Instead of playing that 50 Cent throwback playlist at your upcoming house party, why not try a magenta or green DJ set?
With Julian Glander’s new iOS and Android app, Roy G Biv, your phone can translate any solid color into music — a synth-based interpretation of synesthesia. If you’ve ever wondered what a vibrant eggplant or juicy tomato sounds like, this app is one experiment that simulates such a sensory-mixing experience.
The application uses your rear camera to detect the hue of whatever it’s facing, and then converts the color data into modulations for an 8-note synth. “Play a multicolored symphony with some friends, take a musical #selfie, experience a rough approximation of synesthesia,” writes Glanders on the project description.
Pink: Using the cover of the new VICE photo issue as the subject, pink hues make very soothing sounds, sort of like a cross between a pitched-down flute and a slight breeze hitting a window pane. It’s so soothing that it could probably even put a sugar-loaded kindergartner to sleep.
Yellow: When Roy G Biv detects yellow, the app emits two distinct, UFO-like sounds that come at you at once. If you’ve ever used a Flanger effect on guitar, you’ll recognize the sound.
Blue: For blue tones, each of the eight synth keys releases a slightly different pitch. Played in succession, the blue notes offer the impression of a harmonic swarm of bees hovering nearby.
These are just a sample of the many sound variations this app offers. You can notice subtle sonic differences among varying hues of the same color, or even point your phone at an object with multiple colors to produce a dissonant harmony of electronic notes.