Sound Bracelet: an Experiment in Art and Sound




About: Hey, I'm Jerry! I love making innovative things that change people's lives.

Inspired by The Sound Advice Project, the sound bracelet is a memorable gift to give to your friends and loved ones. Essentially, the sound bracelet is a bracelet in the form of a sound wave. The original project allowed users to submit a 6-second voice recording and for $18, get their voice turned into a sound wave. It was a personal and simple gift.

With that in mind, I set out to make my own, gathering materials that were readily available around the house. You can customize the bracelet to your own voice, making every one truly unique. Your messages can be anything, from a touching "I love you" to a simple "Congratulations." It is a very easy way to make a nice gift for someone.

Step 1: Materials

Most of the supplies for the sound bracelet can be found around the house. You'll also need some basic computer skills. 
  • Computer with microphone
  • Audacity
  • Screen capture software (On Windows, you can use the default "print screen" button. For Macs, press the Apple key + Shift + 3 and release all at the same time. Then, click on the screen with your mouse.)
  • Microsoft Word or an image editing software
  • Printer
  • Hot glue gun
  • Ruler
  • Scissors (optional)
  • Colored Paper (optional)

Step 2: Record Your Message

First, you need to run Audacity. Make sure that your microphone is on and/or plugged in.

Press the red "Record" button at the top to start recording a message. The message should be around 3 seconds long. When you're done, press the square "Stop" button. Now you need to select the recording. To do this, click the box on the left that's underneath "Audio Track". Your recording should be highlighted. Next, go to "Effect" and click "Amplify". Then click "Ok". Finally, go to "Effect" again and click "Change Pitch". Move the slider all the way to the left and click "Ok".

You're recording should look something like picture 3.

Step 3: Editing

First,  open up Microsoft Word and set the page to landscape orientation. To do this, go to "Page Layout", "Orientation", and then "Landscape".

Now you need to capture your screen. The easiest way to do this is to press the "prt sc" button on your keyboard when using a Windows computer. If you're on a Mac press the Apple key + Shift + 3 and release all at the same time. Then, click on the screen with your mouse.

Paste this into Microsoft Word. Next, crop the picture so you can only see your sound wave. Now, you can change the color of the background and of the sound wave itself. Last, resize your image so it is the same length as the diameter of the wrist of the person you are making it for. When resizing, make sure that you drag the corner knob, or else you will distort the image.

Step 4: Print

Insert any choice of color paper into your printer and print out your document.

Step 5: Tracing and Finishing Up

Trace the line you printed out with hot glue. Be careful and stay exactly on the line. For longer durability, use a thick line of glue.

After the glue is dry, douse the paper in water and carefully remove the hot glue from the paper. If you want a border to your sound wave, you can cut around the wave and leave an edge.

Finally, glue the two ends together to form a bracelet.

Step 6: Closing Thoughts

That's it! Give the sound bracelet to yourself, a friend, a family member, or even your teacher. No matter the occasion, your recipient will surely appreciate this memorable gift.

Participated in the
Art of Sound Contest



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    28 Discussions


    5 years ago on Step 6

    My thoughts immediately went to using a cad program to burn it into a thin strip of stainless steel and then bend that to size. Very cool idea though! I love sound waves.


    5 years ago on Step 5

    A lot of cool looking instructabes use expensive tools just to make one small item. FINALLY,
    an instructable that I can actually MAKE!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    If you really want the sound on there physically, one could use a piece of recording tape(old school tech) and put it in a piece of vinyl tubing for a bracelet. You could also get one of those Edison type cylinder recording machine kits from Japan that records onto plastic cups. Record on the cup, then cut that section of cup out(a ring) and you have a bracelet (a very small one). Maybe try modding it into recording on bigger cups...


    7 years ago on Step 5

    I'm going to try this but with steel wire that I'll bend into shape. This is a great and interesting idea!


    8 years ago on Step 6

    i have a thoery that this may be able to be forged into a metal sound bracelet. any ideas on wat kind of metal would look nice this way?

    3 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Instead of forging it, how about just cutting the sound wave shape out of a sheet, heating it up and bending it into a circle?


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    i would just go for the standard stainless steel. i it would probably look just as good if it were a plastic. or more of a silicon. then you could actually do color of some kind.

    I like the concept but I'm not too excited about the hot glue look. Maybe you could have a company where you record your voice saying something and again, forging it in metal like smokefire says. that would be cool! Maybe in steel or in aluminum


    7 years ago on Introduction

    This is really fun. I am imagining some secret message to send to my lady that only we know. Great idea.... off to the laboratory...

    Exactly what I was thinking. You can't scan it and turn it back into sound.

    That's true of this project, and also the disc-bead style bracelets/necklaces that inspired it. See:

    The reason why you can't play it back is poor spatial resolution; i.e. these methods destroy all the high frequency information. So even if you tried to play it back, all you'd get is blub-blub-blub.

    In case you or anyone else might be interested in making a bracelet that does support playback, the equations below give some insight into how this could work.

    Suppose you have a bracelet of length L, encoding Tt seconds of sound. Moreover assume the encoding is done with N discrete samples, so that:

    The sample period, or one over the sample frequency, is:
    Ts = 1/fs = Tt/N

    The spatial resolution, the length (in inches, mm, etc) of each sample is
    a = 1/α = L/N

    Finally, the speed at which you have to move the reader over the bracelet is
    v = L/Tt = a/Ts = a fs

    So the total time available for the sound sample on the bracelet is:
    Tt = L/(a fs) = (L α)/fs

    As an example, suppose you have a bracelet with length L = 10 inches, printed at 400 dpi (dots per inch), with a sample frequency of 4000 Hz. This gives a total time of:
    (10 inch)*(400 dpi) / (4000 s-1) = 1 s

    So that's 1s of pretty low quality sound. The next problem is building a reader capable of resolving tiny 400 dpi printing.

    For an idea of what this might look like, imagine a section of old projector-film rolled into a bracelet sized loop. Just the part with the sound track is necessary.

    Picture taken from :

    Samuel CSandisk1duo

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I concur. It seems a bracelet with a line rather than a bracelet with a message. However, it is clever to use hot glue to give shape to the bracelet. I am thinking of writing a short motto on a paper and hot-glue it.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    The goal of this project was to make it from materials you can find around the house. It may not be as sturdy as something you buy at a store but it works. Also, if you pull, it stretches. My advice is to use a thick line of hot glue.