What Is Music Visualization?
Photo by Guillaume TECHER on Unsplash
Music Visualization allows you to tap into your sense of sight along with your hearing. It basically translates something audio, into a visual representation that is in sync with each other. This means that every beat, every bass, every drum tap, rhythm, tempo and frequency will be represented by a visual. There has been a strong bond between our sense of hearing and sight and it has inspired many countless of famous musicians for many many years. The audiovisual relationship is much deeper than it seems, there is so much more that we have not discovered with our main senses.
Most music visualization comes in many variations of waves, because it is one of the only way to accurately represent the highs and lows of an audio track. Music as we all know, is accessed only through our sense of hearing, but what. if we could tap into our sense of sight as well? Adding an extra sense to it will only help elevate your experience!
A History About Music Visualization
Cthugha - 1994
Screenshot of Cthugha 1994 on YouTube
No doubt music visualization is relatively modern to us, but back then in 1994, some people had the foresight to pair the audio experience together with visuals. One of the earliest music visualizer programs that was developed and pioneered by an Australian coder; Kevin Burfitt also known as “Zaph”. It was initially developed for Linux then for Macintosh. It was called, Cthugha.
During then, because of the novelty of it, Cthugha gained its popularity and was even featured in a children’s TV game show, Challenger, broadcasted in the late 90s. After January 2001, Kevin decided to stop working on this project and call it quits. There were many unsuccessful attempts to continue the music visualization software to further enhance the music visuals, but none managed to went through as the enthusiasm of music visuals dropped severely.
Cthugha made history, this music visualization software has since became a forefront inspiration for all the modern music visualizers. In modern days, this visualisation for music has been made available either as a plugin or an option for mp3 players as well.
Atari Video Music - 1977
Screenshot of ATARI Video Music on YouTube
The first company to develop and manufacture a commercial electronic music visualizer was none other than Atari back in 1976. It was designed and created by Robert Brown. The music visualizer allows users to create an animated visual that reacts to the audio input from a typical Hi-Fi stereo system that most households would have back then.
Early Music Visualization
In the early days, besides having softwares like Cthugha and hardwares like Atari Video Music, creative engineers became aware that they could actually make use of electronic signals to act as a cue or indication which then can be mapped to create complicated visuals. Qualities of a signal such as dynamics and frequencies can be mapped onto shapes and colours, how cool is that? That basically means that whenever there is change in colours and intensity visually, there is a shift in signals and frequency.
That was when music visualizers was integrated into the electronic music genre, and is still used by many EDM records till date.
Modern Music Visualization
Music Visualizers have evolved and come a long way since then, projects such as Cthugha and Atari Video Music has paved the way for many who are interested in music visualization. It has even taken an unforeseen twist into games like Guitar Hero where players have to keep up with the beat and rhythm of songs. It displays an indicator that will trigger players to either tap on their drums or strum their guitars.
There is so much more to being able to translate something audio into a visual form real time. Developers and creators these days are paying more attention to the visual aspect as more programs and softwares focuses more on drawing the users deeper into the music track by pairing it with a more stimulating visual.
The Audiovisual Sensation
Till today, there is so much more we have yet to learn about audiovisuals. It somehow integrates our senses together, though not all five senses, but 2 out of 5 senses together to make us experience and see music in different ways. It could affect how we feel and at some cases it may change our moods as well. It is hard to fully describe or rationally explain why are we feeling this way either scientifically or backed by evidence.
Till we can piece together accurately or find out why, let us just enjoy the breakthrough of technology and how music visualizers has evolved through time to provide us a visual representation of how our music would look like.
How Do You Make A Music Visualizer?
In today’s world, there are many online platforms providing music visalization softwares for users, it is quite easy to locate one. but locating a powerful and easy to use platform is not easy to come by. To begin with, you would need to have a song or audio track. That is the most important ingredient to make any music visualizer work. After creating an account with the online platform, there should be pre-made templates for you to choose from. Select one of them that catches your eyes, or you feel would match the genre of your music.
Upload your music or audio into the platform and it will automatically help sync your music to the visualizer for music. Most platforms will be able to seamlessly sync your audio tracks real time with the visual template that you have chosen.
Music Visualizers is the most effective ways for artists if they have little to no production budget to create music videos but would also like to release a video of your music.
How Can I Get A Free Audio Visualizer To Work With?
You can begin by hitting the google search bar with keywords such as “Music Visualization” or “Music Visualizers”. Search results will begin to populate and you can start qualifying your ideal online platform to create your music visualization. Most online music visualizer platforms should be free to use. But there could be some platforms that would only get you to link up your credit cards or pay after the account registration which is not ideal to work with at all. You have to read through their terms and conditions, make sure that this platform that you have chosen is indeed providing you a free audio visualizer to use.
What Is The Best Music Visualizer?
If you are looking for a robust music visualizer platform, you may consider trying out Offeo. It is an online video editing platform offering you to create videos for your online music. With a collection of popular pre-made music visualizer templates that is free of charge, users have to just simply create a free account and they are able to take their music visuals to the next level.
You can also add custom texts, graphics, or animations to your audio visualizer music video. However, it is highly recommended to just keep your online music visualizer simple and minimal. Offeo is an online video editing platform where it provides an easy drag and drop interface for users to customize their video to perfection. Start elevating and pairing up your best music tracks with a visual that is befitting.