Yesterday I put together the Exploratorium’s Vocal Visualizer. It’s a nice, simple method to visualize sound and it costs about $2-$3 to build. Once the PVC pieces were cut, it just takes about 10 minutes to put together.
From Exploratorium’s website:
“Use your voice to transform laser light into dazzling patterns. By humming, singing, or talking into the Vocal Visualizer, you’ll be able to see sound as vibration (or pressure waves) and experience Lissajous patterns and resonant vibration modes.”
To get a better idea of how sounds translate into patterns, I connected my phone (with a frequency generator app) to an amplifier and small 3 inch speaker. I inserted the speaker into the mouthpiece of the Visualizer. The video below show some of the results. Play some different musical pieces too!