Two Turntables and No Microphone

It used to be that you had to spend real money to get an alternative controller for your electronic musical arsenal. These days, with cheap microcontrollers and easily-accessible free software libraries, you can do something awesome for pocket change. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t make a sexy, functional piece of art along the way! [Jan Godde] did just that with his cleverly named Wooden Sensor Box With Two Rotary Disks. (If you’ve got a better name for this thing, toss it in the comments.)

mpv-shot0003From what we can see, the box has two potentiometer sliders, two touch-sensitive potentiometers, two force sensitive resistors, a slew of knobs, and a whole bunch of (capacitive?) touch points. In short, a ton of continuous controllers of all sizes and shapes in an aesthetic case. But stealing the show, and giving the device its name, are two platters from old hard drives that serve as jog wheels.

As shown in the video below the break, the two jog wheels are covered with alternating stripes on the underside. Each platter has a dedicated pair of IR LEDs and photodetectors underneath serving as a quadrature encoder that allows [Jan] to tell which direction the platters are rotating, and how far.

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Playing with routers, vinyl and music concrete

When Danish musicians Vinyl Terror and Horror visited [Daniel] and his CNC router at EMS in Sweden, things were sure to get interesting. The band uses heavily modified record players and modified vinyl records to produce strange soundscapes. During their time at EMS, Vinyl Terror and Horror were able to produce some strange vinyl that shouldn’t play on a record, but do.

Most of VTaH and [Daniel]’s work is centered on a CNC router. This soundscape took two records to produce. The spare rectangles were cut from a second record and designed to be press-fit into the host. When the newly assembled record is played, truly bizarre ‘skipping-but-still-playing’ sounds are made. The same process was used on the puzzle piece record the guys made.

The experiments continued by cutting a circle out of a record and gluing it back into place with a different orientation. This idea was taken to its logical conclusion that serves as the exemplar of music concrete.

[Daniel] and Vinyl Terror and Horror came up with a pretty neat spin (HA!) on century-old way of making electronic music, so we’ll give all of them some props. Check out all the videos from VTaH’s time at EMS after the break.

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