The Graphic to Audio project began in 2015 as a spin off of work focusing on pattern behavior and conditioning through "tool" use. The main focus was on how this influences our ability to learn new tools and gestures interdependent of content or outcome. I applied some of my key findings and went in search for more while grounded in a framework of musical expression.
Early thoughts on plarforms of acceptance and legibility quickly lead me to the turntable as a tool which has broad recognition and its own trajectory of a playback device turned instrument. It is simultaneously nostalgic, ultra modern, High-end audiophile, low res junk you might see left on a curb, and a child's toy. Not to mention all the subgenres which grew from the original DJ's and Hip Hop A
Several concept proofs were mocked up using EMF, physical textures, reflective and through hole platens but nothing felt as immediate and potentially playable as drawing. This later lead to using silicon inks which made it editable on the fly.
V1 circuit design being sorted in Pete's lab. Shown here using a sales receipt as musical notation.
In 2019 we had the first functional proof of concept with one channel, some 3-D printed parts and a factory Pioneer turntable.
The shortest distance to reality from here was repurposing an existing unit. Ultimately, everything was removed except the drive and speed control.
I called this iteration the "Loom" after my own life and interest in eternal loops, Karma, and Life's grand circulation. The head is mounted to a parallel linear bearing assembly, with two channels and attenuation on each. Its still in use today but it's greatest value was in learning its faults and potentials.
Many hours of play, thought and evaluation then lead to the "Synescope". Shown here in its early stages with a low production product mindset in play. Things like, design for the environment, reuse, serviceability, and ergonomics were top of mind this time.
Fiber housing build.
Upper housing assembly complete.
Internals . . . one main with two daughter boards and a bunch of of point to point soldering.
Complete - for the time being
(and much fun to play)
four point play head
manual fine adjust shuttle. (with future automation)
mutes and focus on each channel
variable speed platen, 0 to 5 ~
1/4 time division constant
gate, trigger and sum
interfaces to eurorack CV/midi