Category Archives: science discovery

Gas Sensor Sonification System

In this investigation, different gas sensors were used with Arduino and Pure Data (Pd), a visual programming language for computer sounds and other multimedia works, to output different noises through the Modular-Muse (mm) Library, an interface developed by Jiffer Harriman specifically for the creation and development of tones. Hydrogen Gas (H2), Alcohol Gas, Carbon Monoxide (CO), and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) sensors were all used to output these various sounds.
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This system provided a different way of knowing the values of the different gas sensors. Each one has a different range that means different things. By creating a different sound for safe, moderate danger and dangerous, the system gives immediate auditory feedback with sound that doesn’t require looking at a display or interpreting a value.
This project was created as part of the CU Science Discovery Research Experience.

Musical Weather Station

Using this weather station the Musical Weather Station played sounds based on the current conditions. The motivation behind this system is to create a way to determine the weather conditions without having to look at a display, instead you can “hear” the weather.

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The sensors include an anemometer (wind speed), rain sensor, humidity, temperature and light sensors.

Both the anemometer and rain sensors act as switches so they could be used directly with the digital inputs on the Sound Clippys Board. By counting how many times the anemometer toggled in a second the wind speed can be determined. Similarly by counting how many times the rain sensor toggled the amount of rainfall can be determined.

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The other sensors all hooked into the analog inputs on the Sound Clippys Board.


The patch would play simple sounds in a sequence, with each sensor being sonified in the following order:

light, wind, rain, humidity, temperature

Delays were used to create this basic sequence.

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This project was created as part of the CU Science Discovery Research Experience.



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The GuiSam is a glove based “air guitar” instrument. It uses eight switches (four on each hand) and a distance sensor. Playing it is similar to a guitar, the left hand determines the chord and the right hand triggers the notes.


The left hand determines what kind of chord will be played, i.e. major, minor, etc. While the right hand controls which notes are played of the chord. Finally the distance sensor is mounted to the right hand determines the root of the chord (i.e. A, Bb, etc.)

It uses the modular-muse plucked string model and the overdrive effect to sound like an electric guitar.

This sound sample uses that same modular-muse string model through the overdrive effect:

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Here is an early prototype:

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This project was created as part of the CU Science Discovery Research Experience.