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Seeing Sound with Amit Nambiar

amitlzkpa profile image Amit Nambiar ・1 min read

Hey, I'm Amit! I'm an architect turned computational designer who now helps architects and engineers make buildings faster and better.

In this talk I'm going to talk about a passion project I've been working on where I'm trying to visualise audio in 3D. Sound is an excitation of a medium like air which moves like a wave from the source. While this is well known when it comes to understanding the physics of it we are often introduced to squiggly lines on a paper followed by abstract interpretation of it in math. In this talk I'll be talking about my research project where I parse audio using the WebAudioAPI and visualise it in its complete volumetric glory in the browser. I'll talk about my assumptions, limitations and challenges encountered in the process and attempt to breakdown the physics of some by showing its wavelike behaviour and how I use this information to create a 3D visualization.

Check it out at:
https://lotusaudio.herokuapp.com/view/5ee4fe4610a0ec114483fd4e

Slides:

Here is a download link to the talk slides (PDF)


This talk will be presented as part of CodeLand:Distributed on July 23. After the talk is streamed as part of the conference, it will be added to this post as a recorded video.

Discussion (34)

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bhumi profile image
Bhumi

This is fascinating. (I'm a fan of making academic definitions real and concrete, with physical experiments)

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katedam profile image
Kate Dameron

What a beautiful talk! Thanks @amitlzkpa

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sharthagod profile image
Shareese A

This is incredible!!!! I was just telling my musician friend that coding is in nearly everything! Going to show his students soon!

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tfrick47 profile image
Terri Fricker

I'm really looking forward to your talk, Amit. I studied physics and have been thinking about I can add that knowledge to increase my value in the marketplace. All I've really thought about is making animation that obeys physics laws.

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tfrick47 profile image
Terri Fricker

oops. This was for the next talk.

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tfrick47 profile image
Terri Fricker

I'm really looking forward to your talk, Amit. I studied physics and have been thinking about I can add that knowledge to increase my value in the marketplace. All I've really thought about is making animation that obeys physics laws.

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amitlzkpa profile image
Amit Nambiar Author

That's awesome!
Please do share if you have any thoughts!

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adnanmostafa profile image
Adnan Mostafa • Edited

@dev it seems many parts of this video has been replaced by Vadehi's talk on Cost of Data!

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daniel13rady profile image
Daniel Brady

pinging @andy because I know he was helping out with tech issues for the conference today πŸ™

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kburk1997 profile image
Kathleen Burkhardt

Great talk! Did you end up doing the FFT on a server side or on the JS client?

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amitlzkpa profile image
Amit Nambiar Author

FFT happens on the client side.
The WebAudioAPI actually does it and is pretty straightforward to work with.

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kburk1997 profile image
Kathleen Burkhardt

That’s so cool! :)

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cnickels21 profile image
Chase Nickels

That is absolutely beautiful to hear and see. What frequencies have you found to be the most fascinating to work with and have you subjected these visuals to binaural beats at all?

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amitlzkpa profile image
Amit Nambiar Author

I'm still figuring the range that I like to work with most. So far my understanding is that the actually frequency range shouldn't matter too much for what I create. Sort of like which colors are used isn't the only thing that makes a painting good/bad. That said I know people (me included) do have a preference for colour choices. So my hunch is that it'll be an open question forever.

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amitlzkpa profile image
Amit Nambiar Author

Also I'm remapping the range to make it perceptible for us humans in 3d space. The frequency spectrum sits well on a logarithmic scale which becomes too difficult to visualise in a 3D space designed for people.
So there's always that bit of distortion in effect.

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mreves profile image
MREves

It might just be me but can I just say how beautiful I thought the forms were at each of the frequencies in the example provided during the talk.

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tfrick47 profile image
Terri Fricker

What an exciting way to "see" sound.

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leeclarke profile image
Lee

So very cool!

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tfrick47 profile image
Terri Fricker

They are so beautiful.

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bryantit profile image
Bryant Richards

If you could suspend particles in the air could you apply this technology to create a visual representation of prayer chants that a person could sit inside of?

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amitlzkpa profile image
Amit Nambiar Author

Yeah. That's sort of what I was going for.
The real world unfortunately has forces of gravity which makes it difficult to recreate :(

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chernic3 profile image
Cheray

Mindblown

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chernic3 profile image
Cheray

I just bought a book called The Jazz of Physics. Seems to have a similar theme.

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amitlzkpa profile image
Amit Nambiar Author

Just checking that out. Seem neat!
Would like to see how different genres "look" like one day.

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angelyoung24 profile image
Angel Young

That is really cool! <3

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teapuddles profile image
teapuddles

What an amazing talk! Thanks so much for sharing. I'm really interested in Web Audio and MIR in general. What's the best way to get started with the Web Audio API? It's so vast!

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amitlzkpa profile image
Amit Nambiar Author

Can't quite profess to be an expert on this.
But visualizing the spectrogram might the best way to get started and get a sense of how it works.
After that you could in whichever direction interests you.
Besides visualizing, you could also procedurally create sound/music. So it's pretty broad in what you can do with it.

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teapuddles profile image
teapuddles

Thanks for the tip! I'll look deeper into that and see where the tools take me!

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atav1k profile image
Vikram Babu

these visualizations makes me think of the show devs! beautiful.

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tfrick47 profile image
Terri Fricker

I love how it starts out looking like a galaxy of stars, then the interference makes it change into patterns. The temple audio was beautiful.

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fdoxyz profile image
Fernando

Amazing talk, the visualizations are beautiful thank you for sharing this Amit!

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sharettamichele profile image
Sharetta Martin

Amazing presentation Amit! Thanks for helping us "see" sound!

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amagonzalez27 profile image
Amanda Gonzalez

I'm in total awe!!! This is so cool!

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amagonzalez27 profile image
Amanda Gonzalez

Literally mind blown!! This is beautiful!!!

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