On Aug. 25, 2015, The New York Times published an innovative data visualization within a video. The entire piece, titled “Video: Justin Bieber, Diplo and Skrillex Make a Hit,” explains how the song and sounds behind “Where Are Ü Now” were created. The dataviz itself is similar to what you see when someone’s playing Guitar Hero or Rock Band. Different shapes and colors represent different types of sound, and as each sound is played, the relevant shapes and colors light up on the screen.
What’s fantastic about this technique (and the audio editing in the video) is that it offers an intuitive visualization of sound. It lets viewers focus more easily on specific sounds because you can anticipate them and look for audio patterns that match the visual patterns on the screen. It also allows readers who have never studied sheet music to be able to see what sounds are coming up next.