The Indie Web

Create your own art by tinkering with this machine's wacky controls.

A lot of generative artists show off their creations with some clever curation tools that allow you to make small adjustments. This project is a great expansion on that idea.

Tinkersynth is a generative art machine, in the literal sense, modeled after a synth. With the artwork on the left and a set of special tools on the right, you can tweak each slider to change different aspects of the art.

Tinkersynth encourages you to play with it and discover how each of the tools works—just like how you might learn how to use an actual synth for the first time. Each icon means something different, and you’ll need to play with each and every one before you feel ready to leave the page.

In the words of the creator, Joshua Comeau:

Tinkersynth prioritizes being delighted by unexpected effects rather than creating an intuitive, predictable tool.

If the joy of creating artwork isn’t enough, Tinkersynth is full of secrets and easter eggs that will keep you exploring. Each of the sliders and inputs is a delight to use. They all obey the law that every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

Tinkersynth allows you to export your creations in multiple formats! Opaque or transparent PNG, and the beloved SVG which means you’ll be able to plug your art into your pen plotter and turn it into a physical piece.

The project is also public on GitHub. It’s a really complicated project with many small moving pieces. It utilizes React & Redux to manage and store the complex state of every part of the machine. If you’re looking to learn, this is a great project to pull apart.

Joshua Comeau on Twitter