Picture of Waveform Necklace & Bracelet
Get an unique necklace or bracelet, by recording your voice!
The design of this necklace is generated from any kind of audio sample, its shape represents the audios waveform.
Send a love message, record the first words of your child, use the hook of your favourite song - it's up to you.

Check my website and Facebook to see how it can look like.
I'm selling them there as well in case you don't want to make it on your own.

I had some people asking for help commercializing this project.
I am still selling these necklaces/bracelets and I would prefer to stay the only provider.
This tutorial was made to enable people to make these if they can't afford mine,
they want further customization or just for their fun of making a DIY project.
Build as many as you want for all your friends and family.
I'm just asking you not to make money with this idea. Thanks!

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Step 1: Download the software

You will need the following software to create your necklace:

- an audio editor like Audacity (free)

- an image editor like Photoshop (trial will do) or GIMP (free)

- a vector or CAD editor like Illustrator (trial) or Inkscape (free) as a productdesigner I like Rhino3d

you can have the necklace produced by a local vendor or an online service like

Step 2: Record your voice and take a screenshot of the waveform

Picture of record your voice and take a screenshot of the waveform
Record your voice or open an audio clip.
You can record your voice within Audacity by pressing the record button.
If you have your file already, open it with audacity.
If you want to use a mp3 file, keep in mind Audacity doesn't support mp3 natively -
you need to download the LAME encoder plugin.
ow choose the part you want to use (I guess you are familiar with play buttons).
When you decided for a part, scale (see the arrows) the wave so it's big. 
Now take a screenshot of the wave
(mac user do it like this, windows users like that, linux users are nerdy enough to know how this works)

Step 3: Create the beads

Picture of create the beads
Either you go the easy way and download the ones I prepared, or you draw them yourself.
First you have to make some decisions:

- How thick will the string be you are going to use?
- How many different bead sizes you want to use (We'll use 12 here)?
- How big should the biggest disc be?

Let's say our string is 2mm, so we use an inner diameter of 2.5mm which stays the same for all beads.
We'll start with an outer diameter of 5mm an will increase in 1.5mm steps so the biggest disc will have a diameter of 21.5 mm.
You can choose these values

Select the ellipse tool and make sure paths are not filled.
Now hold the alt key and click somewhere on the artboard. 
You'll be able to enter numeric values now. we use 2.5 x 2.5mm 
Then we do this step again using a value of 5mm and this time when clicking on the artboard will click in the center
of the circle we drew previously. Smart guides will guide us.
Make sure to enable them or click accurately.
So we got our first bead. let's continue until we have 12 (or how many different sizes you like to have)

Step 4: Stencil

Picture of stencil
Now we open our screenshot we took from Audacity in our photo editor and overlay it with a stencil.
You can create this stencil yourself or just download mine.
Scale the stencil so the first row starts in the middle of your wave
and the first and last column match the beginning and end of your wave.

This stencil has 80 columns. If you use a material of 1mm thickness, your necklace will have a lentgh of 8cm. Easy math. So calculate how thick your material is, how long you want your necklace to be and start calculating how mani columns you'll have to use.

Step 5: Counting

Picture of counting
Now comes the boring part. Start counting. Check for each column in which row the peak of the wave is.
Start writing down these numbers. They'll tell you in which order you have to thread the beads onto your string.

In this case we would start with 1,1,1,3,5,10 and so on...

Step 6:

Picture of
Now we have to prepare the cutting pattern to send to our laser vendor.
There are 2 ways of doing this.
Take your notes from the last step and start counting again.
This time we'll count how many beads of each size are required for the necklace.
Then we start copying them in Illustrator until we have enough
(Drag the individual beads by holding down the ALT key,
after you copyied the first one you can copy the others by pressin CTRL+D)
Make a few more of the small sizes in case you should loose some.
If you'll assemble it yourself you dont have to align the beads in the correct order,
but you might consider to do this if you plan to make this a present (see picture attached)

General considerations:
The thinner the beads are, the more accurate the representation of the wave will be.
Depending on the look you want to achieve: The thinner the better, but don't get to thin otherwise the discs can break easily.
Acrylic is fine, but you have to peel of the protective sheet from each individual bead.
It's a pain in the ass. You wont have to do this with wood.
Silver looks good, but it's really expensive.

So, have fun and share your results with me ->



How can I get this printed ? the circles i mean

bzabiz (author)  lisa.vandijk.7910 days ago
you need to have them lasecut. there was also a guy who made an openscad version to 3d print these
(removed by author or community request)
bzabiz (author)  dbenninger11 year ago
works for me, but just uploaded everything to my server again:
Pfarmkid1 year ago
I saw once someone recorded there now wife saying Yes when he proposed then made her a necklace with the waveform of it. Thought it would be a cool idea for someone on here.
Buttons would work too, plus buttons are as colorful as you would want them.
tealribbon12 years ago
love it omg so cool
imajem2 years ago
This audacity won't work on my there something else that will work with win7??? 64 bit machine???
bzabiz (author)  imajem2 years ago
same configuration here, audacity works.
you can use any audio editor.
audacity is just the best open source choice.
lswett12 years ago
So...does everyone but me have a $3000 to $5000 laser cutter lying around?  I love the idea but when I research the laser cutter, $$$ is all I can find.
Ponoko and Shapeways do laser cutting and 3d printing services, and aren't too dear :)
bfiore lswett12 years ago
Though it may not look as classy, I'm sure you could find an array of assorted washers at your local hardware store that suit the math.
bzabiz (author)  bfiore2 years ago
should be hard to find a couple of various sizes that maintain the thickness as well as the radius of the inner hole...
bzabiz (author)  lswett12 years ago
Hi Iswett,

Of course I neither own a lasercutter.
As I mentioned in the first step you can have everything cut by a local vendor or order your parts online. has a good choice of material, they are cheap and ship quickly within the US. Check out their site.
agis682 years ago
so that's a cool idea to keep someone's beloved
simplebeep2 years ago
This is a remarkably cool idea!