An interactive exhibit that lets

users experience the concept

of overtones in different ways.


Exhibit Setup


The exhibit consists of two screens that are positioned beside one another at a slight angle.

Visitors can interact with the touchscreen on the right, while the screen on the left conveys relevant information.

Default Mode


In Default Mode, the right-hand screen asks visitors to select an instrument, while the left-hand screen gives a short explanation of the phenomenon, as well as a visualization. Whenever the screen is not touched for 30 seconds the system returns to this mode.


Instrument Mode


Once an instrument is selected, the system switches to the Instrument Mode. Here, the overtones of the selected instrument are visualized along a time (horizontal) and frequency (vertical) axis, while the sound is playing in a loop.

This way the users can compare how the different overtone structures of the instruments affect the sound.

Info Buttons


Users can access further information on certain aspects of the overtone image by pressing the info buttons.




By default, the sidebar is shown in the Instrument View. It can be hidden by pressing the arrow beside it.

Aside from switching between different instruments, users can also build their own sound by pressing the “+” button at the bottom of the sidebar.

Custom Sound


Once the “+” button is pressed, the system switches to Custom Sound Mode.

Here, the user can create their own sound by combining different overtones with one another. The levels of the 16 available overtones can be set individually by pulling the sliders.




This project was created as part of the interactive communication systems course during my 4th semester.

Project Team:

Jona Maletic    Florian Wurster  Paul Schänzlin

Selected Works

SongBlocksProject type


OvertonesProject type

WallyProject type