GeoSynth is a prototype instrument, a digital audio synthesizer that uses 3D objects as the source input for real-time audio synthesis. The custom software repurposes the 3D coordinates of the geometry’s points as audio samples. The object’s shape, its point count and its topology create a unique sonic signature. As a result each object acts as an audio sample that can be tuned and played back at any frequency to simulate musical notes. Any additional geometric deformations can interactively modulate the output sound. The idea is that the sounds can be sculpted visually by manipulating the form of each object and create an animation in perfect synch with the audio, but in the opposite manner than the typical audio-driven approach. The red line indicates the portion of the geometry that turns into the audible sound wave on any given frame. The software can receive midi notes from an external keyboard, a tracker or a DAW software and can be part of a larger chain of musical devices.

This interactive tool is part of an ongoing study in data sonification and the relationship between form and sound. It is part of a series of experimental animations, that started in 2016 with Geophone and an early version of its real time counterpart presented at PERFORMANCE 0630 by Arts Incubator.


GeoSynth was created inpart at The Watermill Center – a laboratory for the arts and humanities, in February 2024.


Video: Khalil McCullen

The chair featured is an original Berlin chair designed by Gerrit Rietveld in 1923 and is now part of the Watermill collection. The chair was digitized and used for experimentation with the instrument during the art resiency.