An educational electronic hobby kit that lets you explore the sounds of ambient light. Designed to be portable and easy to use, this kit lets you build a photodiode amplifier with automatic gain control and headphones output.
Plug in your headphones and 9V battery and go exploring. Measuring 8 x 4.5 x 4 cm and weighing 80g with battery, it fits your pocket. The sliding volume control lever is the only adjustment necessary. Lite2Sound PX’s auto-gain circuit accommodates changes in brightness so you don’t have to tweak or fiddle with anything.
The kit contains the PCB, all of the parts needed, and printed assembly instructions. Previous experience with soldering and kit-building is recommended, but not necessary.
- Soldering iron with good quality tip
- Rosin-core solder … 0.032″ diameter suggested
- Wire cutters, flush cutting type
- Small Philips screwdriver
- Needle-nose pliers
- Work light
- Magnifier (optional)
Lite2Sound™ is a portable sensing device that extracts audio from ambient light. Not a synthesizer, more like a microphone that detects a hidden layer of your environment.
Lite2Sound reveals unusual sounds by responding to rapid but invisible changes in brightness. A sensitive amplifier boosts this information to audio level and delivers it to your headphones or line input, and can drive a speaker directly with its built-in 1-watt amp.
Beyond the ubiquitous mains hum transmitted by lighting, and the static hiss of sunlight, you can find many sounds of different character being produced by high technology.
In technology-saturated spaces, musical chords emerge and fade as luminous sources harmonize together into unintended soundscapes.
Suggested listening: metro commute… arcade… carnival midway… highway at night… high street… anywhere you find bold, bright electronic lighting! Results are usually best at night.
Even nature creates content for Lite2Sound’s reception, if one looks in the right places. Its purpose is to reward your curiosity. Some highlights from a collection of photodiode recordings are presented below.
The ambient household: personal electronics
Natural sounds: sunlight reflections
Found sound collage: the nocturnal urban environment
Laser pointer reflections from textured or vibrating solid objects
Adding a convex lens for ‘telephoto’ photodiode recording
Sunlight reflections from percussion instruments
Lite2Sound™ is a trademark of Rare Waves LLC