Google have announced a new touchscreen hardware synth that uses NSynth technology to combine a range of sounds into something entirely new. First previewed by Google last year, NSynth uses machine learning to ‘interpret’ samples and combine them into something entirely new, rather than just combining waveforms.
NSynth interprets the sounds as numbers and mathematically generates a new series of ‘numbers’ that are then reconverted back into sound. Sounds include a car’s engine combined with a sitar, a bass sound morphing with thunder and much more. The result is a truly unique output, with the new hardware allowing users to move between four sounds on a colourful X/Y pad. You can get an idea how the NSynth sounds on their web version here or watch the video below.
What’s different with the hardware is you can now play and sequence those sounds via MIDI, while morphing between the sound sources in real time. While the hardware won’t be commercially available, the technology is being released s an open source Github download. Users can then add their own features to take advantage of the new technology. How far Google go down the road of creating music hardware remains to be seen but it’s an interesting start from the tech giants. Some other browser based music-makers include Novation’s Launchpad Arcade and the Stranger Things browser synth.