Looking for an entertaining diversion to get you through the rest of Friday and the weekend? Today I got a lot out of a Google experience that combines two of my favorite activities: drawing and music.
Paint With Music is a fun interactive toy that’s really easy to use; it’s not up to the task of getting you one of the best laptops for music production and some high-end software, but it’s definitely a way to get fast results that look good too.
All you have to do is paint on the screen, and it will instantly turn your strokes into musical notes. It’s an absolute breeze to get started; all you really need to know is that the vertical position of your strokes corresponds to the notes played, and the speed at which you draw your lines affects the volume.
Even so, you’ll likely find that your first few attempts sound a lot like Steve Reich having a really bad day at his composition desk. But once you get a better idea of how it works and take advantage of useful features like an on-screen note overlay and a looping timer that you can use to make things play exactly what you want, you should start getting better results. .
You can mix things up a bit with a choice of instruments; there’s a flute, saxophone, trumpet and violin, plus a timbre tool to trigger unique sound effects. Once you start putting them all together, things start to sound a lot more melodic, especially since each instrument has its own musical range, which can lead to some cool sounding harmonies.
In addition to the musical side, the visual aspect of this experience is also very neat. There are four canvases to choose from – a sky scene, an underwater world, an urban wall, and a Japanese-inspired paper canvas – each with its own line style, plus subtle audio effects and an individual stamp to add that final audio and visual flourish.
Once you’re done, you can share your results through all the usual social channels, depending on how you think your friends will enjoy your abstract musical noodles. It’s unlikely to change the way anyone makes music, but hey, it’s definitely a great way to play with music, and there’s a lot about it that will give newbies in music better insight into how notes fit together to create beautiful harmonies.
Click to play with Paint With Music (opens in a new tab)and let us know if you get any particularly great results!