Plant Bioacoustics - Sound Vibration Sensors Help?

Hi Kitchen folks! I’ve been intrigued by plant bioacoustics and was hoping to learn more about plant signalling and communication, and possibly sensing sound vibration emitted from plants and turning that into sound/ music our enjoyment. I’m currently stuck at the part where one measures sound vibrations, any suggestions or tips on how can one build sensors to measure plant sound vibrations? Virtual thanks in advance!

This paper sheds some light:


interesting… always been into mechano-sensitive channels!

long ago we started to put down some notes on electrophysiology in plants:

would be great to add with more interesting references and experiments.

we have a few people here in MechArtLab really into amps, mics, piezos, filters. i think we can figure out a way to explore that bioacoustics thing…

I was in a biomaker challenge project on plant / insect bioacoustics. We produced a pcb for recording insect and plant sounds which is documented on this github (16_DIY-Bioacoustics/hardware at master · Biomaker/16_DIY-Bioacoustics · GitHub). I’m no expert as my background is in industrial design and robotics but it was fun. This is the sensor We also printed it out on paper and then ironed it out onto a board. Higher quality microphones etc are obviously going to be better but this is cheap and you could have 10s-100s of sensors.

There are other better developed projects like audiomoth and others focused on insect tracking.

Seems like you can tell a lot about plant ecosystems just from audio. There is a lot of interesting things to investigate in this area. ;))

just stumbled over this…
Lex Kravitz will host the first Hack Chat of 2021 on Wednesday, January 13 at noon Pacific Time.

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Ah marc you just beat me to posting that, looks cool :slight_smile:

I also saw this thing, which isn’t acoustic, but interesting that someone is making a commercial product of sonifying some random plant signals hahahahah:

looks like the same thing David bowen was doing to plants to control drones, or similar to the backyard brains folks

there’s also the other side of bioacoustics with plants that folks seem to be just learning about, like playing bee sounds to some flowers makes them start producing richer nectar and stuff. Hope you figure out some rad stuff!

i have seen some of those “commercial” plant sonification BS coming up at least twice per year on some random crowd-funding platform. a lot of it is total charlatans… but then doesnt hurt anyone.

Eep. I certainly hope you do not consider me a charlatan. I work with biodata-sonification modules (also build & occasionally sell them). Still, I also do not claim its use as direct fungi or plant communication, more towards speculation/imagining other communication forms. The modules I work with are from open source code and schematics from one of the original engineers designing the MIDI Sprout (which eventually turned into the plant wave).
It works through detecting micro-fluctuations in conductivity (between 1,000-100,000 sec), with a 555 timer acting as a galvanizer, translating these signals in real-time (to MIDI &/or cv) through an ATMega with code allowing users to change scale, pitch, velocity, and more. That said imho if these tools offer humans a means of connecting on different levels with nonhumans by creating other forms of music/sounds. Or using the MIDI to disrupt visuals, control lighting (coming from a plant), and in return bring this into a public sphere of awareness - that is great and highly needed (positive human and nonhuman entanglements).

I have found my works that incorporate real-time, nonhuman bio-sonification illicit strong emotional, empathic responses towards nonhuman organisms.
I feel the most dangerous disease of humankind is the inability to imagine the world from another person’s, animal’s, and/or plant’s perspective. My work in nonhuman bio-sonification, fungi bio-materials, and immersive environments strive to overcome these biases. :mushroom: :musical_note: :sparkling_heart:

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Ah, this is wonderful, thanks for the head’s up about the Wednesday session @dusjagr!

@nanotopia, thanks for sharing! It’ll be definitely interesting to check out these modules, might you have a link? :slight_smile:

@digglet, I definitely agree re audio! Thanks for the heads up, I’ll look into the sensors you’ve shared. Would like to see whether I could possibly build one myself — whatever is within my skill set :stuck_out_tongue: