This Video Will Blow Your Mind

Here’s a video that will blow your mind, and give you a visual way to understand how audio affects the things around you – and inside of you.

The video, via brusspup, uses a clever trick to let you see how audio waves move a stream of water. When you see it, it looks like it’s a special effect, rather than just capturing what’s happening around you constantly.

Here what they have to say about the video:

This is a really fun project and when you first see the results, chances are your jaw will drop. The main thing to keep in mind for this project is that you need a camera that shoots 24 fps.

The effect that you are seeing can’t be seen with the naked eye. The effect only works through the camera.

In essence, if you use a camera that can shoot 24 frames per second, and you play a 24 cycle per second sine wave, you can see the effects that the sine wave has on water or other things around you.

It would be interesting to see a creative application of this technique – and it seems well suited to electronic music.

Check it out and let us know what you think!

Here’s another example of this experiment:

if you want to duplicate the project you’ll need:

  • A powered speaker
  • Water source
  • Soft rubber hose
  • Tone generating software
  • 24 fps camera
  • Tape.

Here’s their explanation of how you can duplicate this effect:

Run the rubber hose down past the speaker so that the hose touches the speaker. Leave about 1 or 2 inches of the hose hanging past the bottom of the speaker. Secure the hose to the speaker with tape or whatever works best for you. The goal is to make sure the hose is touching the actual speaker so that when the speaker produces sound (vibrates) it will vibrate the hose. Set up your camera and switch it to 24 fps. The higher the shutter speed the better the results. But also keep in the mind that the higher your shutter speed, the more light you need. Run an audio cable from your computer to the speaker. Set your tone generating software to 24hz and hit play.

Turn on the water. Now look through the camera and watch the magic begin.

If you want the water to look like it’s moving backward set the frequency to 23hz. If you want to look like it’s moving forward in slow motion set it to 25hz.

17 thoughts on “This Video Will Blow Your Mind

  1. cymatics are pretty awesome stuff.. and i always wondered why it isnt a more well known phenomena – some people have suggested this is the reason that the planet saturn has a hexagonal shaped polar swirl, which gives new meaning to the old idea regarding the “music of the spheres”

    heres another video related to this:

  2. It’s why deaf musicians like percussionist Evelyn Glennie can still play in perfect time with orchestras. So, hey, maybe it *doesn’t* matter if you listen to that music too loud. Perhaps we can still do that in NYC after all!


    Kind regards

    Derek Jones, Owner: MusicInclusive LLC.

    (Hey – I’m only joking about it not being important 😉 , – deafness is a serious issue )

  3. I remember as a kid, making sine wave patterns by shaking the end of the garden hose. In this video you can see the end of the hose moving. I suspect (but am not sure) that what is happening here is that the speaker is moving the hose and the motion of the hose is creating the water wave.

    It would be interesting to see how (or if) this works with a metal pipe or water in freefall in front of the speaker.

  4. Nice experiment! Looks more amazing than it is.
    It´s just the application of a stroboscopic effect. Has been used for eternity now in discos.
    Here are two motions superpositioned: water falling down to earth with starting velocity v(y0) under acceleration g=9.81m/s^2 [y(t)=y(0) – 1/2g*t^2-v0*] and an acceleration in x direction that is proportional to A*sin(x) motion with x=omega*t and omega=24Hz of the membrane. It gets a bit more complicated than that because water is a fluid and sticks together. If the membrane punches hard enough you get drops loosing contact and flying away in x direction.
    If you look into old physics books from the 50ties till 80ties you will see many pictures of water drops or iron balls falling while illuminated with a stroboscope. It´s like the cars wheels standing still or running backwards on film if the number of pictures taken by a camera is the same as the inverse of the frequency of the tires rotation [f=T/(2pi)].
    None the less it looks really mind boggling 😉

    1. yeh its the same idea with your entire life itself – in that it looks more amazing than it is

      its just a bunch of neurons firing electrical impulses

      … meh… *shrugs* …

      wait.. whoa! im super intelligent!


      now lets go learn kung fu from the matrix

    1. i thought something seemed just ever so slightly off in your
      calculations. Thank you!
      This video DID blow my mind… in addition to making me hafta

  5. The use of this effect was actually how people started to study the break-up of fluids into droplets. I think it is Savart who was playing cello next to a thread of water and measured the size of the droplets he obtained. He then showed that the size and the frequency of the note he played were related… and then comes the wonderful world of hydrodynamic instabilities 😉

  6. Google “Doc Edgerton”. Doc was the inventor of the stroboscope, the person who figured out how to take those incredible shots of nuclear fireballs, and a bunch of other stuff in similar vein.

    There’s nothing magical about 24 fps, other than that was the frame rate of the camera they used. You should be able to get a similar effect at 30 fps with 30 Hz audio, with one of today’s point&shoot with video cameras. Depending on how short a piece of that 1/30 th sec is the exposure part.

  7. When I’m on an empty Black Jack table at my job, I enjoy staring at the vast rows of video slot machines while humming low frequencies until the screens on the machines appear to morph into waves.

  8. could that be made to a naked eye???
    or with a stroboscope?
    I´d like to use it as decor for a place not as a video…
    it´s awesome ayway

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