Music lovers are hacking Apple’s Siri voice recognition technology. By connecting to some of the “intelligence” of the cloud, these tools can make your phone rap or send music files to a player piano for instant musical playback.

First up: Yamaha’s piano taking requests, thanks to music grabbed online. A Yamaha rep explains:

Yamaha consultant Craig Knudsen demonstrates a unique implementation of Apple’s incredible Airplay technology in an exciting new way.
Here’s how it works:
Take a standard MIDI songfile and convert it to an audio file (while maintaining the MIDI data). The songfile is then sent wirelessly via WiFi to an Apple Airport Express (which is mounted underneath a Yamaha Disklavier reproducing piano. The audio output of the Airport Express is then connected to the analog MIDI inputs of the Disklavier, using a standard audio cable.
Then, you simply ask Siri to play your favorite song from your iTunes library, and Siri responds immediately, by making the Disklavier’s keys and pedal move up and down, recreating the performance, including full orchestration.
The result is nothing short of magical.

Of course, the actual “playing” is thanks to the capabilities of the Yamaha Disklavier. I’m actually a bit puzzled as to how the online conversion works, exactly, and I was curious for any Disklavier-owning CDM readers whether this is something publicly available. I’m waiting to hear back from Yamaha.

And now, for something completely different: Siri rapping. (Somewhat … erm … badly, if amusingly. It is a hack.)

My friend Robert “Robb” Böhnke had a lot of fun combining Siri’s voice synthesis and the lyrics of Notorious B.I.G.

My hack for the Music Hack Day 2011 in London, a 24h Hackathon for all things music.

SiriProxy is used to intercept the communication with Apple’s servers. Notorious Siri then sends Notorious B.I.G.’s Hypnotize to the device.

Siri’s speech synthesis is synced to the beat using the timestamps obtained from the Echonest API which were then manually tweaked, to smooth out delays in the text-to-speech engine.

Thanks to Universal Music for awarding me a nice pair of Dr. Dre headphones

The Echonest API, by the way, is an amazing do-everything “API for music,” one that analyzes musical files and connects to a vast storehouse of musical intelligence.

Warning: this video is most definitely Not Safe For Work. (Heck, even the thumbnail isn’t, exactly.) If that concerns you, just go listen to the Yamaha video again, okay?

Siri FAQ []

Previously: Google Translate Beatboxing

…and, of course, that means: Android, your move.

  • guss

    pretty mind boggling what phones are capable of these days…

  • Kobayashi Maru

    Sorry to be ‘that guy’, but I’m a little tired of all these iOS posts.

  • Sjakelien

    My best guess on the Audio to MIDI:
    1) Send some MIDI through an actual physical MIDI Out port, and record the (analog) signal. Then, put an '.mp3' extension behind it, and import it in iTunes. 
    2) Take the (analog) audio out of the Airport Express, and connect it to the MIDI In of the Disklavier. 

    For both steps you would need a special mini-jack-to-DIN8 cable.

    I guess some smart guy can arrange that step 1 can be done completely programmatically, inside the computer.

    It reminds me a bit of the old days, when you would hook up a loudspeaker and microphone to a telephone to make a modem connection (, or the Commodore 64 Tape Storage.

    It's all a bit cumbersome, but nevertheless very creative. I'm sure there are some interesting applications for this.

  • jojo

    site a voir !!!!!!!! pour faire des économie
    je vous rassure c ‘est bien un site français déjà acheter dessu et jamais dessu
    surtout pour l’ ariver de freemobile
    portable double sim et ya aussi des montes tendance à petit prix ^^

  • i-stink

    bullshit and totally unimpressive .. all the 'magic' is in the Disklavier which has been around for more than a decade … getting really tired of all these 'reinvented hot water' shit … please spare us the i-hype on this blog, this is engadget material

  • David

    The first video is pretty laughable. I especially enjoyed how big a deal he makes out of the pedal-pressing. Mildly interesting, but in the end it's just a fancy remote control. All the hype words (unique, incredible, exciting, magical!) make my head spin.

    The second video is also laughable, but in a good way.