Musical Colors

Imagine generating sound using colors instead of any conventional instrument! The Audible Colors project does just that! It is an audio-visual instrument where sound is generated based on the color detected by a web cam connected to a computer. Musical notes correspond to certain colors (red, green and blue). And just like the color wheel, when you mix the primary colors, the secondary colors produce different notes.

Here are some key features:

  • The size of the colors influences the volume and frequency of the notes played.
  • Color detection and sound generation were created and are controlled using Processing code.
  • The system of audible color is based on a marriage between basic color and music theories.
  • The colors of red, blue, and green are the visual foundation for color-mixing and the music notes A, D, and F are the base triad that corresponds to the colors.
  • The secondary colors (colors made when the foundational three are mixed) of purple, teal and brown are tuned to the musical triad C, E and G.
  • The visual of the mixing of red, blue and/or green mirrors the aural output of combined notes.
  • The ‘painting’ aspect is not restricted to water droplets from a pipette.
  • Numerous experiments were performed using substances such as acrylic paint, food dye in milk with soap, and ordinary household objects.
  • Each investigation created a new type of fun and easy gestural music making.

Designers: Hideaki Matsui & Momo Miyazaki