"INFRASONICON" and speeding hourglass icon




Clark Huckaby

Watching ripples on a pond one day gave me an idea. Water surface waves are a common analogy for sound waves; what if water surface waves were recorded and then played back at a higher speed as sound? And how about other slow periodic phenomena? They could also be captured with an appropriate pickup and recorder. Like other "found sounds," some time-compressed infrasonic signals could find uses ranging from ring-tones to games to experimental music. My "infrasonicon" project tests the waters of this idea.

Recording surface waves in a quiet September lagoon

Here's an overview of the Infrasonicon. I've split it into six brief parts:

Examples of time-compressed recordings made with the Infrasonicon

Brand New: More Detailed Analysis and Discussion of Certain Recordings (added Dec. 31, 2013):

New: Sidebar Article Introducing the Physics of Water Surface Waves (added Oct. 21, 2013):

New: Technical Details of Hardware and Software (added Oct. 16, 2013):

New: On clarkhuckaby.com, I recently added an article about optical tremolo in vintage Fender amps:

In Preparation:

Some key definitions:

Infrasonic--Literally "below sound," this adjective refers to any phenomenon, signal, or waveform having a frequecy less that 20 Hz. The phenomenon need not emit infrasound.

Infrasound--Pressure waves propagating through some medium, such as air, with frequecies less than 20 Hz (by convention, the low-frequency end of the audio band). I will soon fine-tune these definitions a bit more elsewhere within this web site.

Infrasonicon--Any channel (or set of synchronized channels) specifically designed to record an infrasonic phenomenon and then convert it to sound using high-speed playback. I coined this term and invite you to add it to your lexicon. An infrasonicon is to sound as time-lapse cinematography is to images.

Time compression--Playing back a signal faster than it was originally recorded.

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Key Words: infrasonicon, infrasonic, infrasound, time compression, time-lapse, time perception, found sounds, sound effects, sound design, electronic music, experimental music, (reluctantly) lo-fi sound, circuit bending, DIY audio, theremin, water surface waves, photoplethysmograph, ubiquitous sensor network.

Overview            Sound Example Page            Technical Details: Data Converter; Interface Unit; Optical Probe; Water Theremin; Audio Amplitude Detector

Contact Clark Huckaby            Water Surface Waves vs. Sound            Analysis: Flywheel Recording; Noise Motif Repeats            Go to clarkhuckaby.com

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