Silhouette is a visually responsive synthesizer that pulls audio waves from shapes and images in strange and experimental ways. Check out this intriguing prototype.
This synthesizer prototype is the brainchild of Johannes ‘Pit’ Przygodda. It’s designed around the concept of transforming optical shapes into musical waves for real-time audio production and modulation. It sounds fascinating and looks excitingly experimental.
The synthesizer consists of a lightbox, a camera, a screen and a hardware controller that come together through the magic of PureData to interpret the images into audio signals running on a Mac Mini. Put something on the lightbox, it’s picked up by the camera, scanned on the screen and turned into audio. Anything you put into the light will be interpreted differently depending on the shape and hues and light and shade. You have complete control over the area that’s being analysed and that can affect the sound dramatically.
For editing there are 20 knobs and 21 buttons giving you hands-on access to the parameters running in the software. There are different editing pages for tone, modulation, time and wave editing. The generated waveforms can be stored and used for both audio and modulation and you can even draw in your own.
While using images to conjure up audio is not a new concept, the real-time and interactive nature of Silhouette feels pretty unique to me along with the way it can be modulated. It’s also interesting how the knobs are on plexiglass riding above the software interface making it very versatile and easy to see what’s being controlled. It makes you wonder whether Johann would release a version with just the software.
This introduction video is completely fascinating and it sounds like nothing else.
Johannes will be taking Silhouette to Superbooth in a couple of weeks. For purchasing enquiries you should contact him through his website.
- Silhouette webpage.