Two Turntables and a Mobile Phone

Bryan, Nicholas J. and Wang, Ge

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

A novel method of digital scratching is presented as an alternative to currently available digital hardware interfaces and time-coded vinyl (TCV). Similar to TCV, the proposed method leverages existing analog turntables as a physical interface to manipulate the playback of digital audio. To doso, however, an accelerometer/gyroscope–equipped smartphone is firmly attached to a modified record, placed on a turntable, and used to sense a performers movement, resulting in a wireless sensing-based scratching method. The accelerometer and gyroscope data is wirelessly transmitted to a computer to manipulate the digital audio playback in real-time. The method provides the benefit of digital audio and storage, requires minimal additional hardware, accommodates familiar proprioceptive feedback, and allows a single interface to control both digital and analog audio. In addition, the proposed method provides numerous additional benefits including real-time graphical display,multi-touch interaction, and untethered performance (e.g“air-scratching”). Such a method turns a vinyl record into an interactive surface and enhances traditional scratching performance by affording new and creative musical interactions. Informal testing show this approach to be viable,responsive, and robust.