Processing, Sound
comments 4

Paper Note – A Tangible Paper Waveform with Processing

paperNote_images_01 copy

This project, made at CIID (Copenhagen Institut of Interaction Design), was part of their Generative Design class ran by Joshua Noble. Paper Note creates a tangible waveform from laser cut disks of paper. The user records a message, a sound or loads up music, and the system analyses the sound to map each moment to a corresponding slice. The circles are laid on a sheet, lasercut and put together to form a unified shape, representing the original sound wave.

The team programmed it using Processing. Each Paper Note is made up of around 450 stacked disks of paper. The louder the volume at a specific moment, the bigger the disk. Their algorithm samples the right amount of information from the recording to scale the physical waveform to the size of around 14cm.

Credits:  Andrew Spitz and Andrew Nip
with help from David Gauthier, Joshua Noble and Marcin Ignac for their help with the code


  • Analog Vinyl Sampling [Analog]Analog Vinyl Sampling [Analog] Inspired by current sampling techniques, either as a piece of hardware or as software, Ishac Bertran takes an analog route emulating the audio tape cut&paste technique by literally cutting and pasting pieces of vinyl to create samples. Ishac tried out different techniques, from wire cutter to knife, to finally settle for laser, carefully considering laser power to get the cleanest cut possible and avoid any jumps between the samples. The best setting was to let the laser go through *almost* through the vinyl, and then crack manually the last thin layer (1). If the laser goes all the way through, it melts too much material and leaves a gap (2). If the laser doesn’t go enough deep, it’s pretty much impossible to take the piece out without creating an undesired crack (3). Larger sectors were cut on different records and exchanged to create loops or tunes using samples from different albums. Ishak cut the same angle in the label area so after the sectors were exchanged. The following images are the final resulting albums + see video below. What I enjoy the most, and somewhat happy that the laser cutter was used, is the wonderful reversal of the analog and digital process. Where we generally tend to create digital assets from the analog, whether these be photographs or 3d scans, Ishac uses digital techniques to recompose the analog. Read more about the process on Ishac's blog. Previously: 'Generative Photography' by Ishac Bertran (@ishacbertran […]
  • ‘Silenc’ at CIID – Visualisation of silent letters in a language / Processing‘Silenc’ at CIID – Visualisation of silent letters in a language / Processing This project by Manas Karambelkar, Momo Miyazaki and Kenneth A. Robertsen at the CIID explores how much of a language is silent. 'Silenc' is a visualization of an interpretation of silent letters within Danish, English and French languages done by eliminating or highlighting the silent letters within a prescribed text. One of the hardest parts about language learning is pronunciation; the less phonetic the alphabet, the harder it is to correctly say the words. A common peculiarity amongst many Western languages is the silent letter. A silent letter is a letter that appears in a particular word, but does not correspond to any sound in the word’s pronunciation. A selection of works by Hans Christian Andersen is used as a common denominator for these “translations”. All silent letters are set in red text. When viewed with a red light filter, these letters disappear, leaving only the pronounced text. Data Visualization 2012, Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design with Golan Levin and Marcin Ignac More photos here. (thanks […]
  • The Generative Gatsby: Jazzed Up TypographyThe Generative Gatsby: Jazzed Up Typography This project is a book that highlights the furious rhythms of the jazz era, produced by generative design where authentic music scores arranged for ‘big band’ were translated in the text composition of carefully selected typefaces by notes […]
  • RHIFID Speakers [Processing]RHIFID Speakers [Processing] Using a combination of RFID technology, Processing and Arduino, Jacek Barcikowski, Filippo Cuttica and Ulrik A. Hogrebethe created an installation with location aware speakers allowing the user to interact with music and the environment by moving the speakers around the room. The RHIFID speakers were used for the project “This is a Journey into Sound” - an educational trip into the history of electronica, rock and hip hop from the past 50 years. A grid is mapped out using RFID tags (the red things on the floor), allowing each user of the two speakers to listen to a song individually, within a specific genre and decade by placing it on the RFID tag. Each RFID is mapped to a song iconic of that decade in the appropriate genre. Putting the two speakers together triggers the speakers into playing one common song, creating a social listening experience. The RHIFID speakers can also be modified into musical creators rather than just controllers, allowing location and rotation to control such things as pitch, samples and effects. Project page here and here. (use headphones when watching the […]
  • Trisaratopss

    Very cool! How do we get the program? :)

  • Holly-Rayne Bennett

    Gosh this is a brilliant idea. So simple, tactile and technological. I would love to make them of me playing my contemporary violin repertoire and involve them in my concerts. Would love to be able to hand them out at my end of year recital, it would be a brilliant way of interacting with the audience.  Is there any way I could get involved, visit your studio or get hold of the program? Would be grand to talk to you. All the best, Holly-Rayne Bennett

  • Bhushan Raj

    Hey This is a really awesome and simple concept. really liked it. Did you help the music artist Benga make the same for one of his music videos after this? The song called I will never change?

  • Www Nizamuddin Co In