Visual Beats

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This project is inspired by Cymatics, the study of visualizing sound through the representation of physical mediums. The common method to visualize sound in Cymatics is by creating a frequency on a plate that vibrates sand placed on top. The higher the frequency played, the more complex of a geometric shape the sand synchronizes into. We initially plan on experimenting with an online frequency generator and a metal plate in order to see what kind of shapes we can create. Once we have found a specific frequency that resonates well with the plate, we hope to record specific tones, that are concurrent to unique shapes, and place it into a Arduino based keyboard. People will be able to play with the keyboard, creating their own beats that are combined by a set of naturally occurring shapes in order for them to “see” what form their music takes on.

The Team

  • Sudeep Raj
  • Han Wang
  • Li Gao


The main objective is to be able to perform the different natural shapes on the set up creates. Following this is the Arduino keyboard that will be used to play each shape. During the demo, the set up should be constructed simplistically in order for anyone to come up and use the keyboard and create the different shapes.


Most of the hardware we will use can be purchased, but there are still many foreseen challenges we will encounter: • We don’t know what kind of pattern(s) a specific frequency will produce beforehand, so we will have to try a wide range of frequencies • We may try different mediums (sands, water, ferrofluid etc). Using water close to high amplifier may be dangerous, and ferrofluid may get stuck on the platform • Our speaker(s) and amplifier(s) could fail on us mainly if we abuse them during our tests • We may exceed our budget if our trials keep failing, so we need to form detailed plans on how we will run our experiments in order to prevent going over our budget • We must be aware of the environment we perform our project in as some frequencies might have the potential to shatter glass • Coming up with back up plans if our set frequencies do not form the expected shapes • Finding the most effective way to reuse and not waste sand • The high speaker and high amplifier may harm our ears, so the earplug is needed for protection



  • 10k Resistor
  • Arduino UNO
  • Breadboard
  • Solderless Jumper Wires

Est. Total

  • ~$90

Gantt Chart

VB Gantt Chart.png