Sonification with Max: Visuals into Sound

Membership plan: Going Deeper | Topics: Visual Arts

Course overview

In this workshop you will implement an algorithm that processes the motion, color, and position of images and videos, and turns it into music. The goal of the workshop is to give you the necessary tools and techniques to begin exploring sonification of visuals.

What you'll learn

  • Import and manipulate visual data as Jitter Matrices
  • Design algorithms to get data from images and videos
  • Build systems to play the analyzed data as notes, chords, and sounds
  • Explore possibilities of audiovisual mapping

Who is this course for?

  • Musicians interested in starting with sonification
  • Creative coders who want to learn how to process visual data

Course content

  • Patch
  • 1. Introduction - What is Sonification_
  • 2. Importing Images into Max - What is a Jitter Matrix_
  • 3. Picking and Detecting Color in Images
  • 4. Processing The Color Analysis
  • 5. Transforming the Analysed Color into a Single Value
  • 6. Sound Generation and Changing Parameters with Color
  • 7. Sonifying the Hue of Images
  • 8. Importing Videos and Spacialisation


  • Computer and internet connection
  • Access to a copy of Max 8 (i.e. trial or full license)

Meet your instructor

Umut Eldem is a composer, pianist, and researcher. His musical works and research focus on the exploration of synaesthesia as an artistic medium. He has given lectures on his research of synaesthesia, and had his audiovisual works and installations combining sound and colours presented in Belgium, Turkey, Romania, Russia, and Luxembourg. Umut Eldem is currently a PhD researcher at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp, and musical director of the theatre collective Mixed & United. He gives lessons and workshops on music history, musical analysis, and audiovisual design. He is also the keyboardist of the bands Starblind = Earthbound and Transport Aerian. His current PhD research entitled ‘The Hearing Glass: Synaesthetic Correspondences in The Musical Practice’ intends to take the results of his previous research and develop them into an inter-sensory theory of audiovisual art.

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