Wave Vessel: Audio Visualization

wave vessel

this is really fantastic.  christiana yambo over at censtron wanted to show us how to make a wave vessel — a television-turned-audio oscilloscope machine.

their documentation shows you how to take an old television set and hook it up to your stereo for audio/visual effects the likes of which most people only see in winamp.  a switch on the side of the tv allows you to choose between two visualization modes.

you can see a video of the wave vessel in operation on their site, complete with a ‘you spin me round’ dead or alive soundtrack.  my opinion: pete burns looks much better on the wave vessel.

29 thoughts on “Wave Vessel: Audio Visualization

  1. That is pretty darn cool.
    Great way to squeeze a little more usefulness out of an old TV set.

    I’d like to repeat the warnings found on the site:
    TVs contain high voltage circuits that store enough of an electrical charge to kill you.
    Even TVs that have been sitting in a dump, or otherwise unplugged for a long time can still retain enough of a charge to kill you, or at least knock you on your ass but good.

    It hasn’t happened to me, and I don’t want it to happen to anyone else, either.

    Aside from that, rock and roll! Some sort of bar or club with a bunch these on the walls would be interesting to see.

    Any way to utilize a stereo signal in this project to enhance the effect?

  2. trying again, sorry if its a double-post:

    i am SO doing this once i free up one of these old tvs. i cant wait now. i doubt you can much with stereo, other than have left on horizontal and right on vertical? might look stupid and confusing tho, mono is fine.

  3. strider_mt2k… since the two v lines are only used with the switch, maybe you could try putting one sound channel in H and another sound channel in v? not sure what you might come out with, it’s possible you’d get something along the lines of an osciliscope that would probably display a circular wave form.

  4. RE: stereo, I saw a guy who had done this with some old b&w TVs (What’s a B&W TV? Well kids, back in the old days, before the world turned day-glo…) – he had one on top of his left speaker and one on top of his right. Something tells me with a color tube you could do the same thing in one tube, since don’t they have multiple ion guns?

  5. NOOOOO!!!! Someone posted this hack before I did.

    Been doing this for years. Ah well, the secret is out. Crazy TVs for all!

    ps – I’ve used TVs up to 2004, and they work perfectly. Life is better in color.

  6. i didnt even notice the B&W part. the one i’ll be doing it on is colour (still old tho). it is a mitsubishi cs-1972c. is there anything i need to consider specially for a colour tube?

  7. dang… this really makes me hate my parents for deciding to “spring clean” out my room(throw all my cool electronic stuff out)… i guess i’ll just have to buy a new sears 1978 tv

  8. Yay! Dangerous! I was already aware of most of the potential uses for tv tubes… But, I think I’ll stick with “target practice” and simply use computer-based visualizations for now.

    Surely someone out there could build a set-top box music-visualizing system?

  9. a crt monitor would probably work although i cant be certain

    very cool, i have an old tv lying around i could use for this

    if you want to be really safe take it to a tv repair shop (or computer shop that works on monitors) and get it dicharged, just ask them to do it for some money and then you can be safe while doing this.

  10. I’d like to see both horizontal and vertical connections from the tv board and the tube brought out to banana plug sockets on the side of the tv. They could even be colour coded. Then you could wire from the output side (tv signal and your stereo jack -> banana sockets) to the tube inputs with a patch panel idea. It leaves room for far more effects and experimentation.

    I’d also be tempted to add a small signal amplifier with a few channels and gain for each channel that you could patch in

  11. thats my plan, except for the vertical part, im gonna play around and see wat differences a colour tube offers. my last post (19) shows wat can be done with a CRT. its more 3D, shows the difference between a clear or off-pitch note, etc. its just more exciting.

  12. my first hack! yeah! but i used a sterio jack, and ran the right channel to the switch, so that you can switch between the wave, and the effect seen in the link in #19…was just thinking, with a 3 way switch, all 3 effects would be possible.

    and, well, that would just be nice.

  13. I did this hack using a toshiba color tv made in 1976, I used a stereo audio input, connecting one channel to the vert, the other to the horz. the effect is a cool wavy ellipse… I did not use a switch, as this was the best looking effect I could make happen, and I did not have one on hand.

  14. i did some work in a tv shop….
    to discharge a tv….
    take a plastic handled screwdriver
    take a wire and aligator clip one end to the ground(any of the mesh braid or metal of the case) and one end to the shaft of the screwdriver
    jab screwdriver under rubber thing on tv tube
    if you hear a spark. you discharged it…if not wiggle it around a bit until you do or…it might have been discharged already….
    have fun

  15. i work with, old tv’s making art pieces from static and accidental noise/interference..

    and i would really like to build one of these but im terrified of injuring myself. Are any of u lot from uk? and /or would maybe like o help me??

  16. WHERE DID IT GO??????????
    I tried to view the censtron page again but is says it cantfind the server.
    Does anyone have the instructions?
    Or a link to another page with similer instructions?

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