K-pop giant Hybe is turning to artificial intelligence for its new artists, capable of releasing albums in six languages at the same time.
Midnatt is the alter ego of Lee Hyun, who has been with Hybe since 2005. His latest single, “Masquerade,” is available in Korean, English, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese—simultaneously. The collab is one of the first between Hybe and Hybe Interactive Media (IM). The label used the tech of Supertone, an AI voice synthesis company acquired by Hybe.
Supertone can accurately reproduce a singer’s voice, while also allowing technicians to tweak it as needed. Each element of what constitutes the sound of a voice can be adjusted by sound engineers. Supertone makes multi-lingual tracks sound like they’re being sung by a native speaker by switching Midnatt’s voice data with a native-speaking narrator of the same song. From there, an engineer hand-mixes the two voices to ensure the other language translations’ emotional presence mimicked that of the original Korean track.
The capabilities of this AI even allowed Midnatt to feature his own track in a woman’s voice. “Supertone’s tool can produce high-quality content with close to zero errors compared to other tools that often produce distorted sound according to the range of pitch,” adds Choi Jin-woo, the producer for “Masquerade.”
Supertone doesn’t license the tech to the general public, so it can’t be used to make celeb singer mashups like the Drake/The Weeknd track that went viral on TikTok. But Hybe is exploring new ways to discern real voices from those created through synthetic means.
“I’ve been in the music industry for a while now, and hope that my take on this challenge would leave a meaningful impact on fellow artists just as Neil Armstrong’s journey left a lasting impression.”
Releasing a song simultaneously across six languages may help Hybe continue to appeal to a global audience while BTS is taking a break. Its members are currently fulfilling their mandatory military service in South Korea.