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The influence of materials on sound

Designer Tessa Spierings’ project Echo uses tubes made from various materials to interact with sound.

The project combines speakers with removable tubes of different materials, with varying lengths and thicknesses. The tubes are used to alter the properties of the music played by the sound system.

The 3D printed speakers are programmed to each have their own sound, which is activated when a tube is placed on top of them. The sound is then altered by the material. By activating multiple speakers, the user can create sound layers, which can be altered by varying the tubes or stacking them.

The tubes are made of ash wood, fabric covered foam, and brass. Each material has its own characteristics, like density, which creates a different sound. According to Spierings, wood has a deeper tone, brass makes the sound purer and the foam has a muffling effect. Of course, other materials will have different effects on the sound, giving the user endless possibilities.

Spierings worked with the DJ Nicky Liebregts to create the audio for the prototype of the system.

Echo was Spierings’ graduation project from the Design Academy Eindhoven.

Photos: Femke Reijerman