Excel Animated Chart

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Many of us create Excel data visualizations everyday. But have you ever made an audiolization? Luke Twyman of whitevinyldesign.com has made a very intriguing creation in Flash. 

Here's my attempt at emulating his fine work in Excel:

I call my version solarsong. Click the image above to watch a Flash video of the Excel 2007 chart in action. Remember to turn your speakers on!

solarsong uses the orbital frequencies of the eight planets to spin a haunting melody.

This is an advanced Excel chart with a number of interesting points, including animation and MIDI sound. True to form the chart is rendered from named formulas and a tad of VBA is used primarily to advance the animation, but in this case it is also used to play the MIDI sounds.

You can adjust the tempo of the song, and you can pause it. When you click play after a pause, solarsong will choose a different MIDI instrument. The combination of different instruments and different speeds can result in a surprising number of varied songs, yet all retain the constant beat of our sun.

Just click on play.

Give it a spin and let me know what you think!

Here it is.

And here's a list of other animated charts on Excel Hero:

 - Excel, A Presentation Platform (Number Spiral)
 - Lilac Chaser (Optical Illusion)
 - Stereokinetic (Optical Illusion)
 - Illusory Contours (Optical Illusion)
 - Breathing Square (Optical Illusion)
 - Enigma (Optical Illusion)
 - Two Sinusoids (Optical Illusion)
 - Perpetual Collisions (Optical Illusion)
 - Freezing Rotation (Optical Illusion)
 - Reverse Spoke Illusion (Optical Illusion)
 - Stepping Feet Radial Illusion (Optical Illusion)
 - Swimming Fish (Optical Illusion)
 - Mutually Interfering Shapes (Optical Illusion)
 - Kaleidoscope Motion (Optical Illusion)
 - Curry's Paradox (Optical Illusion)
 - The Haze Illusion (Optical Illusion)
 - The Koffka Ring (Optical Illusion)

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No way!

This is wild! Gonna take a look at the code to try to figure it out.

Crongatulations, Daniel! Keep on doing these amazing sheets! Best excel blog ever 4 sure!

Welcome back, Luigi.

I thought it was pretty cool and so I'm glad you like solarsong. Thanks for the amazing compliment regarding my site.


Daniel Ferry

Awesome! This is so cool - I'm curious about the code too, and probably won't get it, but will have fun looking at it. Thanks so much for sharing!

@lu -

You are welcome. Let me know if you need any explanation on the VBA. In Module1, it's a pretty straight forward loop. All the magic is done in the named formulas on the worksheet side, not the code.

Granted Module2 is unusual - that's where the MIDI stuff happens.


Daniel Ferry

This is very cool.

One thing bothered me, though... The tempo went bezerk (approached infinite) when I scrolled the chart completely out of view.

I suppose this is so because the drawing time is used for timing the tempo.

Anyway, this is awesome, and I guess you can make music from any data set this way!

@Richard -

I love that "feature" ;)

It's sort of an Easter Egg...


Daniel Ferry

How can I add my favorite instrumentations to a 'favorites' panel?
I looked at the VBscript to see if I could make sense of anything, but I could not.
Could this feature be added, or can you tell me how I can tweak it myself? (or both)


P.S. Perhaps you should state that the Flash demo does not include the changing instrumentations, or the ability to control the tempo.

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This page contains a single entry by Daniel Ferry published on May 6, 2010 9:48 PM.

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