# Light and sound sculpture

#### brian roscoe

Joined Oct 29, 2015
21
Hello i have limited understanding of electronics i,m wanting to start an art project to make a light and sound sculpture.
The basic idea is that as you walk towards it the sound gets louder and the lights get brighter.
Can anybody give me some suggestions as to how i may be able to get some help on starting a project like this.

#### wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
16,114
Assume that the electronics can do anything you want. You might think of something that can't be done, but from what you've said so far, adjusting the brightness of lights or the volume of audio is "easy".

Then develop a better definition of what you want. How many lights, what kind, color, and power level? What is the source of the sound and what volumes do you want? What behaviors do you want from the lights and sounds? Do you need good distance measurement to the viewer so that the response is proportional to distance, or on/off behavior like a security light? What power source were you hoping to use for all this, a wall socket or a battery pack?

The more detail you can provide, the better answers you'll get.

#### Bernard

Joined Aug 7, 2008
5,291
Always questions as a start:
Inside or outside? Power available? Operation 24/7 ? Is path by the sculpture open or controlled on two sides ?
Ultrasonic rangefinder kits are available, animals might not approve.
If path controlled, a series of IR beam break detectors might work.
An overhead sketch night help us.
Project is doable.

#### brian roscoe

Joined Oct 29, 2015
21
Assume that the electronics can do anything you want. You might think of something that can't be done, but from what you've said so far, adjusting the brightness of lights or the volume of audio is "easy".

Then develop a better definition of what you want. How many lights, what kind, color, and power level? What is the source of the sound and what volumes do you want? What behaviors do you want from the lights and sounds? Do you need good distance measurement to the viewer so that the response is proportional to distance, or on/off behavior like a security light? What power source were you hoping to use for all this, a wall socket or a battery pack?

The more detail you can provide, the better answers you'll get.
Hi thanks for the return message i haven't any definite requirements other than i want it to be pretty bright and loud so i,m thinking maybe about 10 x 50 watt colored lights [500watt] and at least the same with the sound using maybe several speakers.The power source will be mains 240 volts [though would be good to have the option of running from car batteries].
I visualize the piece to pick up the movement either by a light or sound sensor?from about 20-30 feet away the lights to come on dimly and the sound to come on dimly and as you approach the they increase so when you get to within 6 feet or so they are at a maximum.I only require the sound to be simple like a low base single tone so also unsure of the best/easiest means to produce the sound,i intend this to be used outside so i would have to install it in a waterproof covering and therefore would like to keep it simple if possible.

#### wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
16,114
...so i,m thinking maybe about 10 x 50 watt colored lights [500watt] and at least the same with the sound using maybe several speakers.
A couple things immediately come to mind. First, can you use LEDs? They require so much less power for a given light output. This would simplify heat dissipation issues, if that matters. They might also be easier to control but that depends on a few other things.

For the audio, could you use a typical home theater, powered subwoofer? That would give tons of nice bass rumble if you get one rated to 100W or more. They're fairly large but with bass, it's hard to tell where it's coming from, so perhaps you could hide it underneath. You don't want several small speakers for bass - you want one big one. There are also butt shakers. These are meant to rumble your lazy-boy for an immersive experience. They're smaller than a subwoofer - no cone, no enclosure, easier to hide. There are also transducers you can attach to anything to turn it into a speaker. Maybe you could use your entire sculpture as a speaker.

#### wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
16,114
...to pick up the movement either by a light or sound sensor?from about 20-30 feet away the lights to come on dimly and the sound to come on dimly and as you approach the they increase so when you get to within 6 feet or so they are at a maximum.
So two levels of intensity would be OK? This might be achieved with two motion sensors, one set for maximum and the second one to only trigger when the person gets much closer. The first one might turn on a few lights and a speaker, and the second one simply turn on more of both.

#### brian roscoe

Joined Oct 29, 2015
21
Always questions as a start:
Inside or outside? Power available? Operation 24/7 ? Is path by the sculpture open or controlled on two sides ?
Ultrasonic rangefinder kits are available, animals might not approve.
If path controlled, a series of IR beam break detectors might work.
An overhead sketch night help us.
Project is doable.
Hi thanks for the input,yes this idea can be shaped and coordinated as to whichever way best suits the construction,i,d like to be able to put it in an uncontrolled area but if this complicates the design then i would be guided by you,it will run from mains 240v and it would be a temporary instillation maybe for a few days for example but maybe only live in the evenings after dark,and would need to be waterproof.Hopefully most locations considering for viewing would have little or no animals.

#### brian roscoe

Joined Oct 29, 2015
21
A couple things immediately come to mind. First, can you use LEDs? They require so much less power for a given light output. This would simplify heat dissipation issues, if that matters. They might also be easier to control but that depends on a few other things.

For the audio, could you use a typical home theater, powered subwoofer? That would give tons of nice bass rumble if you get one rated to 100W or more. They're fairly large but with bass, it's hard to tell where it's coming from, so perhaps you could hide it underneath. You don't want several small speakers for bass - you want one big one. There are also butt shakers. These are meant to rumble your lazy-boy for an immersive experience. They're smaller than a subwoofer - no cone, no enclosure, easier to hide. There are also transducers you can attach to anything to turn it into a speaker. Maybe you could use your entire sculpture as a speaker.
A couple things immediately come to mind. First, can you use LEDs? They require so much less power for a given light output. This would simplify heat dissipation issues, if that matters. They might also be easier to control but that depends on a few other things.

For the audio, could you use a typical home theater, powered subwoofer? That would give tons of nice bass rumble if you get one rated to 100W or more. They're fairly large but with bass, it's hard to tell where it's coming from, so perhaps you could hide it underneath. You don't want several small speakers for bass - you want one big one. There are also butt shakers. These are meant to rumble your lazy-boy for an immersive experience. They're smaller than a subwoofer - no cone, no enclosure, easier to hide. There are also transducers you can attach to anything to turn it into a speaker. Maybe you could use your entire sculpture as a speaker.
Hi Yes i already have some large outdoor lights that are led type heating is an important consideration,the lights would be hidden from view behind some netting typed material.Hopefully if it runs from mains then power considerations won't be too much of an issue.Great idea about the base speaker, butt shaker[does it have a regular name. The transducer sounds like a really interesting idea i,d like to learn more about that.
It intrigues me as to how many interesting ways you could potentially make some creative things with modern day electronics and it doesn't seem to be done all that much,i,m keen to learn more and hoping this can be worked out.

#### wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
16,114
Take a look over here for some examples. I'm not endorsing the product or the vendor (although I have done business with them and was satisfied), just offering a place to look around for ideas. It looks like they are indeed called "shakers", without the butt!

[oops] Forgot the link, but Bernard nailed it.

Last edited:

#### brian roscoe

Joined Oct 29, 2015
21
Hi I can,t see any links to shakers?What suggestions would you have with the other areas of this project which type of sensors would you suggest,did you see the reply from Bernard he suggested a beam breaker or a sonic device what your opinion?

#### bertus

Joined Apr 5, 2008
20,105
Hello,

Have a look at the following schematic:

The schematic uses lightbulbs, for leds you will need some current limiting resistors in series with the leds.

Bertus

#### Bernard

Joined Aug 7, 2008
5,291
I think I found a shaker suggested by wayneh, from Parts Express, AuraSound, AST-2B-4, on sale US $39.88, 50W, 4 ohm input Is traffic one way? Can you give us the specs on your LED lights. Is the floor paved or dirt? Are you in the US? Try Googleing: Bass Shaker Site, also mentions butshaker. Last edited: Thread Starter #### brian roscoe Joined Oct 29, 2015 21 Hello, Have a look at the following schematic: The schematic uses lightbulbs, for leds you will need some current limiting resistors in series with the leds. Bertus Wow ok thanks i really have little understanding of this,so what would be the next step.I,m guessing i take this diagram to somebody who understands it and can help me to put it together? Thread Starter #### brian roscoe Joined Oct 29, 2015 21 I think I found a shaker suggested by wayneh, from Parts Express, AuraSound, AST-2B-4, on sale US$ 39.88, 50W, 4 ohm input
Is traffic one way?
Can you give us the specs on your LED lights.
Is the floor paved or dirt?
Are you in the US?
Try Googleing: Bass Shaker Site, also mentions butshaker.

HF@Cool White(6500K) 50W SMD LED IP65 Waterproof Floodlights Flood Lights Outdoor(BLACK)
These are the lights i have they are color changing with remote but would it be possible to dim them?
Yes i have found the shaker,i am in the uk its £80 here quite a cost difference by about 3 times but i haven't looked around yet.
It will be on soil grass traffic will be random,but an area can be sectioned off to keep traffic to certain place if needed.
I think I found a shaker suggested by wayneh, from Parts Express, AuraSound, AST-2B-4, on sale US \$ 39.88, 50W, 4 ohm input
Is traffic one way?
Can you give us the specs on your LED lights.
Is the floor paved or dirt?
Are you in the US?
Try Googleing: Bass Shaker Site, also mentions butshaker.

#### brian roscoe

Joined Oct 29, 2015
21
Still unsure of the means of the sound being created?We have shaker and speakers but whats the best mode for the sound come from?

#### Bernard

Joined Aug 7, 2008
5,291
As you are looking for a single low frequency sound,( 40 Hz?), could be as simple as a 555 square wave osc. with low pass filter.
Analog coupler can give V control of audio level.
IR motion sensors if zoning is possible might be simplest, but with turf, IR emitters could be mounted on posts with small cut in turf to hide cables.
Is one side of display near a wall or some kind of barrier?
Does your remote support dimming? How many LED flood lights do you have? With specs on LEDs, dimming should be possible.

#### brian roscoe

Joined Oct 29, 2015
21
As you are looking for a single low frequency sound,( 40 Hz?), could be as simple as a 555 square wave osc. with low pass filter.
Analog coupler can give V control of audio level.
IR motion sensors if zoning is possible might be simplest, but with turf, IR emitters could be mounted on posts with small cut in turf to hide cables.
Is one side of display near a wall or some kind of barrier?
Does your remote support dimming? How many LED flood lights do you have? With specs on LEDs, dimming should be possible.
Yes i only really want a single low base tone rumble,i don,t know anything about what you suggest but hope to try it.
It would be good to not have cables if possible as it limits the use to turf sites only.I,m guessing standard out door motion sensitive flood lights have IR sensors [or are they?]. Could it use this kind of sensor have one set to pick up 30 ft away another set to pick up at 20 ft away and so on each one bumps up the lights and sound as you approach each one set for 5-10 seconds before resetting,i don,t know what sensors are available or how they might best suit this application.
The display can be set up in any way that will best lend to the ease of its construction so i will be guided by you,so yes a barrier can set up or a specific location selected that best suits so viewing can be limited to perhaps 180 degrees from location?
The light remote does not have dimming as a feature i have 5 of these lights[with power in and out take offs fitted so they can be linked easily] but if i need to get other lights that would suit better then please advise.

#### wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
16,114
Do you have an old MP3 player or smartphone you could devote to this? Any smart device can run a tone generator app and generate your desired frequency. If you can't run an app but only play a song, you could create a small sound file and loop it endlessly. No need to build something.

#### brian roscoe

Joined Oct 29, 2015
21
Do you have an old MP3 player or smartphone you could devote to this? Any smart device can run a tone generator app and generate your desired frequency. If you can't run an app but only play a song, you could create a small sound file and loop it endlessly. No need to build something.
Hi Yes good call i,m sure i can come up with something like that,i thought about using a laptop but it would be good to keep value of equipment to a relative minimum just if equipment was stolen or damaged.