PPL hosts first Music, Tech and Data Meetup

In November 2017 PPL hosted the first meetup to discuss the future of tech and data in music.

At PPL we focus on delivering the best and most comprehensive music rights service to performers and recording rightsholders and, to do that, we need to be ahead of the curve.

Our data teams are at the top of their game, but that doesn’t mean they’ve stopped learning. In fact, it means they’re learning more, faster than ever before. Always pushing themselves and the industry to be better and do more, our Insight and Innovation team decided to host an evening exploring excellence and innovation in their field. The PPL Music, Tech and Data Meetup was born from a desire to share knowledge across the industry, and bring like-minded individuals together to celebrate the ways technology and music are coming together.

Hosted at PPL HQ in Soho, with four captivating presenters and one musical performer, guests from companies such as Universal Music, IFPI, JAAK, Muru Music, Ableton and Native Instruments sat alongside established academics to explore how technologies including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning are impacting the music industry.

An Algorithmic DJ?

The night began with a curated selection of music chosen by members of PPL’s Repertoire and Member Data team which was then run through Serato’s Pyro software to create a seamless DJ mix of music. The Pyro app beat-matched similar tempos between songs within the playlist and automated tempo changes through the use of effected transitions.

Music tech data meetupMachine Learning for the arts

The first presentation from Gene Kogan was Skyped in from Berlin. Gene describes himself as an artist and programmer who is interested in generative systems, computer science, and software for creativity and self-expression. He covered the basics of how AI and deep learning are impacting music production and then showed the room examples of neural networks producing music of their own. 


Next up we had Andres Martin-Lopez from British start-up, Blokur, with an insight into the use of Blockchain for the distribution and tracking of music rights. Andres talked through some of the advantages and challenges of blockchain, and explained how he thinks it has great potential for use in music rights management to create a trusted and auditable record of ownership.


Oded Ben-Tal and Bob Sturm from Kingston and Queen Mary Universities demonstrated how Deep Learning can enable them to create high level representations of Folk Music. This digitally composed MIDI data was converted into classic music notation that in turn had been played by real musicians. It was incredibly intriguing and provoked some very interesting conversations around copyright and music for media.

Music tech data meetupAbleton Live 10

Not everyone qualifies to be an Ableton Certified Trainer and Product Demonstrator but PPL’s first Music, Tech and Data Meetup had both in the form of Simone Tanda. At the end of the presentations, Simone treated attendees to a performance using the brand new Live 10 software in conjunction with the Push 2 MIDI controller hardware. Simone took the room through the unique aspects of the compositional process in Live 10 and created a track idea under the eager eyes and ears of the audience.

PPL looks forward to hosting more events of this nature in the future and to sharing our data expertise with the industry to promote best practice and to challenge and explore both our own and the wider music industry’s ways of working with tech. 

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