Visualizing Sound / Mini Chladni Plate




Introduction: Visualizing Sound / Mini Chladni Plate

Cymatics is the study of visible sound and vibration.  These are instructions on how to make a cheap, simple, miniature Chladni plate.  By simply using your voice, you can create amazing vibration patterns with table salt. 


-PVC with a wide (about 6") mouth and a secondary pipe coming off at an upward 45 degree angle. 
-PVC tube that fits in the 45 degree angle pipe.
-1 large black balloon (you might want a few extra in case one breaks)
-rubber band
-table salt or fine sand

1.  Cut the top off of the balloon (the long end). 
2.  Stretch it over the larger opening on top (careful, I snapped a few before it worked for me).
3.  Put a large rubber band around it to make sure it stays in place. 
4.  Pour salt on top of the balloon.
5.  Put the PVC tube into the secondary 45 degree pipe. 
6.  Sing into the tube and watch the salt make formations.  It works best if you hold out single notes so the salt has time to react.  If you sing a song at a regular pace, the salt will just dance all over and not make very cool patterns. The higher the pitch, the more complex the design is. 
7.  Have fun!

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    4 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Very cool! Easy to make, compared to some other chladny-plate-ibles, still effectful. And you can even add the speaker, if you really want to!

    Thank you for that!!!!

    Chetan Surana

    thats a very cool idea! But instead of singing into the pipe, can i use speakers or a phone to generate frequencies and hold it near the mouth of the pipe?

    cesar harada
    cesar harada

    7 years ago on Introduction

    That's really neat that it is so sensible and that even your voice could create figures! The traditional ones were done using violin sticks on metal plates, really nice. I wanted to share with you this one I made with a small budget, and same as you : using an elastic membrane rather than a plate :
    I thought you might enjoy seeing that :)
    I would also love to see a video of your experiment !