Sound Lab

About US

Hi, we are team Triangle! There are three people in our team. Jianing Jin, Jiexiang Xu and Tianrui Zhang. We are all studying Interaction Design at the University of Queensland

I am Jiexiang Xu. This is my DECO7385 portfolio. The website is about all the work I did in this course, including individual and team contributions.

For any questions, please feel free to contact me:

About US


Sound Lab is a device that helps users reduce stress by synthesizing music. Its appearance is the same as the equipment of the chemical laboratory. The combination of sound and experiment brings users a novel music editing experience.

Domain space

Most people living in a fast-paced environment will feel anxiety and stress from life and work, which affects their psychological state and quality of life. Studies have shown that some soft sounds in nature and life can effectively relieve stress and help people maintain a healthy mentality. At present, there are many applications on the market that use light music to help users fall asleep and relax, and users have rated them as high as 4.7. But because everyone has different sensitivities to different sounds, unified music does not provide the greatest comfort. Users can make them feel relaxed through self-made music, which can not only effectively relieve their stress, but also make them immersed in the fun of creation, thus forgetting their troubles.

01Target Audience

The target users of Sound Lab are those without music background. They will not use professional music editing software, but they have a desire for music creation. They are sensitive to the sounds around them and are good at discovering the strange sounds of everyday objects. Some of them may have the need to relieve stress, and some hope to be able to obtain happiness through creation

Target Audience


Users can carry Dropper with them. When they hear the sounds that make them feel happy and calm at any time and any place, use Dropper to record them and store them in Test Tube. When users feel anxious, nervous, or unable to sleep, they will feel a little calm by mixing and listening to those sounds.



01Dropper(sound collection)

Because of the uncertainty of the recording environment, the quality of the recorded sound is difficult to guarantee, which means that some of the sound may not be suitable for mixing。So, there is a function that can reduce the impact of environmental noise and shield some of the environmental sound; Users can freely control the length of recording; Have beautiful lighting effects and voice prompts to give feedback

Dropper(sound collection)

02Test Tube(sound storage)

Use visual and auditory effects to indicate whether the sound is transferred from the Dropper to the Test Tube, whether it is transferred from the Test Tube to the Flask, and whether there is already a sound in the test tube The dynamic and visual presentation of the sound during playback

Test Tube(sound storage)

03Flask (sound mixing)

When the incoming sound, the dynamic superposition of lights Music play and pause

Flask(sound mixing)

04Jar(Fixed melody)

The user can switch the melody by tapping. The rhythm of the melody is very simple and is used to provide creative inspiration to users. The addition of melody can also make the mixed in Flask more harmonious. But the melody in Jar is fixed and cannot be deleted and edited.

Jar(fixed melody)

05Cap (pause music)

Put the cap on Flask to pause music playback and the lights inside Flask will dim.

Cap(pause music)

06Comments (interact with friends)

Shaking the handle with a smiley face, the sound of applause will be produced. Shaking the handle with a crying face, the sound effect of dislike will be produced and the music in Flask will be deleted.

Comments(interact with friends)


     Technical part

The whole device is composed of physical connection (Arduino) and program (Python). When the user performs an operation on the creation (such as pressing the dropper head), the physical sensor will execute a certain procedure and give feedback (such as visual feedback). An electronic or analog signal and a command are then generated. After the background program recognizes the instruction, it will complete certain specified operations (such as recording and sound transmission) according to the code settings. In this way, users can physically interact with the product and sound.

technical part

     Physical part

This is an audio editing device with a shape very similar to a chemical experiment instrument. It consists of 5 creations: Dropper, Test tube, Flask, Jar and Comments. The device has a total of 5 main functions: sound collection, transmission, storage, mixing and playback. The user uses the Dropper to record the sound. When the user holds the Dropper and approaches the Test Tube, the sound is transmitted from the Dropper to the Test Tube. When the user shakes the Test Tube, he can listen to the sound stored in the Test Tube. There are several default melody stored in Jar, which can help users get creative inspiration. The user can pour the sound from the Test Tube and Jar into the Flask, and mix and play music by shaking the Flask. Friends also can evaluate the mixed music to express their likes or dislikes by shaking the handle.

physical part

My work

Because our project was completed in collaboration, my personal direction is to produce Dropper and Jar. The functions included are: sound recording, noise shielding, lighting effects, voice feedback, melody storage and physical interaction (pressing Dropper tip for recording and tilting Jar for adding melody to Flask).


1.The user can control the length of the recording by pressing the length of the Dropper tip.

2.Each time the sound is recorded using the Dropper, the lights in the Dropper should be randomly colored. And during sound transmission, the color in the Dropper should be the same as the color in the Test Tube.

3.The dropper has the function of shielding noise and selective recording

4.There are multiple melodies within a Jar. The user can switch the melody by tapping Jar.


1.At present, we can only complete recording within a certain time, such as 15 seconds. Because this part of the code requires deeper logic and stronger programming capabilities, this module cannot be completed.

2.The random color function in the Dropper can be achieved, but there is no guarantee that the color in the Dropper and the Test Tube will be the same after the transmission is completed. So for the time being, the colors in the dropper and test tube are both red by default. And after completing the transfer process, the light in the Dropper goes off, and the light in the Test Tube lights up. This can also reflect the directivity of the transmission function.

3.This feature requires third-party music editing software. At present, there is no software on the market that can delete the background sound by a simple operation in a short time, so the simulation scene is applied. During the test, if the user is in a noisy environment, they will be prevented from recording. This means that the recording function cannot be called in a noisy environment.

4.The function of switching songs is temporarily unavailable, so a melody is stored in a Jar. Multiple Jars can also provide users with a variety of choices.

     Physical construction

The physical part is a self-made dropper and plastic jars coated with white paint. The pressing part of the Dropper comes from a cleaning tool with a brush. I separated the brush from the pressing part and replaced the brush with a plastic dropper tube. In this way, the creation looks very similar to a real dropper. Because the user needs to press the dropper tip for interaction, a button is placed in it. Due to the large gap inside the tip, a lot of filler is inserted inside to ensure that the user can accurately press the button. Because there is a light effect in the dropper, which is used to display the recording status, an LED is set at the connection between the tube and the tip. In order to ensure aesthetics, all threads protrude from a cut. In addition, the exterior of Jar and Dropper are covered with white paint, so that the built-in lights will become more obvious. In order to make the painted Jar more similar to the real experimental equipment, the scale is marked. In addition there is an RGB light and a tilt switch inside the Jar, this is to realize the interaction of colorful lights and trigger transmission function.

Physical construction

     Interactive code

The following pictures are the code of recording function in the background program and the interaction code of Arduino (Dropper and Jar: light up + output command)

Interactive code




Overall, the project is still very successful, because it was affirmed by most people when the final product was displayed. But there is still room for improvement throughout the design phase. Because we have more functions and greater flexibility in user participation (they may not follow the process to operate, such as pouring music from Flask back into the Test Tube/adding the sound from the Dropper directly to Flask), At the current design stage, the user can only operate according to the designed use flow, otherwise the system may not recognize the user's operation. In addition, it is also because the content of the project is complicated. In the design stage, we put a lot of energy into how to rationalize and unify the processes and operations. There is a lack of research on user experience (although we have done some user research. The amount of data we have collected is not sufficient). Research on the user is very important, because it determines whether the product is accepted by the user and the user's preference for the product.

In addition to the improvements at the design stage, there are also areas for improvement in the final product, such as the use of wires and sensors. According to user feedback, the Test Tube cannot be in contact with the dropper during the operation of a regular chemical experiment. However, in order to perform the transmission function, we use a pressure sensor on the Test Tube. The transmission function is triggered when the user touches the inner wall of the Test Tube while holding the Dropper. The operation is obviously inconsistent with the operation of chemical experiments and needs to be improved. Also, we should reduce the use of threads as much as possible, such as the wires in Droppers and Test Tubes. The presence of the wires not only lowers the aesthetic standards but also restricts the user's operation (for example, the presence of the threads in the Dropper prevents the user from holding the Dropper to go outdoors), although we have changed the appearance of the wires (After finishing all the threads, tie them into a bunch with tape).

Although Sound Lab still has many problems, it fits the studio theme. Our products are interesting and have relatively high requirements for users' innovation skills.

According to the feedback from the  showcase, users feel that it is highly playable. It is a very novel idea to edit music with a combination of sound and experimental equipment. And the process of music creation can really keep them focused, thereby reducing their sensitivity to things that make them feel stressed. In addition, the dim environment and colorful lighting effects make them feel very relaxed.