File this one under “awesome novelty tools for Ableton Live”.
Tom Cosm is back and has swapped his recent 3D virtual reality visual soundscapes in Ableton Live for a more two dimensional space. He’s made a Cycling 74 Max app that converts images into MIDI files in Ableton Live. The app scans the picture and creates MIDI notes with velocity values based on the brightness of each pixel.
The results are kind of cool and mean you can truly create interesting MIDI arrangements that look like your favorite photos or screenshots. Currently images need to be square to be processed, and the calulation happens in realtime, so once you import the image file into the Max app and reset it, you’ll need to hit record in Ableton Live. At this point sit back and wait for the app to scan and output MIDI note line by line.
Before you get too excited, Tom Cosm hasn’t released this app, but instead is offering his services for free to anyone that wants a photo converted into MIDI notes. Simply add a comment to his Facebook post here with a square image.
Bear in mind this app doesn’t turn images into audio. While you can add the instrument of your choice to playback these MIDI notes (we haven’t tried it yet) if you want to convert images to sound then something like Photosounder.