Watch Shimon the marimba-playing robot play along to jazz, reggae, and hip hop

Shimon is a marbima robot playing with a real soul. This crazy little robot, created by Gil Weinberg at Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology can listen to other players around and play small songs in response to the music. In short, he is the best collaborator in the world of jazz and hip-hop because, unlike the man, Shimon can never get drunk and forget the keys of the Taco Bell van in Fresno.

"Shimon plays largely with the help of a new process in which he creates hundreds of melodies offline, based on an extensive analysis of great learning. sets of musical data, "said Weinberg. "Then we humans (me and my students) choose melodies that we love and orchestrate / structure them into songs. It's a new form of robot-human collaboration, at least for us. "

In this video, Shimon and his team join Dash Smith, an Atlanta-based rapper who does freestyles while Shimon and you will also notice another product from Georgia Tech, a robotic drum prosthesis that gives the drummer the power of four Neil Perts.

Weinberg, Shimon's man, is excited about new developments.

"The other new element is under development. We work with Shimon to analyze in real time the rhythm, melodies and semantic meaning of the free-style rapper's lyrics and use this analysis to drive Shimon's improvisation. As you know, we mainly explored improvised music, starting with percussion circles, then jazz, rock-jam groups and African marimba groups, "said Weinberg. "We are now ready to move to the next frontier of collaborative real-time improvisation: the free-swinging style, in which we hope the rapper will be influenced by what Shimon is preparing and vice versa."

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