Karl Salzmann – TT8

From Dec. 11th to 21st, I had my first residency at STEIM. I arrived with a number of turntables and hardware equipment to go further with my idea of building an instrument consisting of 8 turntables that are controllable by one unit to use them as an instrument.

Before arriving at STEIM, I worked with the turntables in an installation-based setting.







In order to prepare them for use as an instrument to play with, I adapted the TT`s and replaced the motor`s cables to more easily attach them to a microcontroller, as well as putting longer line-out cables onto them to make them more flexible in a performative context.


The next step was to find a way to control and play the turntables. With these helpful instructions: http://itp.nyu.edu/physcomp/Tutorials/HighCurrentLoads as well as with the expertise of Marije (coding) and Peter (hardware) from the STEIM-Lab, I was able to put my ideas onto a breadboard. I was then able to control the speed of all record players from 0 up to the fastest possibility of the TT´s motor via knobs, trigger all on/off`s with a switch and had the possibility of adjusting the on/off time settings by another knob.








To control the speed of the turntables, I used an arduino microcontroller and a simple transistor circuit as seen at the link above. After soldering the things onto the breadboard, I put everything into a tiny black box. My first self-made controller was finished.



As construction of the controller took so much time (more than a week including research, soldering,etc….), time to practice the instrument for the upcoming concert at the Oorsprong, which was courteously organised by STEIM`s Jonathan Reus, was a little short. Despite the short time left, I started to work with the sounds which I therefore cut onto vinyl. A recording of a studio2 session can be found here.

The Time at STEIM was very productive for me. It was possible to be totally focused on my work and to go much further. Thanks once again for this inspiring place and the helpful and friendly people there! Hope to get back soon.




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