Randy was able to get his voice back with help from Artificial Intelligence

The Associated Press

With some help from artificial intelligence, country music star Randy Travis, celebrated for his timeless hits like “Forever and Ever, Amen” and “I Told You So,” has his voice back.
A condition called aphasia limits his ability to speak — it’s why his wife Mary Travis assists him in interviews.
Cris Lacy, Warner Music Nashville co-president, approached Randy and Mary Travis and asked: “‘What if we could take Randy’s voice and recreate it using AI?,’” Mary Travis told The Associated Press over Zoom last week, Randy smiling in agreement right next to her.
“Well, we were all over that, so we were so excited.” AP AUDIO: With help from AI, Randy Travis got his voice back.
Here’s how his first song post-stroke came to be AP correspondent Margie Szaroleta reports on Randy Travis recording a new single with artificial intelligence.
The result was two models: One with 12 vocal stems (or song samples), and another with 42 stems collected across Travis’ career — from 1985 to 2013, says Kyle Lehning, Travis’ longtime producer.
“I never even thought about another song,” Lehning said.
So, now that “Where That Came From” is here, will there be more original Randy Travis songs in the future?


Randy Travis, a well-known country music artist known for classic hits like “Forever and Ever, Amen” and “I Told You So,” has restored his voice with the aid of artificial intelligence.

Travis was admitted to the hospital in July 2013 due to viral cardiomyopathy, a heart attack virus, and subsequently had a stroke. In the years that followed, the Country Music Hall of Famer had to retrain his speech, grammar, and reading skills. His speech is limited by a condition known as aphasia; for this reason, his wife Mary Travis helps him during interviews. He hasn’t put out new music in over ten years, which is another reason for this.

Travis’ instantly identifiable, soulful vocal tone shines through on the rich acoustic ballad “Where That Came From,” which was released on Friday.

Mary Travis spoke to The Associated Press over Zoom last week, with Randy grinning in agreement beside her, when Warner Music Nashville co-president Cris Lacy approached her and Randy and asked, “What if we could take Randy’s voice and recreate it using AI?”. We were very excited because we were all over that. “.

AP Audio: Randy Travis regained his voice thanks to artificial intelligence. This is how he wrote his first song after having a stroke.

Margie Szaroleta, an AP correspondent, reports that Randy Travis used artificial intelligence to record a new song.

Since the day I suffered a stroke, hearing that voice one more was all I could ask for. “.

To start the process, Lacy hired London-based developers to build a proprietary AI model. As a result, two models were created: one contained 12 vocal stems, or song samples, and the other, according to Travis’ longtime producer Kyle Lehning, contained 42 stems gathered from 1985 to 2013. The song “Where That Came From,” which was written by Scotty Emerick and John Scott Sherrill and which Lehning co-produced and kept for years, was the one that Lacy and Lehning decided to use. He felt that it could convey Travis’ unique vocal style’s humanity the most effectively.

Lehning declared, “I never even considered writing another song.”.

Lehning states that after he entered the demo vocal—performed by James Dupree—into the AI models, “it took about five minutes to analyze.”. Since I was the first to hear it, I sincerely wish someone had brought a camera. And I found it astounding how excellent it was almost immediately. Although it is difficult to quantify, it was likely 70–75 percent of what you hear today. “.

He began working with engineer Casey Wood, who had also collaborated extensively with Travis over a few decades, to edit and enhance the recording because he felt that some parts of it were not true to Randy’s performance.

The two selected specific elements from each of the two models and adjusted vibrato speed, slowing down, and calming down. Lehning describes Randy as a “laid-back singer”. “I thought Randy’s voice had the tone of an old soul. That’s one of the characteristics that set him apart but also made him seem familiar. “.

That had to be reflected in his vocal performance of “Where That Came From.”.

Lehning comments, “With the AI recording, we were able to just improve on it.”. It evoked strong feelings, and strong feelings remain. “.

According to Mary Travis, this project is distinct from more sinister applications of artificial intelligence in music by the “human element” and “the people that are involved.”.

“Randy, I was watching him when the song was finished for the first time. It was lovely since, after being taken aback, he became very thoughtful, listening and studying,” the woman remarked. He bowed his head and appeared to have some water in his eyes. In the three minutes that he spent hearing his voice again, I believe he experienced every feeling imaginable. “.

As Lacy says. We’re doing this with a voice that the world knows, has heard, and has found consoling, which is what makes it so beautiful, she says.

However, I believe that there is a very real need, just from a human perspective. Furthermore, losing a loved one’s voice is a terrible loss, so being able to get it back is a wonderful gift. “.

In addition, the song’s authors hope to raise awareness of AI’s positive effects rather than the scams that usually make news. Mary Travis states, “We’re hoping that maybe we can set a standard where credit is given where credit is due—and artists have control over their voice and work.”.

The Artist Rights Alliance, a nonprofit organization, received over 200 signatures on an open letter they signed last month, urging digital music services, tech companies, developers, and platforms that use artificial intelligence (AI) “to infringe upon and devalue the rights of human artists.”. Artists like Nicki Minaj, Stevie Wonder, Miranda Lambert, Billie Eilish, Peter Frampton, Katy Perry, Smokey Robinson, and J Balvin were among those who co-signed.

Will there be more original Randy Travis songs in the future now that “Where That Came From” is available?

As Mary Travis puts it, “There might be more.”. “We’ll watch how this develops. This is a very alien land. There will probably be more in the future. “.

“We do have other tracks,” Warner Music says, referring to Lacy’s selection. She continued, “This isn’t a trick or a stunt. Having a song fit for him was crucial.

. “.

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