Tag: turntable

Design and experimentation of the 4 arms turntable

The goal is to create a turntable with 4 arms, allowing to listen to 4 tracks of a single vinyl at the same time.
Each vinyl will be the representation of an object. Each track will be the transposition of data from the object into sound.
The tracks will be representative of:
– the material of the object (molecule composition of all the materials composing the object)
– the size : volume, density, form, data extract from the 3D model
– memories: story from the owner
– use: movements, sound it masques, is it a static object, portable…
I already made a video concept of it for a previous concept

We made a try with 2 turntable, using the 2 arm on one. And it works, we get the 2 tracks at the same time

For the design of the installation I started to make some sketches and 3D drawings. They are the first attempts.

Around turntable: definition – history – production

turntable project


I have search around the history of turntable, and information on the one in the museum Linn Sondek LP12; looking for inspiration, the goal being to find objects or actions, related to the turntable itself  I could transform into data, then to sound and playable on the turntable.

I search for hours, what kind of stories I could create from the objects in the Changing Nation Gallery in the National Museum of Scotland, without any conclusive results. After few hopeless days, I decided to sit down and try to be methodical. This is my technic: when I am a lost, and the head is not working anymore to find ideas by itself, I start with looking at the definition. I looked into the dictionary and found actually 2 definitions : 1. a circular revolving plate supporting a record as it is played. 2. a circular revolving platform for turning a railway locomotive or other vehicle. I really liked this discovery. Then I also made the connection between the wheels of the old trains and the harm of the turntable on the vinyl.

Then I looked at the history of the product. And the first Phonograph (old version of the turntable we know nowadays) has been invented by Thomas Edison, well known for his inventions contributed to mass communication and, in particular, telecommunications. He invented electric light and power utilities, sound recording, and motion pictures all established major new industries world- wide. It links the turntable not only to the communication and Home section of the gallery, but also to energy part.

I carried on investigating the turntable which is displayed in the gallery: Linn Sondek LP12. I directly noticed after few clics that it is a very well know brand world wide for vinyl lover, moreover…. it is a Scottish brand and they are based in Glasgow. I found articles from someone who actually visited the factory : on whathifi and dagogo. I think if we wanted we might be able to visit it as well.

Finally I started  to look at some books, about music, turntable, evolution of the music industry…

From the book : UNDER-CURRENTS the hidden wiring of modern music edited by Wire and continuum. I already found so far some interesting quote:
p16: In the 18th and 19th centuries, electricity also catalysed the kind of heady enthusiasm that data devices do today.
p18: electricity is an experience before it is a fact, a dream before it is a science. In Watson’s case, electrical theories were mixed up with spiritualist notions.
p19: Thomas Edison discovered that changing an electric current in a stylus changed the amount of friction the stylus exerted on a rotating cylinder – which could therefore become a medium of sonic inscription.
P19: Freud dubbed the dread produced by the doppellganger “the uncanny”, which he connected to the queer feelings one gets from dolls and automata. It seems important to note that when Edison was imagining possible applications for his new device, one of his first notions, alongside producing platters of music, was to make dolls “speak, sing, cry and make various sounds”.
p22: Marshall McLuhan argued that electronic technologies were installing an “acoustic space” in the place of an earlier “visual space” […] he believes that electronic media eroded this crisp and objective grid of facts, dissolving it into a psychic, social and perceptual environment that resembles the kind of space we hear: multi-dimentional, resonant, invisible tactile, “a total and simultaneous field of relations”. Though McLuhan used “acoustic space” as an analogy for a psycho-social process that did not necessarily tickle the bones of the inner ear, his oceanic vision of acoustics does foreground the central role that music – and its electromagnification.
p 27: The song becomes a viral dissemination: technologies, broadcast, relayed, replayed, addressed to everyone and no one […] the song soon becomes a technological paradigm: something which can be turned up, levelled out.

From these research, following my initial idea The world as Turntable, I developed 2 new concepts you can discover in this new article: New proposals: production-vs-edison.

New proposals: Production vs Edison

Based on the research summerized in the article Research around the turntable I propose two new concepts (after the first one: The World as Turntables).

In Homage to Thomas Edison

Edison was a prolific inventor. He is particularly well know for the invention of the electric light and power utilities, sound recording, and motion pictures all established major new industries world- wide. Edison’s inventions contributed to mass communication and, in particular, telecommunications. Using this information that turntable and electric light have the same inventor, I propose an installation linking two topics of the gallery changing nation in the museum of Scotland : DAILY LIFE – HOME TECHNOLOGY and ENERGY – SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY.

The turntable would be transformed into generator, when it is playing, touching a special venial, it will generate light, using the rotation of the turntable to generate electricity or/and the contact of the needle onto the vinyl.


proposal 3

Production line/Linn

The turntable in the museum is a Linn Sondek LP12. Linn  is one of the stalwarts of the British hi-fi industry. Taking its name from a local park  in Glasgow, Linn was  founded in the early ’70s and started off with just one product – the legendary LP12 turntable. Since then the company has developed an impressively comprehensive product range.

I was thinking to recreate the production line of the turntable by generating sounds from each steps of the production, from raw material to finish product. The single harm could go from one turntable to another, picking the sound related to the action (we should figure it out how we generate the sound: which data ? record in the factory ? …).
The harm would reading the sound, then add the second one on top of it. Like record a sample then add one on top of each other on the same principle of a loop pedal (exemple here)

It could be a reflection of the factory process (linking the communication part to the industry part of the gallery).

It also play on the on the production line method of the construction a mass produce product and the brand of the turntable Linn.

Finally there is a reflection on the music procession as well. The evolution of music and the possibility that turntable offered to musicians: Turntablism, which is the art of manipulating sounds and creating music using direct- drive turntables and a DJ mixer: the record player becomes a musical instrument. DJ use turntable to mix and samples. This installation would also be a homage to this art.

proposal 2

Combination of both

Edison was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production and large-scale teamwork to the process of invention, and because of that, he is often credited with the creation of the first industrial research laboratory. From this information we can easy imagine and justify that these 2 concept could become a single one.

Proposal – The World as Turntables

Installation of turntable(s) to foster reflections on the long term consequences of our actions/inaction/behaviour, and the butterfly effect that actions can have: raise awareness of our right, duty and power as an individual to act for a greater good and a better future.

We are at a turning point / point of no return of what the earth can provide
– We have a choice and duty to educate ourselves to act and behave in a more sustainable manner.
– Encouraging people to feel the harmony of our ideal sustainable relationship with earth and the disharmony of our current relationship with it.
– Break the borders we constructed between us and the planet

Proposal 1

Create an instillation of turntables representing either: 
– different continents (one turntable=one continent)
– people
– towns
– natural resources
– endangered species
– …
vinyl: on each a vinyl playing a symbolic instrument(s).
speed: they all turn at different speed: speed = energy consumption / natural resources
-> if we all continu to live as we do on the planet we would need 1.5 planets to provides our needs, if we concentrate in europe, it is 2.5 planet. The idea is to make the turntable faster related to this idea.
interactivity: visitors would have the possibility to play with cursors to answer simple questions to calculate how many planet we would need if the rest of the world population was living alike. It would modify the speed of the discs
– goal: the goal would be to try to make the planet be in harmony (all the disc turning at the same speed to hear the music).


Proposal 2

Create an instillation with a turntable with multiple harm/needle could represent the different aspects described previously. 
– needle: on each a vinyl playing a symbolic instrument(s). 
– speed: the speed = energy consumption / natural resources (same as previously)
– interactivity: same as previously
– goal: the goal would be to try to make the planet be in harmony (find the right speed to hear the music).



The first proposal might be too consensual. We all will never have the same right, same way of living. Do we want a homogene society, like we all are clones ? But in the same time it is not right that some have the ability to consume in 1 hour what other will in a month or more ? How can we find a balance between equality (the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, or opportunities) and equity (the quality of being fair and impartial: equity of treatment.)

Harmony is difficult to define – it is not only fast and slow

Might be to linear, and when it is  you miss direction and possibilities – lecturing on personal behaviour