Composition : Sound Machine

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The concept behind water level and music is inspired by glass harps. The idea is that each glass is tuned to a different pitch by filling the glass with water until the desired pitch is achieved.

The futuristic hologram and reflective materials are inspired by the electronic music the instrument plays. I use translucent material to emphasize water reflection, light, and shadow.

I name is project “Composition” because you can compose your own music by playing with the water level in each container. In addition,  you can compose the 5 components in this set and place them in different environment to experience different lights and reflection effects.

Here is the video of how it works.

I have created an INSTRUCTABLES of the making of this sound machine. Please visit:

Here is the list of materials and tools I used :


– Translucent double-sided hologram acrylics thickness : 1/8″, size 12″ x 24″.

– Translucent double-sided mirror acrylic thickness : 1/8″, size 12″ x 24″.

– Clear acrylics Cylinder dia : 3 3/4″, height : 12″

– Clear acrylic Rectangular Tube dia 3 1/2″, height : 12″

– Frosted Acrylic

– One-sided mirror acrylics thickness : 1/8″

all from Canal Plastic 345 Canal Street, New York, NY 10013

– 2 plastic water taps…

– Frosted 1″ plastic tube 24″ long

– Frosted 1/2″ plastic tube 24″ long

Home Depot…

– 2 Arduino Board Uno

– Adafruit Audio FX Sound Board + 2x2W Amp – WAV/OGG Trigger -16MB

– 2 eTape Liquid Level Sensor

– 2 Small Speaker

– 16 LEDs

– Wires

– 4 nuts and bolts


– Soldering Tool

– Wire Snipper

– Utility Knife

– Plastic Cements

– Clear Kitchen and Bath Adhesive Sealant

– Hot Glue Gun

– Drilling Machine

– Laser Cutter Machine

The fabrication part begin with making outlines for laser cutting. Originally, I created 3D model in Rhinoceros and export each components to illustration outlines.

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Export all the Rhinoceros files to an Illustrator vector file for laser cutting.


Assemble the water container need extra attention. I use water proof silicone sealer for bathroom to prevent leaking. Plastic cement and acrylic solvent are adhesive materials I used. Once the LED light bulbs are put in place, you can reinforce and secure them with hot glue gun.

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​There are two parts that need to be soldered. The first part is the the LED bulbs. After putting all the bulbs in place, I solder additional 20 inches long wires to the bulbs. The second part is the sensor. I also solder about 24-inch-long wires to it.

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Arduino: The first step is to plug in eTape to your breadboard and use the following code to activate the sensor. There are two important things you need to know before we start. Firstly, since the tape detects the different distances of the liquid by the compress of hydrostatic pressure the sensor, the container dimension affects the pressure. Therefore, you should to test the tape with the container that you are using in order to get the exact reading. Second, the eTape works effective and accurately only when it is flat and straight. As a result, you should attach the tape to the container other flat and stiff material with double-sided adhesive tape, to get the tape to work properly.

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Uploading audio files to FX soundboard is very simple.

I downloaded mp3’s from open-sources. Then I used to convert my mp3 file to .ogg. When Adafruit soundboard is plugged into the computer, you can drag the files into the drive. Rename the files as T00, T01, T02, T03.

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Conceal your Arduino boards, breadboards, speakers, and the messy wires in a box.

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