Conversion of Graffiti into Sound

Recently I was invited by Michel Rouzic to try his software, Photosounder, designed for converting images into sound. Image to sound conversion is something I’ve been meaning to explore, so today I finally had some time to have a look. The software does much more than create strange sound from images. It’s a great time stretching tool, and it also reads in wave files as images allowing you to use the same sort of manipulation you can do on image based files.

This sound was created from the full resolution version of the graffiti photo shown. I settled on this image because of it’s simplicity, and the diagonal strokes of the tag produced a nice cascade of descending pitches. The way the flash lights up the center of the photo gave the sound a dynamic swell that I emphasized by adjusting the gamma parameter. Photosounder allows you to set the time and frequency range of the audio produced, so for this example I put the bottom at 52Hz and the top at 12kHz.

Graffiti Photo to Sound

8 thoughts on “Conversion of Graffiti into Sound

  1. Thank you for this post John, interesting choice of image! I particularly like the beginning of it.

    As for the comparison with AudioPaint, while AudioPaint surely is a nice program, it differs from Photosounder in many ways. First of them is the synthesis technique. AudioPaint uses sine synthesis, and, while it makes nice crystal clear sounds on a few chosen very dark images, you don’t want to use that to synthesise your vacation photos. Photosounder uses noise synthesis because it’s a better general purpose technique.

    Also an often overlooked aspect of Photosounder is that it also opens audio, and as such is also an audio editor of sorts.

  2. Thank you, Michael. I certainly will be doing some more sound design with Photosounder. It’s an impressive tool. I love what it does with wave files as well and will be posting an example soon.

    MetaSynth looks pretty amazing, Jean-François. I’ll probably get the demo and tease myself a bit when I have the time. For further exploration there’s an article that describes eight apps that convert imagery to sound (excluding Photosounder which might not have released yet) called Say it With Pictures on emusician.com.

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  5. This is the absolute coolest doodad I have ever seen. Please, take a bow. Hats off to the crew who put this together, it really is incredible. Thanks, this will be fun to play with.

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