Chris Donahue


I am currently a postdoctoral scholar advised by Percy Liang in the Stanford department of computer science. Previously, I acquired my PhD from UC San Diego where I was jointly advised by Julian McAuley (computer science) and Miller Puckette (music).

My research sits at the intersection of machine learning, music, audio, and interaction. My primary goal is to build powerful generative models for different types of multimedia that can be used intuitively by humans to augment creative capacity.

Selected Publications

Work Experience

Media Coverage

  • UploadVR Beat Sage Update Adds 90 Degree Levels, Walls And Single Saber Mode
  • UploadVR Get Rhythm: How Beat Sage Uses AI To Create Beat Saber Maps
  • Road to VR This 'Beat Saber' Project Uses AI to Generate Custom Beat Maps for Any Song
  • UploadVR New AI Tool Turns Any Song Into A Custom Beat Saber Map, And It Really Works

  • Stereogum Watch The Flaming Lips Play A Bowl Of Fruit At Google I/O

  • Business Insider A Google intern helped build an AI tool inspired by 'Guitar Hero' to let rookies play piano
  • The Verge Google’s AI-powered Piano Genie lets anyone improvise perfectly by bashing buttons
  • Evening Standard Piano Genie: Google's AI programme is like Guitar Hero for the piano world
  • Engadget Google’s Piano Genie lets anyone improvise classical music

  • MIT Tech Review Machine-Learning Algorithm Watches DDR, Then Creates Dances of Its Own
  • The Verge Scientists have taught a neural network to choreograph Dance Dance Revolution levels
  • The Register Yet another job menaced by AI! Uh, wait, it says here... Dance Dance Revolution designers
  • Vice This Machine Learned to Choreograph by Watching Dance Dance Revolution


  • (2020) Released Beat Sage, a web service for automatically creating Beat Saber levels (link)
  • (2020) Download files from Google Drive on the command line (link, code)
  • (2019) PhD dissertation (pdf)
  • (2018) Transcribe a batch of solo piano recordings to MIDI (link)
  • (2017) PhD qualifying examination (pdf)
  • (2016) Master's thesis (pdf)
  • (2015) Prototype for MOOC on computer music fundamentals using Web Audio API (link)
  • (2015) Mobile-friendly, networked musical controller (demo)
  • (2014) Multichannel convolution reverb plugin (screenshot, code, windows vst)
  • (2013) OpenGL 3D spectrogram (page, code)
  • (2012-2014) Played keyboard for Food Group

Last updated 2020/05/18