Spectra - Video & Audio to Art 4+

Generates unique art and video

Limit Point Software

Designed for iPad

    • 3.2 • 6 Ratings
    • Free



Discover art in your video and audio media. Computational art that uses frames for color and sounds for modulation. Adjust parameters for a surprising array of art forms.

Spectra is an app to create computational art from video and audio on iOS and Mac.

Settings files store the parameters that describe the art form and include:

• Control values
• Color palettes
• Audio samples

With built-in presets, video and audio samples you can generate cool art immediately! Then customize with your own settings, video and color palettes.

Many extra presets are available from within the app using ’Show More Settings’ in the File menu.

You can save settings in the ‘MySettings’ table of the presets pane, or in iCloud with 'Save Settings in iCloud' in the File menu. This enables sharing between iOS and Mac.

Saved settings and presets will include the current color palette - which you may have created yourself from the ‘Colors’ pane - and the current audio.

Video frames can be used for creating color palettes for drawing, and the audio is used to modulate line or arc length - the components of the paths Spectra draws.

A color palette generator is in the colors pane, where you also can quickly switch between video, settings file, variable, random or grayscale palettes. The variable palette generates color using a given color and a periodic trigonometric function. Generating colors in this way is fun with unlimited surprising results.

Visit the website for many examples, a demo and screenshots visually elucidating the simple process to transform video to art.

Using color and sound from videos various art forms are generated automatically with with attributes dependent on the values of user selected parameter controls.

Use your device videos, screen recordings or your favorite theatrical movies as input. You can use the audio of the video, or load a separate audio file.

The output can be printed from high resolution PNG images, or you can output the art as resolution independent PDF files to print at any resolution supported by a particular printer.

Spectra can be used as a platform for educators to integrate mathematical computation with creative art.

Although Spectra does not teach these concepts it can be used as a fun visualization and experimentation of applied math.

Numerous mathematical concepts can be introduced and illustrated through the art forms Spectra mathematically generates:

• transformations, functions, plots and parameters
• plane geometry: lines, triangles, circles, chords
• angles, rotation, trigonometry, radians
• distance, arc length, area
• randomness

4 basic art forms whose names are derived from the math:

• linear
• radial
• arc
• chord

Each Spectra graphic is merely a path composed of lines, circle arcs and chords. Each part corresponds to a particular frame of the video and sound level at the same time.

When using video as a color source every color is chosen as the average color of the frame.

Various other parameters you can adjust include:

• inner and outer radius
• zoom and 2 different arc length modes
• use of audio for line width and length modulation
• random, grayscale and parametrized color palettes
• random variability in frame selection ranges
• descriptive title label
• art aspect ratio
• line capping and width
• alpha gradient : the transparency of each part can diminish gradually over time so it is apparent what other parts it may overlap
• path filling to create solid pie shapes

To get a better glimpse of the variety of art you can generate peruse our website 'Gallery'.

For your convenience...

• Presets Table: Select from many control, color and sound settings sets. Then customize by changing the control, color and sound, say from another settings file.

• You can save your settings, including the colors and audio samples for reuse on both platforms.

• Two sample videos.

• Audio Samples: Additional audio files are built into the app, in particular many presets contain sample audio. This enables you to use the app "out of the box."


On Mac App Store:


What’s New

Version 1.5.5

Multiple audio channel support added. Previously only the first audio channel was used.

Previous Updates:

Added HDR video support by converting HDR to SDR to improve colors; presents a reminder that you can set a background color for spectra videos from the Size view.

13 new presets have been added to the built-in settings library. Settings are available in the Presets tab. The Presets tab has two tables named Built-In and My Settings. These new presets appear in the Built-in settings, at the bottom. Your own settings are saved to My Settings.

126 new presets have been added to the built-in settings library. These were previously available from 'More Settings' and required individual downloads. This makes a large variety of presets readily available with ease.

NEW - Shadow option in the 'Lines' pane. This option will draw shadows for every line.
FIXED - After app relaunch the 'Play Waveform Audio' may sometimes play the wrong audio file.

New - When saving a spectra as a video you now have the option of including the audio, if available. The video duration will then match the audio duration. This can create a fun visualization of the audio.

New - Audio menu has new menu item named 'Share Waveform Audio' enabling you to send the waveform audio, if there is one, to an email, message, etc.

Fixed - Issue with audio processing that could prevent a settings file that uses audio from being restored to the correct look. It was due to a slight variation in audio modulation values. This issue was caused by changes in the last version.

• IMPROVED: Video color generation faster.

• NEW: Apply audio or set background image from Settings. ‘Apply Audio’ for audio, 'Set Background' for background.

• NEW: Playing audio shows its progress in the waveform graphic.

• NEW: When switching to settings without a background from one that does an option to remove the current background is offered.

• NEW: ‘Use Opened Audio’ menu item in the Audio menu: sets the current audio to the last audio imported from external apps (Files, iCloud, Messages, Music, etc) or internal samples.

• IMPROVED: The audio menu items 'Use Video Audio' and 'Use Settings Audio' are reimplemented for clarity.

• FIXED: Some audio files were not loading due to a mismatch of file extension and audio type.

• NEW: Option apply current background color to spectra when rendering. The background color is set in the Size pane.

• Other improvements.

Updated 'More Settings' web view. Use 'More Settings' to load additional settings from the web into the 'My Settings' table.

Fixed an issue with the 'My Settings' table where the table experienced inadvertent scrolling after selecting a setting. Updated for iOS 14.

FIXED: Saving background images to the Photos library now preserves transparency. In this way restoring a background from the photos library will restore the transparency, which is important for the mask mode of the Color pane.

Improved Performance: Settings data is cached to handle the increased load from incorporating background images and waveform audio files. Most notably the presets table scrolls more smoothly, but other methods that use settings data is faster.

Background Preview in Settings: The background image can be previewed from the user settings table. (Swipe on a row in iOS, right(control)-click on a row in macOS.)

Open Settings Options: Opening settings is more discriminate - if current settings has background, but new settings do not then an alert is presented because the existence of a background could mean the spectra does not look as expected unless you change the background settings.

Play Waveform Audio: The current waveform audio file can be played (if it exists; a waveform graphic only displays the audio samples, and its presence does not mean there is an audio file associated with it.) Select ‘Play Waveform Audio’ from the Audio menu. (Or on Mac use the ‘Play Waveform Audio’ button, and in iOS tap the waveform graphic)

Ratings and Reviews

3.2 out of 5
6 Ratings

6 Ratings

StudentOfWork ,

It’s a joke.

When I wanted to see my spectrum in didn’t pop or work.

Kittiypaws ,


Was not what I was looking for and didn't even work and didn't even get it and when I try to record nope and to see the spectrum nope nothing don't get it in my opinion

App Privacy

The developer, Limit Point Software, indicated that the app’s privacy practices may include handling of data as described below. For more information, see the developer’s privacy policy.

Data Not Collected

The developer does not collect any data from this app.

Privacy practices may vary, for example, based on the features you use or your age. Learn More

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