Audio Scriber

Working on some stuff for an upcoming show about transcribing sound to different materials…Brush pen + speaker + paper/fabric and LR3.

Will have some nicer photos soon hopefully. Still working on the third component, which is a ceramic record…

and the somewhat ridiculous setup…


Now, the next question, can it play back the recording?

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It’s a good question, I’ve yet to look for software to read a groove digitally, but I’m under the impression that it would be possible, as there would be audio information there. I’m pretty confident that ceramic record will be playable, the playback setup is going to be a little different.

You lose everything above 400-500hz with this setup, both the speeds of the travel audio are altered/slowed to bring the interesting looking material down to this frequency range.

The ceramic playback will be doing something similar, I’ll be trying to find the correct material to lower the surface noise, as I’m assuming that the surface noise will be in a set frequency range…


Are you playing it through the speaker at full speed? How fast are you moving the LR? It must be hauling.

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I read an article years ago where people were “playing” rare/vintage cylinder and disc records by taking digital photos and converting them to digital audio formats. The idea was that playing them normally (with a needle) risked damaging the original, whereas the digital photo was completely non-destructive.

I also find it wild that there are numerous performance captures of famous composers as instrumentalists from early in the 20th century. Eight Composers on Piano Roll – The Listeners' Club


Well now this is a new one!!!

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My grandmother had a very old “record player”, for lack of proper term, that used ceramic cylinders. No idea what ever became of it…

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Nope, that’s the cheat! I guess it’s technically ‘half speed mastering’

The assembly can’t transmit much frequency above 500hz, I’m imagining that it is due to the length and weight of the armature, coupled with the flexibility of the pen and pen tip.

The works on paper were slowed down by more than 50% and the speed of the carriage is 5000m/m, the fabric pieces were slowed down to 0.08% and the carriage is running at 15m/m

I just googled this, but apparently the outside of a record spins at around 40m/m at 33rpm, - so still much faster than this!



Those speeds are still much faster than I would have expected. I am surprised the pen can draw that fast. Very neat.

Hmmm… Squint your eyes, and go all Morgan Freeman from Wanted

If you look at them close enough, when you look away flat surfaces go all crawly… Like that lsd optical illusion

Here’s some footage of the paper works being made. There’s a video in the works for the ceramic being carved too.

Unfortunately a lot of the ceramic records cracked during firing - not 100% why, but I have developed a lot of respect for ceramics during this process…This lead to a few of these lamps being made, my first time 3DCarving with ESTLCam, a little bit of a learning curve, but I got there in the end.

Here are some more comprehensive photos of the lamps.