Soundmachines: A Sleek Design In The Face Of An Electronic Future

November 5th, 2015


sound machine 1
Remember those good ol’ days of saloons having self playing pianos? When you and your folks used to get a sarsaparilla and watch the ghost keys play to what seemed to be a series of dots and lines appearing on a rolling pin inside the piano? Probably not. Although you may have never seen one of these self-playing pianos in action, it’s likely that you do have some sort of an idea of what a self-playing piano entails. Somewhat recently, a manufacturer in Berlin has created a new kind of turntable that uses one of the fundamental aspects of the self-playing piano.
Dubbed “Soundmachines,” a series of three turntables spin disks that read images rather than grooves as a sound source. This product, designed in 2011, promised to create a revolution in electronic performance; except, it never did – the product was discontinued approximately a year after launch. The design of the instrument is gorgeous, a sleek wooden table with a glass top. What doomed this invention was the complicity of the music interface, for every song you had wanted to play you needed separate disks representing different parts of a single track. Similar to those old fashioned ghost pianos, the music is cued by series of squares and rectangles, signifying frequencies and length of notes; for all you music producers, this is akin to midi notes.



The stylish design of the turntable surely could spark a whole new concept of DJ equipment. The flat surface, brings a nice futuristic touch to the electronic performance. Although The Soundmachine is no longer available, it is hopeful to think that this piece will have influence on future designs of other electronic instruments.




Written by contributor Sam Botero. Find him on Twitter here.

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