Preparing next Young Hackspace: making electronic music; physics of sound. Request for contributions!

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Martin Dittus

Apr 5, 2011, 7:39:48 AM4/5/11
Hey all,

Anthony/ynohtna offered to share his love of electronic music and teach kids how to "understand" music, and how to make it. He'll bring a drum machine, effects pedals and other assorted equipment and will then start with counting and clapping exercises, and go from there. He already did this in the past and has loads of ideas about how to go about such a workshop.

Morag then suggested to combine this with a "physics of sound" session. Maybe teaching the basics in child-/teenager-friendly ways; but also demonstrating it.

Here's one of Anthony's ideas about that:
1. Take the amp in the space, lay it on its back and cover the speaker cone with cling film.
2. Mix up some non-Newtonian fluid (corn starch & water) and throw a decent sized glob of it onto the cling film protected speaker.
3. Throw various audio signals through the speaker and watch the glob monster dance!
4. DIY cymatics!

Any other ideas for cool demos? Periodic motion, the relationship between motion and sound, the frequency spectrum, resonance, harmony, etc.

We'll meet tonight at 8pm during the social night, probably in the quiet room if there's space.
Anyone interested in helping out or contributing ideas is very welcome to do so!



Apr 5, 2011, 7:44:39 AM4/5/11
I want to see the glob monster dance :D


Paul Dart

Apr 5, 2011, 7:46:12 AM4/5/11

Is quite cool I think. Stumbleupon'd it the other day.

Ken Boak

Apr 5, 2011, 7:50:25 AM4/5/11
How about one of those "sound wave" guns that allows you to fire a pulse of air across a room and put a candle out?
Slinky spring
Wine glasses tuned to different notes with a microphone and osciloscope to show the waveform
Photon phone,  make a musical note by tapping a small filament lighbulb  from which the light output has been focussed onto a phototransistor and suitable audio amplifier. Old style reflector bike lamps were good for this.
Arduino theremin or note generator / bender  controlled from 2 axis joystick
Musical drawing - use soft graphite pencil on paper to make carbon resistive traces of different shapes and resistances.  Trace the drawing with a metal probe to get different sounds from an oscillator - use anlog inputs of Arduino
On 5 April 2011 12:39, Martin Dittus <> wrote:


Apr 5, 2011, 7:54:06 AM4/5/11
Yeah, I was about to ask if anyone had a slinky. Lay it on a table, waggle the end, watch the wave perturbation propagate.

Love the jelly baby wave machine!


Martin Dittus

Apr 5, 2011, 11:11:00 AM4/5/11

Forgot to mention: There's an excellent piece at the British Art Show at the Hayward Gallery atm, "A Grammar for Listening," where Luke Fowler and a few sound artists filmed sound environments. In one they attached one side of a metal spring to a stand, and subjected it to vibrations (audio oscillators?) of changing frequencies which resulted in amazing organic flows of periodic/chaotic movements. Maybe another thing we could try to set up.

And forgot to mention the Young Hackspace twitter account which we'll use for updates and announcements:


Martin Dittus

May 7, 2011, 8:00:16 AM5/7/11
to, Martin Dittus

Just a quick note that due to scheduling conflicts the original date has been moved, this event will now take place on Sunday 22 May.

I'll send out a proper invitation this weekend, but you can already have a look at the brief and our notes:

Get in touch with me if you have kids aged 7-9 and want to participate; or if you want to help us build and present the Physics of Sound demos.


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