Pin It

This synth app lets you turn colour into sound

Ever wanted to see colours as sounds? The ROY G BIV synth app transforms your iPhone camera into a synesthete's dream

Ever wondered how synesthesia would feel? Musicians like Kanye West, Dev Hynes and Pharrell Williams all cop to having the neurological condition, but it's hard for non-synesthetes to imagine what tasting colours, seeing sounds or smelling numbers would be like.

A new smartphone app called ROY G BIV allows those of us unblessed with synesthesia to get a taste of what colours sound like. It's a pretty simple idea: just point your iPhone or Android camera at an object to hear the app play a sound. You can even add your own sound effects (including a pretty disturbing one of a barking dog). 

"The app takes colour data from your iPhone or Android’s camera and converts it into modulations for an 8-note synth," illustrator and app creator Julian Glander explains to It's Nice That. "Play a multi-coloured symphony with some friends, take a musical #selfie, experience a rough approximation of synesthesia. There’s a lot of cool stuff you can do with it." 

Finally, you'll be able to compete with that "genius" who says he's got synesthesia and asks for quiet at houseparties so he can see what colour "You're Not Alone" by Olive is. Get the app here and check it out in action below: