Listen to your images with Pixel Synth

Olivia Jack's Pixel Synth turns images into music, scanning across the pixels horizontally and interpreting brightness values as notes. The results are peculiar, obviously, but also strangely melodic. You can edit your image, too, or simply start with a blank canvas. Click "invert" for a synthesized moment of Hammer Horror. Advanced trippers can also edit the synth parameters and the drawing tool.

Notable Replies

  1. Well, MetaSynth by UIsoftware does this for ages already.

  2. KXKVI says:

    Yeah, I also saw a program to do this at least 10 years ago; freeware I think. But what I really want is a program that lets you do the opposite -- change a symphony (say) into an image, that you can fool around with, and then turn back into the music again. It might have to be a specially formatted image, with a really high pixel count (to get the frequency range and precision), and maybe with a high aspect ratio (to get a high enough time length). Say 20,000 X 1,000,000. My first thought was to use a swirl tool on the image, to make some frequency bands come in before it's supposed to, and some afterwards. Need some hefty processing power.

    Anyone know of such? Once saw one for the Mac, but alas I'm a Windows (L)user.

  3. For anyone interested in more image-to-sound synthesis I highly recommend checking out the ANS Synthesizer.

    It's a 70 year old analog hardware equivalent to this kind of software.

  4. LDoBe says:

    Like a lowpass cut?

    Heh, I've been working with music and spectrograms awhile now. Every audio effect has its own distinct visual appearance int he spectrogram.

    Phasers look like sine-waves. Flangers look like big Us. Reverb looks smeary, delays look like photoshop clones, choruses can sometimes look a bit like a honeycomb pattern, auto-tuning looks like stairs.

  5. Sure, and I played with an Amiga program that did thhe same around 1990.

    But THIS works in the browser.

    On my phone.

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