Synth manufacturers have long been showing off mock-ups of new hardware before it goes into production, and we’re all familiar with those 3D renders of plugin instruments that are designed to make them look like real keyboards. Audio designer Arnaud Noble, though, has done something different - used AI to create a range of realistic-looking ‘fake’ synthesizers.
“Like many people I play music and have always loved synthesizers,” he explains. “I'm also fascinated by the look and design of some models.
“Some time ago I came across the incredible work of Love Hultén (opens in new tab) and the custom synthesizers he made. Unfortunately, I'm not as talented as him and I'm not good at graphic design. So with the advent of AI-assisted image generation tools I tried to create fake synthesizers.
Noble says that his goal was “to create a series of images of fake synthesizers based on real objects, such as the work of Love Hultén, but also video game consoles and toys from my childhood. So I tried to make different series and I'm happy with the result, because for the most part I really want to have them for real and be able to use them and make music with them.”
The collection features some funky looking designs - though the dystopian backgrounds add a slightly sinister edge - and it seems that, despite not actually existing, one or two of them might end up sort of being used to make some music. “I think the next step will be to imagine some sounds they could make, but this time without the help of AI!” says Noble.
You can check out the full set of images on the Fake Synthesizer (opens in new tab) website.