Oscilloscope Music

Technology meets music once again through Oscilloscope music

An oscilloscope is an electronic instrument that displays voltage signals as waveforms, commonly used to test voltage variations over a certain period of time. The incoming signals are plotted in a graph, showing which way the signal changes. Sending audio information into an oscilloscope will display how it is behaving visually and that’s what oscilloscope music entails.


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Over the years, oscilloscopes have been implemented into music production tools in order to have a better understanding of how music is behaving graphically. There are certain rules to achieve a professional-sounding end product and these inventions will guide you in the right direction. Besides using these tools as a guideline, you can also use them creatively. A certain video is wandering around on Facebook where Looma, a musician from Seattle, uses an oscilloscope to create surprisingly cool effects. He uses an analog 760A Teletronix oscilloscope, which displays the left and right audio signals, resulting in a visualization of what the audio waveform looks like. Normally these oscilloscope display waveforms over a period of time, but this one displays the audio signals from the left and the right audio channels. Be amazed by how the waveforms are behaving or be ready to display your own 3D models.

Connect the oscilloscope to your computer, open your DAW, and be ready to create your own graphic design. All you need to do is pan one oscillator to the right and one to the left and play around with the phase in order to create a certain visual. Playing multiple tones will result in an overlap of frequencies. Use the ratio to create a more stable picture. In this 3-minute video, you’ll see that Looma gets really creative with his oscilloscope as the figures are literally dancing to his music. He also recreates famous 3D models such as Mario, THX, Cyberpunk, XBOX, Tron, etc.

Curious about how this looks? Click here.

Next article: Cherry Audio release their newest digital synthesizer, Sines

Image Credits: Alex Beyman

- DJ/Producer from the Netherlands. - Graduated from the Conservatory in Amsterdam. - Currently working as the technical writer at We Rave You

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