Music to your eyes: Pixel Art is a new app that creates MIDI sequences from your photos

They say that a picture tells a thousand words, but if you’re using Pixel Music, a new app for iOS and Mac from Andrei Antonescu, it’s more a case of a photo telling a thousand notes.

We’re exaggerating slightly, but feed Pixel Music a snap from your camera roll and a sequence of MIDI notes will indeed be generated automatically. Pixels are used to determine note pitches, velocities and durations, and you can ‘play’ multiple images in time and in sync.

You do have some degree of control. You can choose which parts of the image are played and tap on the image to record yourself jamming alongside the sequencer. You can also control the timing and configuration of the sequencer.

Pixel Music runs as an AUv3 plugin and can be used to send MIDI data to synths. However, it also contains its own synth engine so that you can use the app on its own. This comes with built-in delay and reverb effects.

There’s no predicting what Pixel Music is going to give you when you load up an image, but it could be a fun tool when you’re in an experimental mindset, and might kickstart a new idea or two. It’s available now for $6/£6 on the Apple App Store.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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