Data sonification is the use of audio to convey information. Auditory perception has advantages in temporal, spatial, amplitude, and frequency resolution. Audio can be an alternative or complement to visualization.
Different components of the sound can be altered to change the user’s perception. For example, an increase or decrease in pitch, amplitude or tempo.
Example sonification of slime
Electrical activity in Sample Z2 was recorded with PhyLink (cardboard cover to reduce light). Arduino sketch was V18 with 1200 baud and 16 samples per second (SPS).
Slime (Physarum) tube was encouraged to grow across the electrodes in SampleZ2. See below photos of the tube before and after recording electrical activity.
A graphical representation of the overall recording is shown below:
The raw data recording over a couple of days (zipped):
The fundamental frequency of oscillation is around 5.9 mHz near the start of the recording, see below:
The fundamental frequency of oscillation then increases to around 7.3 mHz near the middle of the recording, see below:
The fundamental frequency of oscillation stays around 7.3 mHz towards the end of the recording, see below:
A section of recording was selected to sonify, see below:
Section of the recording saved in CSV format (using Excel).
The section can be converted into audio using third party software. For example, xSonify is a Java-based sonification data analysis tool for displaying science data as sounds, which can be downloaded for free via the following link:
Downloaded the sample recording to your local drive. Download and run xSonify. Select ‘File’ menu then ‘Import Data Textfile’, see screenshot below:
Then select ‘Play’ see screenshot below:
The bar will move across the graph. The ‘Tempo’ can be adjusted via slider.
Click here for list of other third party sonification software. Please note, the software downloadable from these links has not been tested.
Click here for list of sonification projects.
Click here for list of data sources.
Click here for sound/music from living substrates on PhySense database.