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Draw secret sound messages with PhonoPaper

Draw secret sound messages with PhonoPaper


Record and exchange sounds on paper

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We're all used to "seeing" sound, whether through the notes and staves of traditional sheet music or the visual equalizers that once accompanied every EDM artist's live performances. PhonoPaper approaches visualization differently. It's a free app for Android and iOS that purports to turn sound into visual codes that can be printed out and played back by anyone else with the app.

Nothing about PhonoPaper is simple. Its interface appears to be based on a hacking sequence from a '90s movie, and every option is buried beyond belief. But once you record and play back your first sound, you'll be hooked. A video from the app's developer Alexander Zolotov shows the sort of quality you can achieve from one of PhonoPaper's analog codes, while Animal New York uploaded a clip to SoundCloud that's more in line with what we managed.

The question you may be asking is "why?" There's not really any reason for PhonoPaper to exist other than "why not?" Its developer suggests it could be useful for sending secret messages, but the app encourages experimentation, providing blank templates for you to draw your own sound onto, and essentially lets you scan anything to find waves of oddly soothing white noise. If you'd like to send a voice message to someone, you have hundreds of options. If you want to experiment with sound, PhonoPaper is a fun — and free — way to do it.