Tripped-Out, Impressive Musical Drawings on an Oscilloscope

Tripped-Out, Impressive Musical Drawings on an Oscilloscope


On Create Digital Music, our friend Peter Kirn has posted an exciting piece about an artist and maker, Jerobeam Fenderson, who has figured out how to generate dynamic musical drawings on an oscilloscope. Peter explains:

Graz-based artist Jerobeam Fenderson is out to solve an age-old problem in the literal fusion of image and sound. Simply put by him, (and accurately), “What sounds good doesn’t necessarily look good and great images mostly just make ear-deafening noises.” Right – that.

Well, he’s been gradually building a vocabulary that both sounds and looks good – and even looks, in some cases, like a literal wireframe drawing. This all looks like a special effect, like animation set to music, but it isn’t. There is actual sonic data informing the image and visa versa. Some of the trick has to do with Lissajous-mode oscilloscope generation, which graphs the visualization of the sound on an X/Y plot – where it makes more sense to the eyes. And some of it is just a combination of painstaking sound design that simultaneously considers the visual dimension.

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And with the following video, Kirn even proposes a new audio/video genre: Wireframe Mushroom Oscilloscope Dubstep Glitch. Not sure if that’s going to catch on, but the video and the o-scope hacking sure are cool.

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You can find out a lot more about how Jerobeam Fenderson’s oscilloscope music and how he set up his hardware and software on his website.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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