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Photosounder review at Wired

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Photosounder lets you tweak sounds like images and vice versa

For a few years, a French coder named Michel Rouzic, living in Ireland, has been tinkering with the relationship between images and sound. The result is an application called Photosounder, which lets you play around with audio in the same way that you'd play around with a picture. You can explore the sound of images, and images of sound.
At its core, it's pretty simple. It stores sounds as spectrogram images, and contains a synthesiser, so it can turn those images back into sounds again. What that means for audio editing, however, is impressive. It can turn sounds upside-down, it can conduct extreme time-stretching, you can compose music through it by drawing lines, or you could chop out a particular instrument from a song.
Even more interesting, though, is putting images in and listening to Photosounder try and synthesise them. You can see an example of that in the video embedded above -- in general, vertical lines sound like beats, and curving horizontal lines come out as soaring synths.
In a surprising amount of cases, the mood of the picture bears an uncanny similarity to the mood of the sound that comes out of it. If you wanted to, you could even use it for photo transmission over audio, which Rouzic claims is about as efficient as the methods used for transmitting analogue black and white TV.
The latest build of the Photosounder software, which is still unreleased at the time of writing, lets the program synthesise whatever's under the mouse cursor as you move it across the display. You can see that in action with the James Brown track, Cold Sweat, in the video embedded on the product page (Cursor-Controlled Time Stretching).
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