Visualize thy audio

For obvious reaons (maybe) I am eternally fascinated by the visualization of audio. Whether its immediate, high resolution & technical or processed & interpretative. The primary historical term seems to be synaesthesia but almost everyone these days suffers (or more likely enjoys) it to a degree. Whether its one of the many itunes visualizers (blink, blink, blink)

or technically correct (& aesthetically pleasing) DAW monitoring tools (blink, blink)

or even programs that allow sound to traverse the audio/visual paradigm (blink, blink, blink)

It all sources back to the core; sound as a physical (& thereby visual) expression and U.S.O. highlights some incredibly beautiful, contemporary work reminiscent of the coincidental byproducts of a physics lesson:

and some Dr. Hans Jenny cyma(n)tics:

Recently fueling my fascination has been the release of Apples visual effects/motion graphics software Motion v3 previewing at NAB, especially the new Audio Behaviours. Watch the little demo movie or read about it but it would seem the essential features are illustrated in this screenshot:


If you import a soundfile into Motion you can now use a spectrum analyser (the x-axis) & signal level detector (the y-axis) to provide a control signal to any parameter in use visually in the current visual composition. A while back I bought a copy of SoundKeys for After Effects with the aim of sonifying some music/sound but I never knew After Effects well enough to become intuitive with it, whereas Motion is much more familiar ground.
‘Syaesnethesia’ – sounds like a country I will be visiting soon….

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