Synthesia lowers the barrier to entry for beginners. You can get started immediately without knowing how to read sheet music. Playing songs right away provides great motivation to stick with the piano where you can learn traditional sheet music notation over time as you go along, should you choose to.
Synthesia is also great for more experienced players. It's a nice platform for quickly sight-reading a new piece, and nearly any song can be found in the MIDI format that Synthesia understands. Synthesia is also a nice companion tool for daily practice to complement piano lessons. The scoring and progression systems help keep track of personal growth on each piece.
Synthesia shows any MIDI song as falling notes or sheet music so you can follow along easily.
If you connect a musical keyboard (using USB or MIDI), Synthesia listens to your playing and helps you learn any song.
Don't have a digital piano? Check out some that we recommend.
Finding high-quality songs in MIDI format can be really challenging. So we decided to help solve the problem by creating full MIDI arrangements of your favorite songs.
Our goal is to give you the highest quality MIDI version of each song, at a super reasonable price. All songs are fully licensed by the original publisher for digital download. New songs are added often, so be sure to check back regularly!
The only requirement is hardware accelerated graphics, which almost every computer now has.
Linux users can run Synthesia under Wine. Tips for getting things up and running can be found at WineHQ.
Synthesia for iPad was designed to work on every iPad. The first-generation iPad is a little underpowered compared to the rest, but it will still work. iOS 5.0 or greater is required.
If your iPad includes a Retina display, you are in for a treat.
For now Synthesia is best experienced on a tablet-sized device. The larger the screen the better. Some very old tablets may not run as smooth as newer devices.
If your keyboard has an on-board synth, that's usually your best bet. It will be the fastest and usually sounds pretty nice. Otherwise, one great (and free!) alternative is using a software MIDI driver and a "Sound Font" to go with it.
CoolSoft has made an easy to use MIDI synth called VirtualMIDISynth. Here's how to get it up and running in Synthesia:
Once you've done that, you'll see a new output device on the Keyboard Setup screen in Synthesia named "CoolSoft VirtualMIDISynth". It should be much faster and sound better than the built-in Windows synth.
Every MIDI song is compatible, but there are a few guidelines to make them even better.
In general, Synthesia works with any MIDI file. Though, whether you're putting together lessons for students or you want to share a song you wrote with other Synthesia users, there are a few easy steps you can follow to get the most out of Synthesia's extended features.
Here is a short guide on how to Create Great Content for Synthesia.
Synthesia for iPad must be unlocked separately.
This is an unfortunate consequence of Apple's policies. If something is unlockable for a price, Apple requires payment must go through the App Store exclusively. Unlocking the app with something purchased at the Synthesia website would break that rule.
Going in the other direction, another of Apple's rules describes that if something can be used outside the app, it must not be purchased through the App Store. So, that means we can't allow iPad in-app purchases to be used with the other versions of Synthesia.
To make a bad situation a little better, we've lowered the price of Synthesia for iPad to less than half the desktop version's price.
Synthesia continues to evolve into the best practice tool for beginners and experienced players alike.
The Mac version is released and the project is renamed to Synthesia at the same time.
Synthesia makes its debut on the iPad.
The Music Store launches, providing the highest quality MIDI versions of popular songs anywhere.
Synthesia is released for Android tablets, which means it's now available in more places than it's not.
More than 50 convenience improvements and fixes are added to make Synthesia friendlier and easier to use than ever.