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Teaching Sound w/ a Show

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by Peter, May 13, 2005.

  1. Peter

    Peter Well-Known Member

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    Ok, so the AP Chemistry test is behind me and now our persutes in that class are turning to a bit more light hearted activities and our class has decided to put on a chemistry and physics show for our parents and for younger kids (4th-6th grade probably). The idea is to do a whole bunch of chemistry and physics experiments/demonstrations explaining how they work, while basicly putting it all into a show with lots of nice explosions and entertaining things.

    I would like to do my part on sound. The teacher wants me to rig up a bunch of speakers with small mearors on them and shine lasers off the mearors while music is pumping through the speakers to show that sound is created by vibrating the atoms in air. I will probaly use our smoke machine and cyc to shoot the lasers through and at.

    My question is, what other demonstrations do you guys think it would be cool to do? My teacher has suggested we use a HUGE slinkey he has and run it from the booth to the stage to demonstrate waves with it, and that should be easy enough to do. He has also suggested shattering glass beakers with the right frequency of sound.

    I am looking for any other demonstrations that you guys think would be cool and informative, the bigger and more exciting they are the better!
     
  2. wolf825

    wolf825 Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Well there are tons of different experiments out there depending on the subject you want to discuss.. The Mobeous is always a fun one when explaining about how many "sides" an object may have...and I have always found how water with certain amounts of starch or other chemicals can instantly go from clear to dark when certain reagents are added or subtracted. But if you are looking for sound and lighting tricks---for sound in the demo you are planning--may want to use a sweep generator so you can show how subsonic all the way up thru to ultra sonic can effect and vibrate. Plus you can always do how sound waves can cancel themselves out--a stereo recording with one side out of polarity is a basic demonstration...and how if you simply change the placement or timing--it can effect it. A water glass in front of a woofer at various distances to show the vibrations & waves--and Wave lengths is another one you can demonstrate... You could explain how dynamic mics and speakers work--just opposite of each other in a very basic manner. I know when I've turned a SM 58 into a small speaker playing music (use a HPF and a small headphone amp) it is always surprised some folks.. Its of no quality sound or volume--but it proves the point.. Maybe explain how pick-ups work off sound vibrations.. Plus you can always do some delay tricks to show how sound waves can couple or cancel for various effects--very impressive if done right, or basic reverb and pitch change or other effects to explain how sound is altered in the recording industry for enhancements.. Explain how digital audio uses NO ANALOG "vibration" for recording or playback like in old record players or tape players...but instead use bits of binary data (1's & 0's) to reproduce the tones...

    For light--there is always color spectrum and wave lengths. Blacklight and UV tricks with UV sensitive stuff is fun...also you can have some fun with colors. I'm sure most folks have seen under a deep blue like R80 how some black clothes turn RED because of the pigment dye or if they were washed with a color safe bleach..you could definitely do some color shifting or display how colors change when hit with different spectrums. You have prime information on this on a gel swatch book for how much and what parts of the color spectrum gets transmitted a gel. Blue is not the only one--some things may look green but produce a pink color...

    Just a few thoughts off the top of my head... What kind of lasers ya got? Failing all else--Ya can't go wrong with burning a hole thru a solid object with a beam of light... :lol:

    -w
     
  3. Peter

    Peter Well-Known Member

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    haha burning holes in stuff sounds fun! I am not sure what kind of lasers they are, my teacher says he has handfulls of them and tons of meriors so I dont think they are going to be the very powerful kind.

    I am probably going to focus on sound stuff and let others deal with the chemistry and light stuff more (we have a class of about 16 people and each person is doing a lession in one area or another, but hopefully not all the same area!)

    I hadnt really thought about reverb and pictch changing stuff, thanks for the idea... now I have to figure out how to best incorporate it into a demo that is more then me just turning a knob on our sound board.

    Any other ideas anyone?
     
  4. tjbaudio

    tjbaudio Member

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    A water proof speaker in a shallow tub of water to show the sound waves can be fun.
     
  5. Peter

    Peter Well-Known Member

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    waterproof speaker? where might I find one of those? I am asumeing it would make the water ripple or maybe even jump up out of the tub if a high enough frequency, right?
     
  6. koncept

    koncept Active Member

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  7. Les

    Les Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    make sure those speakers are Submersible!
     
  8. Peter

    Peter Well-Known Member

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    Ya, it seems like they are "Splashproof" but submersable.... I dono... I also dont have any budget for this, so I'll have to see what I can dig up for free probably. Maybe a friend will have some speakers off a boat that they can let me use.
     
  9. rapscaLLion

    rapscaLLion Active Member

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    You could probably just put a speaker beside a tub of water.
    What I would suggest is try to find a glass fish tank or something, fill it with water and place it on top of an overhead projector. Then they can all see the waves better. A powerful speaker placed right beside the tank will probably work fine.

    Neat microphone trick, I need to try that!
     

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