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Soil Sampler

 I am interested in existence. This project is an attempt to reconnect us with an essential reason for our existence : soil. Soil Sampler is a device which converts soil into sound whilst you walk.

produced by: Ankita Anand


The earth says to the potter, “why are you trampling on me now?” 

One day will come when I will trample on you. 

- Kabir (15th Cen. Indian poet and mystic)

Soil is an important part of our existence, after-all our bodies are just a piece of earth and will turn back into earth on death. Soil is something far more intelligent and ancient than us, this project is an exploration into how we could be more aware of this connection and exchange. Hence my idea of a ‘habitat’ was more focussed on our current habitat which is often neglected rather than a speculative one.

Soil Sampler is a device which uses soil sensors connected to an Arduino which converts humidity data into sound. The sensor is attached to a velcro pad that can be wrapped around your shoe or worn barefoot, you can then walk on any surface, however it works best on soil, and listen to changes in frequency. It also works well when you step on a puddle or some water body. There is a headphone jack provided to connect your personal headphones and also a potentiometer to adjust the volume. This device can also be connected to a portable speaker if you wish others to hear the sound as well. 

The sound produced is a reverb which is coded by using the Mozzi Library for Arduino. The frequency is then mapped to the highest and lowest values of the sensor when tested in mid air (when it is driest) and in water (when it is most humid). The Soil Sampler is best enjoyed outdoors in a park or forest however you could re-create this soil landscape indoors. It could be extended into an instrument if you create a physical track with different types of soil humidity, water, sand and stone. This device does not create anything new, instead it can be used as a means to become aware of a phenomenal connection between us and the earth. 

Download the code here 


Das, G.N. 1999, The Maxims of Kabir, India : Abhinav Publications.

Fritzing Projects. Available at : [Accessed: 10/12/2018]

Living Symphonies. Available at :  [Accessed: 10/12/2018]

Mozzi Library for Arduino. Available at : [Accessed: 10/12/2018]

Pitching, Prototyping and Prototypes, IC7013C: Physical Computing and Fabrication 2018 Week 6: Nov. 12-16 By Evan Raskob 

Teacup Tools (2014) Available at : [Accessed : 10/12/2018]

Ugo Rondinone, Becoming Soil, 2016 

Walter De Maria, The New York Earth Room. Available at: [Accessed : 10/12/2018]