DEV Community

Play Button Pause Button
Amit Nambiar
Amit Nambiar

Posted on

Seeing Sound with Amit Nambiar

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.

Top comments (34)

Collapse
 
bhumi profile image
Bhumi

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

Collapse
 
katedam profile image
Kate Dameron

What a beautiful talk! Thanks @amitlzkpa

Collapse
 
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!

Collapse
 
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.

Collapse
 
tfrick47 profile image
Terri Fricker

oops. This was for the next talk.

Collapse
 
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.

Collapse
 
amitlzkpa profile image
Amit Nambiar

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

Collapse
 
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!

Collapse
 
daniel13rady profile image
Daniel Brady

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

Collapse
 
kburk1997 profile image
Kathleen Burkhardt

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

Collapse
 
amitlzkpa profile image
Amit Nambiar

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

Collapse
 
kburk1997 profile image
Kathleen Burkhardt

That’s so cool! :)

Collapse
 
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?

Collapse
 
amitlzkpa profile image
Amit Nambiar

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.

Collapse
 
amitlzkpa profile image
Amit Nambiar

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.

Collapse
 
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.

Collapse
 
tfrick47 profile image
Terri Fricker

What an exciting way to "see" sound.

Collapse
 
leeclarke profile image
Lee

So very cool!

Collapse
 
tfrick47 profile image
Terri Fricker

They are so beautiful.

Collapse
 
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?

Collapse
 
amitlzkpa profile image
Amit Nambiar

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

Collapse
 
chernic3 profile image
Cheray

Mindblown

Collapse
 
chernic3 profile image
Cheray

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

Collapse
 
amitlzkpa profile image
Amit Nambiar

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