trigger finger clicks that I tried to do, but I was like, I had my meta mask and my coin wallet open, just try to mint. And neither platform would actually work like the minting experience on mobile sucks with wallets and not related to your site. And then I got home, because I was like, I need to get home and like try to do this from the desktop. And I got home and I had like my phone open and then I had like a brave browser open and a Chrome browser open trying to understand what the problems were of why I couldn’t mint. And dude, I was just like clicking on my phone, clicking on the mouse, just trying to figure this entire thing out. But needless to say, I’m glad I got, I got a few, but it was the most stressful mint I’ve ever been a part of.

Yeah. Sounds like you had just as much of a stressful experience as I did, man. That’s something a little tidbit that we kind of posted about just about that kinda whole stressful situation was on the back end, we actually kind of sound similar, you were downloading another wallet, right. We actually spun up a whole new database because the provider we were using couldn’t handle the traffic we were getting. So we had go to a different provider, spin something up separately and connect that to the mint site. So yeah, it was a fun experience. I don’t think I wanna experience something like that again.

Intro

These are the memories that we make online, but I digress. Okay. Let’s jump right in. Okay. Benny, who the hell are you like? What does the world need to know about you? Tell me about yourself. How’d you find Beat Foundery? Gimme some background

There’s a lot of platforms out there right now that are being written by these engineers that are trying to get into the music NFT space. I’m really thankful to kind of have a little bit of a different perspective than some people getting into the music NFT space. Whereas actually, I started out as a musician, so I’m a jazz musician by trade. I play jazz trombone. I went to the Manhattan school of music for one semester before realizing that that was not the right way for me, but all throughout high school, I was playing jazz trombone and I was very lucky enough to travel around and play in Japan, play across the United States play across Canada and really enjoyed that. I think when you’re in that kind of zone, when you’re playing and you’re traveling and you’re doing well with it kind of seems like the right decision to just go on and play music full-time. So I was like, you know what, gonna go to New York, try to make this as a full-time jazz musician, play at the Manhattan school of music. And I ended up getting into the Manhattan school music went there. And I think I realized while I was there that the lifestyle of a musician and specifically a jazz musician was definitely not what I expected. There’s a lot of things that I think people, apart from the jazz world in the music industry, we kind of just have to accept is the reality, right? Like popular music these days, you kind of have to fit into a couple different grooves to make sure that your music will be seen as some of the other songs, right? So sometimes you lose a little bit of that artistic freedom and creativity, because you just have to be able to pay the bills at the end of the day. And I realize that the lifestyle of making music that I didn’t really wanna make and trying to always be self-promoting going out there playing with people that I maybe I didn’t even like playing with, but I needed to make it that just wasn’t kind of where I wanted to be. So I decided that I would try to find another direction for myself, and I ended up dropping out because I had been programming for a while and wanted to take a deep dive into the computer science world. Next thing, you know, I’m meeting people who are working on what I thought was a side project at the time, but turned into a gallery. I’m sure many of you know what gallery is, and we’ve got the founder in the space right now, Mike Wen. They were so gracious to offer me a full-time job at gallery. So that’s what I’m at. I’m actually full-time at gallery. And then I’ve been doing Beat Foundery on the side, but now to kind of get into what Beat Foundery is. As a musician, I’ve been trying to find ways to take advantage of the NFT space and figure out kind of how I can share my art. Like so many others have been doing like, working at Gallery obviously we see all this art all day long, we allow people to display art, right. And I was then thinking, how can I add my own art to this, space, right. How can I make something myself? And that, for me, that was making music obviously right. Being a musician, but I didn’t wanna do it the way that I had seen. I didn’t wanna, make music NFTs the way I’d seen them so far. I’ve heard a couple music NFTs. I didn’t particularly like any music that I had seen thus far. And I think this was a little bit earlier in the space, surprisingly, even though this was in October, that was already, so far back, relatively to the music NFT space, we’ve moved forward a lot in couple months. I hadn’t heard anything that I particularly liked and I wanted to do something that was super unique. It wasn’t just about releasing music that I would normally release. Right. That if I was a producer or if the artist I’m working with, what they would release on Spotify, I thought I wanted to do something that would be different. Something that captured the space a little more than that. Right. Cause NFTs are really cool for receiving royalties and stuff like that. But I think there’s something you can do with just the medium of being on the blockchain. So that’s kind of where we decided it would be really cool if we could have on chain completely on chain, generative music. Right. And at that point, I had to figure out a technical way to do it, ended up accomplishing that. And that’s kind of how Beat Foundery started and we’re planning on working with other artists and yeah.

And here we are today, so really quick, a bunch of stuff to kind of pick apart, you started off playing music. Okay. And then you went into software development actually. When did you pick up software development?

Yeah, so I’m self taught. I ended up picking up probably around the beginning of the pandemic while I was home, I was still a senior in high school. So I was just home playing trombone most of the time, I had needed something else to do. So I was like, you know what, let’s try to learn something new. And that was software engineering for me.

Who Are Your Biggest Jazz Music Influences?

Yeah. What are your biggest jazz music influences?

For sure. Yeah. So as a trombonist it’s kind of hard. There’s not too many trombonists out there that I even would call a large influence. And in terms of my trombone playing, I would say mostly influenced by people, not many people might know these people, but JJ Johnson and then a modern trombone player named Vincent Gardner, but also the probably the two biggest ones that I’m most influenced by apart from just trombone are John Coltrane and Cannonball Aly, which are maybe people know them a little better, but yeah, very amazing music from them.

I’m actually like, I feel like jazz is one of those things where too many people don’t listen to it anymore. I grew up playing drums as well. Like you, Benny, you started off with music. I started off with drums. I’ve been playing since like five years old, got started playing rock then funk and then transitioned into like R and B gospel, jazz and fell in love with that entire world. But I’m curious, like use your reactions in the audience. I’m curious, how many of you guys still actually listen to jazz? Despite it being the influence in the backbone for a lot of like mainstream music, I’m kind of curious if you guys wanna show like a raise of hand, just to get an idea. But Benny super, super cool man. Really interesting backstory, surprisingly, you quit college. Like you literally dropped out, to pursue more of this stuff. Walk me through your mindset of quitting school. And what was that like?

Yeah. So for my mom, it was a bit stressful, right. For me I was just thinking that, you know what, I couldn’t see myself doing this anymore and it’s more important that I find somewhere where I’m gonna to be happy and where the lifestyle makes sense for me. Very stressful just trying to figure out where I wanted to go specifically, you know, like I had this idea of going into computer science and that kind of implies a lot of college and I had taken music school and they don’t give normal classes like math and English and all those classes in music school. So I had never,I was definitely behind and I would’ve had to take probably an extra year of college to complete. I ended up deciding that that would probably be the best path. It only worked out in my favor just through meeting, the connection I actually got into gallery with was through my sister’s boyfriend, just a crazy connection. So if that didn’t happen, I don’t know where I would be today. At the time though, it was just deciding, I guess I just need to transfer to another college. And, that seemed like the safest bet at the time.

I didn’t even introduce myself formally. So my name is Adam Levy. I host a podcast Mint on one of the episodes that I produced, I had Tyler Hobbs on the [inaudible]. The only reason I’m bringing him up right now, Benny is because he’s also a jazz drummer, super talented and like one of the godfathers of like generative art, right? Hence I think everybody’s familiar with the [inaudible]. Maybe not, if you’re not go search it up, but when I had him on, we talked about the links between music  and crypto, but more specifically his development style and how jazz has influenced his creative programming. Do you find similarities between your interest of music to how you kind of write code and how you come up with projects, obviously Beat foundery, is like the most like obvious example of that, but I guess underneath the surface, any common themes between your interest for jazz music to  your interest for creative coding  software development in general.

Totally. Yeah. No, I like to talk about this a lot because I think if I wasn’t a jazz musician, I think the amount of things that I’ve learned that apply to way beyond jazz just from playing jazz it’s absolutely monumental. The biggest one for me is probably just the improvising factor. Right. A common thing in the jazz world is, I see kind of a progression going forward in the modern jazz world that people are playing music that is more experimental and less honest, but they’re trying to play something that is maybe a little bit contrived, to get something new. Right. And I immediately, when I was playing jazz, I never liked that. I always wanted to play something that just related to who I am. Right. And sounded as relatable to as many people as I could, you know, connect to. Right. Just something that I’d much rather play, simple music. That sounds good and more people enjoy than making amazing music or, or not, obviously it’s amazing making experimental music, you know, that, that has, you know, amazing technical feats, right. That may not be as interesting to other people. Right. And I think that’s kind of how I go about a lot of the, the ideas that I have and the thought process through designing a smart contract and stuff like that. I just wanna make something that’s simple and works, something that accomplishes exactly what it needs to and nothing else. Right. And I think, alongside that, obviously the improvising nature of jazz, just having to, to learn a language because in a way, the improvising is kind of like a language, right? There’s patterns you kind of have to follow, not have to follow, similarly to, you know, English and other spoken languages and programming, there’s these kind of guidelines that normally lead to something that’s good, right. Something that maybe more people relate to. Right. And same thing with programming, right. It’s just another language, right. It’s just a language that you can utilize, to make something that accomplishes something for somebody else or helps somebody or allow somebody to relate to something. So for me learning these languages, I felt a little bit, you know, I feel like maybe I had an easier time learning the programming languages and learning how to, how to come up with something and immediately execute it just because of the nature of jazz being. That’s what you’ve got. You have a task, you have something you wanna accomplish. And now on the spot, you’re gonna have to come up with something, using the language you you’ve learned. Right?

Beat Foundry – Why is Generative Music Important

Yeah. You know, jazz music is such a creative, collaborative process, trading fours and doing solos between all the different musicians in the rhythm section, whatever it may be. Right. And yet you come out with this project called Beat Foundery, which is also very creative and collaborative process, that’s all generated on chain. I kind of see like the individual loops and the individual tracks that piece up a single song being very much reminiscent of the collaborative trading force process of that like jazz musicians or musicians in general go through. Would you say something similar? Would you disagree? Do you have any thoughts around that?

Totally, totally. We were talking actually about, if we were to possibly do a sort of jazz drop in the future, it would kind of be that sort of thing. We would have people improvise and come up with these different parts. Right. And then those get put together generatively. Right. But at the end of the day, they’re collaborating the initial, all of the initial components and they’re making something together that might work in other contexts. Right. So, that definitely relates. And then also, I think the idea that we want this music to not end at our compositions, right? So we’ve put this music on chain in a format that is very collaborative in nature. Right. It doesn’t define everything about the music and we can get into that in a little bit. We’ve got, what’s called a beat battle going on right now, which is where people are remixing some of the [inaudible] that they just minted and that’s because the music is meant to be remixed. We don’t give everything away. And each mint, we might have a nice recording that demonstrates kind of the initial intention of the music. But at the end of the day, this is very collaborative. We want to hear things that people can make with our music. And I think, yeah, that’s definitely inspired by all the amazing collaboration that I’ve had as a jazz musician and that my fellow co-founders have had as jazz musicians. Yeah.

Makes sense. All right. So on the topic of Beat Foundery, we’ve been talking a lot about it in a very general sense let’s hone in for a minute. Okay. Benny, like what is beat Foundery? Why should people care? Why is it important? Fill me in a little bit, like gimme some context

For sure. Yeah. So Beat Foundery is making, the pretty much the first of its kind completely on chain generative music where the musical output is actually on chain. Right? So we’ve seen some projects before that might be able to get code on chain that can be plugged in somewhere, that’ll produce some sort of sound output. Right. But now the music is entirely on chain, right? So it’s in this format called MIDI, which is right now, it’s the music industry standard for digitally communicating music. Every computer can read MIDI by default, if you click on a MIDI file on a Mac, it’ll open garage band, and it’ll already have all the tracks set up and even your browser like Google Chrome, we can read MIDI by default, right? So this is a very large format, but what’s cool about it is it only conveys the musical content of a song, none of the actual sounds or instruments, so that’s almost like written notation, but for a computer, right. If you’ve seen sheet music, you’ve got all these notes and rhythms everywhere, that’s pretty much what MIDI accomplishes. It just writes out the pitches, the notes, the rhythms, the time, the tempo.

So for those really quick, who don’t know that process, all the loops, all the beats, the rhythms, the symphony, whatever you loop together to create a song those were automatically generated, or did you create those yourself?

Yes. A big thing that we wanted to accomplish was to make the music really sound good and not sound like a computer, right. Cause like I was saying earlier with jazz, you know, I really like the music that I release to be relatable, right. And oftentimes if we allow a computer to have full control and I think this will get better over time. And it’s always very interesting to hear what comes comes about now with computer generated music, but I really wanted the music to sound relatable. So we decided if we could do some sort of combination between human composition and generative computer composition, right. Then that would be the best. So right now what we’ve been doing is we come up with these songs, right. That are divided up into we call them different cord progressions and each component of each song is written by a composer. Right. But on mint, every component gets put together to make a unique song every single time. Right. So those components might be the drum part, the melody, the intro, the solo. Right. And we’ve written all of those ahead of time. Right. And then when a song gets minted, there’s a couple rules that make sure it works tonally, make sure all the pitches line up. Once those rules have been met, a new song gets put together and minted for you. Right. So every person gets like this one to one connection with the artist, they’re the only one who owns that specific output, that specific composition of the artist, but also, you’ve got the idea of the collection, right. This giant collect of maybe for this first drop, it was 1500. Right. Did it all kind of relate and have some similarities maybe in the genre or the, the tonal qualities of them?

The First Drop: Ocarinas

Yeah. Okay. Makes sense. So the first drop that you guys had was on Saturday, right. And for those who are new, okay. We had some like commentary prior to starting, but it was a stressful drop and a very exciting drop too, because you said it was, it was basically the first of its kind. Tell me what was the drops name? I have a hard time pronouncing it.

So the drops name was called the Ocarinas and that was in reference to the video game, Zelda Ocarina of time. We wanted to kind of pay homage to the early users of the midi format, which were early video games in the eighties and nineties. By doing that, we decided we wanted to make music in a sort of video game genre style. Right. And that’s what led to the name being the Ocarinas.

So I’m gonna play one of, one of the ones that I collected just to give the audience some context. Okay. So hold on a second. So it’s like very gamified. Like you can get a good idea just by those like few seconds and not to run that for too long. But when I first heard it, because I remember Benny, when we were talking before this Twitter spaces, before the drop went live, like we really wanna create music composition that actually sounds good. That feels good, but is like generated on chain, right? Like that’s the whole like mission the whole drive. And when I heard this, I was like, wait a minute, this is very gamified. Like, can I imagine myself listening to this on Spotify, whatnot. But I guess the intention for this first drop was that direction to kind of celebrate Zelda and the gamification that came, I guess, with even some of your early inspiration, is that how I’m understanding it?

So maybe not my early inspiration. I was not alive in the eighties and nineties unfortunately, but I’ve been playing video games for a long time and I think, for this drop, yes. Our goal in the end is to have music. That is the kind of thing you wanna play on Spotify. Right. But for this first one, you know, we were accomplishing a lot of things for the first time. And our main focus was making this work. Right. Getting, getting the music on chain, making the generative stuff work and then allowing people to participate in this like historic moment for us, and hopefully the music and the NFT space by owning something that does in fact sound very nice. You know, like even if you might not listen to it on Spotify every day, the melodies are very catchy. They fit together. It’s a fun listen every time.

Yeah. Yeah. That makes sense. So it’s a very creative process. I guess a generative computer creative process, but I guess my question to you is like, how does Beat Foundery allow the creative process to continue beyond the artist behind the collection? Like what are you guys doing to kind of empower that element?

For sure. Yeah. So I think the big one is just kind of the nature of the format we’re releasing the music in. So I had mentioned that the MIDI does not define anything else about the music other than just the notes and rhythms and pitches and tempo, right? There’s all these other parts of the music that can be manipulated to make something super unique. We wanted to kind of leave the MIDI as basic and as, surface levels we could so that our collectors, or even those who aren’t collectors can download the MIDI and make something really cool with this. Right. And so in that kind of sense, it’s continuing this creative process beyond from what we originally intended with how we wrote the music. Right. And that’s really cool because we get to impart, we almost get to share the process with the community or with whoever wants participate. Right. We get to write this music and an artist will release their music and have these one-to-one connections with each individual collector. But then even further than that, even if you’re not a collector, even if you are a collector, you can create an even deeper connection with your artist by writing some sort of remix or making a visualization. What’s really cool is we’ve already seen some of that stuff kind of happen with this first drop. It’s really cool to see the interaction between the artist for this first drop and the community and see how everybody’s ideas kind of collide on the different art that was produced.

Beat Foundry and Ownership 

So let’s talk more about the mechanics. Okay. Actually, what are you buying in reality? Cause ownership value, these are all very arbitrary, gray area concepts that many other platforms are exploring. Like what does it mean to actually own something on chain now in the context of music NFTs, and even for further in the context of Beat Foundery, when I buy this really cool sound, inspired by Zelda, as you mentioned, like, what do I actually get with that beyond the NFT? Do I get to own the music so that then I can go and partake in that collaborative process, Benny? Or what does that really entail?

So we definitely wanted to make sure that not just the collector has full access to the music, right? So as a collector, when you’re buying this music, I think you’re more buying into the artist than you are buying the actual music itself. I always say that I don’t foresee in the near time future, and this might be a hot take, but I don’t foresee the web three space replacing something like Spotify, or Apple music. I really hope that artists even release their music, maybe on different platforms, some might decide to release one song as an NFT and then release something else on Spotify or Apple music. But I think as a collector, you’re almost in a different category of fans, right. So there’s just the regular fans that might listen your music on Spotify. Right. But then there’s also the fans that 10 years ago, would’ve bought your vinyls right or gone to a concert. Right. And I think by buying into these NFTs, I think that’s closer to what you’re getting. Right. You’re buying into the artist and yes, you have, the ownership tied back to you, right. You’ve got this NFT that now kind of represents your digital identity in a way. I think it’s more about just this connection between the artists and that’s really what you’re buying. Right.

Got it. Got it. So beyond the actual minting of the songs beyond the generative element. So when you talk about the experience, the connection with the artist, like how does Beat Foundery actually empower that?

Yeah. So I was saying a little bit earlier that I think the main thing is just that as a generative piece, you’ve got this connection with the artist that is unique. Whereas I think there’s a lot of one of ones out there that are super cool, but maybe they’re done in a sort of fractionalized way, which I think is interesting. But at the end of the day, you’re kind of lumped into either being the only guy who has this one of one, right. Being the only person who has this and that, that kind of restricts a lot of the other people from feeling that same connection that, that one person might have, or in the case that is fractionalized, maybe there’s a, a thousand or 10,000 different almost copies, NFT copies of a given song right now. You’re kinda lumped into this bigger crowd again. And although that’s really cool, you still have a closer connection with that artist. You don’t have the same one to one connection that having a piece of generative art allows you to have. Right. And then also, the music itself is different format. As we explore different genres, there’s different, there are some limitations to doing this sort of generative style, right. And as we’ve seen with art blocks, it’s almost a new medium, right. It introduces a different form of art. And now, instead of just having, like I said, that regular piece of music, not that there’s anything wrong with that. Of course now you have a piece of art that couldn’t have been made in any other way. Right. It’s something that it’s more about now, the art right now, you’ve got, rather than this, just being about the artist, you’ve got something that is standalone

Does Music Need to Be On Chain?

Yeah. So, One thing I wanna talk about is like, there’s a lot of buzz words in crypto that stifle alot of people getting into the space specifically like creators and musicians, all these concept of doing something, quote unquote on chain or minting, or let alone NFTs social tokens, all these different keywords tend to cause a little confusion when trying to figure out what the landscape is for music creators, for example, now one of those buzzwords again, is on chain, right. And that’s something that you guys pride yourselves in. Why is it important for music to be on chain, let alone, like, why do NFTs, like music NFTs need to be on chain? Like obviously, okay. Nfts are on chain inherently. Like that makes sense. But why does music need to be on chain? You think?

Yeah. So I think, think the, the big one for me is tying music back to the creator. We kind of see this future where the royalties or whatever people are producing music or playing music is pulled directly from the blockchain. Right. And that allows the blockchain to kind of enforce these rules that, otherwise would maybe be kind of pushed around. I was talking with somebody else earlier about how there’s this website where you can as a DJ, grab some samples to play at whatever show. Right. And you might pay $50 for that sample, but then make a hundred thousand dollars from the show. Right. And each DJ is different. Somebody might make a lot less, right. But at the end of the day, there’s no real way right now to tie that music back to the creator at play time, right. Or at production time at release time, right. If it’s being sampled or if the different parts of the music are being used in a different song. Right. And by using the kind of smart contract, which is the way the [inaudible] blockchain works, having kind of trust-less system, we can allow these artists to release their music in a way that will always tie it back to them. Right. In some cases it might tie it back to the collectors too. It might allow the collectors to kind of participate in this. But having it on chain is really important. So that in the future, when we have more things plugging into the grander system and we have, you know, there’s other projects like a Arpeggi, that have an on chain DAO, which is like a music production software. Right. But it’s on chain. We have all these different platforms that are plugging into this trust-less system, we can ensure that these artists are getting paid and the collectors are receiving what they were promised. I think that’s really important. I think that’s just one of the biggest, that’s not even an NFT specific thing. That’s just an Ethereum, blockchain huge benefit to everybody.

How far away are we from seeing that, like all these different components being programmed and developed and manage and operated on chain from composition to distribution, to payment, to all these different moving parts that are typically off chain.

So I wish I could give a better answer because, a lot of people have asked us kind of how we want to think about royalties and how we want to go about all these different things that I was just talking about. Right. But at the end of the day, we can’t do everything on our own. Right. There are other groups popping up, like Arpeggi that are kind of taking over the on chain DAO space. There’s a couple groups that are going into royalty specific, there’s catalog, which is doing one of on and those are all great. I think we’ll just have to hope that more of these will get spun up in the different areas that are kind of a little bit lacking right now. Like, royalties, I think is a big one that kind of hasn’t been super standardized yet. And I hope we get there. I don’t foresee that Beat Foundery will be the ones doing that. I think we’ll be participating right using these other platforms, but we’ve got a lot to focus on just, releasing music in a generative style. Eventually, we wanna kind of release a platform where anybody can release their music in our format. And I think that’s kind of where our direction’s gonna be. So I really hope that a lot of these other groups in the space pick up their game and hop on the train, but we’ll see. My best guess would probably be just based on the way I see things moving so quickly in the space, I think we could see something very close to what I described within the next year or two but that’s just hopes.

Yeah. Makes sense. Can you talk more about like what the composition process looks like for an artist on Beat Foundery?

Yeah. So I think what’s really cool as an artist, is that the process is pretty similar to what most artists are already doing. Right. So MIDI is something that is by default read by all of these production interfaces, like logic Ableton Reaper. So all these production interfaces that allow digital music producers to make their music, they by default export their music into MIDI. So if an artist is gonna do a drop on the Beat Foundery, right, it’s pretty much just like making the music they would normally make. And then just sending it over, or maybe writing a little bit more than they would be used to accomplish all of the generative aspects, right. To, to have the amount of melodies we would need to make a bunch of different combinations. Right. So like with our first drop, the composer wrote to the songs, the seven original chord progressions, the way they would normally write any piece of music. And then on top of that just wrote, maybe we can mix in this melody here, right. And then we can have this intro be replaced over here. And then when we do the generative stuff, it’s gonna be put to together into a different combination that we didn’t even expect in the first place.

Current State of Music NFTs

Benny, what do you think the current state of music NFTs are today?

Yeah, so I think this kind of ties into where I see the direction of this space going, and I think there’s already some there’s some players in the space, like I was talking about Catalog and Arpeggi. I would say that right now, we’re just in this early stage where right now, it’s more about the music being released. But I foresee in the near future, like I was saying that the, the space might transition into more these kind of services that allow artists to reap in the benefits of, of things like royalties and and releasing their music in different formats.

Interesting. So talk to me more about those different, those things beyond royalties, beyond composition, anything else you’re specifically excited about?

So I can definitely talk about some things we’re excited about with Beat Foundery specifically, right? The other generative formats. I think that would be super cool to kind of reveal a little bit for those of you that are here listening. This is kind of some alpha, I guess. We’re planning on doing a couple different generative formats in the future. We don’t wanna just do the format we’ve been doing right now, which is having all these different songs that are divided up into different cord progressions and then mix together into using the different stems and different components of a song. Right. We also were experimenting with ideas of possibly releasing an album where each. You might as a collector purchase the album, and then every time you listen to the piece of music or a song on that album, right. It might be different depending on some conditions on the blockchain or even who’s listening to the music. Right. I think that’s something that we’re definitely looking to pursue. What about just releasing the components themselves as NFTs and allowing each collector to, maybe grab a couple different components, put them together themselves to make a unique piece, right. That’s almost like the kind of sampling culture that we have today, right. Where you’ve got all these different parts of a song, right. And those might get put together in the end, rather than us doing it on our end, rather than us making each song and putting together all the combinations, you might purchase each individual combination as you, as you will. Right. And then make something really cool with it.

What’s the Next Drop in the Pipeline?

Oh, okay. Got it. Got it. Got it. So what’s the next drop in the pipeline then?

Yeah. So the next drop we just announced this is with a new artist called Oshi or he goes by Oshi he’s pretty popular in the music NFT space. So far, he’s been releasing on sound XYZ and catalog. He’s gonna be doing a sort of indie music drop. What’s really cool about this is with our first drop, we did you know, all digital music, no lyrics, but this one there are gonna be generative lyrics. So he’s going to be, writing all these different lyrics and, and we’re gonna be mixing matching. And on the recording of the music that we do, that we, we give alongside the, the MIDI that is going to be on chain. He is going to be singing and fully producing the music, which is gonna be that’s gonna be super sick. Specific dates will come soon for when this will be released, but I expect within the next two months, we’ll be able to get this out there. Oh,

Wow. So actually, what does that entail really? So he’s leading the composition, the producing. So is he creating the loops that then get randomly generatively overlapped on one another? And I say that, because I don’t understand the keywords and like the actual technicality behind it. So maybe you can help you out with that

For sure. Yeah. So he is basically going to be writing, the first step is just deciding on what kind of music, right. And then writing a couple songs that kind of capture the idea that we’re trying to accomplish. Right. And once we’ve got a couple songs, these are the type of songs that he would release his one of ones on catalog, just regular songs, with vocals. Right. But then once we have these songs, what he’s gonna do is he’s gonna find parts of the song that could be replaced by something else. Right. Maybe a different melody, a different set of lyrics, a different solo, a different drum part. Right. And he’s gonna write out all those different drum parts and all those different solos and all of those different melodies. Right. And when we put that stuff on chain and it gets minted, a random combination of each of those parts that he already wrote are gonna be put together in a way that makes each song sound good. Right. And what’s exciting about this one is like we were talking about, the, Spotify nature of it, right. Having the songs sound good as if something you would listen to on Spotify or the regular popular music that you’d be listening to. I really think this one is going to accomplish that because this artist is absolutely amazing. I very much enjoy listening to his music and then having the lyric makes it just a lot more relatable.

You know, I’m so excited about that. That’s gonna be so sick. That’s gonna be so cool. I haven’t come across a music NFT for the most part that’s been composed and constructed like that. So interesting. I’m really curious, like I’m having a hard time imagining what that would sound like in reference to using the first drop as the example for like the foundation and structure with how you guys approach things at the Foundery. So I’m really curious to see what, what kind of comes out of his circle and the level of experimentation that will happen on chain. That’s really exciting.

Yeah. No, it’s super exciting. I think what’s great about this is when you get, when you, maybe when you, you know, if you’re, if you’re minting or, or purchasing one on the secondary market, when you listen to one of these it’ll sound like something that was fully composed all the way through something like you’ve been listening to on Spotify, right. Each individual output should sound like a fully complete song. Right. And we’re super excited to, to make that work. I have, a lot of faith in Oshi, his music is absolutely amazing. So I think it’s gonna be amazing.

What’s Next? The Oshi Drop

Amazing. I wanna open the, the room up to the audience. If you guys have any questions for Benny or on chain generative music. Anything like that, feel free to put your hands up and I can bring you guys up. Benny, talk to me, what else is up and coming in the pipeline. So the Osho drop is coming up. Anything after that, or are you taking it a step at a time?

Yeah, so yeah, we do like to, to think pretty far ahead, I think kind of setting goals in different lengths of time is good. So obviously the Oshi is, the first goal we wanna accomplish, we want to have this done within the next two months. But we also are thinking about the year and we released a little bit about, you know, talking about how we want to do five different, at least five different drops with five different genres of music. And that, you know, this is gonna be the second one, right? This will be indie music and we’ve already done video game music. We haven’t exactly decided on anything specific, but the artist that has done the first drop is also working on another collection that we will probably release after, we’ve got a couple artists we’ve talked to and are on board, we’re not there yet to be able to release their names and say for sure that they will be dropping on our platform. What I’ll say is, we’ve definitely got for this whole year we’re lined up, we’re packed, we’re ready to, release music all throughout the year and hopefully have some things going on at the same time so that we can get, maybe two or three drops done in a couple months. Right. I think that would be the goal for sure.

Outro

Amazing dude, I’m super excited. So this will be distributed on the podcast. So for everyone, who’s gonna be listening later where can we find you? Where can we learn more about Beat Foundery before I let you go?

Yeah, for sure. So best place to follow what’s going on is Twitter. And that’s just @beatfounderynfts. From our profile picture, you can get the discord link. Discord is definitely the best place to talk with us individually to reach out to us or just to participate in the community. And then if you’re looking for the website where we do the actual collection drops that is beatfoundery.xyz.

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