Frequently Asked Questions

What is a waveform?

From Wikipedia, “In physics, sound is a vibration that propagates as a typically audible mechanical wave of pressure and displacement, through a medium such as air or water.”  When we digitize or record sound, the peaks and troughs of each sound wave are translated into numbers.  The louder the sound, or the more amplitude it has, will be represented by bigger numbers.  We can then take these numbers, and graph them over time to create a waveform.

A typical waveform

A typical waveform

We use a special, proprietary process that we created ourselves which takes this sound wave data and creates a multi-color representation of your sound.

Linear Sound Wave Art

A SoundViz waveform

What materials do you use for printing?

Our goal is to create high quality, lasting art that you and your family can enjoy for a lifetime.

Fine art prints are printed on Moab Lasal archival paper using Giclée printing processes.  This is ideal for people interested in framing artwork themselves.

Canvases are printed on canvas and stretched over wood bars an inch deep using Giclée printing processes. This option is ready to hang, with or without a frame.

Both of our options retain deep colors and sharp lines for over fifty years with proper care and the quality is impeccable.

What types of files can I upload to make my sound wave art?

We currently support the following audio and video files up to 40mb:

Audio Video
.mp3 .mp4
.wav .wmv
.ra .webm
.ram .flv
.rm .avi
.ogg .mov

A note regarding iTunes and Windows Media Files

If you are trying to upload an iTunes audio file of .m4a, be aware that most of them contain a type of digital protection called DRM that will prevent us from analyzing your file. Because of this, we do not currently support m4a audio files.  Some windows media files can have the same type of protection.

Further reading on DRM.

To learn where to get non-DRM files, check out our answer to “Where’s the best place to get music to create my SoundViz?”

Why isn’t my file working?

There are several reasons your file might be failing analysis.  The first, and most common is something called DRM.

From Wikipedia, DRM is a type of software that restricts and controls the use, modification, and distribution of copyrighted works.  The term is also sometimes referred to as “copy protection.”  iTunes is a very popular user of DRM.  Their implementation requires any purchased music be played from an itunes player (desktop or mobile device) owned by the purchaser (you) of the media file.  When you export an audio file from iTunes that you have purchased through iTunes, that file can not be read from anywhere else.  This prevents SoundViz from analyzing your song and creating soundwave art with it.

If you are confident your file is not DRM protected, and it is on our list of approved file types, please contact us immediately.  We are more than happy to assist in converting your file to an acceptable format.

Where’s the best place to buy music to create my SoundViz?

Several of the most popular online music stores embed a special type of protection into their tracks called DRM.

Since DRM prevents us from analyzing those files, we do not accept them.  There are other options, however, our favorite being Amazon’s Music Store. Files are DRM free and can be found for $1-$2 USD.

Why do I need to confirm my email address?

Recently, our service has been taken advantage of for commercial purposes without our consent.  Since we’re a small team we have put the following measures in place to mitigate this behavior and protect our business:

1.) You must confirm your email before you can create a SoundViz.

2.) You may only upload four audio files in a given 24 hour period.  If you reach this limit, you will be asked to reconfirm the email address we have on file for you.  Recordings are not affected by this – you may record as much as you’d like.

We do apologize for the pain this may cause some, but hope that you understand our need for taking these steps.

Where do you ship?

We currently offer worldwide shipping to the below countries. If you’re located outside of any of these countries we recommend purchasing a Digital Download for $30 USD and getting it printed at your local print shop.

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • China
  • Germany
  • Great Britain
  • Japan
  • Ireland
  • New Zealand
  • Spain
  • Turkey
  • United States

How long does it take to receive my print?

If you’re located in the United States it will take about 2 weeks to receive your fine art print and 3 weeks to receive a canvas through FedEx Ground Shipping. If you’re located outside of the United States it could take anywhere from 3-4 weeks to receive your print, depending on where you live. Since all of our prints are custom and made-to-order we unfortunately do not offer any type of overnight option – custom art pieces take time! We ship from San Francisco, CA.

If you’re in a rush then we recommend purchasing a Digital Download since it’s delivered instantly as a vector PDF file for just $30 USD. You can then take the file to your local printer to avoid any processing and shipping time.

How much does it cost?

Fine Art Prints

Printed on high-quality Moab Lasal Photo Matte paper using state-of-the-art Giclée printing.

  •  8″ x 10″ – $30 USD
  • 16″ x 20″ – $60 USD
  • 20″ x 20″ – $75 USD
  • 24″ x 30″ – $110 USD
  • 30″ x 30″ – $140 USD
  • 30″ x 40″ – $170 USD

Gallery Wrapped Canvas

Printed on canvas and stretched on wood bars one inch deep.

  • 16″ x 20″ – $180 USD
  • 20″ x 20″ – $200 USD
  • 24″ x 30″ – $260 USD
  • 30″ x 40″ – $340 USD

Digital Downloads

Delivered instantly as a vector PDF file that can be scaled to any size without any loss of quality.  These can be printed on virtually any medium at any size.  All sizes are $30 USD.

Can I get another file type besides PDF for Digital Downloads?

We give you a PDF file because our artwork is a vector image, which means it can scale to any size without losing resolution. If your printer does not accept PDF files then we recommend finding a fine art printer who will accept PDF files. All quality print shops should accept PDF files and it’s a bit of a warning sign if they don’t.

If you need to convert the PDF to another file we recommend using free online tools like Just make sure the output is at 300 dpi.

How do I edit my file?

If you would like to shorten, edit or choose a specific part of your sound file, we recommend using Audacity is free software for recording and editing sounds. Once you are happy with your sound file through Audacity then you can upload it directly to our app.

How do I get a sound wave tattoo?

We have helped many customers get sound wave tattoos! Simply customize your sound wave with the look and feel of how you’d like your tattoo to look. Most people choose the black color scheme, but color will also work. Once you’re happy with the file, simply purchase our Digital Download option for $30 and give the PDF to your tattoo artist. Once your artist has the vector PDF file, he/she will size it down to fit your body perfectly.