My new ink…

This design consists of two things that I will always love in my life. Music/Sound and my grandmother. At my grandparents surprise wedding anniversary party in Scotland, my grandmother said the words “If I live till I’m a hundred, I’ll never forget it” when she was handed the microphone.

She had cancer and passed away soon afterwards.

Simply, I took the audio wave-form, did some noise reduction so you could see the transients, and then had it tattooed on my fore-arm, with all the words written below.

Please note a couple things:

1. Each word is under the spike in the waveform as you would hear each word being said.

2. And most important is: This is her real voice, taken from the video and put into pro-tools.

This fills me with joy each time I look at it and it will forever.

Lisa Sinner at Liquid Amber Tattoo was my artist and I highly recommend her!


ADDED:   It appears that a lot of people have viewed this page, and I would love to hear back from people who have had artwork similar to this done.  Email me or comment below anytime!   Thanks!

35 Responses to Inked…

  1. Paddy McLendon says:

    A beautiful story and tattoo Paul. I am a college kid just going into the audio industry and am thinking about getting a similar tattoo. I am glad to see that I cannot find any tattoos like this without an amazing story behind them. Cheers.

  2. Marg says:

    Thank you for all you did for Mom and the rest of the family. This amazing tattoo is a tribute to her but also a tribute to your great creativity and heart of an artist. Your strength, courage, independence and joyfulness are also inspirations.
    Be happy.

  3. Colin A. says:

    Hey i love ur tattoo! I want my first tattoo to be a waveform going around my upper arm as a bracelet, or across my back. The only problem is i don’t know if anyone will understand it, then again a lot of people don’t understand each other’s tattoos unless they ask, so idk.

  4. Sara says:

    This has got to be the coolest tattoo I have ever seen. So completely unique. What a great idea.

  5. Darian says:

    heyy man did dat hurtt.??

  6. Peta says:

    I think you’re getting a lot of views because while ‘waveform tattoo’ comes up as an automatic search on google, you seem to be the only person who has posted a picture of one.

    I’m in the radio industry and currently thinking about a waveform as my first tattoo, so was just looking around to see what others have done.

  7. Liz says:

    Wow. The tattoo’s pretty rad, and the story behind it even more so. I’m planning on getting a waveform ink too and so I googled and this showed up. How did you get the waveform though?

  8. if anyone has any ink work done similar to what I have, please contact me. I would love to see what people are doing.


  9. Dan says:

    That is an awesome tattoo with an amazing story behind it.

  10. darren says:

    Hey Paul, love the tat! Like other people have said here, yours is the only picture that comes up for a soundwave. I’m about to get a tat of my voice saying hoow much i love my wife. I’ll definately upload a pic and send you a link. sounds like lots of people want to get waves tattooed. it’s such a great idea, and yours is a beautiful sentiment to your grandmother.

  11. Scott says:

    Very, very cool tattoo. If only everyone put the same thought and consideration into their ink – and showed the same respect to their elders / ancestors / family.

    Much Respect.

  12. kendra says:

    i love the meaning and the look of your tattoo. im really considering getting the wave form of my favorite song but im a little concerned with the ink bleeding and it becoming a blob on my arm…how is your tattoo doing any sign of bleeding? what program did you use to get the best image of the wave form?

    • No, all was good on the bleeding out. Let’s face it, it does look like a blob of “organized” ink on your arm, but people will know exactly what it is when they see it. I get other people thinking I have sliced my arm open, or that it looks like trees on a lake. The important thing is that your artist is detailed in having each transient the same height from top to bottom. It must look organized, and like a sine wave would look for that matter. I just used protools, and did a screen shot. Then imported into photoshop. No one is going to ever hear it obviously, so you can use as much noise reduction and gain to make it LOOK like a great waveform with great transients. Hope that helps….. Email me a photo when it’s done!

  13. Dave says:

    Dude this is really sick! The best i found in the web!
    Because i am a DJ i was thinking of doing a waveform on my arm. But with the story behind your’s makes it totally complete!!!!!!!!

    Really really really nice!

    You got my respect!

  14. Simon says:

    Hi, Im after something very similar.. and wondered what you used to covert the sound into the soundwave image? and what you did get that pic.. i wanted to get a lyric from a song done.. I’d have used something to do it but seems a bit messy..

    BTW that is beautiful piece of art!

  15. Update | Paul J Hermann

  16. Tom says:

    Thanks for this. So amazing

  17. Kahlil says:

    That is the perfect tattoo & meaning I’ve ever seen. Thinking of get a similar tat of a waveform of my dad’s voice saying “The World is Yours”…

  18. Leslie says:

    This is one of the coolest tattoos ihave ever seen. I really love the script too. Is it a font, or did you use original handwriting?

    • Thank you! It was my artists suggestion. My font I had chose originally was a little thin and would fade quicker. I liked her suggestion, and it could be her handwriting for that matter.

  19. Kai says:

    I live this idea. I’ve been trying to come up with an original idea for a tattoo for my newborn son. I was thinking I would record him either saying “‘mama” or “I love you”. I love love love the story behind yours.

    • Thank you! I have also had that idea of getting the footprint of my child on my chest or somewhere, but a recording of their first words or them saying Mama or Dada would be amazing. Do it!

  20. frank riz says:

    wooooow yo that shit is hot bro. being a hip hop artist gotta say this is one of the most unique tats ive seen of anything regarding music or vocals. and the message behind it just tops it off. Tight work and sorry for your loss. Keep ya head up. 1

    Frank Riz
    Bronx NY

  21. Thais RS says:

    I was just finishing the planes for my next tattoo when I found your website. It will be for my grandfather, who passed away a few months ago and it would be almost the same of yours. He was a passionate with birds, specially chopi blackbirds, so I will draw a part of a waveform of one of them and the inicial letters of my grandfather`s name. Unfortunatelly I`m not able to record his real blackbird, but still I think he would be happy – even if he didn`t like tattoes.

    • That would be a great one!

      It’s actually funny, but my grandfather didn’t understand tattoo’s until he saw mine. It impacted him enough that behind everyones back, he designed his own tattoo and got one. As to always remember his wife (my grandmother). No one would have ever expected it.

  22. angela says:

    This is amazing! My respect goes to you. Greetings from Mexico.

  23. Jordyn H says:

    This is an amazing tattoo! Im thinking of getting one myself. I read somewhere that if you record it and send it in they will send you the printed version of the sound waves but I have no idea where to start or how to find this place. I really want one but Im totaly lost. Any advice or help would be awsome!

  24. Russ says:

    Strangely enough I had this exact idea before I found this page.

    My brother recently passed and loved to dance (dubstep/techno-esque). I decided to choose a song he loved to dance to in which the first lyric of the song states “Rippin’ my heart was so easy”. I think it’s pretty fitting for both the idea of the tattoo as well as the meaning the lyrics actually provide.

    Love the story behind yours as well man. Thanks for the additional inspiration.

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