Picture of How to Make Sound Come Alive - Cymatics

How to make Sound come alive?? That is simple. This theory is known as Cymatics. Cymatics is the study of visible sound and visible vibrations. By transmitting sound waves through any sort of medium, we are able to see different patterns emerging. So in this Instructable, I will be teaching you how to actually conduct this experiment.

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Made By Manish Kumar, Murtaza Tunio, Minaam Abbas
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Step 1: What You Need

Picture of What You Need
A waterproof Speaker
A Guitar amplifier
Wire Stripper
Crocodile Clips
Speaker Wires
A Tone Generator
A Screw Driver
Soldering Iron
Amplifier Wire (PC to amplifier)

Step 2: Unscrewing

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Unscrew the back lid and the speaker from the amplifier. Disconnect the wire connecting the amplifier to the speaker itself. If the speaker is waterproof, you can use that. But most of them aren't. The one in the previous picture is. 

Step 3: Crocodile Clip Wires

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Step 4:

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Attach the crocodile clip wire to the speaker, as shown in the picture. 

Step 5:

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Pour some water over the speaker. Or you can get a metal box if your speaker isn't waterproof. Pour water in it. 

Step 6: NCH Tone Generator

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Download a tone generator off the internet. I downloaded the NCH tone generator. It was a 14 day trial version.

Step 7: Plugging in the wire.

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Plug in the power supply, the Amplifier wire. You can see the Amplifier settings I used. 

Note: Higher Frequencies usually require greater amplitude. 

Step 8: Powder

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I started with a solid medium, powder. Here are the pictures of what happened. I used a Sine Frequency. I set the setting for 60 Hz, 80 Hz, 100 Hz, 120 Hz and finally 200 Hz. 

You can see the powder moving due to the pressure differences. Regions of maximum and minimum displacement are made visible in a thin coating of particles.

Step 9: Water

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I used the same frequencies as before and you will notice that with the frequency, the patterns become more intricate and sophisticated. 

the patterns in the water are amazing! I just wanted to know if i could do away with the amplifier and just give direct input to the speaker from a phone.Will it work?

howtowithmanish (author)  Chetan Surana1 year ago

Hi Chetan :)

I don't remember if I really tried it without the amplifier. But if you really powerful bass speakers then sure go ahead and try it. You might get some interesting results. Tell me how it goes :)


Hey, Your instructable is awesome. I love the fact that you are using many different materials to test the principle, powder, water, starch etc. 
I just made my version of chladni plate here  and I thought you might enjoy seeing it :) 
Best Luck becoming an engineer !
howtowithmanish (author)  cesar harada3 years ago
Thank You for that compliment. I really appreciate it. Your Chladni Plate is brilliant too. It was something, I was unable to build Thumbs up for the good work.
Chimex143 years ago
Hey Manishk?
this idea is awesome and all
but you do realize that this contest is only for America and Canada (exclusion of Quebec) right?
howtowithmanish (author)  Chimex143 years ago
Thank you :) I know, but i just wanted to see whether i could win or not :P