Thinking from the perspective of one who is hard of hearing, we devote ourselves into finding another method to present the magic of music. Through various experiments trying to make a connection between the auxiliary device and the user, we developed a way to visualize sound and give support to those who are unable to enjoy the beat and the melody through their ears, to connect them with the musical album we created.
Role & Tools Incorporated
Worked on control system in an embedded microchip, hardware-software integration, design of product mechanism, sound visualization, output effects and UI/UX design in 5-person collaborated product with Arduino in C++ and Adobe Illustrator.
Problem & Background Research
We went to the Taipei School of the Hearing Impaired and interviewed 6 students suffering from the loss of hearing. These students are of light, medium, and severely impaired in hearing. These students taught me that music is not limited to listening. For instance, while listening to music, they would turn up the volume of their phone, and feel the vibration from their phone on the table. They also watch the visual movement melody clip. In their feedback, they want to “hear” the pure and subtle sounds of nature the most. As a result, we coined the design “432Hzzz” from 432Hz, which best represents the frequency of nature in order to create the imagery of the lingering sounds in nature. The music is divided into three parts: forest, ocean, and starry sky.
As the music starts, a vibration caused by the speaker triggers a motor connecting to a reflection plate. A beam of laser will be reflected by the plate and focused onto hand-made acrylic discs or paper which we added fluorescent powder into their making process, thus recording a short-living waveform on it. We designed three disks with different materials to correspond to three different background tracks, trying to perfectly represent the mood and the feelings of every single tune.
We created three disks in different colors and textures to correspond to the themes: Forestry, Starry, and Oceanic. The laser beam is reflected onto the disc, leaving waveforms created by the vibration of the speaker and recording the sound of music by the glowing effects. This is transferred with real-time signal processing, which means that any song could be presented with this mechanism.
Prequel: The “Forestry” Visualization
Sequel: The “Starry” Visualization
Final: The “Oceanic” Visualization
Experiments on Static Visual Presentation
“If a word was a unit of a poem, then a musical note is the lyric of a fragment of a song. Every note has its own appearance.”
Another way to visualize the auditory sense is to borrow elements from nature—placing a grain of sand on the playing speaker to record marks created by the dancing of the sand with each passing note and creating a visual lyric with these unique marks. Turn these symbols into visual language, creating a new symbol of language and putting these symbols on the 3 visual packages and lyrics. Discarding the traditional language-based conception. This allows everyone to have a different interpretation of the lyrics. We also used these visualized marks for the packaging of the three visual albums.
Awards, Accolades & Additional Links
Golden Pin Concept Design Award Mark Winner, Taiwan Design Research Institute (Top 10/4846, Top 0.2%), 2019.
Concept Design Award Second Round Entree, Red Dot Award Committee, 2019.
In-person Magazine Interview - 非常木蘭.
Producer | SHIH-CHEN, CHEN / AURORA, TONG
Visual designer | SHIH-CHEN, CHEN / AURORA, TONG
Assistant Producer | TING-KAI, CHIU / JIA HENG, LIU / JUN-YU (ANDREW), CHEN
Technical Engineer | TING-KAI, CHIU / JIA HENG, LIU / JUN-YU (ANDREW), CHEN
Composer | MASON, CHIANG
Mixing Engineer | MASON, CHIANG
Advisor ｜ KEN-TSAI, LEE / CHI-HUAN, CHUANG / CO-WEI, LIU