What kind of band has a cello and guitar, but no strings?

What kind of band has a cello and guitar, but no strings?

A steelband!


The guitar and cello pans are part of the midrange section of a steelband. Mostly these pans are there for harmony and for rhythmic support of the steelband.

In our project, we are looking specifically at the vibrations of a low tenor steelpan, which is a lead pan in the steelband. But we expect many similarities in how the different instruments in the steelband family work.

Thanks again for your support in helping us with our classifications!  Please consider sharing our riddle with your friends and family.  Encourage them to get involived with this project!


The road to 204,135

We are so excited with the initial launch of the Steelpan Vibrations project!  To our volunteers: Thank you so much for checking out our work and lending a hand with the classifications of these images.

We have set an ambitious goal of getting over 13,000 images classified.  For validation purposes, we have set the retirement limit to 15 classifications per image.  That means that we need 204,135 classifications to retire all of our images!!

Screenshot 2017-08-25 13.07.00

How can we hope to get that many classifications?  So far, we have over 460 registered users, but if we could get to 600 volunteers and each volunteer did 24 classifications per day, we would be done in two weeks!

If you are helping us out already, would you consider sharing the project with your friends and family? Challenge them to sign up and complete 24 classifications.  Make it a competition to see who can recruit the most volunteers or to see who can find the most interesting frames in the Steelpan Vibrations project.

Thanks again for your help!  We can’t do it without you!

Steelpan Vibrations’ Full Launch

Great News!

We are proud to announce that Steelpan Vibrations has reached a full launch and is now an official Zooniverse project.  Please continue to provide feedback via the project’s page or through our blog. Also, come back here for any updates on our results that come from all of you!

Many thanks to our volunteers and the Zooniverse team. Keep up the great work!

Steelpan Vibrations Team

Looking at Antinode Size and Clustering

We have already commented on the accuracy of center agreement among volunteers when looking at all the classifications through the entire time interval. Now we can see how our volunteers match up for a single frame. Five sample frames were pulled out and classified by about 10 individuals.

The centers of these classifications were visualized and passed by the clustering algorithm that every frame will go through. These centers and clusters for one of the sample frames are given below (the black dots for the clusters refer to noise).










What was also interesting to look at were all the drawn ellipses for a frame. It can be seen that the points that are considered noise also deviate considerably in size along with distance from neighboring centers, which is common among other frames as well. The comparable size and orientation of a certain antinode region among volunteers now opens the possibility to effectively analyze these attributes throughout the time interval. As we gain more classifications, a more coherent picture of what each antinode region looks like through time will be made available! More ellipse plots can be seen below and keep up the great work everybody!

Spotify Playlist Now Available!

Our volunteers have requested in the past for the project to include some type of audio. Unfortunately, the audio data from the investigation of the steelpan are terribly boring to listen to since they are just single strikes. Some feedback mentioned music to accompany classifications. So, we have started a Spotify playlist for volunteers to work on classifications and listen to some steelpan music! We hope you are as excited about learning more about the steelpan as we are and contact us with any suggestions for the playlist or other comments/suggestions.

Finding the Antinode’s Center

Classifications are looking good! It seems that our volunteers have been successful in finding the centers of the antinode regions. Using the data export from the completed classifications and MatPlotLib, the centers of the identified antinode regions were plotted for each subject set. Those plots, along with a sample frame from the corresponding subject set are shown below. The tight grouping means that our volunteers are doing will with locating and indicating the antinodes’ position. Accuracy is also indicative by the similarities between the plot and sample frame.

Keep up the great work everyone!

Welcome to Steelpan Vibrations

In this Zooniverse project, we are asking you to help us map the vibrations caused by single strikes of a steelpan. We utilized Electronic Speckle Pattern Interferometry (or ESPI) and a high-speed camera set at 30,000 frames per second to acquire video data, represented by this video. What we are looking for in these frames are when the areas of maximum vibrations form and what is their amplitude through time. The areas of maximum vibrations, or antinodes, are indicated by the circular or elliptical regions that contain concentric rings. The amplitude is correlated to the number of rings, or fringes, each region encompasses, since the image works as a contour diagram.

Once we have the vibrations mapped, the video and audio data can then be
appropriately correlated. To your right, you can find some of the Amplitude vs. Time
graphs for the first three harmonics of the strikes examined in the project. When explaining this profile of the strike, we are interested in how all the coupled vibrations that we see on the surface contribute to each harmonic. We can then quantify the unique timbre of the steelpan and, possibly, better understand how coupled resonances
propagate in other surfaces.

To help with our project or to learn more, head over to our Zooniverse page!