Project 2: ColorSynth

I began project 2 by wanting to look at the connection between visuals and sound — specifically in terms of themes and colors. My first concept was to use an API to get keywords out of an image and play a corresponding audio file that would be altered based on the specifics of the image. My coding knowledge and experience made this extremely difficult so I went a path that was more in scope for me. The project I have ended up with is the ColorSynth. The inspiration for the ColorSynth came from Sean Scully’s “Landline” which is essentially taking images and boiling them down to fewer than 20 pixels tall and one pixel wide and painting the resulting color bands with acrylic on aluminum. I took this simple idea of boiling down picture (whether it be static or motion) to a few stripes and playing it. There are many directions that this concept could have gone and this is one of them. In this iteration of the ColorSynth, there are 3 modes: Swatch (or Color Picker), Stripes, and Camera. The most simple — Swatch — allows you to select a color. The synthesizer will then mix between the three sources: red, green, and blue. Each of the sounds associated with these colors are meant to “feel” similar to that color. There is also a delay effect unit included that can be manually controlled when in the swatch mode. When switched to Stipes mode, the camera appears on the screen, but in the stripes aforementioned. By changing the speed, the synth will scroll through each individual stripe with some slide effecting the amplitude of each color and the effect section. If “Force Manual” is on, then the effects unit will ignore incoming information and be just like Swatch mode. Finally, there is Camera mode which is similar to Stripes, except that we now see the entire camera and the synth information scrolls horizontally and vertically based on the speed. If there is too much gain coming from the Synth, the output will clip and be lowered. If it is lowered too much, reset the gain with the button. You can also manually change the camera dimensions.