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Announcing Canvas

Canvas (working title) is a visual additive synthesizer for Windows, macOS, and Linux where you can create sound by drawing an image. This is accomplished with a bank of 239 oscillators spaced at quarter tones, with stereo amplitudes mapped to the red and blue channels of the image. You can import images and sonify them, you can import sounds and convert their spectrograms to images, and you can apply several image filters like reverb, tremolo, and chorus. Check out the demo:

Canvas is directly inspired by the Image Synth from U&I Software’s MetaSynth. When I first heard of MetaSynth, I wrote it off as a gimmick that could only produce sweeps and whooshes. It wasn’t until I heard Benn Jordan’s recent demo and learned of its powerful set of image filters that I was immediately sold on the approach. I decided to build an alternative that’s just featureful enough to yield musical results, a sort of MS Paint to MetaSynth’s Photoshop.

Canvas has a lot of rough edges, and currently requires building from scratch if using Linux or macOS. Nevertheless, I hope it is of some interest to the music tech community.