The Rule of Thirds for the image is controlled by the Golden mean which is a part of the Flower of Life. Hopefully you're still following somewhat..

The Flower of Life also contains the 5 Platonic Solids.
Philosopers and artists have studied and applied this Golden Mean, and Phi Ratio to living things and proportions--see Leonardo Divinci's drawing of the man with the outstretched arms.

Other than the idea that sound waves can fit into the category of shape...is there some way to apply these ideas to the concept of sound? Or what about the concept of sound and image?

4 Answers 4


First thing that springs to mind here is Walter Murch's Mysterious Law of Two-and-a-Half. The below excerpt is copied directly from transom, I highly recommend reading pt 1, 2, & 3 and watching/listening to all the video examples:

Robots and Grapes

This had happened in 1969, on one of the first films I worked on: George Lucas’s THX-1138. It was a low-budget film, but it was also science fiction, so my job was to produce an otherworldly soundtrack on a shoestring. The shoestring part was easy, because that was the only way I had worked up till then. The otherworldly part, though, meant that most of the sounds that automatically ‘came with’ the image (the sync sound) had to be replaced. A case in point: the footsteps of the policemen in the film, who were supposed to be robots made out of six hundred pounds of steel and chrome. During filming, of course, these robots were actors in costume who made the normal sound that anyone would make when they walked. But in the film we wanted them to sound massive, so I built some special metal shoes, fitted with springs and iron plates, and went to the Museum of Natural History in San Francisco at 2am, put them on and recorded lots of separate ‘walk-bys’ in different sonic environments, stalking around like some kind of Frankenstein’s monster. They sounded great, but I now had to sync all these footstep up. We would do this differently today – the footsteps would be recorded on what is called a Foley stage, in sync with the picture right from the beginning. But I was young and idealistic – I wanted it to sound right! – and besides we didn’t have the money to go to Los Angeles and rent a Foley stage.

So there I was with my overflowing basket of footsteps, laying them in the film one at a time, like doing embroidery or something. It was going well, but too slowly, and I was afraid I wouldn’t finish in time for the mix. Luckily, one morning at 2am a good fairy came to my rescue in the form of a sudden and accidental realization: that if there was one robot, his footsteps had to be in sync; if there were two robots, also, their footsteps had to be in sync; but if there were three robots, nothing had to be in sync. Or rather, any sync point was as good as any other!

This discovery broke the logjam, and I was able to finish in time for the mix. But… But why does something like this happen? Somehow, it seems that our minds can keep track of one person’s footsteps, or even the footsteps of two people, but with three or more people our minds just give up – there are too many steps happening too quickly. As a result, each footstep is no longer evaluated individually, but rather the group of footsteps is evaluated as a single entity, like a musical chord. If the pace of the steps is roughly correct, and it seems as if they are on the right surface, this is apparently enough. In effect, the mind says “Yes, I see a group of people walking down a corridor and what I hear sounds like a group of people walking down a corridor.” Sometime during the mid-19th century, one of Edouard Manet’s students was painting a bunch of grapes, diligently outlining every single one, and Manet suddenly knocked the brush out of her hand and shouted: “Not like that! I don’t give a damn about Every Single Grape! I want you to get the feel of the grapes, how they taste, their color, how the dust shapes them and softens them at the same time. ” Similarly, if you have gotten Every Single Footstep in sync but failed to capture the energy of the group, the space through which they are moving, the surface on which they are walking, and so on, you have made the same kind of mistake that Manet’s student was making. You have paid too much attention to something that the mind is incapable of assimilating anyway, even if it wanted to.

Additionally, similar to Nate's link to omega432.com, Alan Howarth has a site dedicated to what he calls RA Music. To get the best gist of it you can watch his videos here. But basically, his notion is that A440 is a man-made construct that is out of harmony with nature. He hypothesizes more or less that, based on sacred geometry, nature resonates at A424 (423.5 and change really). What I found to be an interesting take away occurred in his pt 3 video, I believe. He says that A440 music is focused in/above your head, and as you retune the music lower and lower you're focusing the resonance in your body lower and lower. A424 hits you more in the heart/chest, A414 down in the pelvis. So for a love song, tune A424. A dancehall smash, A414.

I've been using MondoMod a fair amount lately. So what I've been trying, is tuning the mod freq according to this. Just as an example I'll take a whale call, throw it through MondoMod with only the AM active & use a sine LFO set to .25x 424Hz, or trying tiger roar with a Saw Down @ 10x 42.4Hz. It's probably just the power of suggestion, but it's really seems to fit well. But there's got to be a number of other ways you can try and use this.


Check this out. May not exactly be what you mean, but interesting none the less:



It doesn't help that I can't remember the specifics. Maybe some one can chime in on what I say, and flesh it out. I remember a prof telling a story about a "magic" ratio when filtering the top and bottom of the frequency spectrum.

For example, if you are going to apply a high pass filter at x Hz, then you should apply a low pass at x' Hz. And if you maintain this proportion, the remaining sound will be more pleasing to the ear than if you had filtered just one end of the spectrum and not the other.

Does this mean anything to anyone?

It might have been as simple as the high frequency point dividing by the low point without remainder. Sorry, I can't remember specifically.


There is a golden ratio in the dimensions of studio design to minimise standing waves. Whilst looking for a link for this I also found this page which details some of the instruments that have been designed with the golden ration/phi in mind:


Also found these diffusers (I'm not on commission!)


@Joel Corriveau I'd be interested to find out more detail about the filtering you are talking about :)

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