Friday 19 January 2018

#418 Seeing the music

One of the many perks of using the Barbican as my office while I looked for work was that my friend John worked there as an audio & visual expert. Occasionally, we went for a beer afterwards.

This time we drank up towards Old Street, at a watering hole frequented by musicians and theatre staff. The conversation turned to sound.

I asked John if sound waves were large enough to be seen by the naked eye. He said that they were, adding that there were apps that could detect them.

I thought how cool it would be to project images of what the waves looked like onto the real world, allowing us to effectively see the music. Humanity hasn't completely mastered 3D projection yet though. At least not affordably.

Virtual reality would be needed to recreate the real world (e.g. a concert hall) with the sound waves being visible in it. They'd probably just look like a big blur.

But that big blur would be music. We'd be seeing it, exactly as it traveled through the air, a split second before it reached our ears. I thought that was pretty cool.

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