Canvas: image-based additive synthesizer

Hi all, I’d like to announce my most recent small project, an open source image synthesizer for Windows, macOS, and Linux. Canvas is my own take on image-based additive synthesis, inspired by MetaSynth and Virtual ANS. It’s pretty crude in current form — I like to call it a Paint to MetaSynth’s Photoshop — but it’s featureful enough for some musical results. Check out the demo:

Canvas uses 239 phase distortion oscillators spaced at quarter tones. The brightness of the blue channel is mapped to amplitude of the left speaker, and the red channel is mapped to the right speaker. The green channel is ignored. You can import and export both sound and image with Canvas, and apply various image filters like reverb, chorus, and tremolo. There is even a (poorly documented) “turbo mode” that lets you access image filters from the command line.

Currently, I offer Windows builds (check the release page) but no prebuilts are available for Linux or macOS yet. Build instructions are provided in the README. I recommend running Canvas on a high DPI screen, otherwise the interface may be somewhat large.

Thanks in advance for giving it a look. It’s very rough around the edges but I hope you find it entertaining, and maybe even useful for sound design.

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