AI-powered synthesizer lets you create tailored music just by pressing buttons

AI has become a powerful and controversial tool that’s being applied to the creation of many things in different industries. The most well-known are, of course, images and text, but these same technologies can also be applied to other fields, even ones that are considered to require more human creativity than others. Music, for example, is believed to be an art that’s hard to master and difficult to quantify in a way that would be of use to AI, but that’s exactly what’s happening here with this “artifact from the future.” That said, the suitcase-sized synthesizer doesn’t completely wrest the act of creation away from your hands but turns it into a creative collaboration between man and machine.

Designer: Arvind Sanjeev

Imagine having to only press a few buttons and you’ll have tunes that are specifically crafted to suit a given mood or genre. Most synthesizers simply give you the raw controls to mix and match to your heart’s content, but you’ll have to draw from your own creativity to actually come up with a pleasing harmony tailored to fit that situation. SPIN, the name for this AI-powered music synthesizer, actually helps you in this creative journey by serving ready-made ingredients to put into your mix without taking anything away from your freedom. It’s like the difference between buying a can of tomato sauce for a recipe versus making your own from scratch.

SPIN has buttons for different moods, genres, and sounds that you can mix and match to your heart’s content. How does happy death-metal disco sound? Why not try some dark jazz opera to really turn heads? Not every combination is going to work, of course, so you’ll still have to step in and fine-tune it to your tastes, no pun intended. And with sliders for BPM or duration and a turntable to scratch, you also have the tools to make your own style shine, with or without AI’s help.

The synth is just as much a work of art as it is a demonstration of the power of AI. A variety of off-the-shelf components are assembled to provide the brains and muscle behind the scenes, almost literally. You won’t see any of these while using SPIN, as all are hidden behind an interface and a design that’s meant to encourage playfulness and experimentation. Even the choice of bright yellow and white colors, unusual for most synth designs, emphasizes that rather jovial character.

Generative AI has been receiving a lot of flak, in no small part thanks to abuse and misuse of the technology rather than anything inherent. SPIN is an attempt to reverse that perception and present AI not only as something approachable but even fun to use. Given how it works, you won’t even have to worry about infringing on anyone’s copyright or intellectual property, leaving you free to explore that harmony between human creativity and machine learning.

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Love Hultén’s latest custom synth build looks like something Darth Vader would commission

“Something really dark and retro sci-fi” is what Hultén says his client wanted, and the Nostrx2 synth is precisely that. Designed keeping the interiors of the USCSS Nostromo spaceship from the 1979 Alien movie in mind, The Nostrx2 is built around the Syntrx2 from Erica Synths, albeit with a darker vibe. The custom build (which took a total of 12 weeks to put together) also features a modified LVX Meris modular delay system, an Analog Heat distortion filter, an all-black Arturia KeySteo 32-key MIDI Controller, and a monitor displaying glitchy visuals as you play from Critter & Guitari.

Designer: Love Hultén

It’s safe to say that Hultén’s turned custom synth-building into an art-form, creating some incredibly elaborate music-making art installations – some of them even with their own NFT visualizer. This particular build for a mystery client may be his darkest build yet, given that the Swedish audiovisual artist does tend to inject a sense of fun and whimsy into his creations.

The black and red colorway, combined with the boxy cabinets definitely gives the overall design a major Vader vibe, with elements looking almost like the panel on Vader’s chest. Combine that with the smoke and fog around the cabinet and it genuinely looks like the kind of synth you’d find on the Death Star!

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Love Hultén’s latest synth comes with a 15-inch display that serves as a music-based NFT Visualizer

Collaborating with digital artist Lirona over his latest synth creation, Love Hultén’s latest synth is an audiovisual treat. The MIDI Synth, handcrafted by Hultén, is paired with a 15-inch display that showcases Lirona’s digital work, titled #synthboi. Limited to 10 synths, each digital work is, in fact, an interactive NFT that the buyers get to own when they purchase the synthesizer.

Synthboi falls perfectly into Hultén’s portfolio of quirky, bizarre synths, with its odd human-shaped visualization that lights up as you play the tunes. The collaboration bridges the worlds of bespoke electronic instruments and NFTs, allowing music enthusiasts and collectors to also own their own one-of-a-kind non-fungible digital artworks along with their music instruments!

The synth features a 25-key MIDI keyboard that plugs via USB into an Intel NUC i5 computer that’s also connected to the circular 15-inch display on top. The electronics sit within handcrafted cabinets that boast of an alternative 90s Apple-esque design with terrazzo and matte metal materials. Each Synthboi ships in a wooden crate to its 10 owners, and comes marked on the back with a QR code linking to Dissrup’s website, which powers the NFT experience.

Designers: Love Hultén & Lirona

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Love Hultén’s foldable synthesizer with a real tape delay and a spring reverb has us excited to create music!

Artist Love Hultén is renowned for his new take on familiar instruments, and he is a master in this niche craft. His past creations are a testament to that fact. No wonder everyone wants to get their hands on Love’s creations – including me! His VOC-25 synthesizer is a good example, and now he the artist is back with another synthesizer all music creators will drool over. This is the MDLR-37 synthesizer made up of four sections that fold into a compact form factor for easy portability.

The hand-crafted musical instrument comprises a couple of Korg synthesizers – one is analog and the other a classy digital. To be exact, these are the Korg Minilogue and Korg microkey 37. The synth also includes a digital Synthesizer in pedal form – the Meris ENZO pedal. For effects, Love has fitted the rig with a T-Rex Replicator analog tape echo and the Doepfer A-199 spring reverb Eurorack modules. The latter has a real spring too. The large oscilloscope (most probably a magnifying glass over a small digital scope), wooden faceplates, actual tape delay, and a spring reverb make it a unique creation!

These instruments fit nicely into the foldable wooden case, which has the speakers and waveform display built-in. Though the synthesizer is foldable to stow anyway when not in use, would you actually want to do that since it’s an eye-candy piece for your studio or living room? However, the foldable function comes real handy when you’ve got to take it to the outdoors with you. Once again, Love has created a fun mod for all music composers out there – Vince Clarke will love to explore it, I’m sure!

Designer: Love Hultén

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Love Hultén’s macabre little synthesizer features 25 singing dentures!

I can practically see myself playing Mr. Sandman by The Chordettes on this!

Meet the VOC-25, a rather weird little synth from our favorite mad-scientist, Love Hultén. It sports a 25-key synth that’s directly hooked to a, well, display and control board that sports 25 plastic teeth that open to sing out the notes you play on the keyboard.

Inspired by a musical instrument originally created by Simone Giertz, the VOC-25 takes things to quite another level, with controls that let you fine-tune the synthesizer’s sound. Four mod-knobs below the teeth allow you to tweak the sound, while a circular display works as an oscillator, showing you the waveform. The surrealist synth comes with an Axoloti Core microcontroller board on the inside, that’s hooked to a 25-key keyboard. Notes that you play are sent to the controller board as MIDI signals, which are then converted to DC currents. These currents control individual solenoids inside the 25 plastic teeth, allowing them to open and close when you play a note.

The VOC-25, as experimental as it is, is quite an ingenious toy! It lets you build your own ‘choir’ by recording RAW vocal audio samples and editing them on the fly. Gives a completely different meaning to ‘backing vocals’, doesn’t it?!

Designer: Love Hultén

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