Sound world research..

So this week we are on sound world- Thomas, Caitlin, Phoebe and I are now a new team. This weeks task? Tonal concepts for the world around us. We kind of were in a bit of a panic when we first entered this world as it was still now finalised- or actually it still was an idea rather than a set in stone world.

We decided to spend the first day finalising what the world would look like before we broke off and did our own ideas for the world.

Original ideas from our world came from sound world. I spoke to Rebecca from the original group, she described a world living on sound waves, moving with the waves as they faded and increased in levels. Naturally, I decided to have a look into the sound waves and different types, just as they had in their original research.

I found that there are two different types of sound waves, transverse and longitudinal. Consulting some GCSE physic sources I found that transverse are waves that move in the direction that is perpendicular to the direction that the wave moves. Whereas longitudinal waves are that have particles which travel parallel to the direction the wave is traveling in. The video below shows each of these waves. We wanted to maybe use the previous idea of the world moving with the sound, and maybe each of these waves could have different effects on how the world itself moves.

Video courtesy of Animations for Physics and Astronomy.

Taking these things into consideration I then wanted to look into ways in which sound has been drawn, to consider the way in which our world would move with the music. Possibly, certain parts of the world, like the buildings could move with the music, like an equaliser. I had a look into the work of Nikolai Voinov and his work with synthetic sound. He used a variophone in his work.

The Variophone was an optical synthesizer that utilized sound waves cut onto cardboard disks rotating synchronously with a moving 35mm movie film while being photographed onto it to produce a continuous soundtrack. – (Wikipedia, 2011). 

1930s Russian Drawn Sound: Nikolai Voinov’s ‘Paper Sound.’ Video courtesy of straypixel.

1940s Russian Drawn Sound: Les Vautours by Igor Boldirev. Video courtesy of straypixel.


I find it interesting how he uses the shape themselves to reflect the mood of the music itself. In our actual world, maybe something to consider, would be the use of shape when considering the tone and genre of music played around the world.

Once I had shown this idea to our team, Thomas had suggested we look into the use of oscillograms to portray sound. He suggested we look into the use of these in different volumes of sound, and different pitches. These could further idealise how the world itself will look when things act upon it.

We did a lot of research into soundwaves and agreed this sound graph would be best to style our environment around. Thomas found some cool concept images online and we decided to delve deeper into these.

Video courtesy of UCIPHO.

Video courtesy of Olivier Oswald.

For all those not familiar with Physics equipment- these are pretty vintage Oscilloscopes.

When a uniform sound wave is effected by volume or pitch, the way it looks changes. Pitch effects the frequency, or number of waves, in a graph. The higher the pitch, the greater the frequency of waves. Volume effects the amplitude of the waves, or the height. The greater the volume, the taller the peak of the waves. I found a little example as shown below, I am a visual learner after all.

Video courtesy of Freesciencelessons.

This has opened the ball park for us even more – the buildings themselves can increase in length and width like some sort of putty.

Thomas found this piece of artwork below by Platronics PR. They have quite a few logos similar to this on their Flickr, however this was the easiest example for us to visualise. We took the original idea of the world moving like an equaliser and made it into our own.

Image courtesy of Platronics PR.

Internet company FOG decided to make a sound file based on the adaptation of London’s skyline into a sound wave. The article gives a bit more insight into this project, and the file itself sounds rather strange. The division lines give it a Minecraft- esc look. I thought this inclusion of the grid gave more of a look like the original oscilloscope graphs.

Image courtesy of FOG.

Realtitat also did a project similar to this, they interpreted music by artists such as Nick Drake’s Pink Moon and created 3D sculptures from the sound files. These sculptures look very like the landscapes of Lord of the Rings i.e. Mount Doom. I found it more visually appealing, and gave the idea that landscapes other than just cityscapes can be considered in our tonal studies.

Image courtesy of Realtitat.

Artist Leandro Esparca created these images for a headphone company and I thought they looked really nice drawn up large. The image replicates itself onto the waterline- we thought the world itself would look rather interesting with this floating in space. Maybe the reflection itself could have no sound at all? Like a dark side of the planet.


Thomas came up with the below sketch over night to show the general shape of the world. I then had a play about myself, and came up with a simple line drawing of the world. In my concept I wanted to include the idea of a reflection of the world under the world itself.

thomas concept

Thomas’s idea



My idea

Next, we will have a look at the world itself, and demonstrating the interactions between both the characters and their habitat.

I also had a go at drawing a row of houses as if they had been effected with different pitches and volumes, based on the research above.

The images above are if the volume was altered.

Again the doodles above show what the houses would look like if effected by the pitch.


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