The iPhone and smartphones in general have allowed us to capture amazing videos not possible with an old school video camera. One such incredibly cool effect was captured when one imaginative videographer decided to film himself playing his guitar from the perspective of inside the body of his acoustic electric six string. Thanks to the sensor in his iPhone he managed to capture one of the trippiest video in many years, the distorted motion of sound travelling through the strings.
The effect seen in the video is due to the rolling shutter of the iPhones CMOS image capture sensor. Image capture chips that use a rolling shutter actually capture an image one line at a time so there is a slight time difference between the top line and the bottom line. This time difference causes distortions in circumstances that involve very fast moving objects such as the vibrating strings of a guitar or an airplanes propeller spinning. Phones such as those manufactured by Samsung use a different type of chip that capture all lines at once and hence don’t see the same effect.
As the vibrations are travelling much faster than the rolling shutter speed is able to capture the string has moved before the chip is able to complete its scan. This produces a multi phased representation of the sound that is not completely accurate, a distortion but it’s still damn cool.
Above all though the effect is superbly spectacular to see, especially since sound and waves in general are a very tricky thing to visualize in your mind. To see a true motion of the strings in action a high framerate camera is required (see below).
Presented for your viewing pleasure are the trippy videos that capture sound waves in interesting ways, from the distorted but stunning iPhone to the true representation of a slow motion camera. Sit back, relax and prepare to be amazed by footage captured in one of the more interesting places people have jammed an iPhone.