Call it stimulated synesthesia: there’s something really satisfying when your brain sees and hears a connection between image and sound. And add some extra magic when the image is on an oscilloscope. A new video series on YouTube shows you how to make this effect yourself.

Jerobeam Fenderson has begun a series on so-called “oscilloscope music.” The oscilloscope isn’t making the sounds – that’s opposite to how an oscilloscope works, as a signal visualization device. But by designing some nice reactive eye candy for the oscilloscope, then connecting some appropriate, edgy minimal music signal, you get, well – this:

Oooh, my, that’s tasty. Like biting into a big, juicy ripe [vegetarian version] tomato [meat-lovers version] raw steak.

So in the tutorial series, Fenderson clues us in to how he makes all this happen. And this could be an economical thing to play around with, as you’ll often find vintage oscilloscopes around a studio or on sale used.

Don’t miss the description on YouTube – there are tons of resources in there; it’s practically a complete bibliography on the topic in itself.

Part 2:

Plus, accompanying this series is an additional video and Max for Live patch demonstrating aliasing and sample rate, covered today on the CDM Newswire / Gear (our new home for breaking short-form news):
This Max for Live patch demonstrates critical digital audio concepts


  • clik

    Needs more green : )

  • Brent Williams

    Serendipity…I just stumbled upon his videos last week and watched/listened in amazement. Truly exceptional stuff and I am glad you are giving him some more exposure.

  • vanWinkle

    Y’all will love Kyle Evans’ (Austin, TX) O-Art performance titled de/Rastra

  • Frank

    Great stuff. Wondering if I could do this with my green laser, it can communicate with ILDA and DMX

    • Ken Peel

      Looks great, really captivating. Reminded me of Robert Henke’s Lumiere, I guess that’s the same sort of thing done with lasers.

  • StanleyBrothers

    How can I ever going back to just listening to music?

  • brianmoore

    I think this could be used to drive any XY display…like a laser scanner????!!!!

  • Max

    Interesting and painful at the time.
    You can’t just play sounds you like because it will look stupid …
    So you have to use something that looks good and sounds halfway ok.
    and you need to arrange them in a way that looks good and maybe sounds shit.
    Not my cup of tea.

    • Max

      I just looked through the videos, it is even more limited than I thought.
      2 sounds at a time isn’t exactly evening filling.

      • Max

        Or one sound giving the impression of two …

  • Sarmad Berlin

    Great guy, and a great CDM link. Thanks!