Friday Fun: More oscilloscope art

It’s cool to see a functional tool like the oscilloscope manipulated to display unrelated art. When you input suitable stereo audio into an old scope in in X-Y mode, you can see all kinds of artistic creations. Salvaged Scope Lets You Watch the Music article introduces you how to use old scope for video art. I have posted on that few years back with YouTube videos and circuits to generate that art, bit now I feel it’s time to revisit this theme. Here are some new videos:

Jerobeam Fenderson – Spirals

Jerobeam Fenderson – Shrooms

Jerobeam Fenderson – Planets

Jerobeam Fenderson – Blocks

C. Allen | Attack Vector (Oscilloscope Music)

C. Allen | Globetrotter (Oscilloscope Music)

C. Allen | Downforce (Oscilloscope Music)

Daft Punk – Robot Rock (Oscilloscope Music Remix)


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:


    Wouldn’t it be useful if the screen you do have on your bench could also play games? [Tube Time] has fixed this problem, with Scopetrex, a vector graphic console for your oscilloscope. In fact, it’s better than just a console, because it’s a clone of the legendary Vectrex, the vector-based console with built-in CRT screen from the 1980s.

    Build Your Own Vectrex Vector-Based Video Game Console
    SCOPETREX displays graphics on your oscilloscope or any XY monitor

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Jerobeam Fenderson – Reconstruct

    What you see is what you hear: The audio signal is fed directly into the oscilloscope, where vector graphics are drawn with sound.
    Filmed from an analog Tektronix 5103N scope.

    left audio channel: horizontal deflection
    right audio channel: vertical deflection

    software used: OsciStudio & blender (circuit diagram, robot scene), SketchyScope (walking scene), Max MSP (bicycle & mountains), Capella (scorewriting), Ableton Live

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ordinarily, when we hear the words “clock” and “oscilloscope” in the same sentence we conjure images of measuring a stable, repeating square wave that acts as the heartbeat of a system. Of course, that’s not the only meaning– there’s a much more fun and less useful one: using an oscilloscope to display the time.

    Misusing oscilloscopes in the name of fun has become a time-honored tradition

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Equal Temperament Versus Just Intonation Visualized

    Video shows two oscillators on an analog oscilloscope in XY mode.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Oscilloscope Music – (Drawing with Sound) – Smarter Every Day 224

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    8:9 Polyrhythm in Oscilloscope

    We’ll begin again from the simpler ones. Thanks for all the comments. Subscribe to the channel for your weekly dose of weirdness. Fyi, this is made with:
    VCV Rack 2 – a free eurorack synth simulator

    Oscilloscope by Kritzikratzi

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Tektronix Oscilloscope Music

    I recently picked up a vintage Tektronix 603 X-Y monitor. Time to draw nice pictures with sound to showcase it! And when the Tek is paired with music from talented Austria-based artist (not Dutch as I mistakenly say in the video) Jerobeam Fenderson, it becomes truly spectacular.
    Music files can be obtained from:
    The track played in the video at 8:53 is “Shrooms”.

    Here are some videos of Hansi and Jerobeam (Chris) showing some of the behind the scenes “making of”:
    This great talk by Hansi about the software development and how he met Chris:
    This short one showing them working together on some of the tracks:

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Most DSOs, show only dots in X-Y mode… And don’t use the full sample rate they’re capable of…
    Most analog scopes (I think there were a few exceptions) are limited to a few MHz horizontal bandwidth in XY mode.
    True, but what you’re saying is valid only for the X input, the Y input has the full bandwidth as if used in Y-T mode…

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Virtual Oscilloscope
    This online virtual oscilloscope allows you to visualise live sound input and get to grips with how to adjust the display

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Velociraster! And Other Oscilloscope Nonsense

    A demonstration of using a Raspberry Pi Pico and a couple of DACs to drive an old analogue oscilloscope in XY mode.

    It can drive the ‘scope as a vector display, so you can make classic vector games. But it can also drive the ‘scope in raster mode, achieving a grey-scale display by carefully adjusting the speed of the beam as it sweeps across each scanline. Hence ‘velociraster’ :-)

    00:00 Intro
    02:11 Boring Technical Details
    08:02 Vector Demo
    10:32 Space Rocks in Space
    11:58 1-Bit Raster Demo
    12:59 Velociraster!

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Analog Lorenz Attractor Computer
    An analog computer for solving sets of Lorenz attractor differential equations


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